Grand International Premier Kittycoonz Rafiq Sableshadow Rafiq for short [that's an Arabic name and means 'companion' or 'friend'] was a black classic tabby born on 11 November 2001 He rapidly grew into a very large and ‘handsome’ cat, similar in size to his big brother Taro, at over metre long from nose to the tip of his tail and weighing almost 2 stone [11kg]. He would greet you, if he had the chance, with a very hard but friendly head butt and lived up to his name as companion with middle of the night visits to us in bed - not on but IN the bed. He would jump up then paw at the bed clothes until we were awake enough to lift them up so he could snuggle down between us where he cuddled up to one or the other with much purring for sometimes 30 - 40 minutes. He was a very tactile pet, always wanting to reach out one of his paws to touch you and then, if you offered him a hand, he would wrap one of his huge front paws round your finger tip to ‘hold hands’.
Late at night on the 25 October he suffered a seizure and was unable to walk properly. We made a quick dash to the emergency vet but he suffered further fits and was detained overnight for blood test and observations. Next day he had a scan and was sedated to keep him comfortable but despite a reassuringly good blood test they located a large growth in his stomach and a problem with his kidneys. In addition, as a result of the fits, he was - at least for the moment - both blind and deaf and had suffered further fits. With these additional problems and the size of the tumour the prognosis was very poor and in the evening of 26 October 2011 with heavy hearts and much sorrow we said our sad farewells. There had been virtually no forewarning of any illness and 48 hours earlier he had been his normal self.
Not just a pet but a truly wonderful companion. Gone but not forgotten and greatly missed by us and his friend Kanati.
R.I.P. Rafiq Sableshadow.
He came to us. together with his sister Rana. as a 3 month old cheeky faced pet and show cat and when they arrived neither Taro nor Kanati were very friendly and Saree disappeared completely. After a while however Taro ‘adopted’ them and started to wash and generally look after both of them - firmly establishing himself as their master. Kanati, meanwhile who was only 10 months older soon recognised Rafiq in particular as a play mate and conspirator in little mischiefs.
Although Rafiq had all the physical characteristics for a superb show cat his disposition was shy and retiring. His greatest love in life was being with his ‘mum’ Cherie. Unlike Taro who was an extrovert showman and met everyone at the door, the slightest hint of a visitor and Rafiq disappeared into the bedroom - often into the bed where he ‘hid’ under the the bed cover with just a large hump in the middle of the bed disclosing his ‘hiding’ place. He would only emerge and slowly creep into the lounge after an hour or so and preferably after any visitor had left.
In later life as he matured he became more and more a ‘lap’ cat climbing onto Cherie - and sometimes Clive’s - lap for a cuddle and fuss accompanied with a loud purr. Despite his shyness in public he still achieved considerable success at shows. Starting slowly as a kitten with two seconds in 2002 he quickly grew into a very large well muscled cat and gained his ‘Premier’ title in 2003 followed by ‘International Premier’ in 2004 and ‘Grand International Premier’ the following year. At that point, having been to 20 shows and winning 15 Certificates and three Best in Variety awards, we stopped showing him and he settled down to a happy retirement at home.
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at 12 weeks with my sister Rana
Feb 2004 [27 months].
Show awards :
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 Three CAP's and one Nomination, FIFe Premier.
Five CAPIB's, one BIV and one Nomination, FIFe International Premier.
 Seven CAGPIB's, two BIV's and two Nominations,
FIFe Grand International Premier.