Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sapphire, 1996-2012

Digital painting created using ArtRage 3.0
January 2012

At ten past six in the evening on Wednesday 25th January, my darling Sapphire was euthanized at the age of 15 years and 8 months. In his last few months we’d noticed him becoming slower in his movements and that he’d been losing weight. In the last week, he seemed to have lost all feeling in his right hind leg. The vet, after detecting a lump in his abdomen which was causing him pain, decided his prognosis was poor due to his age and the likelihood that the lump was cancerous and most probably inoperable. He will always be remembered for his extreme affection, especially in his later years, and his funny ways. Here follows a biography I wrote about Sapphire back in 2008 on this blog:

“Sapphire is a big neutered male 12 year old shorthair cat we have had since he was 2 months old. Scarlett and Saff (as he is known for short, or Saffy) have never liked each other, and pretty much can't stand being in the same room together, except if it's a big room. He is the greediest of the three cats and eats more than his fair share.

He hasn't had as many misadventures in his life as Scarlett, for example, he's never been pregnant, but has had poor health over the last few years to with the bladder, and is slightly overweight so he is on a diet (less food less often). Once his collar got stuck in his mouth, and we thought he broke his jaw. The name comes from the fact that his eyes were once blue but turned greeny.

Saff's funny habits include preference for paper above plush carpet to sleep on, peeing in the bath, sleeping near the toilet, dribbling while he "kneads", sleeping with his head in people's slippers, sounds like ET when he's unhappy. His favourite human food is carrots, and likes playing ice hockey with carrot tops in the kitchen, and also likes food meant for other animals, such as algae-based catfish food.”

Since I wrote that, I also wrote this, which appeared in the “blook” I self-published a couple of years back:

“Sapphire is now a world-famous racecar driver, and has brought out a range of fragrances for men and women called Essence. He’s also become very affectionate of late, and will sit on anybody’s lap.”

Here are a few photographs from throughout Sapphire's life:

Sapphire sheltering from the rain under the barbecue

Sapphire lying on my newly-fitted bedroom carpet
c. 2000

Sapphire as a kitten

Sapphire letting us know he wants to come in!
c. 2000

Sapphire having a roll around in the garden

Sapphire lying in a basket
c. 2003

Sapphire as a kitten

Sapphire waiting for dinner

Sapphire resting on one of his favourite spots

Sapphire on my bed

Sapphire and Dolly on my bed

Sapphire under the delusion he can fit inside a shoe box

Sapphire up close and personal

Sapphire resting on a book

Sapphire sitting on my printer

Sapphire, 1996-2012

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Celebrity Plant Quiz - Answers

Sorry it’s taken a while, but here are the answers to the Celebrity Plant Quiz from two months ago:

1 K – Olive (Oyl) – photo of Olea europaea
2 E – Hazel (Blears) – photo of Corylus avellana
3 L – (Rose of) Sharon (Stone) – photo of Hypericum calycinum
4 S – (River) Phoenix (the genus of date palms) – photo of Phoenix dactylifera
5 H – Rosemary (Clooney) – photo of Rosmarinus officinalis
6 C – (Sweet) (Prince) William – photo of Dianthus barbatus
7 W – (Condoleezza) Rice – photo of Oryza sativa
8 B – (Black-eyed) Susan (Sarandon) – photo of Rudbeckia hirta
9 V – (Aloe) Vera (Lynn) – photo of Aloe vera
10 I – (Leslie) Ash – photo of Fraxinus excelsior
11 M – (Weeping) Willow (Rosenberg) – photo of Salix babylonica
12 U – Joshua (Tree) (Jackson) – photo of Yucca brevifolia
13 A – (Buddy) Holly – photo of Ilex aquifolius
14 X – Ginger (Rogers) – photo of Zingiber officinalis
15 O – Apple (Martin) – photo of Malus domesticus
16 D – Heather (Mills) – photo of Calluna vulgaris
17 F – Basil (Fawlty) – photo of Ocimum basilicum
18 Q – (Dog) Rose (Nylun) – photo of Rosa canina
19 G – Lavender (Brown) – photo of Lavandula angustifolia
20 P – (Neneh) Cherry – photo of Prunus subhirtella
21 J – (Princess) Jasmine – photo of Jasminum officinale
22 T – (African) Lily (Allen) – photo of Agapanthus africanus
23 N – (Common Dog) Violet (Beauregarde) – photo of Viola riviniana
24 R – Rowan (Atkinson) – photo of Sorbus aucuparia

Well done to Ed Gill for getting them all right.