Wasabi is a lot better and has also gained some weight. Though, she cannot go back to ‘normal’. Her CREA value is back to normal (a surprise!), but her UREA value is slightly higher than the previous test. We’re hoping that her UREA would go back to the normal range as well. But I guess that is too much to ask. One normal value is better than none.
EDM Challenge #65: Draw a nose, can be a human’s nose or an animal’s nose. In this case, I drew the noses of my cats.
Miauw miauw…in 2007 we want better quality food, more food, longer massages, regular manicure and pedicure, better grooming….etc, etc.
I have made sketches of them over and over again but I have never shown their photo’s on my blog. So here they are. I had 8 cats on Januari 1, 2006. This year the gang has only 6 members. Pirozjki has been living with her new owner in Hilversum for a year now and sent her love (via the owner, see bottom picture). Red passed away last spring.
Joseph Guy (Joe; Joey). Ex-male. Type: Maine Coon. He’s the boss at home.
Bacardi (Bac). Ex-male. Type: Ragdoll. He takes 2nd place in the ranking.
Wasabi (Blobp; Wasaaab). Ex-female. Type: Housecat/European shorthair. Can get really catty to the others especially to the ex-males. She suffers from chronic renal failure.
Salami (Fatso, appropriate name seeing the size of her body). Ex-female. Type: Housecat/European shorthair. Always runs screaming throughout the house, but is relatively friendly to the ex-males.
Koolrabi (Koolcat or Kool (o pronounced as in owner)). Ex-female. Type: Half Norwegian Forestcat, half European shorthair. Very sweet, likes to sit close to us or on our lap. Will sit on your chest when you sleep.
Gurami (Gui). Ex-female, sister of Salami, but then the skinny version. Type: Housecat/European shorthair. Very hyper cat, tough to approach, but can also be close to us.
Joey vs. Bac. Sleep boxing.
Pirozjki or Pi (below) enjoys her new home in Hilversum very much, according to Madelon, her new owner. We are very happy to hear that. Madelon sent this pic of Pi to us along with the Xmas card. Very sweet. We still miss her.
Click to enlarge.
15 april 2000 – 19 maart 2006
‘Vreugde en verdriet hebben we gedeeld
Met vreugde hebben we gespeeld
Het verdriet gevoeld en
Samen weg gekroeld
Waarheen je ook zal gaan
onze liefde blijft eeuwig bestaan’
Vaarwel, lieve Red. Rust zacht. Wij houden van jou.
(Gedicht door Maria Egas voor de SHCN)
What we had never thought, has actually happened. This afternoon we lost our sweet cat, Red. She was just 5 years old. She was a healthy cat, very persistent but loving. She always washed our fingers or licked our face. If we tried to push her away, she would insist to stay and keep washing. We thought that she would live to be 20 or at least 15. But… apparently that was not ‘the plan’….
Friday night when we came home, we noticed that she was very absent and quiet. Then we noticed that she was incredibly thin. This we had not noticed before, and it was very unfortunate. I hugged her, tried to play with her, she didn’t react as cheerful as usual. She approached me very slowly and I noticed that she was slightly limping.
Saturday morning we called the vet and made an appointment to go in the afternoon. Before we brought her to the vet, I gave the cats can food. Red still had her appetite, but she was clearly lost her fighting over the mood fierceness. The fact that she still had appetite, made me feel better. But the vet’s diagnose said that her kidneys were failing. We asked for a bloodtest right away. It did confirm the vet’s diagnose. The machine couldn’t even determine how high the value is anymore, because it already passed the maximum value set for the machine. We made a decision to leave Red with the vet for two days. The vet thought that she would get better. They usually do.
Sunday morning, today, we got a called from the vet’s assistant. She needed help from us, because she had to clean Red’s cage. Red was not really cooperating and fiercely hissing at her. Nor laughed when he heard this. I felt happy too. We thought, yay, she’s back and is showing who is the boss. The assistant said that we needed to be there at one o’ clock. I couldn’t wait till I could see Red again. But when we got there, the news that the vet gave us was not the news that I wanted to hear at all. She warned us before we saw Red to mentally prepare ourself. Red’s condition has worsened in the last 30 minutes to one hour before hour arrival. She got a very high fever and seemed to be in a dying state.
Finally, we saw her in her cage. Her body was twitching every few second. I guess, it was the fever. The vet explained again that at that state there was no turning back. I kept calling her name, but she didn’t respond. Her eyes were open, but they didn’t respond. The vet left us alone to let us think and make a decision. The decision came, but it was a tough one. We have decided to put her to sleep. When the vet came back, we told her about it and she offered to take off the IV needle and put Red on a towel so that we could hold her and sit down wit her. We were alone again and we took turn in holding her. I called her name again, did the ‘tick tick’ motion with my fingers which I usually did when she did something naughty and knew that something was off limit. Her tail gave some response. Her eyes blinked several time. I was so happy. I thought I would get her back and could take back our decision. But a few minutes later, she went back to that twitching mode and blank eyed again. We couldn’t stop our tears. We were already crying when the vet was there. We were still crying when the vet was back. We just did not care. The vet finally came with a syringe filled with blue green fluid. She assured me that the fluid also contains enough dose of narcotic beside the main ingredient. It just take a few seconds for it to work, she said. I believed that, I watched enough vet series on Animal Planet so it was nothing new. But now it happened to my own pet that I needed that reassurance. She offered if we would like to give the injection. We both refused. So she did it by puncturing the IV tube with the needle and injected the fluid. We said goodbye to Red again. I was silently praying that she would go to a cat heaven if there is one. Or the rainbow bridge.
Tomorrow, the SHCN will pick up her body from the vet and cremate it privately, separate from other pets. Then they will put Red’s ashes in an urn and deliver it back to the vet, where we can pick it up. We will keep the urn and give Red a final resting place, in our house near our heart.
Some sketches from the last few days. Gotta work hard, no time to play/blog. I experimented with a brush pen, which gave me an excuse to draw fast and simple. It’s incredible how a sketch can take less than 5 minutes only because it is done with a brush pen. This pen forced me to leave details out and stick to the primary items. My hand & arm do react different and handle the pen different. I’ll experiment more with it.
Our new couch arrived this week. The couch is much bigger and fluffier than the old one. And guess what? The cats totally love it. As usual, they took it over from us, human, and formed a ‘Couch Club’. Cats who usually have ‘issues’, suddenly they can sleep peacefully on the couch side by side. What a miracle! We just have to rearrange the club sometimes, when we want to sit down.
On the sketch above: Gurami, Salami, and Bacardi sleeping on a blanket on the couch.
Additional note (22.01.2006): I’ve also submitted this drawing for this week’s Illustration Friday – Cats.
Happy New Year everyone!
Here is my first post and drawing in 2006. A baby Pirozjki.
It is drawn based on a photo we took when she first arrived at our house. It was mid-July in 2002 and she was about 6 weeks old. She was about as large as my palm (she weighs around 5.5 kg now). So cute and so small. We got her from the local animal shelter. Tomorrow we will take her to her new home in Hilversum. We’ve got one more day to spend with her.
I’ve been busy surfing and visiting other illustrated blogs since yesterday. After reading other people’s New Year resolutions, I feel like I have to add a few more ‘details’ on my own art resolution. I will draw more people, activities, plants/flowers, animals especially my cats. I will not be too picky about choosing a subject. I will also draw more from photos, if necessary and when I feel like it. Sketch more, think less. More patience, less worry. Practice more more more…
NOTE: Click to enlarge. Coloured pencils on Moleskine.
My cat, Pirozjki, will be leaving us next week Monday. A new year… a new home for her. It is a sad fact for us, but it is unavoidable.
More than half a year ago, we started to notice that her behaviour changed. She is afraid of the other cats, especially of the two ex-males. She rarely plays with the others. She often hides under the unfinished kitchen cabinet, beside the mobile pedestal/trolley in Nor’s office, and the latest favorite place of hers is on or beside the TV (a place where the other cats seldom bother her). She doesn’t seem to understand the word ‘play’ in cat language. When Bac or Joey approaches her, they usually want to play. But she seems to translate that into ‘intimidation’. She growls, gets irritated, runs away, and hides. When Bac gives her a cat hug (Bac’s way of showing play mood, usually to Joey but also to others), Pirozjki’s reply is a growl of ‘go away, you brute!’, ‘you’re suffocating me!’ (Bac is heavier and larger), ‘help! I am being strangled’. But she usually doesn’t hiss and doesn’t give Bac (or other cats who is being a pest) a slap or two in his face, just to show his place. I noticed that Red and Salami do this to him or Joey when they are being annoying. However, Pirozjki is apperently not that assertive. Her rank went down to the bottom of the list in our household about 6 months ago, or so we think. We kept hoping that she would somehow ‘fight’ back, but it is just not happening.
So after waiting for months and seeing that the cat is not getting anymore comfortable, we made a tough final decision last week. We would look for a new home for Pirozjki where she will be the only cat. No more cat hugs or attempts to strangle.
We placed an ad online the day after Christmas. Yesterday a young lady called and wanted to take a look. She came with her mom and liked Pirozjki right at once. We like her too and we think she will give our cat a good home. We will take Pirozjki and all her favorite things monday evening next week to her new home and will take a look at her new environment.
NOTE: This drawing is also an entry for Everyday Matters Challenge #44. Coloured pencils on Moleskine. Please click on image for larger view.
We watched a program on the Animal Planet this afternoon on “The Most Extreme, Killer Cats”. Here they list the best hunter and most extreme killer among all the cat family/Felidae in the world. We were so curious about which cat would be on top of the list:
#4 is Cougar/mountain lion in North America
#3 is Jaguar in the Amazon
#2 is Leopard in Africa, a very sleek, beautiful and agile animal
#1 is….DOMESTIC CAT.
We couldn’t believe it and we laughed so hard at this. You can imagine why…we have 8 most extreme killers in our house! Ok, statistically it might be right. Domestic cats kill the most (mostly small animals including insects). Their population is the highest in the world among the Felidae. If it is counted that way, well yes they are the most extreme. We just couldn’t stop smiling at the ‘fact’. We feel that we now have to walk really quitely around the house, just in case, you know.
Click to enlarge.
This is an entry for Everyday Matters Challenge #31, a collection. I don’t think that cats can be categorized as a collection, but other things that I “collect” fit other challenges better e.g. books. I really don’t have a unique collection in my house. So I thought, well, I have 8 cats and they are all precious to me…so why not?
What you see is a drawing of 6 out of my 8 cats. The other 2 did not fit on the page of my sketchbook, so I stopped at #6. I did this sketch this afternoon, and as you can see, they were all sleeping in various position. Hey, it now fits the edm challenge better! A collection of cat sleeping positions sketch!
A little about my cats…Gurami and Salami are our very first cats. They are sisters and when we got them we came up with names based on food. We were (and still are) so obsessed with food. Our 1st to 6th cats are regular house cats; they are all females and have names based on food. The 7th and 8th are with pedigree; they are males (not quite anymore) and their names are based on liquor.
1. Gurami – a type of Indonesian fish
2. Salami – the popular Italian sausage
3. Wasabi – the green Japanese horseradish sauce
4. Liekamki (nick: red) – popular brand of Chinese sauces Lee Kum Kee. We changed the spelling for fun and it’s easier for the Vet.
5. Koolrabi (nick: kool) – a type of Dutch root vegetable.
6. Pirojzki – a type sausage bread from Russia/Eastern Europe
7. Bacardi (a ragdoll) – rum
8. Joseph Guy (a maine coon, nick: joey) – cognac
Pirozjki was sitting in front of the window. Something outside caught her interest. It was a chance for me to quickly sketch her for the first time. I found back my two Venetian glass pens last weekend. Since then I had the urge to use it. So I thought that tonight was perfect for that. I used india ink (waterproof) and colored it with grey and black ecoline (waterbased ink). I am quite happy with the result of this quick sketch.
NOTE: Click to enlarge.
A lazy sunday sketch of one of my cats. Salami…and she does look a bit like the sausage . She is one of the fattest cats in our house. Her competitors are Bacardi (a ragdoll) and Pirojzki (a.k.a. Michelin cat).
It is unfortunate that I don’t have a color pencil that matches her orangey coat. That orange/vermillion I used is actually way too orange.
My first sketches of JosephGuy a.k.a. Joey, one of my cats. He is a Silver Maine Coon and has quite a large body frame. However, when he is sleeping, he can fold himself to be really short/small that even in reality he always looks out of proportion in his sleeping position.
These two were done last weekend and I think drawing cats on a lazy Sunday afternoon is very relaxing.
After having breakfast at Cafe Luna, I went back to the museum, bought a ticket, and stepped into the exhibition hall. Turned right, turned around a bit, and I frozed.
There was a dead kitty on a display platform. He must have been no older than 10 weeks and got run over by some car. They didn’t say when it happened (that is beside the point), but they explained that it is part of city life. When people, animals, cars, bikes etc. get thrown into a city together, this is what happened. (I left this first bit of the exhibition feeling angry and slightly sad. I am just partial to kitties…)
I walked across the hall to the ‘bird section’ and found this: “A sparrow and a pot”. According to the explanation, the pot itself is called “De Spreeuwenpot” Sparrows pot) and it is from the 17th century. I am not sure if they still do this nowadays, but in the old days, the sparrows used to make a nest inside pots that hung outside some houses in Amsterdam. There is even a photo of a wall of an old house showing that this had become a symbol. Someone in the past has let the image of a sparrow and its pot be carved in limestone along with the text “In De Sprevpot” (old dutch spelling).
Then I reached the vermin zone. This piece really caught my eyes.”A damaged book and a mouse”.Mice are long time residents of Amsterdam. With all the canals all around the city, they are quite happy to live alongside the Amsterdammers. There was one or two in my old office. I saw one running accros the warehouse at IKEA Amsterdam a few weeks ago. This part of the exhibition shows what mice can do to your house, e.g. eat your antique book collection, chew on cables, etc. While I was busy reading and drawing this piece, there was even a mouse trying to chew my shoe….kidding…it was a fake mouse, like the one that my cats have. They put a sensor on the floor, so whenever a person steps on that particular spot a small white mouse pops out from its little but lighted hole under the cabinet.
Whooohooo! I finally managed to have a ‘real’ drawing of one of my cats. I call this one ‘real’ because previous ones were just doodles. I used color pencil on this one.
As I expected, it was not easy. I caught her sleeping on the couch so I quickly collected a few color pencils. I drew her while she was ‘sleeping’ in this position, but grrrghh!!! she moved! As usual. I tried to persuade her to go back facing the same way twice, but she didn’t want to. I lifted her up, turned her around again, but she still went back facing the other way. So I gave up. I had the basics down anyway, I only needed to work on the pattern of her fur. Now that she faced another way, I couldn’t possibly draw that side anymore. So I decided to just use the pattern on her other side. (Cheating here, but hey, I was still drawing what I saw, only not the correct side, right?). And just before I finished she decided to move again! Gggrrhhg!!! She sat and started to lick her coat. Then she decided to lied down facing the other side again (the same side when I started drawing her). Uggh!
Well, I am pretty happy with how it turned out. Her fur is very difficult to draw, not only the pattern, but also the colors. I’ll probably pick an easier victim next time. May be Wasabi (solid black with a few white hairs on her neck) or Pirozjki (solid blue and white).
While I was drawing Gurami, she had one of her eyes open. She was watching me, while I was looking at and sketching her. May be she knew this and to irritate me, she just decided to move …?!
Phew! What a busy monday! I’ve been sick for a couple of days (got a nasty flu) and now I’m still recovering. Now that I’m back to work, I have to catch up with what I had left behind last week. So it’s been a very busy day. Just like any other normal person, I’ve got one head, two eyes, and two hands. Today I felt like I needed 4 heads, 4 sets of eyes, hands, and preferably 4 mouths as well. In other words, I need 4 clones of myself!
So to cheer myself up tonight, I browsed through some old pics of my cats. Look what I found. This is Bacardi or just Bac. He is a seal point Ragdoll and one of my 8 cats. On the pic, he was 8 weeks old and looked fluffy and ruffled. He is still super fluffy now and 6 kg heavier! As a true ragdoll, he ignores most of the things happening around him or when he is pushed around or away. He has one bad habit: he always lies in front of door openings waiting for us to trip over him. Cute!
This is my first try at sketching Wasabi. I sort of drew her silhouette. She’s solid black cat with just a few white hairs on her neck. We’ve had crazy idea of dying these white hair black by using for example a permanent marker. She would not like it, of course! But till now we still love her as she is. The original Wasabi with a few white hairs.