Everyday, when I switch on my computer, I look at this adorable fluff-ball:
She is my cat and she is a real princess.
She even has her own throne, on wheels, decorated with the insignia crown of her royal highness…
She’s got attitude, she is goofy and does not care the least what you think about her odd lying positions and her aloof behaviour.
But, do not call her fat. Her sensitive heart is deeply hurt when somebody dares to call her fat – she will never honour you with another glance, never mind a purr….
And to rescue the situation her servant (ie me) has to explain, that she is not fat, it is just that her pretty head is a bit too small, and she has a lot of fluffy fur.
And no – nobody is allowed to touch her silky soft fur! That is just not on with royalty!
Her name is Clarissa.
Named after the great author Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
And Clarissa hails from the SPCA in Windhoek.
I am so grateful to have this little princess in my life and always try to support the SPCA. I believe that they are doing such important work and play a huge role in animal welfare.
Being an artist with a minimal and ad-hoc income I often was not able to support their work as much as I wanted to. But I have found ways and means to support the SPCA and Cat Protection Society of Namibia, for instance, by donating paintings of dogs for their fund-raising auction.
Recently I made a fun painting of a cat and shared it on Facebook. This painting reminded Ms Susanne Jaspert of her own cat, another cat hailing from the lands of SPCA, and she decided to buy this painting.
I was so excited that my pink cat painting found a loving home, as cats and paintings all need loving homes!
What better excuse to donate the proceeds to the SPCA? A cat painting helping the cats and dogs of the SPCA and supporting the work of the people who care for them.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because, I often felt helpless and too poor to help and yet there are so many ways to help out. It does not need to be in big ways. But maybe something you love doing can be donated or used in order to support a cause close to your heart? I hope that this might inspire you to find a way how you can help and remind you to go out and just do it.
Or to adopt your own princess or prince from the SPCA and let them sneak into your heart and soul.
And as I was preparing this post I searched through my photos to decide which pictures to use and as you can imagine, it is not easy if you have the cutest and goofy-est SPCA cat in the world. So here is a small selection which I just have to add, as they also give you a glimpse into how important this cat is in my art making.
I, too, am too poor to donate money so I donate my time. I volunteer at the local shelter where I work with feral cats/kittens and also clean out the cages in the “regular” cat room. I also will pick up an extra treat bag, litter or a few cans of food to donate when I buy for my beasts.
As for Princess Clarissa… oh, she is not fat at all compared to mine! “Little” Miss Pip is quite the tubster (which she will never forgive me for posting publicly if she finds out!) She is a tortoise shell calico as they say, meaning she has all the other colors but no white. I never owned a tortie before Miss Pip and let me tell you they are the goofiest of goofy! I did not intend on adopting as I already had two but everyone who came into the shelter said “oh, isn’t she ugly” which shocked me. I thought she was the cutest with her unusual coloring.
She is also semi-feral meaning she is fine with me, very loving, I can pick her up and cuddle like a teddy bear but unfortunately, around strangers she is a wild animal quite literally. Bringing her to the vet is an ordeal and she usually has to be sedated because the wild animal comes out and no one but me can handle her, which does not make for easy vet checks.
I am a cat person though. I love all animals but cats seem to be particularly drawn to me which is why I work with the ferals. Luckily there is a local no-kill shelter that will take feral cats and kittens and work to find them a home. Not a regular home for most but someplace safe that will take the colony. For example, a large feral colony was living in an empty field near the grocery store and when that field was sold they started developing. We saved the cats from being killed. So, we had the colony for a while in our shelter until we found another place for them. They all went to a local organic aquaponic farmer who agreed to take them to keep the mice out of his greenhouses. Worked out perfectly!
But, since they are feral, they are very mistrustful and hard to work with in the shelter. They are not used to being stuck where they can not roam freely and in a new place. Plus they are so fearful of people that they can really be dangerous. So, only a few volunteers will work with them. They are different since they aren’t the loving, cuddly house-pets. Basically you go in clean the cages, put the food and fresh water down and hope you don’t get attacked. However, once they trust a particular person they will let you pet them, which is the biggest reward. I’m lucky that often even the wildest cat will trust me enough to let me touch them. Sometimes if I go visit them in their new homes they even recognize me and come for a pet, which is the most rewarding.
And, as usual, I’ve left a comment that could be a post all its own! Can you tell I love cats? Give a kiss to Princess Clarissa for me and let her know she is not fat in the least 🙂
I am so sorry, Indigo Spider, I just realise that I have never replied to your lovely comment.
I admire you so much for doing the work in the shelter. Even though I know it would help a lot, I would just be too sad for all the beautiful animals and their fate, to be able to volunteer. And that is why I really appreciate people who have the caring heart and the guts and strength to do this work.
Unfortunately Clarissa staying with my dad in Namibia, while I am in Germany, and I miss her so much! But she has a great big yard there and a pretty cool life. She would be miserable here in the cold and wet area.
Please send snuggles to your beautiful cats too!
Lol! I can so relate to these pictures, seeing that I have my own princess at home (also a three-colored beauty). There is something I just downloaded about cats that would fit perfectly here, will post it on your facebook.
And yes, I completely agree that we can all do something. My daughter used to work at the SPCA on Saturdays and in the holidays, and the animals were so grateful and happy to see her and the other kids. Love your pink cat! Lots of love xxx
Never mind how unique their characters, all cats do show some very common characteristics that somehow makes them so adorable, even if we have to go out of our way to keep them happy 😉
Yes, donating time, work and love is a great way of support, just that I find it real difficult to keep emotionally detached in a healthy way, so I have even more respect for the staff and volonteers who are working there and are directly helping. The pink cat is savely packed in my father’s suitcase, on her way to Windhoek. Just taking a small detour via Bochum…
lots of love to you too! xxx