Apr. 1999 - 10 Oct. 2011
Musetta was another who found her way in via my stray feeder. She started showing up in late summer, 1999, and while she was shy at first, she always looked interested when I spoke to her. It wasn't long before she was approaching, then letting me pet her, and she followed the usual pattern of moving into the garage and settling down for a long stay. She also became a confirmed door-darter, trying to get into the house any time I opened the door.
When I took her to the vet for an exam, I was rather surprised to find that she was only about eight months old; I'd been thinking she was an adult, though a fairly young one. She was only about a month older than Scaramouche, making those two the youngest of my household at that time. She was quite mature for her age and didn't act "kittenish" (which is probably why I thought she was older.)
Musetta settled into life in the house very easily. She was quite thin when she first showed up, but quickly became nicely plump. She was somewhat reserved, accepting attention from me but seldom seeking it, and had an explosive temper if crossed. She got along well with most of the other cats, without being particularly close to any of them. In her younger years she was very active, playing with toys a lot. She enjoyed sleeping on the pillow of my bed, though I had to start hiding the pillow in winter when I had the flannel sheets on—she had a habit of licking the pillowcase, until the nap of the flannel was all plastered down in cat-tongue "brushstrokes".
In her later years Musetta was increasingly troubled by Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), an autoimmune condition that affects the digestive system. She suffered from chronic diarrhea and weight loss, and treatment was only partially successful. While medication did help her cope for quite some time, the illness gradually worsened. When she had a severe attack in October of 2011, it no longer responded to medication; it might have turned cancerous, as often happens with longterm IBD. It became apparent that she was not going to be able to recover from this attack, so I had her put to sleep.