Tuesday 2 February 2016

Rupert has left the building

My old cat Rupert, aka Rupee, Godfrey (strangely), and Pest has permanently, like Elvis, "left the building". Only a cat with a personality as big as his deserves to be equated with a legendary entertainment icon. Rupert departed from this world today with infinite grace by a gentle hand, embraced by love. His health had declined significantly over the past few weeks as his old body gave out due to kidney failure. He was just shy of his 21st birthday.

All losses are sad and while the departure of this long-time friend and companion has brought its share of tears, I'm choosing to remember his lengthy, lively and always entertaining life. I introduced him to readers back in 2012 in Rascally Rupert: A cat like no other and he continued to be a dominant presence in my household. He bonded tightly with his cat "brother" Archie (The cat who could fly), and even as a very senior cat he coped well with the arrival of the kitten-and-puppy duo Hugo and Lily (see In with the new, The Great Distraction and And so...they grow!). He made it his mission to teach both youngsters the house rules - rules he himself was aware of but rarely felt obliged to obey. He was phased by few things, not dogs, not people, not even the vacuum cleaner. Rupert saw many others come and go but he stayed for two decades - constant, sometimes irritating, always faithful - and if at all possible he'd be at my side or on my lap, usually purring loudly. He had a weakness for Digestive biscuits.

Rupert and Archie
Sleeping Rupert and bright-eyed Hugo

Rupert's nap interrupted by Lily

Rupert was seldom allowed in my studio. He was not one of those cats who would pose artfully or simply curl up and sleep. No way! He was always wanting to either explore or participate, neither of which were helpful. However, he inspired his share of artwork over the years.

One of them was this silk painting:

Orange Cat and Red Geraniums"

Prior to that, he featured in this collage:

This oil pastel drawing depicts a time when Rupert vied for the best spot on the couch with his two former housemates - cat "brother" Jasper and collie Riley (both now departed):

Three's Company

It was through Rupert I learned about the unique qualities of orange cats and his legacy will continue. Hugo, now almost two years old, will now take over the post of Head Feline, surpassing his older, much bigger "brother" Archie whose more reserved nature precludes that role.

Hugo at on his post

Archie thinking inside the box
Archie and Hugo
Rupert, you are greatly missed - Greeter of Guests, Climber of Ladders, Window Tapper Extraordinaire, Escape Artist, Champion Snuggler, and Number One Purr-er - and you will be remembered by all who met you. You had many fans.
The house is quiet without you.

1 comment:

  1. aww poor old rupert. I miss my old girl pixie as much as you will miss rupert. I remember how prickly he was. My 3 month old grandson is also named rupert.