Sunday, 13 April 2014


Purdey the Tuxedo cat in gouache Nicola McLean
Purdey - sketch in gouache

Well, those of you who are friends with me on Facebook will already know the sad news of  my little cat, Purdey, who I had to say goodbye to on 28 March. She was old (about 13 or 14) when we adopted her only 8 months earlier and I knew she had arthritis in her hips and was rather grumpy and set in her ways but after she got used to her new life and to us she was such a different cat from when we first brought her home from the shelter. Then she would lash out and growl at us whenever we went near.  By the end however, she would sit with me each evening in our sun room, either on my knee while I gave her reiki or else curled up in the dogs' bed while they were safely down the other end of the house with S. She seemed to enjoy our company (always on her own terms, of course) and would curl around S's legs while he pottered away making his gorgeous reclaimed pallet picture frames out in the garage. It was still my greatest wish for the dogs to just get used to her presence so that she could curl up in front of the fire with us all together in the living room.  Unfortunately that was never to be. 

It was with heavy heart and tear-filled eyes that I took her to the vet on the Friday morning as I think we already knew what they were going to say. She'd lost the use of her back legs the night before and the vet said it was a blood clot from her lungs blocking the arteries to her legs. She was in pain and uncomfortable and the kindest thing would be to let her go. I'm sure vets are used to huge outpourings of grief which is just as well as I couldn't have contained my tears even if I'd tried (and I had tried, unsuccessfully, while asking the receptionist for an emergency appointment). I stayed with her until her tiny life ended and then brought her home to be buried in the little garden that she'd been able to access from her cat flap. It had been her own little outdoor sanctuary, safe and secure from overzealous attempts by the dogs to meet her (or eat her - we never did let them get close enough to find out). 

I put one of my gratitude stones on top of her grave because I'm so very grateful that she got to spend her last eight months with us, being loved and learning to give affection. The dogs are my babies but there is something about a cat - their sleekness, their independence, the way they bunt their tiny noses against our chins and curl themselves around our legs. 

The real deal

I took a lot of photos of her but unfortunately most of them were taken on my phone at night so aren't as clear as I'd like. The photo I used to paint this portrait was the very first  photo I took of her the day I brought her home from the shelter - it summed up the grumpy wee cat she was back then but not the sweet little cat she became. I miss her.

tuxedo cat doodle nicola mclean
Purdey Doodle


  1. I hope you are coming to terms with having lost Purdey,...your painting is a wonderful tribute to her. Plus I love the Purdey Doodle too.

  2. oh I am so sorry, but you ended her suffering and that was the best, what a life you gve her, I remember when you first got her, well I'm typing through tears for I have been in your shoes, time will ease your pain, as much as we know the end had to come it makes it no easier, take care my far aay friend, I keep you in my thoughts and my heart,

  3. So sorry about Purdey, your painting is a lovely way to remember her by, she looks beautiful. :)

  4. Love your beautiful painting of Purdey and the sumptious grassess behind her. You obviously did right by your beloved cat. Hugs Annette x

  5. Oh, so sad ... But you really did her justice with your beautiful painting of her.

  6. losing a pet is the most heartbreaking part fo having one in your life. You have given Purdey the best end of life time anyone could have, and you have done a very selfless and kind thing for her in the end when she was suffering so. Your portrait of her is just stunning Nic. I hope your aching heart heals very soon with the happy and funny memories of her.

  7. My heart melts for you Nic... It is SO sad... But thank goodness she had someone who loved her to be with her at the end xxx

  8. Oh Nic... I am scrolling through to see all that I have missed...I am so sorry:-( But her change was such a testimony to you love. Beautiful!

  9. You did a beautiful portrait of Purdy! And I know you gave her a wonderful life, and though it was short, I'm sure she was so happy to be in your home and with you and your husband loving her.


Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.


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