Patrick’s Hill Cat

Patricks Hill Cat

A white cat that lives at the top of Patrick’s Hill, taken very near to where this was taken many years before.

Lots more Life photos of Cork too. Many of recognisable locations.

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 200mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/125s

Mother Cat

Mother Cat

This is Mother Cat. Matriarch of the local cats. Her litter of kittens are growing up and make a daily appearance in our garden. They’re all a little wild though. The kitten’s dad, Patches, was the polar opposite. He was friendly to us humans and loved to be rubbed and scratched behind the ear. He adored my wife, and even put up with Adam chasing him around!

Unfortunately he disappeared a few weeks ago, on the very day my wife bought antibiotics for a bad cut on his leg. A few days later a neighbour reported seeing his remains on the back road. A car must have hit him.

I think the cats noticed his disappearance. Or it could just be us projecting our human thoughts and feelings on a sad situation. The kitten in the background of this photo is the spitting image of Patches. He’s also the most friendly, even coming up to me and eating from my hand on occasion. What d’you think? Is he the tiny kitten I photographed last May? His colouring looks very similar!

Anyway, they’re well cared for. The mother cat has come up to our back door and meowed to be fed, only to call her offspring when food has been put out. It’s great to see it!

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 106mm
ISO 800
Shutter speed 1/100s

Mini & the pussy

mini pussy

An (ancient?) Mini, one of the older British design, not the new fangled BMW ones that are as big as a Yaris, and of course a pussy cat watching me carefully.

This was shot near Shandon Bells after we braved the heights of the tower to shoot the City of Cork. Now take your minds out of the gutter. :)

I really must upload some of that day’s shoots to Pixie!

Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 200mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/200s

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.

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

Feline eyes stare at me

I love cats. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as rubbing a cat’s soft fur while he basks in the heat of the sun. Some people hate cats however and I’m non-plussed. Perhaps it’s a primal instinct in them?

This is a friend’s cat as he was eating from a bowl. It’s my desktop picture!

The cat’s in the cradle

Michelle looks out from her home at the dreary wet day ahead and the annoying photographer in the doorway. A few seconds later she scampered off under the bushes but was back when I disappeared.

Cats love their comfort and Michelle is no exception. She’s spoilt rotten like most house cats and never has a worry in the world!

This is one of my first shots with my shiny new Canon 50mm f1.8 lens. It was delivered while I was at the conference on Wednesday and I’m very impressed already. It’s horribly sharp and fast. The shallow depth of field offered by an aperture of f1.8 is beautiful and falls off from the sharp in-focus bits really nicely.