The Cat Knows

Harpo laying his head on my arm while I’m working

Almost eight years ago I adopted a kitten. Okay he adopted me, because we all know you never own a cat, they own you.  However this little guy literally reached his paws out to me as I made my second pass through the pound.  How could I resist? I brought him home that day.  He’s not like any other cat I’ve ever been owned by, he’s different.  Different how you ask? He’s intuitive; he understands me and my moods better than just about any human I’ve ever been around.


On days I don’t feel well he sticks close by laying against whatever is ailing me at the time, headache, stomach, etc..  At times he will even lay on the part of my body which is hurting at that moment.  I don’t know how he knows, he just does.

Yesterday I had spent much of the day on Facebook (yeah I know, big mistake), but I had nothing really planned, all my work was caught up and I wanted to see what was going on with all the political rhetoric (again a big mistake).  I totally understand everyone has an opinion, and each side think they’re right and try to force it upon the opposition to prove their point, but there comes a time to just stop.

I woke up just not feeling right, kind of in a bad mood.  No one else lives with me, it’s just the cat and I, so I had to backtrack as to what triggered those feelings.  This morning I came to the conclusion of how much the negative noise of social media had really affected me over this past election and inauguration of our 45th President. When I realized Harpo had not slept on my bed or next to me all night, I knew he was sensing something wasn’t right with me.  He came in around 5:30 this morning, jumped up on the bed at the far right corner and barely acknowledged me.

How did this happen?  None of those posts were actually pointed at me, but something did happened at the end of the evening that set me off prior to going to bed.  Someone began verbally attacking one of my friends for something she said on a post I had made because she  didn’t agree with his philosophy, I immediately fired back and removed his post.  Harpo picked up on this and didn’t even sit with me on the couch as he usually does, he snoozed on the floor….totally out of character for him.  Somehow his instincts told him I was in a bad mood and he steered clear of me all night and all this morning.  He didn’t even beg for his breakfast, he waited patiently for me to feed him.  I left the house feeling bad, knowing I had upset my little black & white buddy.  He understands me.  I know he will be back to loving me tonight, I will make sure of it. But my point in all of this is, if a cat can pick up on the negativity, then how is it affecting each of us?  I know I didn’t sleep well, and I obviously was in a melancholy  mood, so now what?  First I prayed, asked for the spirit of negativity to be lifted.  Then I made a decision regarding reading what is on Facebook.  I will keep scrolling, if it’s political in nature, no matter what side it’s on I will steer clear and even hide the posts if needed.  I will not engage in any of the online badgering/bullying that is happening and I will choose to be joyful throughout my day.  This year I chose the word “Intentional” as my word for the year to work on in my own life.  I am going to be intentional in what I post, to make sure it’s free of negative language and to make sure it’s uplifting to whoever reads it.  I choose JOY! And I will listen more to my cat, because he knows.

If you would like to read more in depth on this issue, please visit Karen Zeigler’s post: Light, Love and Letting Go

When Change is Good

Looking over some of my photographs from the past year, I realized how much my shooting style has changed, not just my style of photography, but the way I shoot and what I consider prior to laying out my sessions or getting to the stage. I used to simply put the camera in front of my eyes and snap a photo and hope for the best. However this past year that changed;  because I wanted to be more authentic within myself my work has become more authentic and I rely more on my intuition. Those who know and understand me, know I am not a fan of editing and if I don’t need to spend time doing so, I won’t, but I do realize that there are those sessions where it’s needed.  Portraits and weddings are those areas that require a bit more work simply to make the photos what the client wants, however I still keep an open and honest feel about the work.

I allow my intuition to control more of what I am looking for whether it be a bride on her special day, a portrait session with a woman battling cancer, or an event or concert. I know when I put that camera to my eye, what I see will be what comes out in my images.

For example,  during concerts I  simply don’t snap every move the artist makes, but I watch the timing of the lights and choose to hit the shutter in anticipation of the lights going across the stage in a specific manner. In large shows the lights are synchronized to the music and will repeat numerous times, I watch for this to get that spectacular backlighting on the artist.  Some artists are known for their moves on stage and that too is something I look for.  With only getting three songs you have to take advantage of the moment.

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During weddings I wait for that intimate moment between the bride & groom where they feel they are the only two people around; you can feel their love. Or, that moment when you are talking to a cancer survivor and you see that look in her eyes, knowing she has beat something horrible, feeling her emotion and relating it to her situation.


Intuitively I capture a moment in time which will never be repeated and preserve it for years of wonderful memories.  Change has been good, and I embrace it with fervor and passion.