For Dusty

For Dusty…

This week I’ve been exceptionally sad. One of my kitties, Dusty, passed away at the respectable age of 15. Actually, the experience was slightly more traumatic than it had to be, but not as horrible as it could have been.

dustyWe’d gone “down the shore” (that’s “to the beach” to those not in the PA/NJ area) for the day on Saturday, and when we came home, we noticed briefly that Dusty didn’t come out to greet us as he usually would. He’s been unwell for a few weeks and I went to bed feeling exhausted but anxious and unsettled. Fast-forward to Sunday morning when we launched an all-out effort to find him, to no avail. We knew he’d hidden somewhere to cross the proverbial rainbow bridge, and we got the kids engaged in the search. Tearfully, we all were frustrated and fearful when we couldn’t find him. About an hour later, my husband decided to do another sweep and found him behind books on a corner bookshelf. I have no idea what made him look there, but I’m so thankful he did. Dusty was curled up, his breathing shallow, and barely responded to our touch. We called the kids to come sit with him and say their goodbyes. Then we called our vet, who is a wonderful woman who drove all the way to her clinic from 40 minutes away, having already done so once earlier that day (on a Sunday, no less), to help him pass more easily. He was in congestive heart failure and she explained it’s a pretty icky way to die. She gave him a sedative and I held his sweet face in my hands, then she injected the second needle and he drifted off hearing words of love and tears from his family.

Dusty was an amazing cat. He was the peacemaker, the healer, the one everyone (pets included) got along with and the one everyone loved. He flopped repeatedly to get attention and head-butted when he needed your attention. He was smart, chill, and beautiful. I will miss him horribly.

That’s why, for this week’s I Am the Diva Challenge, I wanted to create something that was an ode to Dusty. The challenge was to use the new tangle “CanT,” so I made a string of sorts of Dusty’s head, tangled the rest, then used Derwent Inktense pencils to represent the rainbow bridge. I brushed the pencil with water to get a watercolor effect and decided that was about as perfect a tribute to my sweet furbaby I could offer. I hope he likes it from wherever he is.



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20 Responses to For Dusty

  1. Yorkshire tortoise September 10, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    Oh I am so sorry your little cat passed away. It made me cry, but he had obviously been very loved. I am sure he loves the tile you have dedicated to him as do I,

    • Cari Sultanik September 10, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate that ❤️

  2. Stephanie September 11, 2015 at 1:31 am #

    Dusty sounded like a wonderful pet. I’m sorry for your loss. The tile is a beautiful tribute to him.

    • Cari Sultanik September 11, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Thank you, Stephanie!

  3. Annemarie September 11, 2015 at 2:22 am #

    I LOVE your tribute to Dusty and I’m sure he will do so too. With one of my first cats, a vet told me that most cats feel when their time has come and they will try to hide somewhere. Maybe that;s what Dusty did.

    • Cari Sultanik September 11, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      I think he did. Still, the thought of him alone at that time is so sad. So glad we found him.

  4. LezliB September 11, 2015 at 3:41 am #

    Cari, I’m so sad to hear about your beautiful Dusty. I cried reading it (being a cat lover also), but I’m sure that your beautiful Dusty is headbutting that picture from wherever he is because he feels the love that is there. It is a beautiful piece and one that I’m sure you will cherish in years to come. I am so very sorry for your loss. I’ve got 3 cats right now and my oldest is 15 and a half and not in the very best health either, so I know how you must have felt. Hugs to you and your family (fur babies included!)

    • Cari Sultanik September 11, 2015 at 11:04 am #

      Thank you so much, Lezlie. I hope your kitty gets better and you have a good few years more with him. How old are the others? My girl (Ketzelah) is also 15 but seems to be doing well so far. My other one is 6 (or I might be in denial and he might be 7), but he and Dusty were buds. they cuddled all the time and he’s super clingy now. And….I’m hankering for a kitten but the husband is very not interested. Sigh.

  5. Rose September 11, 2015 at 6:26 am #

    Beautiful tile Cari and I’m sure your Dusty is loving it and feeling your love wherever he is. This post reminded me of my dog Flint who I lost last year. I still miss him every day and also had him pass away in my arms. My heart is with you <3

    • Cari Sultanik September 11, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      I love the idea of him headbutting the picture–and I bet he would! Thank you so much and I am sorry about Flint, too <3

  6. Ulrike B September 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    beautiful work, i like the shading and the color. so sorry for your loss 🙁

  7. Ilse September 12, 2015 at 5:51 am #

    I’m so sorry for your loss 🙁 You’ve created a beautiful and warm tile in honour of Dusty, with Dusty’s head and a lovely rainbow bridge.
    Thanks for your (too) kind comment on my CanT tile…!

  8. antonine September 12, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    So sorry you had to say goodbye to your kitty, but I’m sure where ever he is, he is chasing rainbows. What a great tribute tile! You should frame it with a photo of him as a keepsake. Beautiful!

    • Cari Sultanik September 12, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

      Awww thank you so much Antonine!

  9. Suzanne Fluhr September 12, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    I’m glad the Zentangle method provided a way for you to start to process the loss of your furry family member. I’m teaching a class at the Elkins Park Library next Monday. Wiithout mentioning names, I’d like to share your story and your evocative composition. Wishing you and your family courage and peace. Hugs.

    • Cari Sultanik September 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

      Absolutely, Suzanne. It’s made all the difference. Thank you, my friend.

  10. Jean Chaney September 13, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

    I’m so sorry about Dusty. Our pets are family and the loss is dreadful. Your post brought tears to my eyes in memory of the many pets that I have loved alone the way and are no longer here, but always in my heart. Lovely tribute to Dusty, who will always be in your heart as well.

    • Cari Sultanik September 13, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

      Thank you, Jean, I really appreciate that.