It’s obvious in this sketch that Namir had quite the Oriental breed influencing his good looks. The only problem was that he was gray tabby and white, n ot marked at all like an Oriental breed. I used to say that he was an Abyssinian cat who had been painted at birth.
I loved those huge ears, that prominent nose and whisker pads—especially since his muzzle was white and quite stood out—and those tourmaline eyes. His tail was very expressive, long and slender with a little bend about an inch from the end that only showed when he was feeling especially intense.
He fought hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure for his last four years, but with his social nature, congeniality and general busy agenda no one would have known he was even ill. Instead of “he fought” I should say “he ignored” his illness, because he did. I lost Namir on July 1, 2009, and I’ve written a remembrance of him which is not sad, just remembering all his ways and days with lost of photos and artwork, and his last day. He is also the subject of several other works, including the art in the header of this page. You can find him on my website under “My Cats” in the first page of color artwork, and under “pencil” as well as in my Marketplace in individual and sets of notecards.
I was trying another style here, that simple outline with little dimensional shaping or shadow. Sometimes I get all caught up in shape and color and texture and perspective that I forget all about simple composition and arrangement of shapes.
This is Nikka, sister to Fawn, born in the first litter whose expectant mother I welcomed and who I fostered. Her name was originally Natasha and one of her brothers was Boris; their father was a big gray serious tomcat with yellow eyes that no one messed with who I had named Prince Igor, hence the East European names. Then there was the little pun from the cartoon Bullwinkle. The person who adopted her, a fan of Thelonious Monk, named her Nikka after Monk’s famous patron, though it should have been “Nica”, but I guess it’s close enough for jazz. I took her back when she was seven after that good household had turned bad.
Nikka was a dilute tortoiseshell, and like so many I’ve seen she had a wonderful soft roundness to her features, and the gray of her fur held a silvery sheen that often hid the peach and cream speckles in the gray. I know on this hot afternoon she was stretching on the corner of the kitchen table just under the ceiling fan, trying to get cool air on as much of her body as possible. I could see all those simple lines and rounded shapes, even the chair and table, though that’s not my usual style, but here she is all those years later; I lost her in February 2003.