Monday, January 11, 2010

In Memory of a Very Short Studio Companion



This is a photo I took two weeks ago of Clifford, my daughter Louisa's 13 year old cat. Just this morning I picked him up off this same rug and took him to the vet to be put down. His kidneys had failed and he had become severely anemic. The vet assured us it was time. Most of all we knew he wasn't ok as his usually scrappy personality had diminished to only an echo of itself.

So we went in and held him as the vet administered the sedatives that gradually brought his heart to a full stop. It is surprising to me how hard this feels.

Clifford often boarded with us while Louisa traveled. He spent a great deal of time in my studio, often sleeping but other times staring intently at everything around him. There is nothing quite as intense as a cat's gaze. These are animals who seem to set the standard for being sharp eyed. Vision for a cat must be a powerful and deeply sensuous experience.

What did he think of my paintings? He never said much about them. I'm quite sure he was critical of much of what he saw and privately thought I should keep struggling to do better. "I could paint it better myself" his expression often seemed to say, but in the end he seemed to think it best that I learn without his help.

Still he had a warm heart and was willing to accept a scritch on the head from me whether I'd painted well that day or not. You have to admire that. Good bye my friend. I will miss you very much.

3 comments:

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  2. Sorry to hear that.It sounds as if this cat had a long life though.
    Perhaps you need to take in a kitten. There are so many who need a good home. We lost our cat last year and my wife said she couldn't get another, but after some months we all convinced her that cats were essential to a well ordered household and she relented.

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  3. Bernadette WaystackJanuary 11, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Is there something about artists and cats or is it just that those of us who are into both tend to find each other?
    Someone advised me last month not to get another cat right away. I said I don't want another cat -I only want that cat. She was really special and I don't think I want to risk some crazy little feral thing after her.
    Stapleton's comment has me wondering a little though.

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