Portraits of Pets Past: Roofus 1

I have been considering for some time adding a new Category, to bring you some of my favorite images of the wonderful pets that have shared our lives over the course of the past 40 years, and I’d like to start—while we still are enjoying our last cat—with one that I made of our first cat.  I was living in a student dormitory complex in Berlin in 1969 and I adopted this little gray-and-white sweetheart of a kitten when he was just six weeks old.  He loved to sit up on his haunches and pretend-box with my gloved hand, and he reminded me of a film clip I’d seen of a boxing kangaroo, so I named him Roofus.  I would lower him down from my window in a basket on a rope and off he’d go.  When I gave a loud whistle, he’d come running and jump back into the basket to be hauled up again.  I still remember you very well, Roofie!

Roofie 3-Q-37The camera was my first SLR, an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic, and the large-grain film was made in East Germany by Orwo, probably NP-27, a 400-ISO monochrome one, and probably pushed to 1600.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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13 Responses to Portraits of Pets Past: Roofus 1

  1. Awww, he was a cutie :). And I love your idea of sharing pet photos. I have done just that myself tonight – what a coincidence!

  2. How gorgeous is that photo, Gary. The pose looks almost human – like a shy pert little girl demurely posting for a painter or photographer.

    I love the texture, or grain, in the image. There’s something extra in some of these older B & W images, that modern colour digital photography lacks.

    • krikitarts says:

      I really love the texture that the old films gave us. There was something…earthy and honest…about them. The new software programs give us an option to evoke the grain of films past, but I’ve not used them (so far). It’s such fun to resurrect these old memories from the archives!

  3. Mike Powell says:

    I love the idea of an homage to our pets, which fill our lives with so much love (and often teach us a lot about life too). This photo is very sweet–it is wonderful that you have this visual remembrance of those happy moments from a much earlier time in your life.

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m getting more enthusiastic about the idea too, Mike, and I really appreciate your support in this. I’m already looking forward to more offerings–at discrete intervals, of course. I’d love to see portraits of pets past from you folks, too!

  4. Adrian Lewis says:

    Gary, this an absolutely wonderful picture, made even more wonderful by your words! I can’t believe the basket story – wow! And I love the techie bits too – I can remember Spotmatics being THE camera to have, and that this may be pushed mono is great! Good stuff, my friend! A

    • krikitarts says:

      Ah, but you’re too kind! I used to be able to get bulk rolls of the Orwo film in East Berlin for around a third the cost of Tri-X in the west, if I remember correctly. I hadn’t been reloading my cassettes and developing my own film for very long at this point, and I was just having SO much fun! And the fun never wore off. Another part of the magic was the acrid smell of the acid fixer bath. Oh, the memories!

  5. settleandchase says:

    Oh he’s so lovely. And such a great shot, the essence of naughty cat. I admire his courage with the basket too! Our cat would never come home again if i tried the same I think..:)

    • krikitarts says:

      Not really naughty, but he certainly was an adventurer. He loved to be put in the branches of a tree. And he learned the basket thing in only a few days. Clever fellow!

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