Mama Kumar’s story, by Leslie (first published in The Love Blog, July 2009):
“Mama Kumar lived with a woman who loved all animals and had a large collection of cats. Sadly, she passed away from cancer and RAPS attempted to find homes for all of her pets, including dogs, rabbits, birds and several Japanese Fighting Fish. The woman’s surname was Kumar and this particular cat had been a mother, hence the name Mama Kumar. Although she’s a nice cat, she’s pretty independent and not overly fond of other cats, so she has never been chosen for adoption.”
Very sadly, we lost Mama Kumar this afternoon. She’s been poorly for the last little while, not eating, getting thinner and weaker… A trip to the vet revealed a tumor in her stomach.
I’m sorry – and a little surprised – to say that among the hundreds of pictures I’ve taken since I first came to the the sanctuary in May, I don’t have a single photo of Mama Kumar. It’s not that I found her uninteresting or unimportant; on the contrary, she’s such a fixture at RAPS that I had it in my mind many times to do a portrait. But the light would be bad, or my camera battery would run down, or another cat would distract me…
I just thought she’d always be there.
And so my portrait of Mama Kumar ended up being the sketch below, done as I sat down to write this blog after I got home from this evening’s shift at RAPS. The sketch is based on a beautiful photo taken by Barbara Doduk which captures Mama Kumar just as I’d like to remember her: sitting up straight and tall, one bright, intelligent eye taking in everything around her.