Friday, June 29, 2012


Wednesday, at the vet’s, after a long illness.

Rusty Mabee-Armstrong always refused to talk about her kittenhood, but she was born in New York City in mid-1996, mistreated by an early owner, and then cast out to make her own way on the streets of Manhattan.  Her life improved dramatically after she was found by a rescue organization and subsequently adopted by Beth Mabee and Tom Armstrong, who gave her her name and spoiled her so badly that she was known within the family as “The Princesse.”

Rusty was quite well-traveled for a house cat, having lived in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and several locations in Arizona.  She was beautiful but reserved, preferring to be admired from afar; she was pleased that several readers of her mother’s blog admitted to being more interested in her activities than her person’s.  She did have an unexpected possessive streak, and more than once expressed a willingness to take on a large dog or coyote that wandered into her yard.

Rusty’s hobbies included bird-watching, catnapping, racing down long hallways, watching TV with her parents, and hanging out with her best friend, Boo-Boo the Big Blue [catnip] Mouse.  Although she didn’t know her exact birthday, she usually celebrated it on the Fourth of July so she could pretend that the fireworks were in her honor.  She was looking forward to turning 16 next week, but her spirit was stronger than her body, which just couldn’t hold out.

She was preceded in death by her adoptive father, and will be sorely missed by her mother and her stepfather Barry.  She asked that in lieu of an expensive burial in the local pet cemetery, a donation be made in her name to a no-kill animal shelter.

"If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat." ~Mark Twain


  1. I'm so sorry. It sounds as if she had a wonderful life with you, and enjoyed many years of being cherished.
    It's always hard to say good-bye.

  2. Thank you, Nina. I miss her badly already, but the poor baby was in such pain I couldn't let her suffer any longer. The vet never did find out what was wrong with her, but she was down from 10 pounds to just under 5, and could barely walk any more. As the vet said, "The kindest thing you can do for her is to let her go."