Portfolio > Finding the Light

the spaces in between
the spaces in between
oil on canvas
96" x 84"

The summer before my final year was Mel’s first summer after grad school. She had started feeding a stray kitten that was living on the roof across from the porch of her apartment. With Hermione’s death so recent we had not considered getting another cat, but with Ohio’s inability to help animals we had no one to call or take her. So when the time came for Mel to move to Illinois, the kitten moved with us. Her name is Rudy.

Moving into the new house was the first time Mel and I had shared a space since Buffalo, 4 years earlier. We had lived together over summers, but that’s not the same as living and working around each other. It took some time for us to figure out our schedules, but once we did, things were better. It is so much easier to care for the ones you love when you are physically together instead of communicating via screen.

Harvey was between 14 or 15 years old when Hermione died. It was around this time he started having seizures. They didn’t last long, and they didn’t happen often, but that summer they got much worse. After one episode lasted longer than normal, he stopped moving. I don’t know if he stopped breathing or if I just couldn’t tell that he was, but I gave him CPR and he woke up. The seizures happened a lot more frequently after that. I held him when the vet put him to sleep.

It’s hard to see the good things when you know the time to say goodbye is approaching. Harvey was an active old dog. People often thought he was a puppy when I took him on walks because he was so mobile. I still have the urge to head home early from teaching to feed and walk him. It was nice to have the routine. I miss all the normal things we did together. I miss the time spent together doing nothing.

I am thankful that Mel and I did not have to grieve the loss of another pet alone. I am also thankful that Rudy found us at a time when we all needed each other. She started out as a bony kitten with fleas and a very thin coat. Now she bounces around the house, bringing us her toys to play and even fetches. We have been creating new routines.