Happy Birthday, Boo

  • Aperture: f/6.3
  • Focal Length: 18mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter: 1/59 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Northport, Alabama

I’ve been wanting to take this photo for a while, not because it is anything technically significant, but because it captures something special that I share with my cat, Boogie. This month marks 13 years since I found Boogie as a tiny kitten, wandering the freezing streets late one night.

Since that time, he has come to mean so much to me. Truly, I couldn’t love him more if he were a human child. Perhaps it is because I don’t have any children, maybe it is just because he has such a sweet personality. Whatever the case, he is by my side every minute of the day. Wherever I go, he follows, including the bathroom. For some reason, he absolutely loves the bathroom and will beg to go in there dozens of times a day. He struts around on the sink, butting his head against me as I brush my teeth, chirping his hellos any time I make eye contact with him. His favorite thing to do though, is drink water. He particularly likes to drink it from a small green drinking cup, but he will drink from the sink also. It’s such a simple thing, this little ritual that we share a dozen times a day, but it brings us both so much happiness that I knew I had to capture it.

Sometimes I think that as photographers, we are always on the quest for the unusual, the dramatic, the award-winning, that we miss out on the simple moments that make up our lives. These days, Boogie and I share another ritual in the bathroom twice a day I poke a quarter of a tablet of Diltiazem down his throat. It helps to keep his heart beating properly and slow the progress of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which he was diagnosed with last January.

I don’t remember the exact date that I found Boogie, but I do know that it was very close to Thanksgiving, perhaps even today. I was a college freshman and was thrilled to bring my new baby home with me for the holidays. This year, he will make the 200-mile trip to Mobile with me again, as he always does. And when I am sitting at my grandparents’ table, giving my thanks for the year, Boogie’s continued health will be at the top of my list.

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