2-21-20 Kara

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Kara (Sheriff Mama)
April 2, 2007 – February 20, 2020.

We initially made the appointment to say goodbye to Kara for this morning because I wanted one more night with her. But she had such a good morning yesterday that rather than take the chance she might start to go downhill, we decided yesterday afternoon was the time. (She’s been suffering from Chronic Renal Failure for a couple of years now, as mentioned in this post.)

She left us as peacefully as we could have hoped for, the very best girl to the end. This post is my tribute to her.


Kara came to us as our foster in 2008, hugely pregnant. She was the first pregnant cat we’d ever fostered, and so we were both excited and nervous about the experience.

We thought we might be in for a bit of a wait, but the very next day after we got her, Kara went into labor. In the course of just a few hours, she had four tiny kittens. (We were watching Survivor while she had her kittens, and I surprised to this day that we didn’t name the single boy kitten Jeff Probst.)

She was a wonderful mama to those kittens, always vigilant, though we had to make a point of not going into the room if we knew the kittens were nursing. She was always so excited to see us that she’d run over to greet us and leave her kittens complaining.

As they grew, she continued to be a wonderful mother to them, and we were surprised that she never completely weaned them from the milk bar. They were nearly her size before they left us, and it amused us to no end to see those giant kittens nursing.

Kara’s kittens left when they were about 4 months old. Kara was with us a bit longer, and then she went to Petsmart. In my memory she was at Petsmart just a few days, but upon looking back through pictures, she was actually there for nearly two weeks before we decided we missed her too much, and Fred brought her home.

(A note: at the time we thought we were going to rename her, but she remained Kara her entire life. We nicknamed her Sheriff Mama, but when we talked about her to each other, she was always Kara or Mama.)

Kara settled back into life with us as though she’d never left. I had high hopes that she’d help with the mothering and care of foster kittens, but she wanted absolutely nothing to do with any kittens, not ever. If any kitten made the mistake of approaching her, they were told in no uncertain terms that they needed to find somewhere else to be.

She didn’t actually have much use for the other permanent residents either, though she and Newt had some sort of mutual respect society going on – they could often be seen sniffing noses – and she tolerated Jake’s occasional need to mind-meld.

When we lived at Crooked Acres, we had an electric fence around the back yard. Most of the cats needed to wear collars that responded to the electric fence, Kara included. Before Fred would open the back door in the morning, he’d put the collars on the cats, and when he’d hold Kara in place to put her collar on, Jake would come over and rub against her because he knew she’d put up with it.

She was the absolute sweetest girl, but she was also the most frustrating. When we lived at Crooked Acres, she was constantly testing her collar. The instant she realized that the battery was dead, she’d be over the fence and gone until we realized she was gone. (But she always came when we called.)

She considered herself our protector – that’s how she earned her nickname Sheriff Mama – and she absolutely hated it when she could see us on the other side of the fence but couldn’t get to us. She’d glare at us and walk back and forth, her tail whipping, and give us all kinds of hell.

She was always testing everything – when we first put up the cat fence here at Shady Cove, she nearly immediately found a way out of the back yard, under a spot in the fence where the ground had washed away. We thought it was too small to worry about, but she was a tiny cat and squeaked through with no problem. And as at Crooked Acres, the instant we called for her, she’d come to us.

She absolutely adored being outside, and I loved looking out to see her striding across the back yard. Even when it was cold outside, she’d curl up in one of the cat houses and watch yard.

She was just the sweetest girl. Everyone at the vet’s office just absolutely fell in love with her, she was always just so SWEET.

She wasn’t sure what to think about our move from Crooked Acres to Shady Cove. At that point, Crooked Acres had been her home for nearly 10 years and she knew the ins and outs of life there. But she adapted quickly to our new home, and found some new favorite places. It was hard for her to not be able to go outside for a few months, but once she was allowed out and she discovered the joys of tasty, tasty chipmunks, she was all in.

We could do just about anything to her – she never fought being medicated, she loved having fluids as long as you sat next to her and petted her, you could pick her up and flip her onto her back, and she’d just purr and purr and blink up at you. Even in this past week, she still went outside to run the perimeter of the back yard, she killed a chipmunk as recently as two weeks ago, she told Archie to watch his manners; she never stopped sheriff-ing. She never stopped loving us. She never stopped doing her best to keep us safe.

And now her watch has ended.

Kara came to us from Challenger’s House. If you’re of a mind to, donations can be made in her name to Challenger’s House.

They accept donations by mail (check or money order), by phone (Mastercard/VISA), or at their Paypal address challengershouse (at) mchsi.com

Challenger’s House
112 Tristian Rd.
Toney, AL 35773

Phone: 256-420-5995


2019: The Half Pints, named.
2018: As it turns out, I didn’t get a pregnant mama.
2017: It’s ‘tudes-day for Dewey.
2016: No entry.
2015: No entry.
2014: Bath time for EVERYone!
2013: SuperLunk is on the job as well!
2012: He has a way with the lady cats, that husband o’ mine.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: I realllllllllly don’t want the permanent residents of the house to go into double-digit territory.
2007: “Let’s pee in her bed!”
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



2-21-20 Kara — 63 Comments

  1. Sweet Kara…you’ve been such a constant force since I’ve been reading this blog! I’ll miss you Sheriff Mama! Sending hugs and purrs to you and Fred…

  2. Ah Kara, sweetheart. I will miss seeing your sweet face patrolling your beat.

    Enjoy your retirement, Sheriff Mama.

    Brigitte and Malcolm from Canada

  3. I am sorry for the loss of your sweet Kara. She was my favorite of the PR and will miss seeing her little face. Kara reminded me so much of my Sadie which I think made me love Kara so much. The first thing I do when I get to work in the morning is to check out Love & Hisses to start my day off with a smile. This morning that smile is a little dimmer than usual.

    We will miss you, Kara, but I am sure, not as much as your family.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, you had SUCH A SPECIAL BOND with her.

      Please hug the others, especially Frankie, a little more today for us.

  4. Thank you for the tribute. What an unusual,sweet cat. She was well & truly loved. Loved the photos & your memories!

  5. Well, I was okay reading her beautiful tribute until I read “her watch has ended” and the tears came. I am so sorry to all of you at Shady Cove and I’m sorry we won’t see her sweet little face anymore.

  6. I’m so sorry, but what a wonderful tribute to a very special kitty. Please keep watch from up on the Rainbow Bridge, Sheriff Mama, we will all miss you down here. Love and hugs to all your hoomans.

  7. So sorry to hear it was time for Kara to go home. It’s so difficult not to become attached to those who share the path we follow, but her road now leads to joy, unlimited chipmunks to hunt, and best of all, no boundaries! So happy Kara’s been set free, and so sorry for those of us left behind. I can’t wait for the day we get to meet our sweet companions once again. Hope you and Fred know there’s still something to look forward to. Love and strength to the Shady Cove gang.

    • After reading the comments last night I visited your FB page. Talk about being kicked when you’re down. Frankie was a good lookin’ boy and I’m sorry I didn’t get to know him sooner. Glad you have everyone’s story on-line so I can catch up.

      I think what’s been said can’t be said again to make you feel any better. Hope the new life in your home softens the blow of this terrible tragedy. Thinking of you, Fred, and the permies and sending you love and strength at this trying time.

  8. I’m so, so sorry for your loss, Robyn, Fred and Shady Cove cats. I’m so glad we got to know this lovely little cat through your blog, and I sure will miss her sweet, serious little face.

  9. Robyn and Fred, I’m so sorry. Kara was a beautiful kitty, outside and inside, and Love and Hisses won’t be the same without her. But I imagine a cat heaven where all of your kitties gather and get along, even if they weren’t really friends before….

  10. Been sitting here for the last 10 minutes trying to think of the right thing to say, and I just can’t. She was one of my favorites and I’m going to miss The Continuing Adventures of Sheriff Mama, although not a fraction as much as you and Fred. So SO sorry. 🙁

  11. I’m so sorry about Kara. I’ve always loved watching her keeping an eye on your yard and those other cats. I’ll miss seeing her on your page.

  12. What an utter sweetheart, i will sorely miss her face in the blogs, i am sending comforting thoughts, you gave her a wonderful life and a peaceful end.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I knew something better to say. She had a wonderful life with you, and I know how much you will miss her. I still miss my big boy Ronin, and he left us in June, and even though we have another truly wonderful cat, we still miss him, and I think his buddy does as well.

  14. I refuse to believe her watch has ended. That girl was so dedicated to her work, I bet she’s still watching over you… but this time with the added accessories of a halo & wings. Her sheriff’s badge probably now glows brightly and radiates with the warmth of the sun! <3

    • Perfectly put. And now I’m imagining that every time there’s thunder or lightning it’s really just Sheriff Mama telling her humans to get back inside where it’s safe.

    • I was okay, if sad, until I read this comment. Then I started crying at my desk at work. I now have a mental picture of the angel sheriff exactly as described, sun-imbued badge included, continuing her watch from on high.

      You will be terribly missed, sweet Kara. I need to go find that video of happy Sheriff Mama and her tiny little voice and watch it about four times.

  15. A beautiful tribute, Robyn! I was also okay until I read “her watch has ended”…and I know it’s so much harder for you and Fred. So glad you had a good morning with her, and that she had a happy life there.
    Hugs and purrs

  16. The Sheriff was always my favorite, with her concerned little face and self-appointed duties. My heart hurts for you and Fred.

  17. However long we have them just isn’t long enough. Chase those chipmunks, Sheriff Mama. Purrs and hugs from our house to yours.

  18. Awwww. It’s always too soon, but my condolences to you and Fred, and happy life on the other side of the Bridge, Kara.

  19. I am so sorry. Kara was such a special girl. I wanted to adopt her but we were full and she obviously already chose you to serve and protect. And love. Thank you for sharing her with us. And thank you for all you do for our furry friends. I truly believe we all will meet again at the bridge. Kara will be there with her stern little face and book of citations, keeping order. Love you all.

  20. I can´t believe she´s gone. I am so sorry for you and Fred. She was my favorite of the permies. She was a very special girl. I know that she was sick of something, but why did she die? Who will be the next Sheriff/Mama of Shady Cove?

    Rest In Peace Kara

  21. Rest in peace, sweet girl. You will be missed dearly. Robyn, Fred, thank you for sharing Kara with us, and for loving her so much.

  22. What a dear tribute to a special, special kitty. Thank you for sharing Kara with us, and know that you and Fred are so loved during this tough time.

  23. I am so sad… the 180 of her scowl and sweet personality got me – I know we shouldn’t have favorites and how well can any of us know your kitties but she was my favorite! Hearts and hugs to you, Fred and the permanent residents.

  24. So very sad for all of us that we won’t get to see her anymore but even more sorry for you and Fred.

    She had such a stern little face, Sheriff Mama was a great name to match it. 🙂

    Sending all the hugs, purrs and headbutts all y’all’s way.

  25. So sorry to hear you had to make that awful decision for her. Peace be with you both.

    Run free at the Bridge sweet Kara.

  26. Heartbreaking to hear of Kara’s passing. She had the most wonderful life with you and Fred. I will miss her beautiful, sweet face. It’s always so difficult to say goodbye to our beautiful pets.

  27. Oh my gosh, Robyn. I just saw your Facebook post about Frankie. I can’t even imagine how painful this must be for you and Fred. Peace to you both.

  28. The Sheriff was my favorite permanent resident. She had a lot of class and knew for sure what she wanted and what she didn’t. She reminds me of my cat, Jada, who whips her tail back and forth when she’s displeased for any reason. I will really miss her. And I admire your bravery in letting her go at the right time.

  29. So sorry to hear about Sheriff Mama, it is always so awful to let them go. She was a very special kitty for a very special family. I enjoyed all the wonderful, silly and stern posts we were lucky enough to read about.

    Frankie also, how awful…

    Rest In Peace Kara and Frankie. Prayers for Robyn, Fred and the rest of the Shady Cove gang.

  30. I’ve been following your blog for 10+ years and your kitties feel as special and familiar to me like my own.My heart breaks for each of your losses and I am thinking of you and the other permanent residents

  31. So sorry to hear about Mama. I hadn’t looked at blogs in a long while but decided to look at yours today and saw the post. My deepest sympathies to you and Fred.

  32. Sorry for the loss of Kara…my favorite of your cats, I just feel in love with her story years ago <3. My best wishes of peace and love to you all