The Handsome Fellow

Our cat Templeton looks into the camera with his green eyes while resting in our backyard in Portland, Oregon in the evening of August 1, 2003

I was editing this picture of Templeton from 2003 so I could bring its associated blog post back online only to discover there was no associated post, and it never even made it up onto my old site before then, but better late than never. Templeton was a handsome little fellow with his green eyes and gray tuxedo and had a charming personality to match. I wasn’t a cat person when I met him a decade prior when my wife and I started dating, how little I understood then of how he would change my life. I didn’t get my first camera until college or grad school, the most basic of point and shoots, with my first SLR in my last year of grad school, so I’m thankful I switched to digital in 2000 and began photographing him more often. This picture encapsulates a lot for me, I took it during our first full year in the house in Portland where we would live for sixteen years. I think of him every day as I do all the pets and am thankful for the pictures I have to remember him by, he was a little charmer!

My Guardians

Our cats Templeton and Scout play in the backyard during their supervised outdoor time, Templeton in the foreground and Scout back by the window under my office, taken at our house in Portland, Oregon in August 2003

Tomorrow I’m scheduled to meet an oral surgeon to get my last wisdom tooth removed, I wish they had removed them all when I was young but it is what it is. The other lower one was removed years ago while we were in Portland and the dentist struggled to get it out, I was laid up for a couple of days on heavy pain killers. What I remember from those days was waking up every four hours or so to change the gauze in my mouth or to take new meds, and every time I woke up a different cat was sleeping on my chest. It may have been coincidence but at the time it felt as though Templeton and Scout were working in shifts, making sure I was alright, and indeed I was thankful for their devotion. Here the two play in the backyard in 2003 during their supervised outdoor time, Templeton in the foreground and Scout back by the window under my office.

The Empty House

Our cats Templeton and Scout on the hardwood floors of our empty living and dining rooms

Templeton and Scout on the empty hardwood floors of our living and dining rooms in our house in Portland in 2004. We weren’t moving in, we had been there a couple of years. We weren’t moving out, we’d be there fourteen more. We just never had furniture in the front two rooms of the house the entire time we lived there. It was a bigger house than we needed but all of the smaller houses we looked at weren’t as good a fit in other ways. For all of that this house was much smaller than our previous home in Keizer which was ridiculously large for what we needed but again in other ways was the best home for us from what was available. That house was completely carpeted while this one had hardwood throughout but both cats quickly made adjustments to avoid running into cabinets and walls.

Templeton Says Goodbye

Our gray tuxedo cat Templeton watches the dying light from the gate in our backyard late on a summer evening in 2007 in Portland, Oregon

Memory is a fickle thing. I’ve been editing old images in with the new so I can bring some old blog posts back online and was ready to update the picture of Templeton watching the dying light late on a summer evening in 2007. I was a bit dumbfounded to find I had never put the picture online, though I seem to remember doing so. I even remember the name of the post! I looked at the old site though and it was nowhere to be found, I guess I meant to post it, wrote the post in my head, but never got around to it. Better late than never.