It is with a heavy heart that we present to you March’s Pet of the Month – the late Kara. Kara was nominated at the beginning of March and sadly passed away shortly thereafter. She was an amazing fur child, as evidenced by the testimonies of both her pet parents and her sitter. Our sincerest condolences go out to the Prinsloo family during this difficult time and we hope to honour her memory in this very special edition of Pet of the Month. ❤️
Kara was nominated twice by her regular sitter Soné Botha – once in February and then for a second time now in March.
“I would like to nominate Kara again, as she is extremely special to me. I really think she deserves pet of the month, because she is a fighter and nothing can bring her down.
She lost an ear due to cancer, but is still the most loveable little bundle of joy! She will be celebrating her 19th birthday later this year, with most vets describing her as ‘off the charts’, since cats usually only live to about 16.” – Soné.
Soné nominated Kara and we had chosen her nomination before we were made aware of Kara’s passing. When we informed Soné, she went on to say: “Kara lived a full life in a loving and caring home. Rest in peace, sweet angel.”. ❤️
Mom, Ineke, and dad, Alex, were so excited to hear that Kara had been chosen as Pet of the Month and thought it would be a wonderful way to honour her memory.
Everyone loves a good origin story – how did Kara become part of the Prinsloo clan?
“On the 21st of May 2000, 5 little kittens were born into this world. I watched every one of them take their first breath. Their mother, Nina, was my second kitty, but my first experience in the birth of kittens. I was so stressed out that evening that I slept on the floor with my head pillowed on the blanket with the mother and kittens – worried that I would miss something or not be there if she needed me.
Over the next couple of weeks, I watched the kittens open their eyes, take their first steps and eventually turn into a troupe of meowing menaces that raced through the house, onto furniture and curtains! When it was time to find them new homes, four of them were adopted quite quickly but every single time, the black and white skinny kitten was passed over.
I became very protective over her and wanted to find her a home deserving of her. The final straw came when an interested party remarked that they would have wanted one of the other fluffy grey ones and that they would be hesitant to “settle” for the last one left, as she was (respectfully!) a bit ugly.
Well, there and then she was no longer available for adoption and I vowed that she would stay with me, and be loved all her life. That was the start of a journey that lasted close on 19 years.”
Naming our furkids is always fun – how did you choose the name Kara?
“At the time, I really didn’t know what she wanted to be named until one Sunday afternoon as I was reading a book, she jumped up on my chest (which, at that point she had never done before) and rubbed herself against the book I was busy reading. At first, I didn’t understand what was happening, but she was so insistent on rubbing herself against the book and only after I asked “do you want to be named Kara?”, who was the protagonist in the book, did she look up at me, stopped rubbing, smiled and jumped off. Well that was settled then – she picked her own name.”
Did she have any unique quirks or habits that couldn’t help but make you smile?
“She was super fast and could leap up a six-foot wall in a nano-second; deadly in her aim and silence with a number of pigeons unfortunately meeting their end before they even had the faintest clue that danger was near.
Kara hardly ever meowed, but had a ‘silent’ meow only when you made eye-contact with her and it was her way of telling you she wanted to be fed or loved. In the evenings, if she wanted to be rubbed, and quietly staring you down was not noticed, she would start pawing you insistently until you knew she was there next to you and required a rub.
My husband would purposefully ignore her and she would just sit there and paw more insistently at him until he gave in and rubbed her neck (her favourite spot). It was the cutest thing ever to see this small creature getting more and more impatient, more insistently “air-pawing” him until she got what she wanted.
She was small in stature, but what she lacked in size she commanded in respect. Though she probably never weighed more than 2.5kg all throughout her life, all of our dogs, including a 45kg Doberman, had a healthy respect for her. She managed a couple of times to outfox them and find their warm beds in winter. They would then have to wait for her to depart before they could snuggle up in their beds again.
She was also a super mommy, having had two litters of her own! The day she was due to give birth, I made a special nest for her in my cupboard and left her there as the contractions started. I remembered that I wanted to get fresh, clean towels for her and the kittens for later and went to the linen cupboard to fetch them. The next moment I looked down to find her standing right next to me with half-born kitten! Kara was doing her fiercest “silent meow” yet – “you need to be with me through this!”. I duly sat with her throughout the birth and she came to introduce each one of her kittens to me individually!”
Would you have described Kara as adventurous or laid-back?
“Initially, she was almost feral, never liking to be picked up or touched without her permission. She ventured on her own often and one hardly saw her. It was only later in her life that she began to relax, sought after her humans for attention and discovered the joys of a good rub. She also finally gave in to our Labrador x Shepherd puppy licking her to the point of being drenched in doggy drool! She even sought her out for a good “groom” when she eventually couldn’t reach all the spots anymore.”
Her perfect day would have been…
“Waking up and having successfully coaxed her humans into feeding her meat to her heart’s content. After a post-meal grooming session, she would either find a good spot in the sun or lie on the couch with her people.”
As pet parents we’re not allowed to have favourites, but who was Kara’s favourite human?
“She absolutely adored my husband, Alex.“
Her favourite food was…
“Meat! My father-in-law would feed her two medallions of fillet at one time!”
Her favourite toy was…
“Sadly, half dead pigeons were her favourite toys in her younger years. “
Her favourite StudentCo Pet Sitter was…
Any special memories you think other pet parents would enjoy?
“Kara was not what one would consider a feline suitable for rookie cat-parents, as she was almost feral and wasn’t fond of dogs. After she mellowed with age, and she discovered running away from our new Aussiedor puppy was too much effort, she resigned to the new fact-of-life that being ‘loved-up’ by a puppy would bring. Until her last day, she would wake up to being licked and ‘kissed’ by our puppy, Molly. If we didn’t see this happening, we knew that it had already happened, as she’d be totally wet from puppy drool, and patiently grooming herself dry. It is perhaps a good thing she could not talk.”
Author: Andrea Wilkins
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