Thursday, August 31, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
We rescued Bonita from a filthy inner-city municipal dog pound in May 2001. She was incredibly frightened, extremely ill and she cost $5.00. We saw her face on Petfinder.com, drove to the shelter with all our paperwork proving we were home owners. We even brought photos of our fenced in back yard and were prepared for the usual grilling given to prospective pet owners.
No one asked for any paperwork…All they asked was, “You want to see her before you take her?” I thought “Ummmm…yeah….I’ve never owned a dog before, dude.” But instead smiled and said “Yes please!”
We took her out of her kennel past dozens of barking Pit Bulls and walked her around in the parking lot. I opened up the tailgate of the Jeep to see if she’d traveled in a car before. She jumped in and laid down. That was it. She came home with us.
Bonita has taught me a lot of important lessons over the past 5 years. One is illustrated in this photo I took today in my office: On gorgeous August days when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold it is important to position yourself to keep your face on the cool floor and your belly in the warm sun.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
OK- When it was time to think of getting another cat I went to a shelter that was being forced out of their current location. They needed help placing their cats so I told them my tale of adopting Mugsie. They had me pegged in an instant. I was immediately grabbed by the elbow and whisked past all the adorable fluffy, bright eyed kittens and escorted into a solitary room. Five year old Max was sitting in what, for many years into the future, I would call “the meatloaf position.” (That is- displaying a perfect meatloaf/brick shaped body with legs and tail tucked under, out of sight.) There he sat on his bed with classical music piped in around him. He looked like he owned the place.
Max was a two time loser. He was originally brought to the shelter as a small kitten by a kindly person who “cat burgled” him from her neighbor after one too many signs of abuse. He was pathologically afraid of other cats and waited at the no-kill shelter for over a year before he was adopted by an elderly woman who wanted only one cat. He lived with her for 2 years before she died. Her family brought him back to the shelter and there he sat for another year…in his semi-solitary-classical-music confinement due to his fear of his own kind.
Clearly he was a favorite at the shelter and had the run of the place once all of the evil, scary, kittens were safely locked away. I’ll never forget the shelter owner trying to conceal her tears in his fur when she handed him over to me to bring him home.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Eric's recent Old Cat haiga got me thinking about some of my past feline friends.
Mugsie was 15 years old when she adopted me. She had a weird inoperable growth over her right eye where fur refused to grow. She had an amputated left ear that had to go after losing a battle with frostbite. The shelter said they found her in a blizzard wandering around outside Mugsie’s Farm Stand. She lived to the grand old age of 21 years old. This is her “glamour shot” :-) that I took in the shelter right after she apparently made the decision she was going to live out her golden years with me.
In the early '80s I did volunteer work for a humane society. I shot the adoptable “Cat Of The Month” photos that were featured on the front cover of their newsletter. I made it very clear to the organization that I lived in a teeny-tiny NO PETS studio apartment and could not own a cat, let alone 10 cats like the rest of the volunteers seemed to have. I’d go to the shelter, photograph the cats, provide the photos and that was that.
The shelter’s policy was to never put an animal to sleep, so Mugsie had been there for 2 YEARS. Featuring her as Cat Of The Month was a bit of a joke they played on me because she attacked everyone who came into her cage. Over the years she had many interested little old ladies who felt pity on her and wanted to take her home. Mugsie was having no part of it. She’d claw and hiss at any potential new owners. Not a great presentation on adoption day.
Then I showed up in her cage with my camera. She jumped down off her perch and rubbed my leg. She purred- she posed for photos. The volunteers proclaimed this a “Kitty Miracle” of some sort and insisted that I take her home. I refused and reminded them that we were on a 5 month roll where the “Cat Of The Month” always got adopted. I was sure that the right family would come along once she was on the cover of the newsletter.
I was wrong.
I bought a carrier and all the necessary cat-owning paraphernalia and headed to the shelter. Shortly after that I got busted by my land-lord but Mugsie actually won him over- (I think it was the missing ear/pity vote thing) and he simply said “You can keep her, just don’t replace her when she goes.” We had 6 great years together and she was always at my side during a very change-filled period of my life.
I still keep this photo of her on a shelf in my living room.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
OK- The extra weird thing about this shot is that it looks like someone I know.
But as far as I know my friend has, um...both sets of missing body parts.
...But then again I can't 100% confirm that.
Maybe the extra-extra weird thing about it is that the hat has a $28.00 price tag on it.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Kinda short notice....but if you are into urban photos like this mashed up with live haiku poetry then please join ExtraSpecialBitter and me as we perform at 8 p.m.ish this Sunday evening 8/13 in lovely downtown Worcester, MA at The Java Hut. I'll be projecting up a lot of black & white urban images as Mr. ESB belts out brief but beautiful urban haiku. You can order up one of the Java Hut's famous Psycho Blast 32 oz.expresso shakes (guaranteed to keep you awake for our whole performance or your money back) and kick back and enjoy the show.