Thursday, July 17, 2008
Delray Beach, FL, January 2008
This is the last picture I ever took of Wilson. It was the morning we left my aunt's and uncle's house and headed home. As usual, I looked in his regular hiding places and as usual, he remained well hidden. When he was good and ready, he found his way to the top of the stairs where, as he had done so many times before, he allowed me to take his picture.
Wilson was an old cat who had been through more medical turbulence than any animal ever deserves. My aunt and uncle gently cared for him throughout his long life and, as they have so many other furry friends ever since I can remember, gave him the kind of home that every animal truly ought to have.
Wilson had to be put down today. After I read my aunt's IM - stark black words on a white screen - I thought of this picture. Part of me knew he might not be around the next time we came to visit, but I tried to keep it out of my mind as I quietly spoke to him while I snapped away.
The kids were upset when we told them. They lost their own cat three years ago, and they still speak of Shadow as if it happened yesterday. It hurts them as I know it hurts my aunt and uncle, yet I hope that every time they think of Wilson, they remember a gentle cat who always seemed to be happiest watching the world from a quiet, hidden perch. And I hope they always remember him with smiles in their hearts.
Your turn: This week's Thematic Photographic theme is animals. If you haven't yet done so, I hope you'll click here and share a link to an animal-themed entry. If you've already posted something, I hope you'll share a comment here about how pets imprint themselves on our lives.