Skip to main content

Starbuck


I understand this blog's primary purpose is to convey my training and race endeavors, but you'll have to forgive me as I use it, this time, as a means to give closure and tribute to a friend who left me yesterday. My pets are my family, so I hope you'll understand...

---

Yesterday was a mashed potatoes—my comfort food—kind of day. For the past two weeks, my parents and I have watched my 18-year old barn kitty deteriorate and finally succumb to a cancer we’d thought we’d had completely removed seven years ago. Starbuck, a stray we’d taken in when our neighbors said she absolutely abhorred the life of living indoors, thrived on our 13-acre hobby farm. From the day she set foot on the Faulkenberry homestead, up until the last week of her life, she hunted mice, gophers, and squirrels like a true competitor. For this reason, for her drive and absolute devotion to what she did, I was proud to call her my cat. The four other strays that followed her and called our property home never could amount to what Starbuck was, even if all their efforts were combined.

Starbuck taught me a lot. From the time I started 4th grade, she’d join my brother, Ian, and me on any adventure we took through our woods and the neighboring woods across the street. When I still rode horses, she enjoyed sitting up top near the horn, straddled between my legs so she could peer over the top and through Conan’s (my horse’s) ears. In the evenings after feeding the rest of the animals—llamas, horses, ducks, chickens, and Peter (the rabbit)—we’d escape into the hay barn. I’d climb to the top of the bales and lie down, waiting for Bucky to follow and find her place on my chest. She’d become so focused on purring and making muffins in my shirt that I’d watch drool, drop for drop, fall down her chin. Not only was she a phenomenal hunter, but she could love you like no other cat ever could.

My dad said he’d miss the way Starbuck greeted him at the front door when he arrived home from work. I can picture the times she’d do the same for me, running from her hunting spot out in the fields to squeak her salutation and rub against my leg for a hug. I’ll never forget the way she’d saunter over with her tail shooting straight up to the sky. Except, the tip of her tail was always curled over, as if it were a hook on a clothes hanger.

Dear Bucky, you will be sorely missed. Your little body held such great authority among all the animals on the Faulkenberry farm. You gave to your humans more than any of us could have asked for, especially me. I didn’t have as many friends growing up in school, but I didn’t need them when I had my animals—like you—to come home to. I hope you’ve found the Rainbow Bridge, and please look for me when it’s my turn to enter the gates of Heaven. I’d sure love your company as we explore God’s great sanctuary, together once again.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How strong are your feet?

Who knew my first post in 2020 would be about the work I'm doing on my feet. Not just any work, but the work required to make them strong enough to propel me to faster running paces, the work to make them durable enough to heal up some old injuries and prevent new ones from taking hold. Jay Dicharry , a Physical Therapist and researcher in Bend, OR, says that almost all ankle, foot, and lower leg injuries can be attributed to faulty foot mechanics and a weak foot core.  I listened to him speak on a podcast called Trail Runner Nation today, and all the advice he provided me during my two personal visits with him last year rushed back in a torrent of memory. It seems fitting that his reminders would hit me like a hammer over my head when I consider the nagging foot pain that has cropped up again over the past couple of weeks. I'm going back to my toe yoga, short foot exercises, and working hard to build up the strength in my foot intrinsic muscles. Meanwhile, here's a b

My opinion...For what it's worth

My first Half Ironman 70.3 turned into Boise 29.3. I may be the only one to say that I respect the officials' judgment call on this one, because apparently, a few of my triathlete comrades lack sufficient brains themselves. The comments I'm reading on Facebook leave me pretty disturbed. Let me just put this out there: I entered this sport because it looked tough and challenging. It pushes anyone who enters these races to their ultimate limits and requires a demanding amount of time to complete the training necessary to succeed. I entered this sport because of the people. Healthy, smart, fit, inspiring, motivating. I can't think of a single person who has questioned my ability to participate in this sport. I entered this sport because anyone can do it. I passed people younger and older than me, some as old as 74. I watched one woman hobble along the run course, surely just on her first lap. She looked like her knees were going to cave in. Yet she was running. I did not ent

It is finished

As with everything in life, nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable. It does not always mean it's a turn for the worst. In my case, I think this is a change for the better. As of 2021, I am closing the door on racing triathlon and rekindling my investment in the doctorate degree I worked for in Physical therapy. Thankfully, making money again has felt much more productive than losing it in the pursuit of professional triathlon. Thankfully, my body has responded positively to a slackened training schedule. Thankfully, my head is clearer for the release in pressure to perform.  I needed a new pursuit, a new challenge, a new endeavor. Raising and showing my dogs has helped me slow down, challenged me to learn and communicate differently, and taught me that physical fitness can still be achieved to a lesser, healthier extent.  It has worked so well that I'm also going back to doing what I loved to do 10 years ago. Pursuing a more simple lifestyle (outside of work, of course) a