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Of all animals, he alone attains to the Contemplative Life.

— Andrew Lang

Stanley’s Ads

Stanley’s Parents

There are some things I know and some things I assume about Stanley’s parents.  Stanley can’t really help at all in this matter.  If you ask him, he would say his parents are Robin and Don.  Don is the person who gave him his name, Stanley Starzman. 

First, I need to describe the lay of the land so to speak.  I was living in a neighborhood of homes that stood on one-half or three-quarters of an acre in the suburbs near a city of just over 300,000.  Our lot was fairly well manicured compared to the two lots across the street.  In fact, our “back forty” resembled a park with a swimming pool.  Other lots around us were typical.  Except the two directly across the street.

My Scottish Fold, Stanley, just a few weeks old, is in the basket.

The overgrowth across the street where I found Stanley.

The lot directly across from us resembled a dense wood filled with a variety of bushes and mixture of coniferous, deciduous, fruit and palm trees.  In the unkempt overgrowth, there were owls and occasionally you could spot raccoon or possum, unusual for the area.  The couple living there were elderly by the time I met them.  He being the introspective, but outgoing academe, she the outspoken hermit.  He, and his son who visited frequently, seemed intent on caring for her rather than bothering with outward appearances.  The elderly man was a joy to talk with.

The lot next door to them was overflowing with stray cats that spilled over into the perfect haven for them next door.  In the front, on any one given day, I could easily count twenty-five cats.  I believe Jerri, the very sweet and caring owner, said she had another 35 in the back yard and there were a few inside their home as well.  Some of the strays in the back had been there long enough they were inbreeding to the point where her veterinarian would come out to put deformed kittens to sleep.  Of course, the cat population fluctuated, but the front yard landscaping was always minimalist.  I think maybe they were busy with the cats, cat rescues, or other things more important.  I’m not sure.  I didn’t ask.

Anyway, when we had leftovers, I would walk them over to the strays across the street.  It was funny that the back yard strays seemed to stay in the back and the front yard strays seemed to stay in the front.  Most of them were black and white shorthairs of medium to small build.  And all were feral.  Except one. 

There was an old orange, medium sized Scottish Fold whose ears were a triple fold.  His hair was very soft of medium thickness with an undercoat.  Months later I uncovered some of his history, but that’s a story Stanley wants me to tell later. 

This orange tom liked to hang out across the street from us.  And, with all the strays around, you can see why; there was always a female calling for his amorous visitations and he didn’t seem to mind.  When I would see him, he was either busy entertaining the girls, young or old, trying to keep the other couple of toms away, or just lounging.  Occasionally, he would come over to say ‘hello’ to me when I was out front working in my yard.  I think he missed human affection somehow.  When I dropped food off across the street, I would always stop to talk to him, er, I mean pet him.  He was a nice old cat with a French name I can no longer recall.

In the early Spring of 2002, I noticed a very young black and white female pregnant.  I’m sure it was her first heat and pregnancy.  

Because she wasn’t huge pregnant and because Stanley was the only cat with those folded ears, I assumed he was the lone offspring of that young female and that nice old orange Scottish Fold tom.  And, after the birth of Stanley, I don’t recall ever seeing that young female again, so I’m not sure if he was abandoned due to her inexperience or because something happened to her.  I do know that, in the history of all those kittens birthed across the street,  Jerri was just as surprised as I was to see those folded ears on Stanley:  no other kitten had ever had folded ears. 

Of course, Stanley will have none of that story and, when you hear about the start of his biography, you’ll understand why. 

So, to me, it was obvious.  The parents of Stanley, the Scottish Fold, was an old orange Scottish Fold male and a black and white Domestic Shorthair female.