Hurricane Katrina, Namir, a household of cats and realizing a lot about love after multiple losses. Celebrating Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day with fellow blogger Deb Barnes of Zee & Zoey’s Chronicle Connection.
I originally posted this article on August 30, 2009, and each year since I’ve posted around the anniversary of the date of the event in the story, August 29. The story contains a lesson I learned about living with, caring for and losing pets that is so important I want to be certain I renew it each year with myself, with current readers and to reach new readers, and it’s also a personal anniversary with what I do here on The Creative Cat.
Originally written two months after I lost Namir in the first year I began this blog, his passing represented what seemed like the end of a long cycle of loss that led me to understand the continuum of love all throughout our lives. Though very few people who visit The Creative Cat knew of Namir when he was alive, he was the inspiration for The Creative Cat in January 2009, and he’s right up there in the header in an oil pastel painting entitled “Warm Winter Sun”. I hoped to encourage myself to write more with this blog because I had amassed more knowledge than I could remember in treating him for the disease that eventually stopped his heart, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM, and hoped to both share and learn from others not only Namir’s care but also the care and treatment of all the other cats I’ve lived with through the years, and along the way I’d share my portraits as they progressed and a few photos now and then.
Namir’s passing helped me realize a long-time dream of designing my set of animal sympathy cards. Most of the ones I received for him and all those before him were not animal-specific and a few senders actually apologized for them in advance. I had determined years before that I would design animal-oriented sympathy cards but, probably with losing a large number of cats over a period of time, I hadn’t gotten to it yet. After my initial wave of grief eased, I decided to use the quiet time of summer in the two months after Namir died to undertake this labor of love in dedication to him and all he’d inspired. I visualized the style, wrote out a list of sentiments that were my most heartfelt yet brief and general enough to be used by others, and spent time looking through all my photos, print and digital, to find the ones I wanted to use and designed, one after the next, one dozen cards, while I was still deep in the grief of losing this remarkable cat. I am constantly complimented on the sentiments and appropriateness of these cards, used by individuals and animal clinics alike. They came right from my heart.
That’s an awful lot for one cat to inspire, but Namir was like that.
And in 2009 as the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approached once again I remembered that fearful night of pacing in the emergency hospital as I watched Hurricane Katrina come toward landfall. In designing the cards I had just spent nearly two months both experiencing grief and studying it in all its aspects to design the cards, remembering that night and all that had happened since. And while I had been posting articles to The Creative Cat once in a while for a few months prior to this article trying to get the feel of blogging, it wasn’t until I wrote this essay in the memory of Namir that I began writing in earnest and developing The Creative Cat into what it is today.
Wrapped up with the coming of Hurricane Katrina so far away as both reality and metaphor, every year at this time I remember him and all the cats in my household who touched his life as part of the continuum of love in my life.
Please click here to read my essay “Perhaps the Storm is Finally Over”.
Read more under the topic of Pet Loss on The Creative Cat.
Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Animal Sympathy Cards from Portraits of Animals!
I’ll always remember the way you looked at me. Namir inspired the sympathy cards, but he was one of the last to get his own. Read more, and purchase.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters Tuesday: Rescue Stories Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork Thursday: New Merchandise Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!