Our Animals, Our Loves…
I hesitated on the heels of last weeks post to write this one, thinking it may be better saved it for another day as I do state in my website bio that I am sometimes known as “a girl who sees the world through rose-colored glasses.” http://nanettefayephotography.com/About.html But I promised myself when I started this blog, I would write from the heart, and blog about what is currently on my mind so here goes…
Last fall, when we first moved to the little rental we are currently living in, our animals all had a tough time adjusting. They were coming from a home in Vermont with acres of woods out back in which to roam and hunt in. Now, they were living in a small house in-town smack in the middle of the village. Our dog, Autumn, could no longer go outdoors and run on the woods trails alone, and the cats were nervous as heck with all the noise and busyness that goes along with living intown. I felt guilty especially for our youngest cat, Ricky, as he is a true adventurer and lover of the outdoors. Even in winter, when living in Vermont, he would mostly only come inside to grab a bite and then he would be on his way to find his next adventure. For the first couple of days we were here, Little Ricky hid behind the washer and dryer in the furnace room, and refused to come out. Then one night after dark, he crept to the door and meowed. I opened the door. He sat there cautiously looking out the door for a few minutes, and then set out to explore the neighborhood. In the next few days, he bravely moved to going out some during the hours of light but still prefered to lurk in the shadows of darkness.
One morning after Ricky had been out all night, I looked out the window to see if he was sitting in the windowbox waiting to catch my eye in order for me to let him in for breakfast. He wasn’t there. I looked in the front yard, and there he was playing with another adorable little cat. They were chasing each other around a bush, stalking and pouncing and having the best time together. I opened the door and spoke. Both cats came bounding into the house. In the days to come, Ricky became a very happy cat and his spirit and love of adventure returned, and we started to fall for Brady. I credited Brady for Ricky’s renewed love of life, this sweet little cat who had befriended my Ricky when he was so scared, lonesome and far from home. They spent many nights and days playing with each other. Brady, was Mr. Personality, and had no fear of darting in the house to see what he could find to eat, or swatting and teasing our dog, Autumn. Brady’s colors were gorgeous and unique. We had now fallen head over heels in love with him.
We left for the Christmas holiday to return to our house in Vermont for a few weeks while my daughters were on school break. While we were gone, Brady’s owners flew south for the winter, and sent Brady to the countryside to live with another family for the winter. We returned to our rental house intown in January and much to our dismay, Brady was nowhere to be found. We missed not having Brady around, his silly personality, his handsome good looks and his sweet friendship with Ricky.
A week or so ago, our snow bird neighbors returned home from their winter break. I met my neighbor, an older woman, on the sidewalk in town and with tears in her eyes, she told me the sad news that Brady would not be coming back as he hadn’t made it through the winter. She was heartbroken and so were we. Then, I remembered that one day when Brady was up to his usual antics slithering around the front porch, rolling over so I would pat his belly, and batting the dog’s nose, I had run into the house to grab my camera. I took several shots of Brady that day as I admired his silly, brave behavior and his beauty. I spoke with my neighbor the next morning and let her know I had a photograph of Brady I would be happy to have printed for her. She was delighted. She told me he had only lived with them a short time and he was so young, she had never thought to take a photograph of him.
This morning I took the printed photograph to my neighbor. Her husband greeted me at the door and invited me to come in and meet their new addition. They had adopted a new kitten from the Humane Society. She scooted under the couch and I never got to see her. She certainly didn’t have the personality of Brady but I am sure one of her very own. My neighbor open the package and looked at the photograph of Brady. He tearfully thanked me. Truly, it was my pleasure, I told him. “I am so happy to have this photograph of Brady,” he said. ” I am excited to have a new kitten but she will never take the place of Mr. Personality.”
I came home and started looking through the many photographs I have taken of our animals over the years. I am so thankful to have them all. Especially this year when I have spent so much time alone with our animals, they have become my best models! The images of them are precious….sweet and sleeping, cuddling with a sick child, and being themselves with their own little personalities.
Our golden retriever, Autumn, and Ricky, Our Mr. Personality Cat are both rescued animals. We love all of our animals dearly and I photograph them like they are my children. I am grateful to have had this reminder of the potentially fleeting lives of these four legged friends of ours. What joy they bring to my life, and how happy I am that I have so many reminders in photos of their sweet little selves.
I hope this is a gentle nudge to remember to photograph those special animals in your life. And also I want to advocate for adopting animals who need “fur-ever homes!” Thank you to Miss Vermont USA, Lauren Rose Carter, for all the hard work you are doing raising awareness of the animals in shelters who are in urgent need of homes. And also to my friend, Angela, with Poochie Freak Photography,
http://www.poochiefreak.com, for all of her tireless work photographing dogs in shelters who need “fur-ever” homes!
Now go hug that special animal of yours! And please, if you are interested in having me photograph you and/or your family, please consider bringing along your special four-legged friend to join the party!