Friday, June 4, 2010

Salvador P. Kitten, May 20,1992 - June 4, 2010

We lost our Salvador Tabby Boy today. He left us at about six in the evening, peacefully, with my veterinarian friend Kathryn's kind assistance. He passed hearing his story told, as I stroked his fur and held his paws. He liked that. Not all cats do like to have their feet held or messed with. He tried to rally earlier in the day, even getting up to lick some gravy off a dish of chicken Fancy Feast and slurp some chicken broth, but I kind of knew he was putting on a brave face as I bundled him up into his carrier.

"How did your legs get so long and gangly? When did you get to be so light? I know you don't really want to get in the carrier. I'm sorry, little dude. I don't want to do this, but I really don't want to see you get worse."

Kathryn evaluated him - I wondered if perhaps if he got some fluids maybe he'd come 'round. Hoped I wasn't doing this too soon. Really didn't want to be in the position of him in pain in the middle of the night and have to go to the emergency clinic. And so the decision is made and a life surrendered.

He was born to my friend Lynn's kitten (she was really too young to be a mommy) Flora who must have met up with a big 'ole barn tomcat out at the farm where Lynn rented a converted shed. It was a duplex and she had both sides because it was cheap and she liked the privacy. Turned out to be a good thing when the kittens came. They had their own side. It was a weekend when they were born and Lynn called 'come see the kittens' so I met Salvador when he was but hours old, eyes closed, and so small. He had little horizontal black lines under his nose, like a moustache and reminded me of Salvador Dali's (on a more modest scale) so he got his name. "P. Kitten" is a family name. His "uncle" Allen P. Kitten gave it to the litter. The "P." doesn't stand for anything - it's just a middle initial.

As the kittens, Bella, DaVinci and Louis (named for St. Louis Road where the farm was, but soon dubbed "Shrimp Louis" because he was the runt) grew they had the run of 'their' duplex. The place was paneled in tongue and groove rough cedar planks so the kittens would literally climb the walls. You'd just go peel one off when you wanted one.

He howled in the backseat - I don't know now why I put his basket in the backseat - all the way from Woodburn up to SW Portland where I lived then. He met his big 'brother' Natsu. We had lost Natsu's big brother Aki not long before so Natsu took to the new little guy right away and they were the best of friends all Natsu's life. And Salvador grew...

Huge. He was 16 solid pounds in his prime, but always such a shy kitty and a real momma's boy. He'd hide in the kitchen cupboards if anybody came to visit. Kittysitters had to feed him in the cupboard - they were afraid he wouldn't come out until I got home.

I didn't realize it until now, but he began to lose weight gradually after we lost Natsu. Plump Salvador is from February 2006. Natsu passed in June 2006. The pictures I found from Christmas 2008 showed Salvador already much slimmed down and today he weighed only 7lbs.

Maybe cats grieve. Maybe it was simply old age and declining health. He was after all 18 years and two weeks old.
I took a few pictures today, but I like this one from a few weeks ago. He spent a lot of time snoozing in my bed. I can tell myself he's only sleeping. I hope Natsu welcomed him wherever it is kitties go when they leave us here and they're up late now catching up and remembering old times.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

An Errant Blogger Reclaims Her Space

With the lamest of posts (but a very sincere wish)

Happy Holidays - whichever you celebrate with your nearest and dearest - best wishes for a Peaceful, Prosperous and Happy New Year 2010!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Is it really August already?

Summer still by the
Calendar but one by one
Leaves fall softly down

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Baby You Can Drive My Car

I swear The Pea is smiling! We went Autocross racing today!

I only rode shotgun - you don't really need a co-driver for AutoX - Merrilee drove. I'm still a little chicken and had already earmarked the cash the entry fee would have required for The Young Fresh Fellows show coming up later this week instead. I was happy to help navigate the course, hang onto the suicide strap and let Mer handle the power sliding 'round the turns.

Traction control very much off (as they say on Top Gear) it was a little damp when we ran and she actually got a couple controlled slides out of my front wheel drive, automatic transmission (but turbo charged) New Beetle.

Our number was 976!
No, I am not washing the car until at least one person asks about it!

Our sticker to show we passed the tech inspection and
yellow paint dots, one for each of four runs!

The race is put on by The Willamette Motor Club and is completely volunteer run, so if you race you have to work a shift chasing cones and spotting missed gates. That was almost as much fun as driving, plus we were placed by the most technical part of the course, so dammit, if money wasn't tight, I would have run in the afternoon Novice class! I got a good schooling on right and wrong lines, which gates were easy to miss, much easier to see what was what when not hanging on for dear life.

We critiqued all the cars and decided our favorite of the day was a black VW Corrado. Pretty. And fast! The ugliest car (in our humble opinion) was a Mad Max inspired 80's vintage Celica Supra in brown with black trim. Pretty gruesome. There was an early 90's Jetta GLI we dubbed "Skippy" coz she had a rear wheel in the air 'round every turn! Waiting in the parking lot to run the afternoon session were five Ford Fiestas all in a row.

There's more AutoX coming up. The Summer's only just begun! I will be racing - in the driver's seat - soon!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mosaic Peggy Guggenheim

If I could be any historical figure, living or dead, instead of myself, Peggy Guggenheim just might be the one I'd choose.  

She was born on the poorer side of a family with great wealth. Lost her father in the sinking of the Titanic.  Worked in her cousin's bookshop as a young woman - for independence, not the money - then turned her back on it all to live a Bohemian life in Europe in the 20s after marrying Dadaist artist Laurence Vail  - meeting everyone who was anyone in the world of literature, art and culture.

She befriended artists Max Ernst (she was married to Ernst for a time), Yves Tanguy, Marcel Duchamp and many in their circle, then rescued some of them and many works of art from the Nazis first with her gallery Guggenheim Jeune in London then in New York with Art of This Century, one of the first galleries to show modern European art in the US.  She went on to become the patron of promising post WWII American artists - notably Jackson Pollock - then packed up once again in 1949 and moved her formidable collection to Venice to her palazzo on the Grand Canal where she lived until her death in 1979.  

The palazzo is now the Peggy Guggenheim Collection museum and is one of my very  favorite places on earth.

Out of This Century is her own memoir and is an entertaining read and glimpse into the private life of this very extraordinary human being.

Monday, May 25, 2009

You Don't Have to Water Plasticine Flowers

  I've mentioned before my fangirly devotion to Top Gear presenter James May and he's just given me yet another reason to spread the love.  And yes I started this post a while ago.  It's been a week.  Facebook is just so much more facile for getting these things out quickly.  Without effort.  Hell.  At least it's not Twitter!

Anyway...  he won a special plasticine medal for his completely plasticine garden presented at the Chelsea Flower Show.  And presented Stephen Fry with a plasticine nosegay.  How very 'twee'!

I wish the plasticine Porsche competition had been open to non-Brits.  I could so get into that! I'd have at least come up with a plasticine Beetle.  Green, of course!