Apr 24

Nova Cat [2005-2024]

Nova Cat, Projekt recording artist, unofficial label mascot, and Projekt-founder Sam Rosenthal's pandemic companion, has died. In lieu of flowers, we request you consider a small donation to Sweet Pea’s dental gofundme (more on that below).

Nova was 19+ years old. Sam adopted her from the Oregon Humane Society in 2018 when she was 14. Nova was bright-eyed with a charming, calm personality. She quickly grew accustomed to life with Sam, his son, and visits from Sam’s partner Mercy. “When adopting an elderly cat,” Sam reflects, “I look at it as hospice care. We never knew how much time she had left. I gave her a loving final home to live out her years.” It was soon discovered that Nova had thyroid issues; one was removed and soon the other required twice-daily medication to treat hyperthyroidism. Through a number of additional health problems over the years, "Nova cheerfully kept on going,” Sam recalled. “The many thousands of dollars of medical bills was worth it to have this sweet little 7 lb kitty in our lives.”

Throughout the pandemic as Sam worked at home keeping Projekt moving forwards, releasing hundreds of great albums, Nova often jumped onto his chair to squeeze him over to the edge or get on the desk for pets.

Nova developed a raspy purr from a throat health issue. In 2022 Sam recorded Nova’s purrs to create an album; Nova Cat Purring Sounds was born. Mostly ASMR, a few tracks on the debut featured synthesizer parts Sam unearthed on a cassette from late-summer 1987, discovered while preparing the reissue of Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Mesmerized by the sirens. Their second album, StellarPurr (2023) had more of Sam’s vintage electronics. During her final months, Nova and Sam discussed a third album. In the end Nova gave her blessing to the idea. “So long as Sam actually plays something new this time,” Nova added with her usual dose of sarcasm and love.

Sweet Pea is Mercy’s kitty, adopted on that same December day in 2018. Although the cats didn’t live together, when Sam proposed to Nova that her obituary include an ask to help Sweet Pea’s dental fund, Nova quickly agreed. Nova was too old to go under anesthesia to get her teeth taken care of, but she often commented how important dental health is to a cat.

Sam says, “It’s difficult to believe she's gone, and I won't see her around the corner. I often took breaks from my desk and Projekt email to search around the house and see what she was up to. After work and dinner we'd often settle on the couch at 10pm to watch some YouTube. She'd flop on her side to scratch the back of the couch as I pet her belly. She enjoyed her last few days in the sun eating whipped cream and treats. She lived far longer than I expected; it was sweet to have all this time with her. It's sad to walk around the house and know I'm without my constant companion."

The following is an enhanced version of something Sam wrote to Mirko of deepspace when his kitty Smoo was passing:

It’s hard to be put in the position to play god and make the decision to end a kitty’s life, but our cats know we’ve always done the best we can for them, and they harbor no ill will toward us when we make this difficult choice. We do what we have to do, and then life just continues on. We have to remember the good times and not get too pulled down into the sad. Because neither the good nor the sad can be changed anyway. They trust us and know we are doing what is best for them. I imagine it's a relief to be a cat and not comprehend death nor think about not being on earth anymore. It’s just another nap in the sunshine, falling asleep while the person they love pets them. Take care, Nova.


Above: Sam with Nova just a few days ago. Below: Nova in 2019.

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