Cheesecake in the Light
Cheesecake is gone. He died last Thursday. He was just 19 years old. That summer I was going to the pound, looking for my missing mama cat, and he was just the most irresistible kitten I had ever seen. (Hence his name.) He was about 2 weeks bigger than the kittens who had been born on my bed May 5. (Wake up. Squeaking by my feet. Kittens!) So I think he just turned 19.
Cheesecake, and those kittens whose mama went missing, and later Fussy, whom I got from the pound in October, all used to do something in the dark at night. They would all oodge up towards my face, kneading and purring like crazy, as if I were their mama. If one started, the others would join. I called it a purring fest.
In recent years, when only one cat got to sleep with me, he was the one. And sometimes he seemed to remember the purring fests from when he was young. It's the season when the cat starts sleeping on the bed again
In about the last 2 years he had become very skinny, but was still mobile and eating. In fact, until about 1 ½ weeks before he died, he was eating 2 cans of cat food a day. About 3 weeks earlier, the other cats killed a mouse - and before I got back with the camera to take a picture, Cheesecake ate half of it. A last memory of his hunting past.
One thing I finally found out, almost by accident, is that when they are getting weak, the easiest way for them to drink is from a drip onto a surface, like a sink or tub. I knew a cat years ago who only drank that way. We had a hot week, and Cheesecake was not sitting on his pad by the heater, but on the cool bricks. So I put him in the tub, where he used to like to be in the hot summer. And so, he was able to drink water from the drip, his last night.
I took this original photo in about the summer of 2003, and you can see he still looked young and beautiful. Then I added a layer of a pattern of light coming through one of the old windows here at sunrise or sunset, and tried different blending modes.
Goodbye Cheesecake. I love you.