Here are some pictures of the love of my life.
He lived with me for 15 1/2 years, and died on Dec. 23rd, 2007.
This is Arzachel in 1995 or 1996. I have a different computer now...actually, in the following decade I went through two laptops and a desktop since having that powerbook 165, but the quilt (made for me by my friend Lorrie Kim) was still on my bed every day. As of 2006, I had a MacBook, and frequently had two laptops on my lap, as seen at right.
How about that name? He was named after a moon crater which was named after an Arabic astronomer. Here are some references.
He's roughly 8 years old in this first bunch of photos... he was nearly 19 when he died, and hadn't changed much over the years.
At the time of those photos, he had lived through a severe urinary tract infection, being locked outside in the winter for 4 days (by one of my housemates, while I was away), and ingesting a pile of telephone wire and audio tap. After those pictures were taken, he had thread removed from his intestines (1997...they had to make six different incisions!) and was given radioiodine therapy for hyperthyroidism (1999). He had two small mast cell tumors removed in 2002. What a hardy cat he was! He became deaf in 2004 or so. He had a recurrence of hyperthyroidism in 2005, which we treated with transdermal drugs. That's right, I rubbed the medication inside his ears instead of pilling him---very cool. His last medical diagnosis was advanced heart disease; apparently he had had a heart attack at some point without showing any symptoms. He had fluid pulled from around his lungs a couple of times before his heart became too weak for him to function happily.
I think he was mostly Egyptian Mau. Here are awesome pix of him in action, from his younger days:
In the last few years of his life, he was calmer but, as always, cranky. (Until Fall 2007, he still played and ran around much as in the first of the two above photos.) The following cranky photo is from 2002 or 2003.
He loved to shred paper and wash me. I love how tall he was. This is another 2003-ish photo.
He sometimes relaxed twistily. Evidence, from two different years (same sofa, different covers)...
...and even at age 18!
This sunlit nap took place in Maine, 2002.
Here's Arzachel in 2004---chewing on the camera cord!
In 2005, he was captured washing and then napping in some excellent sunlight.
in June 2007, I took a picture of his face to carry with me on my iPhone.
He was beautiful and perfect right up to the end... here are photographs from his last full day.