About Me

I'm a freelance artist, designer and demonstrator and have been involved in arts and craft my whole life in one way or another. I design stamps for top British company Personal Impressions, under the "Lindsay Mason Designs" brand, as well as papers, templates and other crafting products. I'm a certified Ranger Educator and my first book,"Stamping", was published in 2009. I also design regular projects for Crafts Beautiful magazine and have made guest appearances from time to time on QVC. I've recently joined You Tube under the name of LindsayMason1000 where I'm posting short technique videos and you can buy my paintings and hand crafted pieces from my Etsy shop. My work takes me all around the country demonstrating stamping, papercrafts and general inkiness! When I'm not working, I love gardening, church & community activities, nature watching, journalling, music and theatre and just relaxing at home. Email me at: ljm.design1@virginmedia.com

Monday, 7 September 2009


This post is in response to the many of you have asked me to write about our beloved cat Cherry, who we lost over four years ago now, and who all my "Cherry the Cat" stamps designs are inspired by. All our pictures of Cherry were taken before we had a digital camera so I have taken pictures of some original photographs with a mix of success. Hopefully they will convey her pretty face and sweet nature though.
Cherry first came into our lives when she was "living rough" with a completely black tom cat in and around the gardens. At first I thought that she may belong to one of the houses nearby as there is quite an itinerant student population, so people and pets come and go. However, it soon became apparent that these two were, indeed, strays, and so, of course, I began to leave food for them. The big tom was very wary and also very pungent! His dainty white companion was more approachable and soon decided that the indoors looked more appealing to her. We were, as now, in the habit of feeding the birds and squirrels, and the latter would run up the tree and onto the window ledge to get peanuts from our first floor window. Cherry was so determined to move in that one day she did the same (obviously having observed all this!)...up the tree, onto the ledge and through the open window, much to our surprise! Thus she laid claim to us and our very special relationship began.

I should say here, that "Blackie" (I know, it's original!) remained an outdoor stray, who wouldn't let anyone near him except for me. I fed him and he even let me cuddle him, but he wouldn't come inside and he eventually stopped coming around sadly.
All was well with Cherry until one day, whilst asleep on my lap, she suddenly began to stiffen and then kick. David was sure that she had been poisoned and we had some heart stopping moments till she came around, panting, exhausted and ravenous. It turned out to be epilepsy - probably why this adorable creature had been turfed from her original home. We learned to live with Cherry's fitting because, when she was given tablets to lessen them (these were an option I should say) she became like a zombie, frightened even of us. So, we would have a month of normal life with Cherry and then she would have clusters of fits for a few days. An epileptic seizure causes lack of control of everything, so there was always lots of cleaning up to do after one of her attacks...but we loved her so that was okay, if very wearing sometimes.
Cherry was the gentlest of creatures, she would sit beside our open window with the birds feeding a few inches from her...she didn't try to hurt them and they became used to her. One of the pictures shows (if a little blurrily) a curious pigeon peering in at a sleeping Cherry! She was nervous of everyone except the two of us, yet David witnessed her standing her ground when two huge dogs were straining at their leads and barking to get at her in the garden! She never once showed annoyance, frustration or disinterest to us, and was always happiest being cuddled and stroked on one of our laps. Mind you, she could sulk if she felt that her dinner was late!

In 2002 she went out and was missing for a week. We searched everywhere and put up posters till we eventually had a phone call that someone thought they had seen her. We found her and, of course, she was spoiled even more rotten after that! However, a few months later she went missig again, this time for two weeks, and later in the year she vanished for three weeks. I almost gave up, but David was out at all hours of the day and night, searching and calling for her and, eventually, we found her while we were driving slowly around and calling. We realised that her homing instincts had been damaged by all her fits, so she became an indoor cat for the last two years of her life.
Sadly, Cherry began to decline and become withdrawn, and, more worryingly, she stopped eating. After many visits to the vet, blood tests, etc the terrible news came that she had feline Aids - probably contracted when she was living rough all those years before. She began to go into a rapid decline and we reached the point where we knew that the following day we would have to make that dreaded last visit to the vet. I slept on the floor with her that last night as she was so weak and withdrawn. The next morning we drove to the vets, Cherry in my shoulder bag (she hated being in a box) and braced ourselves fro what we knew must be done. As soon as the vet saw her he said that she had gone, so she spared us that awful decision. David was relieved but I admit that I felt cheated of saying a proper goodbye to her. I carried her back to the car and David walked up the road as he was too upset to drive at that point. As I sat in the car with her on my lap, stroking her lovely little white head it began to snow....I can't tell you what a comfort that was....Cherry was pure white and it felt as though it was a message to say "Don't worry, she's safe now, I'm looking after her for you." We took Cherry to my parents' home and she is buried under their Cherry tree with flowers and a headstone that I painted to mark her grave. It simply says "Cherry - our little Angel".
That was December of 2004 and there isn't a day goes by that we don't think of her. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to have the unconditional love of a very special pet will understand.
Well, I hope that wasn't too sad a tale, as we shared fourteen years with our little friend and she gave us love and happy memories. The Cherry the Cat stamps are my way of celebrating her and all those happy memories. Lindsay


angie's blogspot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
angie's blogspot said...

sorry had to delete last post as I'd missed a word out, Aww Lindsay what a special cat cherry was, glad you can preserve her memory with your stamps x

Penni said...

Thank you for telling us about Cherry. What a lovely life she had with you. I love the stamps even more now!!!

I have two beautiful Bengal cats (indoors only!!!!), and before these have had a few moggies. One of them had FIV, and he lived indoors very happily, and very spoilt, for quite a few years until it got the better of him and I had to make "the difficult decision" - such a hard thing to do.

Anyway, lets wipe away the tears now!!


Hazel (Didos) said...

Ah more pictures of lovely Cherry, although I already know the story the snow part gets me every time, what a wonderful way to remember her, I still have days that I want Tai to come and purr his slobbers all over me! I know its horrible but it was his thing! Thanks for sharing with us again. Hazelxoxo

Kym's Crafty Cards said...

Lindsay, your story shows that Cherry was a well loved member of your family and still years on very missed. Thanks for sharing for those of us who didn't know. Best wishes, Kym xxx