I painted this of Mandu, from life, the Wednesday before she died. She was laying on our patio in the back yard, enjoying the warmth of the cement that had been heated by the sun during the day. We kept putting her on a big thick sofa pillow to cushion her bones, but repeatedly she’d walk off of it and lay on the radiant stones. Perhaps it felt good on her arthritic joints. From the angle where I was sitting, I could only see her two hindlegs – her forelegs were tucked underneath her. This last month, every evening after work, we had a ritual. We would take her outside for supervised fresh air and a little walk, which she seemed to enjoy, even though she appeared to be nearly blind. I tried to draw her on most of those occasions.

Last night, just before morning, I dreamed that I saw her sitting in a big flat bowl of butter and cream. She was practically wallowing in it, but lapping in a very ladylike way. I like to think of her being that contented, wherever she may be.


  1. Peggy Solomon
    July 17, 2006

    Karen, I know how sad you about Mandu’s death, but I have to tell you that your picture with her “dates” on it gives me hope.
    My precious, boon companion, Liebchen, is 17 and I hope that she will be with me as long as Mandu was with you. (I’ve told her
    that she has to make it to 25. But she makes no comment.

    Peggy Solomon

  2. Ann Fortenberry
    July 17, 2006

    I think of her being that contented, too, Karen.

  3. Erin
    July 17, 2006

    That is such an incredible image! A marvelous tribute.

  4. carole
    July 17, 2006

    Karen, I’m sure she is that contented. She was a very well looked-after cat and you allowed her to pass on in peace. I’m sorry, though, for your loss.
    I can’t comment on the pictures as I can’t see them yet – some wierd glich with my PC.

  5. lin
    July 17, 2006

    Oh, hon — my heart hurts for you … I SO know how you feel. Beautiful tribute, karen, and fondest of memories …

  6. Linda
    July 17, 2006

    Karen — this is a great mental image of kitty heaven! :-)

  7. Nancy Bea
    July 17, 2006

    Karen, there is something very japanese about this painting, great work. I am so sorry to hear that Mandu has died. What a wonderful companion she was to all your family. I am sure she IS in cat heaven (have you read the book by Cynthia Rylant?)

  8. Toni
    July 17, 2006

    Dearest Karen,
    I have been off the computer all weekend and today till now.
    I am so sorry. I know how precious our pets are to us.
    My heart goes out to you and your family. Sending you all hugs,
    peace and light.

  9. Cin
    July 17, 2006

    oh karen, she looks so fragile in this

    I am glad to think your dream is true

  10. Felicity
    July 17, 2006

    Beautiful drawing, it stands out so well on that paper too. If there is a kitty heaven it would certainly be like that!

  11. lindsay
    July 18, 2006

    Kare, I was so sorry to hear about Mandu. I know your family mourns her passing. I hope she is happy in the great creamery in the sky. All of
    you gave her a peice of paradise in her last weeks that eased her passage.

  12. Terri
    July 19, 2006

    Karen I’m so sorry to hear that Mandu has gone. :o( She was obviously cherished and obviously had a wonderful life with you all. This is a lovely last tribute to her

  13. GrannyKass
    July 20, 2006

    I have watched your pictures and drawings of Cat Mandu over the year I have been visiting your site and Flckr. I had to let my 17 year old, Bear, go in May. I had hopped and prayed I would be allowed to keep him as long as you had Cat Mandu, unfortunately he was in kidney failure and I would not let him suffer. He was born in August 1989 on the day of a lunar eclipse. I was carrying his mother to the birthing room we had set up when without warning he plopped out into my hand. I held him as tenderly and with much more love for him on the day he went to sleep. I so miss him as I know you will miss Cat Mandu. I hope your healing will be eased by your memories, as our beloved companions never really leaves us. Thank you for having shared Cat Mandu’s life with all of us.

  14. Brenda
    July 20, 2006


    What a blessing Mandu passed on her own so peacefully! My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

    A good life; a good death.

  15. Jan Caldwell
    July 21, 2006

    Kanre I am sorry. I know what a loss this is, believe me.
    I have been away from the computer and just read about it this evening.
    Jan Caldwell

  16. Cin
    August 3, 2006

    Dear Karen,

    I’ve been reading your posts for quite some time now, but can’t recall ever posting a comment. I think that makes me a lurker. But I did want to let you know what a joy it’s been to visit; viewing your art and reading your words is something I look forwards to. I was very sorry to read about Mandu’s decline, and yes, even though I don’t know you as a friend I did catch myself tearing up when I read about her passing. There simply aren’t words when a loved one dies. I am truly sorry.

    A fellow cat lover,


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