"Ivy"
9.5x14.25" acrylic on wood
(C) Cara Bevan 2010
ivy white calico pet portrait acrylic painting
It’s the most enigmatic creatures that catch your eye. You admire their prowess and are humbled to be in their presence. I felt this way towards Ivy, our
beautiful tiny cat.

Ivy was born July 7th, 1994 to a white calico cat named
Nubby, which Ivy shared almost identical markings with. Ivy was the last of five kittens to be born in a
flower box full of ivy, thus she was named. Ivy was the smallest of the kittens though. When full grown her paws were barely the width of quarters, her head
could fit in the palm of your hand. Her entire family was already small, but she still was half the size of the biggest boy. Her size wasn’t unnoticed to her to
sisters, Nala and
Sassy. She was tormented and picked on until she was driven from the family circle. She took up home at a large vehicle shed and became
nearly feral. No one but the food provider could get near her – and touching her was out of the question.

The barn was close by, and Ivy spent her days in adventure there. She hunted mice, frogs, and bugs and slept in the hay bins and storage rooms. The then
42+ goats, and other farm animals such as sheep, llamas, and pigs, accepted her. It was paradise for her! On occasion though, her sisters would pay her
home a visit. Ivy defended her home with all the skills she’d learned in the farmyard. With a scream much bigger than herself, a strong and sharp-clawed
swipe, and the ability to run like the wind, Ivy escaped any harm. Many times, the vehicles were moved or exchanged in her shed. Ivy was scared of the
movement, so she stayed out of the way, but when things were quiet she’d accept her new surroundings. No matter what was parked there, she would sleep
on it. A bail of hay in a horse trailer, the seat of an old fire truck or tractor, the roof of an aging jeep – despite her aloofness, she accepted change well.

Ivy aged and enjoyed her life. She had more cat encounters, all she won, and began to take fewer trips to the barn in her quest for leisure. Then, Ivy got skin
cancer. Her white fur was little protection to the sun, which she bathed in every day. This, in combination with allergies, brought her pain but made her
change. This fearful little cat, once admired at a distance, began to seek human attention. I was delighted when she began following me around, sitting in my
lap, and purring faintly in my arms. I gave her all the attention she could handle, until she got spooked from time to time. Her sisters, also older and milder,
didn’t care to fight anymore. It was Ivy’s choice to move back with them when she was 16. Her cancer progressed, though, and took over her brain. She
spent little time with her family before she had to be kept inside. Ivy lost her battle August 8th, 2010.

Ivy was revered by everyone. A cat so little withstood so much, but she made the best of it. She may have given people the defensive glance for most of her
life, but inside I knew there was a cat longing for love and scared to ask for it. Rest in peace Ivy. She knew pain, but in the end all she knew was love.
Ivy
July 7th, 1994 - August 8th, 2010
Cat Gallery
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