This photo was taken of me and my cat, Boo Boo Kitty, when I was in my late teens or maybe 20. By then, Boo Boo was already rather old (which you might guess, considering that I named him when I was a nine-year-old "Laverne and Shirley" fan).
My boyfriend at the time was taking a college photography class and the assignment theme for the week was "Security." We decided that this was a good representation of the concept, and today I still have a number of prints of this photo of my young, blonde self cuddling my first cat.
We lived in the country on 13 acres, so all of our cats lived in the barn. Boo Boo was a third generation barn cat; we still had his grandmother, Pastel, and his mother, Wonder, throughout most of his life. He was a large cat, no doubt because the tom cats who wandered through to sire kittens each spring had to be big and tough to find their way to our property in the first place.
I'd chosen Boo Boo from his litter to be my cat, marking an early preference for black cats that has continued to this day. He got to come into the house more often than most of our cats because he'd paid his dues putting up with being dressed in doll clothes when my sister and I were younger.
When I moved out on my own, I had always planned to take him with me (which was probably a bad idea on many fronts), but he developed diabetes and died from the first insulin shot the vet gave him.
Kato, the black cat who came after him, was a gift from the same boyfriend who took this photo.
Wow, time sure flies.