Silver — 1998 to May 23, 2013

Snuggling while I was working at my computer

Silver sold a painting for me once. When I first saw dark blue pawprints on my recently finished painting of Stonehenge, my initial response was neither appreciation nor joy. Silver, always energetic, mischievous, and into everything, had taken advantage of my brief absence from my studio to leap onto the table She had walked through the wet blue paint on my palette, across the freshly dried watercolor painting, and then along the table and windowsills, leaving a trail of bright blue prints all around the room. I hurriedly scrubbed as much of the blue as I could off the paper, but faint marks were left in the middle of the sky. Unfortunately not faint enough to qualify as sky, the marks ruined my painting… or so I thought.

After some mulling, it occurred to me that perhaps I could hide the marks by covering them with a flock of birds. Not where I’d normally place birds, but it was the only hope for this painting, so I added them. Someone saw my Stonehenge paintings on facebook and came here to look at them. She decided to buy the painting with the flock of birds, saying she particularly liked that one because of the birds. Thank you, Silver!

 That pretty much encapsulates what Silver’s presence in our family was like. Vibrant, playful, and curious, Silver was an active part of nearly everything that went on in our home, adding her own unique personality to the mix. She loved the dogs and enticed the Aussies into chasing her down the hall almost every evening. I wrote this about Silver in an article about our pets a couple of years ago:

Silver, one of my two cats, sashays in front of the dogs, then crouches, swishes her tail wildly back and forth, and suddenly darts down the hall, Petra and Rowan chasing playfully after her. Moments later she confidently strides back into my studio, hops up on the table, and walks through my palette, then leaves a trail of blue paw prints across the bookshelves. I love this cat. I am never bored with her in the house and it would be hard to be lonely. Her mischievous, playful ways are balanced by her quiet poses as she sits on an upside down box or even on a piece of paper and solemnly watches me for long minutes, clearly just wanting to be near.

Silver was Arielle’s cat– a gift for her 11th birthday. Arielle had asked for a kitten for her birthday, and I’d heard that there was a stray kitten at the animal hospital. We went to see it, but the kitten had been adopted. Instead there was a skinny one year old cat who was climbing up the inside of her cage. Arielle took her out, and the cat climbed right up to her shoulder and walked back and forth between our shoulders and heads, constantly on the move, constantly purring. I reminded Arielle that she had wanted a kitten, but was proud of her when she decided that she’d rather give this lonely, affectionate cat a home.

Silver adored Arielle from day one, and even though Arielle hasn’t lived at home much for seven years now, whenever she would visit Silver would be either in or just outside Arielle’s room. For days afterward, I’d find her hanging out by Arielle’s door a couple of times a day. Since Arielle went to college, Silver began to connect more deeply with me as well, and most of the time she was somewhere near me, whether roaming on my desk or painting table, purring on my lap, or sitting beside my chair.

Silver loved all people and often greeted visitors at the door and would beg to be picked up as soon as they settled in a chair. She loved to go to the vet; it was a new place to explore and there were new people to see– all good in her mind. She even loved her crate and was happy to hop in and go for a car ride.

It is so hard to wrap my mind around the idea that this vibrant, loving cat is no longer here. She was with us for so long and was a warm, loving part of every day for me in the past few years. I miss you so much, my little gray shadow. This house will never be the same without your playing, your pranks, and your purring.

On my lap, watching my face
She loved to sit in baskets, boxes, and wastebaskets
Sketches during Silver’s hyperthyroid days (once treated she was calmer)
Helping me with my work
Watching the birds with me

My last sketch of Silver

16 Replies to “Silver — 1998 to May 23, 2013”

  1. Such a lovely tribute to such a special kitty. I love how she always greeted me and let me love her up. She will be very missed. Love, hugs, and prayers.

  2. My heart aches with you as you grieve the loss of your Silver. What a wonderful and beautiful tribute to a special and very loved feline.

  3. I'm so very, very sorry for your loss, Melissa. I know the heartbreak and deep sadness of having to say goodbye to a loving, beautiful, much-loved furry companion. It's been nearly five years since I held my beloved cat Mollie girl in my arms while she gently passed away, but I still sense her presence and her love and her gentle, loving nature here with me. That's what I hold on to, and keep close to me – the fact that even though my beautiful sweet angel Mollie (as well as Rudi, Finn, Pooka, Shibbles, Rocky, Holly, Shadow and Puddin') are no longer here with me in the physical, tangible, palpable sense, they are always right here with me, in my heart, in my memories of them, in my love for them and their love for me over the years they were all in my life.

    I will light a candle for your beloved Silver, who is now with so many, playing and running free at the Rainbow Bridge. Your love for Silver will light her way.

    With much love and a saddened heart for your loss, June

  4. Melissa..I am so very sorry to be reading about your lovely cat 🙁 I know how precious our pets are to us. Not much I can say except please know I'm thinking of you x


  5. What a beautiful tribute. Our art and our world is so much richer when we allow all our lines to blur, just a bit. The shapes still hold, but the love flows so much more freely. I am sorry for your loss, they break our hearts open in so many ways.

    Thank you for sharing, I am grateful for both Silver's gifts and yours.

  6. Thank you so much, June, for your lovely post. It is true that they live on richly in our memories, and I know I will get to the point that my memories of Silver will comfort me, as you have experienced with your many pets who have gone on.

  7. ReveredLizzie, thank you for your caring words. I really like what you said about allowing the lines to blur in a way that enriches our world and our art.

  8. Jonathan, I have very much appreciated all your encouraging words and your prayers in the last few weeks. Thank you so much. I know you loved Silver, too.