In December of 2008, a cat started tweeting on Twitter. He tweeted about many things, but his favorite thing to do was tell stories about his human companion, who was an artist. He became the spokescat for his artist companion’s burgeoning arts business, and he also became a worldwide advocate for the Canton Arts District. He tweeted about his everyday cat adventures, and he tweeted about some, well, shall we say, extraordinary misadventures.
That cat’s stories on Twitter became so beloved, his birthday was celebrated on Twitter in the first official 24 hour #PawPawty. He made many friends around the world in subsequent #PawPawties and other cyber adventures, and he became quite the internet sensation. He launched his human’s art business, and he brought many pet portrait commissions her way.
That cat was Brewskie Butt and his human companion was me. Although his stories in cyberspace were quite fanciful, I assure you, Brewskie Butt the cat was every bit the character that the stories revealed.
Brewskie Butt (AKA The Brew) was a real cat who came to my home in 2004. A friend at work brought him to me after he had been rescued on the side of the road by a school teacher friend of hers. The first night I had him, he stuck his nose into my freshly poured beer and he started drinking, earning his name by rights in an instant.
Brewskie was ornery, obnoxious, pugnacious, nosey and annoying at times. He was also loving, curious, humorous and the biggest presence in the room no matter who was in the room with him. Although he was a huge presence, he also had a way of sharing that presence, making everyone around him feel welcome.
I am sad to say that Brewskie is not in the room anymore.
Brewskie went to the storied Rainbow Bridge yesterday. He had been suffering from pancreatitis since January of this year, and he declined rapidly over the past week. I cannot tell you how much his presence is missed here in my home.
I really miss that ornery, obnoxious, pugnacious, nosey, annoying, loving, curious, humorous cat who was the biggest presence in the room no matter who was in the room with him.
The Rainbow Bridge for me is in Dellroy, OH. I used to live in a cabin there years ago, and my friend who owns the property allows me to continue burying my pets there. Brew’s body, and spirit, rests next to that of his former nemesis Slick, and those of Bub and the original Beezie.
I am not sure how to move forward without my buddy Brew. He has been such a big part of my life for 13 years. I owe him a lot, because, without his presence, I don’t know if I would have explored the creative depths that I did with him by my side. I know I will come back around, but, for now, I feel pretty lost without him.
I have painted, drawn and digitally mastered many artworks of Brew through the years. I even created a picture book and a coloring book with an artistic character based on him. But I never created a serious portrait of him. I have painted serious portraits of many of his cyber friends, but I have not seriously depicted the huge impact that he has had on my life in an artwork.
So a few days ago, when I realized that the end of our wonderful time together was near, I started painting a Premiere Portrait of Brew. I began painting it at home, with him sitting next to me, then I finished it in my studio today after he was gone. It was both the hardest, and the easiest, painting I have ever painted.
I often paint portraits of pets for people who are going through the experience of losing a pet. I want them to know that, when I paint their pet’s portrait, I feel with them, and I try to translate that love that they feel into the portrait. I have to be authentic with that experience. I know their pain, because I am living it too. It is the sweetest pain, because it is the sweetest love – that human animal bond.
Anyway, this one is for you Brew. I have loved you with every ounce of my being, even when you were annoying the crap out of me. I miss you dude. Life will never be the same.
But life is so much grander because of your having been here.
Life is an Adventure!
Many times Brewskie shared this song and video on Twitter with friends to comfort their loss of a beloved pet. I know he has many friends, and I wanted to share this with you to comfort your loss as I deal with my own private sadness.
“Someday we’ll find it, the Rainbow Connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me.”