This week’s post was inspired by the voluntary work I have done creating display printables for Place for Cats foster network in New York, USA. It is an image of a single cat with a story and it is a photograph that moved me and many others. Not with sadness, but gratitude for a foster who stepped up and the courageous cat who spent her last times happy and safe.
This lovely image made me wonder. What moves us in a photograph, especially one that captures such a special bond? Does it have to a photograph taken by an expert? Is it the story, or the composition that matters most?
For famous social photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson you are touched by the defining moment of an event, for Walter Chandoha it is the expressions of impish delight on kittens and cats. For foster mom Sarah, who took this photo, it was a sweet and magical moment she captured of a sightless foster cat.
- I have the Director of Place for Cats permission to share this lovely image and words with you.
The Photograph’s Story
Mia Lancaster at Place for Cats, a busy foster network in New York City, took on Puddy Tat who was known as “PT” to her fans in the rescue’s Facebook group. She discovered that PT was an extraordinary cat who navigated her surroundings with confidence and undertook numerous vet visits with patience and calm until she passed in August 2022.
I read Mia’s report on PT (which can be read in full below) and reached these words “Her habit of sitting in front of the terrace door for hours to breathe in fresh air and feel the breeze against her face was her very favorite thing to do.” This simple joy was captured by foster Mom Sarah and it caught my heart. I hope it will yours too. It is a magical moment when a caring foster captured the cat she cared for doing something that gave her such pleasure, as a cat who could not see.
A joyful blind cat safe in foster care, enjoying the simplest of pleasures, the breeze in her whiskers and the sounds of the busy city of New York humming around her. The quiet tension in her body as she leans out and enjoys the world is the best kind of beauty.
What separates a simple snapshot from a stunning success is the story the image portrays. Emotions, by their very nature, do not follow static rules…..they just happen and don’t limit yourself by believing emotion can only be captured in the face.MCP Actions
I include the words of Mia Lancaster, Director of Place For Cats, as they tell the story behind Puddy Tat and allow me to acknowledge the vital importance of compassionate fosters like Sarah. Thank you Sarah for making PT’s last months a time of great joy and happiness.
PT The Blind Cat’s Story
It was a privilege to be able to provide top quality hospice care to blind, 18-year-old Puddy Tat for the last 5 months of her life. “PT” as she was known to her Fan Club was extraordinary, a trooper who couldn’t see at all but who navigated her surroundings, who patiently withstood numerous trips to the vet for diagnostics and treatment, and who, though blind, created the most interesting and endearing set of habits.
Her habit of identifying her favorite spot on the sofa through her sense of touch and then jumping straight up like a hopping bunny to attain her spot was as sweet as it gets. Her habit of sitting in front of the terrace door for hours to breathe in fresh air and feel the breeze against her face was her very favorite thing to do. She so endeared herself to her hospice foster mom, Sarah, that Sarah was willing to forego her annual summer trip abroad and would have done so next year had PT lived that long.
Sadly, PT took a turn for the worse on August 18th. The cumulative effect of many age-related issues caught up with her. The Animal Medical Center vets found fluid in her lungs and determined that no procedure or series of procedures would benefit PT’s quality of life. Sarah held PT for about 90 minutes before the vet came in and we finally said good-bye to this wonderful loving dear old cat.
Rest in Peace, Puddy Tat.
Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can create impressive cat photographs and fun movies with the camera they carry.
She is a Professional Member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.