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AllCreatThe word prompt for the 13th Edition of Smile For The Camera is All Creatures Great And Small. Show us a photograph of the family pet. That pampered pet your ancestors took to the photographic studio to immortalize in an expensive photograph. The pet that made it into every family snapshot. The best friend who was there for your ups and downs.

My grandparents on both my mother and father’s side didn’t have pets often or consistently and I don’t have any photos of the ones I heard about.  There are animals, dogs and cows mostly, in the photos from older generations but I have no stories about them.  So, that leaves me with photos of pets in my life.  Growing up my Dad liked to take photos and we have great photos of his pets more so than Mom’s or mine so in trying to select photos to share I really would like to share dozens of them.  Instead, I’ve selected 6 and put them into a collage.

petsWe apparently had pets before I was 5 but I don’t remember them well (except for my grandmother’s parakeet that liked to land on a person’s head and dig his claws in, which left me traumatized forever).  The first pet I remember was a Siamese cat, named Felicia, that my Mom got when I was 5 years old.  Felicia and I didn’t get comfortable with one another until I was much older as she was not tolerant of a child’s rough play (no photo here since Mom blogs too and she may use one of those).  When I was 7 I got a dog, who I named Nemo and I absolutely loved him.  He went with me everywhere in the basket on my bicycle handles.  Unfortunately, Nemo lived a short life of only a few months.  Next, Dad got a German Shepherd, named Erica, who was a beautiful, friendly and playful dog.  I adored her but she was my Dad’s pet so I convinced my parents to let me have a Siamese kitten that a neighbor had and I named her Frisky.  Frisky had 2 liters of kittens and she was like a best friend from the time I was 7 until she died when I was 10.  I don’t seem to have a photo of her but I do have one photo of some of her kittens.  When I was 11 Erica died and Dad got another German Shepherd, Amanda, who was my protector but again, she was my Dad’s pet.

When I was 12 I got another Siamese cat, who I named Jo.  She was like a best friend from the time I was 12 until I was 32 (she lived long enough to see my children).  Jo had a knack for knowing exactly when to come to my rescue if I was in need of loving.  She was the most affectionate cat I’ve ever known and she was extremely tolerant even letting me dress her up (as you can see in the photo in the collage).  However, she had a very nasty habit of eating socks, sweaters and blankets.  If I left anything out made of similar material, she would drag it to her water bowl, dunk it in the water and chew on it until she made a bunch of huge holes in them.  Consequently, she was not as loved by my Mom and Dad.

After Jo died it took me several years to even consider getting a pet.  When my kids were 7 we decided upon another Siamese cat, Purrkins.  He is very busy every day supervising all of our activities and making sure I never sleep past 6:00 am (grrr).  He is often in photos with us or by himself.  As he gets older he is becoming more affectionate but it is always on his terms.

Since some of the photos I considered for this entry I have already posted on my blog, I thought I’d provide links to those instead of using them again for material in my submission to this edition of Smile for the Camera.  So, here are previous blog entries that include photos and stories involving our pets: Camping, A kid again I’m Five, Wrecked VW BusSiamese cats make funny sounds.

Update:  Be sure to visit Shades of the Departed to read the other entries for this carnival