Coming in July

photo of bergamot flower with bee
Bergamot with Bee

July brings the anniversary of many things feline-related—losses, rescues, births, new artwork, and I’m looking forward to sharing the stories and related articles and information.

I begin below with two losses, but read on, they turn into beautiful things.

Namir

photo of Namir
Namir, photo © B.E.Kazmarski

Today as I compiled and packaged my entries for the Cat Writer’s Association Communications Contest I had bittersweet memories of June 30 last year, the last day Namir spent with me. Though we knew his time was very limited due the advanced nature of his hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and more frequent and severe bouts of congestive heart failure (CHF), his last day was just like any other day and for all that he and I shared I am glad we didn’t share a long and painful decline and debility.

I wrote a tribute to Namir about two weeks after he passed, and I’ll run this July 1, in memory of the first anniversary of his passing. It’s not sad because Namir was full of energy and creativity, a truly remarkable cat beloved by visitors to my house—in fact, he was always greeted before I was. I’m looking forward to sharing his antics and laughing over the goofy things he did.

And in his memory I’ll be providing links to information about HCM, which is all too common in cats but with newer treatments and medications is no longer a death sentence.

Lucy

photo of black cat in bed covers
Lucy Helps to Make the Bed, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Between February 2006 and January 2007, I lost my four oldest cats. In the middle of those losses I fostered and found homes for a litter of kittens born to my Mimi, before she was my Mimi; I kept one of those kittens though I hadn’t wanted to with all the needs of my older cats. I hadn’t had a kitten for years, and my next youngest cat was then 11. Sleek, petite Lucy, solid black with yellow eyes became the new future of my household.

But when she was a year old she was diagnosed with effusive feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), and I lost her at 15 months. The entire experience was a story in itself, but to honor Lucy I’ve been working on some artwork using her image, bright and colorful and playful as the kitten she was. I’ll be glad to introduce the artwork and the story of her kittenhood in paintings.

Mimi and the Fantastic Four

kittens nursing
Kittens nursing, ear colors

As much as I would rather have shared a long life with Lucy, she gave me a wonderful gift from beyond the rainbow. A few days after she had passed I was watching her mother in my garden, quite pregnant with another litter, and I know Lucy put the idea in my mind that hot July morning to take her in.

So July brings a rescue day and a birthday. The Big Four will be three years old on July 26, and Mimi joined my household on July 29. Now that’s a reason to celebrate!

And in honor of Lucy, the whole extended family, even the kitties who don’t live with me and those from other of Mimi’s litters, will be getting swabbed and entered into the FIP study at the University of California at Davis. I’ll be providing links to information about FIP and writing a few articles about treating FIP.

Declawing Alternatives

black cat paw
Mimi's paw with claws retracted.

Many years ago a good friend of mine compiled a huge, comprehensive page of information about cats. This friend happens to be the mom of Angus and Donal, Lucy’s brothers, and she is also the person who taught me my first few lines of HTML coding back in 1997, sending my career off in an extra direction of design.

Amby’s Cat Information Page at www.amby.com still exists, and though she hasn’t had the time to update links and information I’ve decided there is too much there to just let it sit unnoticed. I’ll be extracting information, updating links and posting articles on The Creative Cat, beginning with an article Amby wrote detailing the process for trimming claws. In addition to the illustrations, we discussed videotaping the process and adding that to the article as well, so we’ll be working on that project for July as well.

Portraits

Now that I’ve got my studio in shape, I’ll be able to begin working on portraits again, and I really can’t wait. I’ll be posting updates as I work so you’ll be able to see them take shape.

cats on desk
Dinner, now.

But for now, Peaches, who is doing well now that we seem to have her right inner ear under control, wants dinner. Everyone who’s been sending good vibes to Peaches, thanks! Keep it up every so often because it really seems to work for her!

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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

7 thoughts on “Coming in July

  • Pingback:Coming in July on The Creative Cat « Undercover Kitty

  • July 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm
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    That is an interesting post and am looking forward to hearing about those diseases. Luckily I have never had to deal with any of those. I have just had mostly renal failure and hyperthyroid.
    Have a great day.

    Reply
  • July 1, 2010 at 9:56 am
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    Go, Peaches, go! Sending tons of positive energy your way.

    Reply
  • June 30, 2010 at 10:47 pm
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    that’s exactly how I was (and thank you!) I worried about Bobo for at least 2 yrs…..the vet actually prolonged his life for 2 years (I can’t remember the name of the meds he was on to help with water buildup)……I think near the end he may have had a stroke and I didn’t know it (he became deaf)…..the last year of his life he mostly just sat on one chair…..the strange thing is my cat now (Cody) sits on that same chair (it is not out in the open). Wonder if he feels Bobo’s spirit.

    Will do my best to write about him….not sure yet.
    Thanks so much, hugs to you!
    And you are welcome about your artwork too! 🙂

    Reply
  • June 30, 2010 at 10:13 pm
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    I’m so sorry to hear about Bobo–even years later, that anniversary still brings back memories. My Lucy died in 2007 and it hardly seems that long ago sometimes. I think I cried more about Namir before he died than after because he was near death so many times and I just worried the whole three years. I love to think of them playing with others on the bridge, though.

    Even if it’s not on July 2, let us know about him some time this month.

    And thanks for your earlier compliment on my portraits! That’s how I make them immortal.

    Reply
  • June 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm
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    I am so sorry about Namir. I think my Bobo passed of the same thing. Bobo passed July 2, 2007 at the age of 18…..I nearly started to cry just reading your post.

    I am probably going to do a tribute to Bobo on July 2nd, not sure yet.

    I look forward to reading more info about that awful disease.

    Bobo and Namir are playing on the Rainbow Bridge together I am sure…..Bobo was a remarkable cat too, as they all are in their own “kitty way”……….xoxoxo

    Reply

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