Sunday morning we took our last walk from our house…past the morning glories, north to the pool, and through the newly renovated park to the magical Bucktown Arts Fest.
So much has happened to me in the 12 years since I first exhibited at
this fest in 1995.It is the response to my work from that show that
gave me the
courage to pursue my artistic dreams. Over the years many of the other
artists and patrons
have met have turned into treasured friends. So many people in the
community come by every year to say hello, update me on their lives, introduce me to
new babies and pets. It’s a wonderful reunion with great art, friends,
music, poetry, dancing and performance. I was pretty emotional at the end
this year. I know I tend to be too sentimental, but it’s the end of
an era for me with our upcoming move from the neighborhood. I’ve
been thinking about applying to the Port Clinton show next year, but
realized this weekend, there is no where else I would rather be the last
weekend in August than in Booth #33 at the Bucktown Arts Fest.
My painting, "Three Birds Flying" is featured on the back of buses in the Detroit area! Common Ground Sanctuary’s Art in the Park Committee decided to feature it in ads for their upcoming Art Fair, September 16-17 in Birmingham, Michigan. The sad part is that I had to cancel the show, some big changes for us happening around those dates…more on that later!
On Friday morning I tearfully answered the door to greet Jenny from Tree House Animal Foundation. She was coming to pick up all of Ollie’s things which we were donating to their shelter which houses hundreds of homeless cats. She was also coming to deliver a fiberglass cat for me to paint for the first annual Cats On Parade Art Auction and Gala. I went from crying to laughing when I saw how enormous this cat was – and thankfully, it looked nothing like our Oliver. This cat is larger than both Izzy and Alice. Having it sit in the middle of the living room all weekend has been good comic relief.
Our very dear almost 16 year old cat, Oliver died very early Sunday morning, August 6th. Only 8 pounds left of his healthier 16 pound weight. He had started to look like the kitten that we adopted from Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society in August of 1991. Rich and I had only been together a few months when we got him, and Oliver only strengthened our small family bond. He remained our baby until 1993 when we adopted our second cat Zoe, then later our dogs, Izzy and Alice. He was always a little miffed that we kept adding to our family, but he enjoyed the daily annoyance of these other beloved pets. He was with us as we moved from Weed Street to Fulton, to Campbell to Oakley, each transition always traumatic for him. It’s a blessing he left before the the move to Washtenaw as I think that probably would have put him over the edge. In his younger days he was an amazing jumper and he loved to chase shadows across the wall. In 2002 he made his press debut in the City Link Newspaper Newspaper. He was my witness and companion as I went from setting up an art studio in a tiny little closet to building my art business to what it is today. He would always come traipsing through my studio whenever I was trying to photograph a painting on the floor…the end of his tail often gracing the photos.
It was getting pretty boring around here when Alice showed up as a 12 week old puppy in 2004. I think she probably prolonged his life, the two of them would spend hours engaging each other one at the top and the other at the bottom of the stairs – Alice yipping and every now and then a snarl or a hiss from the OL Man. He was an indoor cat but loved to go outside and eat grass…only to come in later and throw up….Izzy and Alice were always happy to take care of the mess! He had these amazing little tufts of fur on the tips of his ears and he loved to have them pulled. It is so hard to say goodbye, these creatures come into our lives and do nothing but love us, without emotional baggage, no memories of anger or hurt only love and companionship. Not that he didn’t have a feisty personality, he would sidle up to me to be pet only to bite me a few minutes later when he had enough …then return 10 minutes later for another round. I guess we’ve had our final round, we will miss you dear boy…