Not a Bad Deal on a Pre-owned Cat, 2010

Conversation With a DaisyA year ago today, at just about this time, I said goodbye to one of the most unique, most loved cats I’ve ever known, but remembering him is hardly a sad affair, not with a goof like Namir. It’s a celebration of a cat who, despite multiple life-threatening health issues, loved every single blessed moment of every single blessed day and shared that with every single blessed person he ever met in his life, including all the veterinarians who every poked, prodded or did indecent things to him. I’m still finding things he taught me and reasons to be thankful he was part of my life.

Following is the introduction to his story, written last year about two weeks after he transitioned. Please read through the introduction, but especially click the link to go to my website to read all about Namir and look at all the photos and artwork. If you’ve ever loved a cat, I’m sure you’ll find something to identify with in his story; and if you’ve lost a cat, I’m sure your journey was much the same.

Namir

Namir

July 13, 2009

I say farewell to a dear friend, my Namir, who was a dear companion and a great inspiration. The art in the header is actually a painting of Namir, and my avatar for Portraits of Animals is Namir’s face from this painting.

In addition to this blog post, I have written a remembrance of him on my website, and invite you to read it and enjoy the art and photos.

It’s rather long, but I write this memory of a remarkable cat because I want others to remember him, still others to know him, and to share some of the more challenging things about living with a cat who has several unpredictable and life-threatening conditions, the time, the finances, the decisions, those last moments, the impact on the rest of my household of cats, and, of course, what a creative inspiration he was for me as a painter and writer and photographer, even as a designer of stylish crochet items.

And woven through Namir’s chronic long-term conditions has been the pattern of my household growing older, developing an end-of-life illness and then each is gone. For about five years I’ve been extremely vigilant, observing appetites, checking respiration rates, taking temperatures, administering sub-Q fluids, giving medications and whatever supportive care was necessary to keep everyone comfortable, often to several cats at one time, as I lost four in one year. Losing Namir is, in a way, the ends of that cycle finally meeting. Loss is only an end if a lesson in the loss goes unlearned, so this cycle has fine tuned my ability to care for all my cats because I have learned many lessons.

Professionally, I have been able to immediately put these lessons into design work which I coincidentally began in April and May. The cremation service I use is also one of my customers for design and photography, and we’ve been redesigning her logo and building up her website to include much more information about her services. Through a chain of connections I was able to illustrate the cover and booklet interior for a pet loss CD, this in turn leading me to work on my long-term idea of sympathy cards for the loss of your animal companion. Reciprocally, working on these projects when I knew I would soon lose Namir gave me great comfort in the last two months.

And I hope to share my experiences for the sake of anything that anyone else might gain from them in lessons or comfort, technical information even, though I’ve kept everything pretty general, and not named any persons or businesses.

Please visit my website and read the rest of the story about Namir.


16 Comments on “Not a Bad Deal on a Pre-owned Cat, 2010”

  1. […] from her first few days. So much happened in a short time: she arrived three months after I lost Namir, Dickie came to live with us for a year a few weeks after she arrived, and the Fantastic Four had […]

  2. […] This article tells a little more about Namir and how he came into my life “Who Was That Namir, Anyway?”, and about his life in my household, “Not a Bad Deal on a Pre-Owned Cat”. […]

  3. […] dappled sun but when the trees leaf out it’s pretty much in shade. We took a little time to remember Namir; the three of us spent quite a few mornings and afternoons out there, and the picnic table was […]

  4. […] the Wednesday afternoon one week to the approximate hour after Namir’s death, Cookie and I went out in the yard to remember him since we three had enjoyed much time […]

  5. […] I knew Moses‘ passing was imminent and I wanted to be prepared, because it was suddenly Namir’s time and though I knew it would come I was absolutely distraught, or I had sat up all night with […]

  6. […] frequent veterinary visits to keep tabs on their condition. And, yes, another personal cat story, Namir had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and while I could get his medications through my own pharmacist at […]

  7. […] from her first few days. So much happened in a short time: she arrived three months after I lost Namir, Dickie came to live with us for a year a few weeks after she arrived, and the Fantastic Four had […]

  8. […] Namir lived almost four years with his condition, and hardly evidenced any discomfort though he hated his twice-daily medications and needed to stop back at the emergency hospital for a tune-up now and then. I don’t know how many times in those four years I said, “Namir was first diagnosed with congestive heart failure the night Katrina hit New Orleans…” Namir and I certainly had a better outcome and what we experienced in no way compares with what happened there, but whenever I hear about Hurricane Katrina I remember that night when my own storm began, my own little life inexorably pulled apart by circumstances beyond my household’s control, but in much the same way as the aftermath of Katrina it was the hidden reserves of strength that determined the final outcome, individuals pooling and sharing their strength and supporting each other. Cookie, "The Goddess" […]

  9. […] year before that I find Namir and Cookie and I out in the yard for that last splendid June mingled with photos of the flowers as they […]

  10. […] dappled sun but when the trees leaf out it’s pretty much in shade. We took a little time to remember Namir; the three of us spent quite a few mornings and afternoons out there, and the picnic table was […]

  11. animalartist says:

    Thank you so much for the compliment! I am inspired by the best subjects, how could I go wrong? Thank you for reading. It warms my heart to know that others may learn about my Namir.

  12. …we have read through your posts and links and find what you write, how you write and your images BEAUTIFUL and moving. Thank you for a special thing. We think you you are special yourself. Love Helen, Darcy and Bingley xx

  13. animalartist says:

    Ingrid, thank you so much for taking the time to read. I thought of you as I posted this. When I first met you and heard about Buckley’s Story, still fresh from losing Namir, I thought of the parallels there, and then just recently with Amber. I would have moved heaven and earth to get him back to his yard. When I look at the photo of Jelly Bean and Giuseppe, who never before answered the door or settled on my desk until that moment with Namir on my lap, and the way Jelly Bean turned himself inside out to make me laugh, Namir would have seen to that. And now that I look back on the finances of it all anyone would have told me I shouldn’t be spending that much on a cat, but it never occured to me.

    I was laughing as I prepared the blog entry, of all the things I miss about him, aside from Cookie and me missing him out in the yard, is that he was so slender he could balance on the top edge of my desk chair, which only reaches to my shoulders. I rarely sit all the way back and often sensed him there but didn’t really connect until I’d either suddenly sit all the way back or spin around to get up and he’d go flying, all legs as he was and adding his own drama, looking like the cartoon cat for being startled. Funny the things you remember, and I know that’s what he wants me to remember. The little crocheted pawprint scarflet I made in his colors is so soft and comforting, and the others I’ve made are nice, but not like that one. We can only thank them for what they’ve given us.

  14. Ingrid King says:

    What a beautiful tribute to Namir – I now feel like I knew him. Your account of his last day hit awfully close to home for me, and brought lots of tears, both for you, Namir, and also for Amber. As difficult as those final hours and minutes are, I think there’s great comfort in knowing that not only were we able to be with our beloved cats, but they got to die at home, in the environment they loved. Sending you love and light as you remember Namir on his anniversary.

  15. […] much like today, but I’m remembering all the years he gave to me. Please enjoy the story. Not a Bad Deal on a Pre-owned Cat, 2010 « The Creative Cat portraitsofanimals.wordpress.com A year ago today, at just about this time, I said goodbye to one […]

  16. Marg says:

    Namir sounds like a great cat. What a nice write up about him. I also like the drawing or painting on the left. That is very nice.
    Have a fine day.


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