We are sad to announce that on July 29, 2009, our cat Claude passed away. He was 19 1/2 years old.
Like his Persian ancestors before him who ruled the royal houses of Europe (Claude is Himalayan which originated as a cross between Persian and Siamese cats), Claude ruled our house with dignity, love, and a bit of mischief thrown in for good measure. He will be missed. Herein I share snapshots taken throughout his very long feline life.
Here's Claude as a kitten, sometime in late spring of 1990:
Claude with his sister Sierra (front), and adopted big brother, Berkeley (middle):
Berkeley took his "big brother" status to heart, always loving and protective:
Claude as a "teenager":
Claude as a "young adult":
Anyone that knows Claude knows this pose all too well. Conor and BJ Bradford would throw coins on Claude's tummy and would see how much change would disappear into Claude's tummy fur before he'd get tired of the game and get up. I think the most was close to $5.00 in change!
For a time Conor and I lived in an apartment where we couldn't have pets, and Claude and Sierra went to live with Conor's parents (while Berkeley went to live with Conor's brother and sister-in-law, Brendan and Lisa). The snapshots below are from Christmas at Conor's parents--it was either 1994 or 1995:
We eventually got a house of our own, and Claude came to live with us again. Not long after this we added a new member to our family, Ruthie the Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix. At the beginning they didn't get along AT ALL. But after awhile, they became tolerant of each other as can be seen below:
For fun Claude memories, I would be remiss if I didn't include our Christmas magnet we sent out one year. Claude would brave the most gross indignity for love of his humans!
I'm a bit superstitious, and one of my good luck superstitions is that whenever I get a new piece of photographic equipment, the first shot taken with it has to be of a pet. Claude was my model for many a piece of equipment. A selection from these shots is featured below:
These last two images I had taken just one week before Claude passed, not knowing the end was coming so soon. I had prepared them with my usual photo business logo border for posting to my blog and hadn't quite gotten a chance to post them when Claude passed. I add them here now as part of his memorial. He was handsome to the very end. I miss him so much. Thank you for indulging me this long homage to our cat, he was a significant part of our lives and his passing leaves a huge hole in our hearts.