His real name is Cosmo. But I sometimes call him Cosimo Foo the Fighter. It’s me he fights. Not so much now, as he will be two years old at Christmas. And I’ve worked out that when I get teeth and claws buried in my ankle, it’s always when I’m walking away from the kitchen. Food.
He’s a ragdoll, and they aren’t fully grown until they are three years old. He has settled down a lot, but we have still got a way to go.
He’s an inside cat. Unlike my previous cats he can’t be trusted in the courtyard. He’s up over the fence and across the back lane chasing another cat, with no thought of looking out for traffic. And then there was the day he got out the front, went down the street and into a neighbours house through her security door. One big dog ignored him, but when the German Shepherd came, he came running out.
So what has taken me so long to start sketching him, when I sketched my other cats regularly? He hasn’t sat still. Here is what he was like when I first got him early in 2013.
Now you see he is a lot woollier, a lot bigger, and better still he has grown into his nose. He likes to get involved with the sketching. He knows if he can sit on the sketchbook AND the iPad he’s more likely to have my full attention.
(This is the post that has been holding me up because I had to finish putting the colour on the motorbike.)
On Saturday I had a chance to meet local Rome resident and fellow Urban Sketcher Kelly Medford. Most generous of Kelly to make the effort to meet me as she had a wedding to go to in the afternoon. So we made it a morning meeting in Trastevere to sketch the local area. Trastevere is just south of the river (Tiber, Tevere, Trastevere), and was not entirely on my radar when I lived in Rome as I was a total Centro Storico girl. I looked out the lounge window and could see the Spanish Steps in the distance looking along Via della Fontanella Borghese and Via Condotti.
So while not entirely a new place for me Trastevere was certainly not an area I knew well. We met in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere which has a beautiful church. A long walk from our hotel, but we had plenty of time. We did not go into the church however, as a bride arrived and a wedding commenced.
Broni went off to do the Colosseum and the Forum, and Kelly and I went to the back streets to sketch. Kelly kindly lent me her tiny stool and we began to sketch. I started with the cat sitting on the motorbike, semi-abandoned that, as I wanted to sketch the washing slung on a line across the street. Meanwhile heads were coming out of windows upstairs to see what we were doing. Well, as well as sketching we were talking about the Urban Sketchers recent symposium in Barcelona which Kelly attended and I did not. But I was on my way to Barcelona in only a couple of days, so plenty to talk about there.
Sketching done, Kelly and I walked back to the main road together. She hopped on a tram and I walked back towards the hotel. But first I walked to the Jewish ghetto and had a look around there for old times sake. We used to go there from time to time back in the day as it had a lovely villagey feel, and people used to walk around eating delicious cakes from pieces of paper (including us). Then as I was so close I walked to Piazza Venezia and around through the back streets ending up at our favourite bar(restaurant) in Piazza Maddalena. Less than five minutes later, quite by chance, Broni arrived.
By this time our feet were feeling ragged (and still do) so that evening we had takeaway and a drink in our room.
Sunday we went to Villa Kitty. You probably know I have a kitten,Cosmo, who I got in February. While I was looking for a new kitten (with great difficulty) I ‘liked’ the Facebook pages of some of the cat shelters around Sydney. Somehow a little more recently I came across Villa Kitty, a cat shelter a outside Ubud. We were lucky enough to be there while these two kittens went to their new family in Sanur. Velvet and Pus-pus.
How I came to visit Villa Kitty is that Elizabeth mentioned on the Facebook page that Villa Kitty could do with some Australian rubber gloves. The cleaning of the kitty litters is all done by one person to minimise the chance of infection. See photo how many kitty litter trays. The local rubber gloves just don’t match up, so I brought over a few pairs for them. Then, in an Ubud brochure we picked up at Bina Wisata, it mentioned Sunday lunch under the mango tree at Villa Kitty.
I have been coming to Bali for 27 years. BB last came 19 years ago. She has noticed the difference in treatment of animals here. There used to be packs of sick and injured dogs on the streets and cats were emaciated and sick too most of the time. Now, you see many dogs that are obviously pets in the sense that we would have a pet at home. Same with cats. Many hotels and restaurants have a cat (Ubud Village Hotel, my second home, always had ginger cats, even back then.)
So off we went for Sunday lunch under the mango tree, with Elizabeth who runs Villa Kitty. First we met the cats (the well cats). See photos, healthy and very sociable. The whole place is spotlessly clean with no ‘cat’ smell. Pretty hard to do when you are caring for 127 cats and kittens, many of them sick. Not to mention the fact that there are several resident dogs, very friendly.
So, next when you are in Bali, go for lunch on the Sunday under the mango tree, take plenty of rubber gloves from home, and give a big donation. You will have a great time and meet some extremely interesting people.
This is the new family member, Cosmo, asleep on the back of the lounge. He is not asleep now. He’s helping. ……hgffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff09vvy G -/uuuucxvcdddddddddddddddddddCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCW/////////// >
if you see what I mean. Helping with the typing also.
He’s a seal point ragdoll kitten aged thirteen weeks. I have had him for three weeks. He is very confident and independent. A toe-biter in the night for a while, but improving now. The first photo is the day he came – aged ten weeks. vvvvIMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
When he is asleep is the only time he stays still. The second photo is last week, making kitten stir-fry in my new little wok.
I sketched him with a dark brown and a white Prismacolour pencil on toned paper.
This is an old sketch of my recently departed cat, Casper. You’ve probably seen many sketches of him over the years. He was with me for 16 years.
Before I had Casper, I had Yeti Mungo and Bollinger, so it is 26 years I have had himalayan cats. I thought it would be easy to go out and get another one, but not so. The lady I got Casper from is no longer breeding them. Back before I got Casper, the Cat Fancy changed the show standards for himalayans. This article on Wikipedia explains to two face types. You can see quite clearly that mine have the doll face.
Here is Casper as a kitten with his ‘long’nose. Unfortunately for me, the standard is now for the short nose – the ‘peke face’, so those still breeding himalayans for showing have fallen into line. I have tried without success to get a response from the Himalayan Cat Club, and I am wondering if they have disbanded, because there are so few breeders of himalayans in NSW on the net.
This is my beautiful Yeti Mungo as a kitten.Yeti became ‘the most beautiful cat in the world’. You can even see from this pic that he had a ‘proper nose’. I had Yeti and his half brother Bollinger for ten years. The cattery they came from no longer exists. Bollinger was a party animal. Loved visitors. Favourite food was strawberries, but also liked cherry tomatoes and mandarin segments.
So I am asking, does anyone know anyone who breeds himalayan cats, or even has a himalayan cat (in NSW) who they can ask if there is anyone out there breeding doll face himalayan cats?
Blue skies make me happy. We had NO summer, but a lovely autumn with blue skies & warm enough to get out and sketch. It’s over now. Dark skies today and tomorrow we’re expecting a ‘rain event’. (Meteorologyspeak?)
My cats make me happy and this is the one who sits with me all the time. They’re both very old now, and costing me a fortune at the vet. Casper was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy over 6 years ago and they said he had 6 months to live. A lot of my sketches of Casper are at night when he sits on the end of my bed. I get the sketchbook out and we have portraiture sessions.
The other thing that makes me happy is bright colours. This is my newest doona cover. It is white with a large band of these bright colours across the bottom and on the pillows.
I thought Casper had cats’ alzheimers but I was wrong. He has always been a mother’s boy and stuck to me like glue. For a couple of months he stopped sitting on the end of my bed, or on my knee. He was behaving as if he didn’t know who I was any more. He is 16 years old, and has cardiomyopathy. That was diagnosed over 6 years ago and he has been on medication ever since, quite a lot of medication. I was told he only had 6 months to live but he is still here & in reasonable health considering his age.
I used to grab him at night when he was sitting on the end of my bed and give it to him. I decided to try giving it to him in any other room than my bedroom. Now he sleeps on the end of my bed again. He knows who I am all right – he was just avoiding me.