Saying Goodbye to Michelle

Saying Goodbye to Michelle

Michelle was my wife Jacinta’s family cat for the last 14 years. When I say “family cat”, I of course mean, Gerry’s cat, because Gerry took special care of all the cats in the family until she got sick and the burden of care mostly fell on my father-in-law Frank’s shoulders. He will tell you himself that he was never a big fan of cats, but if you saw the care and attention he lavished on that cat it was obvious she was special to him.

Unfortunately, Michelle was almost 17 years old. Her mother Patches was a regular in the household. She had a litter of kittens and Michelle, the older sister, acted as baby sitter many a time while her mother roamed the neighbourhood searching for food. Gerry took Patches in, and Michelle wandered in crying within a week. She became a permanent fixture and never wandered away again! Of all the cats that came and went, Michelle had a special place in my wife’s heart.

We took Michelle to the vet this afternoon. This was our third visit in the last two months. She had a large tumour, her appetite had disappeared, and she was very weak. We couldn’t let her suffer any more. The vet, Stephanie, let us say our goodbyes and gently put Michelle to sleep. Michelle was very calm through out. She lay there, letting Jacinta stroke her and cup her head in her hands, as the enormity of what was about to happen sunk in. I was fine until the needle went in and then memories of my own pets came flooding back and I was as inconsolable as Jacinta. It never gets any easier.

Michelle will be missed by all who knew her.

Surprisingly I only ever posted one photo of Michelle, when she was snug in her own little home in the back garden. I really like that photo. It’s the first I posted with the Canon 50mm f1/8 lens.

House on the hill

A house with a striking red door overlooks a field with sheep in one corner and a feeding trough in the foreground. This was shot near Bantry in West Cork a few months ago and I just love the vast rolling grassy slope of the ground.

Cork City Marathon is on Monday. It starts at 9am in Patrick’s Street. I’m going to try and get in there for that time. I’ll be up anyway since 6am so hopefully I’ll have some shots to share next week!

Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/125s

Shih Tzu in the sun

Shih Tzu in the sun

We attended a beautiful christening in Fermoy today and afterwards it was off to Mitchelstown where we joined the other guests in a light lunch of finger food and sandwiches. Loved that apple tart afterwards. Yum!

This is our shih tzu, Oscar, who we took along for the drive. After the main course was over half the crowd piled out onto the adjoining terrace and so I got Oscar from the car. He had a great time, and was a big hit with all the kids but we did warn them he was a little odd and liable to snap so they were careful. Later I checked the temperature in the car dashboard and it said 25C which I hope is as hot as it’s going to get in Ireland this year. I had to seek the shade, it was so hot!

Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/250s

Hungry Cat

Hungry Cat

A hungry, scrawny cat came up to us while walking around Schull in Co. Cork last weekend. The poor thing was crying for food and affection. This was the first time Adam saw a real cat and he was delighted but we had to leave the poor thing to fend for itself.

I discovered that the Irish name of the town called Schull is “Scoil Mhuire”, a much nicer name IMO. In English that would be “Mary’s School”, or more likely, “St. Mary’s School”. West Cork is so beautiful but the basterdisation of Irish names is shocking. I even saw a sign for a town called “Snámh” which had been translated as “Snave”. “Snámh” is the verb, “to swim” in English. Perhaps the town was created by an English landlord and named “Snave” first and then named “Snámh” by the Irish?

PS. Congrats to fellow Mallow Camera Club member, David Lavery, who left his comfortable 9-5 day job to become a wedding photographer in Mallow, Co. Cork a year ago today! Not many would take the jump, so I hope he’ll get that blog rolling and write about his experiences. I know I’d like to hear about them!

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/80s

Sheep in a Kerry field

Wooah, digging into the archives here. This was shot in September 2006 while on holiday in Dingle. It’s a field on Slea Head at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula.

It’s hard to see in the web version but I love the brooding clouds in the large image!

Lonesome Donkey

A donkey, alone in his field. There’s a horse in the background but he’s being fed. The donkey doesn’t get anything. Poor thing.

Spotted on the road around Slea Head at the end of the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry.

That’s the last of the donkey pictures. For now.