|For all time, my cat Vader is considered my black furbaby. He was my dream cat, and wasn’t as mean as he looked, but he was far from perfect. He lived with us for a year and a half and made the best of it…
In November 2008, we were surprised by the arrival of a feral black cat. We’d seen him before, trying to intimidate our brown tabby Target, but he did little more than visit. This time, he wouldn’t leave. He was black as
night, even his claws and whiskers were black. First time we saw him we thought he had no face – until he opened his yellow eyes. His meow startled everyone. He sounded like the scream of an ambulance! He
instantly brought other cats into fear. He didn’t mean to, though he would chase, attack, and torment them often. He was almost like a bully and claimed the large front porch as his home. After several name choices,
we called him Vader.
We got closer to him and noticed the unusual deformity of his face. His right nostril was squished in and split. His entire nose was short and pointing upwards slightly. It made his breathing wheezy, making his name
more appropriate. Despite that, I had always wanted a black cat, and I wanted him to stay! Then one day, I heard my sister say, “…you can pick him up.” I went outside and found Vader crouching in the leaves by the
driveway. I had actually misheard my sister. She asked if he could be picked up, not that you could. I did anyway, and got the best surprise of my life. Vader hugged me. He wrapped his arms around my neck, rubbed
his head against my chin, and purred. That was it; Vader was my cat. He was tamed then, and I fell in love.
Vader took over as the defender of our porch. Target, once his enemy, became his friend and they loved each other like brothers. Target’s shy sister Eureka accepted him and they liked to play behind our
outbuildings. Vader enjoyed crawling through the grass, and hunting anything small and edible. He usually ate what he caught, and stole what other cats caught to eat it. He was obsessed with eating dirt and gravel
dust. We didn’t know why until later.
Vader was the valiant leader, defending his home and friends from other feral cats and dogs alike. He was a constant lover, to everyone. Friends, family, and strangers – no one was spared from his comical,
adorable meows and hugs. He charmed everyone at the vets he visited, we even had offers to make him a clinic cat! We couldn’t part with the love bug. Vader had an issue with sinus infections though, due to his
squished in nose. It only happened a couple times a year, but early April 2010 it was worse. Vader stopped eating and drinking. He was lethargic, ate dirt like it was candy, and no matter how much we syringe fed him
he didn’t improve. He was severely anemic, and a visit to the vet told us the cold hard truth. April 10th, 2010, Vader was diagnosed with feline leukemia.
I was in shock – my black baby had cancer! I wanted him to live, so I paid for him to have a full blood transfusion. I accepted 30 custom art orders to pay for it, near 50 later on, but Vader responded and lived. We
were thrilled! I had high hopes that his leukemia was mild, or possibly a misdiagnosis as it sometimes happens.
That wasn’t the case. About four months later, Vader became sick again. More tests proved that the leukemia was in his bone marrow. I didn’t want to give up, and he had another transfusion. It lasted less than a
week before his weakness returned. I accepted the fact that no amount of care would make him well again. With a heartfelt goodbye, and a final hug, Vader was put to sleep August 24th, 2010.
I’ll always miss my black baby. I consider him the first cat I ever tamed, and my dream cat. The year he spent with us seemed too brief. It makes me appreciate our other loving cats so much more. Rest in peace Vader.
(2006? – August 24th, 2010)
|All artwork and information (C) to Cara Bevan and Art from the Heart.
Refer to contact for questions.
11x14" acrylic on oval canvas
(C) Cara Bevan 2010