Jessica was our second cat. I made this portrait of her around 1974. She was one of the sweetest cats I have ever known. She lived with us while we finished our studies in Berlin and moved back to the US with us while I got my start in veterinary practice.
On evening she suddenly collapsed and I tried everything I could to save her, but she had a spontaneously-ruptured thoracic duct, and the fluid collapsed her lungs so that she was unable to breathe. Still, she had a wonderful 15 years with us, and I fully expect to meet up with her again in the great beyond, and feel the power of her purr once again.
Oh my goodness….First, she is a beautiful cat and what a lovely portrait of her! Second, I’m sad to hear how Jessica ended her life. That must’ve been so hard for you. :( Fifteen years is an excellent lifespan for kitties, but it’s always hard when they depart. Thank you for sharing a bit of her life with us. :)
Yes, it was hard, but at least–apart from the scary feeling of not being able to get enough oxygen–she was in no discomfort. It progressed very rapidly, and I was with her at the end.
Awwwee…that’s sad. It’s hard to see the decline. I’m glad you were with her at the end.
What an absolutely adorable photo…goodness. She looks precious, Gary.
She was very special. She’d roll over and let us rub and scratch her tummy and purr and purr, never dreaming of scratching or nipping at our hands.
What a beauty!!! <3
I really must agree–and thanks so much!
She looks a real sweet one, Gary.
Sorry to hear her life ended in that way.
Nice to know you were with her though.
We always had pets as small children – budgies, guinea pigs, gold fish, dogs, cats……..but white mice were my favourites. We used to keep them under the old garage which was high up on a hill (until they brought the snakes and then we weren’t allowed to have mice any more). We always had to keep them outdoors though – my Mother (coming from a dairy farm) considered them to belong outdoors, especially dogs (which she considered working animals). It was my Father who fostered the love of pets for us small children. Both my parents come from horse racing families in early Australian history.
She had a very good life with lots of love. I’ve had all the sorts that you have, except the horses, and also hamsters, rats, anoles, a baby caiman (a south-american relative of crocs–that was a mistake!), a duckling (another mistake), turtles, and a young raven and a young mink, both rescued in the wild and fostered until they could get along on their own. I feel really sorry for kids who grow up without any animal companions!
A very beautiful portrait, Gary.
My special fondness for tuxedo cats began with Jessica and is still with me.
What a beautiful photograph! Can’t imagine being without animals in my life!
Neither can I, though I can see it coming, a few years in the future. It’s hard enough without a dog for the first time in 40 years, but the void will surely grow when Leo is no longer with us.
I can see the sweetness all over Jessica’s face. What a wonderful portrait.
She was sweetness personified. We considered ourselves very blessed to have her in our lives for so many years.
Beautiful portrait, and very touching story, my friend. A
I wish I had made more studies of Jessie–I found this a couple of years ago, going through my archive of b&w negatives. I was and am so happy to have found it! She taught me not to take our beloved pets for granted, but to stop and really let them know how much we appreciate them and our parts in each other’s lives.