My original text with this entry:
My four girls! It’s Peaches, Cookie, Kelly and Mimi.
Usually, it’s just my three seniors, “the Golden Girls”, who eat up on this cabinet because they get special canned food with extra supplements, and the younger ones sidle in and ask if they can have a bite and always get their way. I can make sure the girls get their meals when the others have a difficult time getting to their food bowls…though not impossible.
But Mimi has decided she is special and joins them, even though she’s only about six—and she’s not a tri-color, but solid black. I tell her she’s well away from the age where she needs the special food but, well, Mimi is special.
I actually have five girls (and four boys), but Mewsette, the fifth girl, is a long way from joining this group.
(N.B.: The fourth boy was Dickie, who I’d fostered for that year, from October 2009 to October 2010.)
I took this photo two years ago at this time because “The Fantastic Four” were getting so much attention around their birthday. I wanted to make sure everyone remembered my four girls so I took their photo during dinner.
What a sweet memory, so typical of each of their habits—they always lined up in that order, Peaches, Cookie, Kelly and Mimi, and always stood or sat to eat just as they are. And I remember this evening, having planned this photo and ensuring its success with a bit of dry food to make sure they stayed in place eating long enough to get at least one good shot. And I remember moving my camera away from my face and standing there holding it, waiting to see if another good shot would come up while they were eating, then simply standing there and enjoying their happiness, and relishing the moment. This moment, these moments, of watching them eat and enjoying their happiness, of remembering each of these cats and the four of them as a group, this group of cats and this time in my life, stays with me as I’ve focused on recording as much about the moment as I possibly can.
I think, now, of my family of cats as a continuum after many years of thinking of them as individual groups from this time and that time, as if there had been a period of many years when one particular group was with me until another group came along, and many years ago that may have been true. But I review the photos and sketches and memories and I see this family and that family, a new group each year as a new member joined us and another one was lost, and then I see the line of time with cats all around it, not in distinct groups but as individuals, overlapping their time here.
And so this photo is a moment in that continuum, a habit that enjoyed a space in time of some months, but less than a year. Cookie had been with us since 1992, and Kelly since 1997. Peaches had joined us in 2005, Mimi in 2007. In 2009 I was only feeding Namir and Peaches on this counter; a few years prior to that it was Stanley and Moses. Namir passed in July 2009 and it was some months before Cookie and Kelly decided they should keep Peaches company during meals. Peaches lived until October 2010. Cookie, Kelly and Mimi shared the cabinet until we lost Cookie in January 2012. Kelly and Mimi share it now.
Enjoy the moments in the moment. Enjoy them again later.
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