Needless to say, the weather has confined me to my studio. Not a bad thing at all, given it's pretty much my favourite place to be. I've been photographing a coloured pencil work-in-progress that I'll feature in a future blog, but today I'd like to introduce one of my own four-legged companions - one who has offered much entertainment and artistic inspiration over the 16+ years he's spent with me. I'm talking about Rupert, my elderly gentleman cat (and I do use the word "gentleman" loosely).
|"Prince" Rupert at rest.|
I adopted Rupert when he was about 6 months old. He had been rescued as a wee kitten, half-drowned, half-starved and near death, from a roadside ditch. His rescuer nursed the foundling back to health but a few months later suffered a housing crisis and was forced to re-home most of her animals. Having met and been charmed by the young cat with the big personality, I offered to give Rupert - then named Fraser after the roadside where he was found - a home. Had I known just how big his personality really was, I might have thought twice! As anyone who has met Rupert will attest, he's a feline force to be reckoned with.
|My coloured pencil drawing of Rupert in a paper bag.|
|Jasper (left) and best friend Rupert (right).|
|My coloured pencil drawing of the two best buddies.|
|Jasper and Rupert - together as one.|
|A photo of Rupert and the silk painting he inspired. Rupert provided |
the pose but it was Jasper who became the subject of the painting
When Jasper passed away last April, Rupert was devastated (as, of course, was I). He would roam the house crying as though searching for his lost friend. He was off his food and out of sorts, and I greatly feared for his well-being. To placate Rupert and to bring some joyful new energy into the house, 12-week-old kitten Archie joined our family, thanks to the good folks at the Katie's Place cat shelter. Archie is a topic all to himself and will be featured in a future blog post, and thankfully his presence gave Rupert a new lease on life (again, people who think cats prefer solitude to the company of other cats have never met Rupert).
|Rupert and new friend Archie|
Rupert will turn 17 in a month or so and for an old geezer he's doing pretty well. He's a bit scrawny due to a thyroid imbalance that's controlled by daily medication, plus he has an ongoing sinus problem that causes him to sneeze mightily every so often (usually when he's snuggled up to me... yuck). He still gets into lots of trouble on a regular basis and manages to keep youngster Archie somewhat in line. For having had a rough start, or maybe because of it, Rupert has gone through life with a philosophy that we could all take to heart:
- never take no for an answer;
- have as much fun as you can;
- get in as much trouble as you can without coming to, or causing, great harm; and
- be confident that the world loves you
|Rupert, the party animal.|