One Good Life in Los Angeles

Roslyn's observations about places and events around Southern California

Thanks for the memories and rest in peace – Friday – 1995 to 2013

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friday cat painting

This is the hardest blog post I have ever had to write. But I also feel privileged to be writing it.

My beloved Tuxedo Cat, Friday, passed away yesterday, on Sunday, July 21, 2013 at eighteen years of age. Above is one of the paintings I did of him.

Friday, as I knew him, had stopped being Friday some weeks before. And about five days ago he stopped eating. Going from about 10 ounces of canned food a day (because of his hyperthyroidism) to nothing, I knew he was telling me it was the end. He also started walking around in circles and pacing up and down yowling his head off.

friday cat painting

For some time now I have been caught between not wanting to end his life too soon and not wanting to prolong it, only for my benefit. So I decided by not eating, his message was clear. I am grateful for that. Another of my paintings of him. He was a great model!

I adopted Friday at eight months old in November, 1995. I was interested in another cat at the animal shelter. But a gentleman who was hanging around there pointed out this big, muscular cat who was waving his paw out of the cage. “What about this one,” he asked. I don’t know why I didn’t notice him before but it was love at first sight.

The cat had to be transported to the vet to be fixed and I picked him up there the next day. It was a Friday. And so he was named.

friday cat painting

This is a hand-painted ceramic tile I fired in my kiln.

At first he wasn’t that friendly and hated to be picked up. I nicknamed him Mr. Wriggly as all four legs, head and tail wriggled around whenever I picked him up to give him a hug. And he was such a strong cat I couldn’t hold him for more than a few seconds. Ugh, that was not his thing at all.

But after a couple of months of this he was waiting for me at the front door every night when I came home, meowing to be be picked up and hugged. Hugging became his favorite thing in life. Claws digging into my skin as if he couldn’t get close enough.

I believe he must have been raised with a dog and thought that was what he was. His tail wagged all the time and he followed me around like a puppy. I was constantly tripping over him. In the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the bedroom, up and down the stairs, it didn’t matter. Wherever I was, there was Friday, usually ahead of me!

If I talked on the phone he would be annoyed and try to climb up my legs. Working on the computer he would lie across the keyboard or in front of the monitor so I couldn’t see what I was doing.

I have to take my blood pressure every morning and keep very still and calm. This didn’t phase Friday as he would jump in my lap or get tangled up in the cable. No wonder my blood pressure readings were always so high!

friday cat painting

Another ceramic piece I painted.

When anybody came to the house he would be at the front door greeting them. Whenever I gave a party he would go from guest to guest making sure everybody knew he was the star of the show. Of course, he did have his favorites! And once I could not find Friday anywhere. One of my guests told me he was standing out on the sidewalk welcoming everybody to the party!

I had to be very careful opening the front door as he would shoot out down the stairs at lightning speed. He had a lovely roof deck and front balcony to enjoy the outdoors. But he rarely took advantage of that. Nothing was as fun as escaping out the front door. Even when he got out of the building he wouldn’t go very far. He was not an adventurous outdoor cat. Given a choice between being outside or inside, he preferred to be indoors.

He had some unusual habits. Every morning he liked to jump up on the washbasin in the bathroom and take a drink out of the faucet. But he wasn’t happy until I put down a line of jojoba oil for him to lick up. I researched this on the internet to make sure it was okay and it seemed the only side effect was a very shiny coat!

And when I turned on the hair dryer he had to have his turn under it. Oh, he would get really mad if he didn’t get his turn. Those nasty claws would be digging into my leg. The closer the hair dryer was to his skin, the more he liked it. Once or twice I could smell his fur singeing but he only begged for more!

At night he loved to sleep behind my pillow. Sometimes I would wake up in the morning unable to turn my neck, only to discover that he had wrapped his body around my head. Some days he would wake me up by licking and tugging at my hair. Yuck. I had to pull the sheet up around my head and at that point he would crawl under the covers.

friday cat painting

Well, he didn’t exactly come to Mykonos, Greece with me but I painted him into this tile anyway!

When he first came to live with me I realized he could be very aggressive. One minute he was overly lovey dovey. The next he would be biting my arm. It became such a problem that at night when I was sleeping he was biting my cheeks and nose and drawing blood. I had so many bruises and wounds on my face that my co-workers even believed I was being abused by my boyfriend…. yes, my four-legged one!

My vet put him on a very low dose of amitriptyline. I was desperate and decided I didn’t care if it shortened his life (obviously it didn’t) or changed his personality. I just couldn’t live with this cat any longer, so it was drugs or back to the animal shelter. It was a miracle. Not only did it halt his aggressive tendencies but he still maintained all his wonderful Friday characteristics.

And, whereas before I could not have another cat because Friday had tried to kill three other cats when they were introduced into the household, he was now docile enough to try again. I adopted Pharoah and although there was one horrible fight in the beginning when Friday proved his dominance once and for all, after that peace reigned. (And, fortunately Pharoah, who had moved from home to home in his short six months of life, was so happy to have a permanent place to live he didn’t mind playing second fiddle.)

friday-and-pharoah

Friday and Pharoah trying to share the sofa.

I could tell so many stories about Friday. He was a one-of-a-kind cat. I have had cats all my life but he will always stand out.

A friend of mine wrote to me today to say that as Friday had died yesterday, his passing had made room for another spirit to enter the world in the form of a baby prince. That was the kind of cat he was. So as I watch the latest heir to the British throne grow up, I will think of Friday. Watch out world! He will be very outgoing. A meeter and greeter, always demanding attention, if that is the case! That was a beautiful thing for my friend to say, and I am willing to accept it as true.

cat friday

So, farewell, my good pal, and I’ll be looking for you next time I open the laundry basket!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 

 

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Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles. Recently I rediscovered photography and I am busy learning everything I can about it. It's a great excuse for getting outside, wandering around and stopping to look at things.

34 thoughts on “Thanks for the memories and rest in peace – Friday – 1995 to 2013

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost our tuxedo cat, Patrick, two years ago when he was 18. What an amazing companion.

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  2. I’m so very sorry for your loss. My condolences. As you well know, I just lost my cat Hunter so my heart goes out to you. It’s never easy losing a good pal. You were very lucky to have each other for so many years. *hugs*

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  3. I’m so sorry for your loss Roslyn. It’s so hard losing one of these little guys. They give so much. I love your paintings of him. *hugs* from me 😦

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  4. Oh Roslyn, I’m so sorry. Friday was the best greeter and the life of the party. I know how much he’ll be missed!

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    • Thanks, Katherine. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have pets know the time must come, but it is all worth it, isn’t it?

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  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Roslyn. I know how it feel since I’ve ever got the same feeling when I lost my dog.

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  6. What a wonderful tribute to Friday! Lovely, I can imagine him as the royal prince πŸ™‚
    Love those beautiful tiles and paintings of him and so fortunate that you got to live with him for so long and so lively be covered with love bites πŸ˜‰
    I know how it feels looking for a pat that is no longer there.
    Sending much love
    Huge hugs
    Claudia

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  7. I am so sorry to learn that Friday has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. This is a wonderful tribute to Friday though and we can feel how much he was loved. It was without a doubt an original and beautiful cat.
    We lost one of our cats, a Tuxedo cat, exactly one year ago, so I know it must be difficult. He was the chipmunks chaser I refer to in the title of my blog.
    Your friend’s comment was wonderful and I am ready to trust your friend too πŸ™‚
    Sending you hugs.

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  8. Thanks, Carine. Ah, the chipmunks chaser! I hope he didn’t catch any!

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  9. I’m sorry for your loss.

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  10. Oh Roslyn, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your post is a great tribute to Friday, a beautiful and wonderful cat. Cherish all the warm memories of him deep in your heart. Sending you hugs.

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    • Thank you Herman, and Mr. Bowie. Of course. like Elvis, I keep seeing him in nooks and crannies around the house.

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      • I experienced the same thing last year when we lost our 18 year old Jones. We kept seeing her for months… Take care.

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  11. Roslyn, I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Very sad indeed.

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  12. Beautiful paintings with a beautiful story of a wonderful friend. I had an 18 year old cat who I had to put down 4 years ago, after treating hot thyroid for 2 years. It’s always hard but worse when they’ve been part of your life for so long. I hope you can find peace knowing his suffering is over.

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  13. Thanks, Patricia, I appreciate it!

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  14. I am so sorry for your loss, Roslyn! Thank you for sharing the beautiful paintings and photo. Love the one he sat in the laundry basket…

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  15. I am so sorry to read this 😦 I think you’ll have to remember only the good times, which seem to be many. Love the pieces of art, they are beautiful memories πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks, Virginia. Yesterday I checked out the SPCA-LA website and looked at the faces of some of the older Tuxedo cats that need a home. I’m not ready yet but the time will come…

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  17. Thanks, Scott!

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  18. Pingback: Feline Friday – #10 – Catalina Cats | One Good Life in Los Angeles

  19. Pingback: Feline Friday – #20 – Foothill lives on | One Good Life in Los Angeles

  20. Oh gosh,and I had the impression that I was the only one …
    Such a touching elegiac post in memory of your beautiful boy dear Roslyn.If you have a very quick look at my Edward post,you’ll see how devastated I was like you.The loss of our furry-kids is on the list of the most stressful events in our lives …

    https://dodagrivas.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/posting-after-a-long-period-of-aestivation-hibernation/

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