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A Personal Blog Today….

Oct 15

In Friends at 8:13am

No speed light stuff today. Apologies….

About a dozen years ago my wife Annie made a pretty courageous leap of life and changed everything, all at once. What does one do when you shuck off all that is familiar, and move to a new and strange set of walls, have no money and a couple of sticks of furniture?

Well, when you take a chance like that, and rescue yourself, sometimes, you reach out at the same time and rescue others. So Annie the animal lover packed herself off to the shelter, and thought she had decided to take home a little black ball of fur when, out of the same tiny fur ball, another head popped out. Brothers. She took ‘em both.

Formula One fan that she is, one became Nigel, after Nigel Mansell, and the other Arie, after Arie Luyendyk, both legendary drivers. The three of them made a home, and a life together.

And then I showed up on the doorstep, courting Annie. Trying desperately to impress, I did all the usual guy stuff. Calls, dinners, movies, walks and talks. Flowers. First time I sent roses, I called the local shop, and made the order, and when I gave the address, the smart guy who took the call said, “Oh yeah, yeah, I know that place. We’ve delivered out there before! Lots!”

I was left of course to, uh, clear my throat, and say something diplomatic, like, “Yes, well, of course. I’m sure the lady in question is not without her admirers.” I think the shop is called Wise Ass Florist.

In the midst of all my desperate attempts to be noticed by this lovely lady, I wasn’t completely aware that my activities were being measured and judged by another. A sage and protective guardian–Nigel.

_jm16370a

See, Annie trusted Nigel’s instincts so thoroughly that if he didn’t like you, you were toast. She placed a lot of faith in Nigel’s ability to size up a guy’s intentions and character, and in fact, if Nigel squinted hard at you, and slunk upstairs, you might be in for some tough sledding.

Thankfully, Nigel and I had it going on right from the first, probably ’cause we’re pretty similar. Couple of goofball lugs, very motivated by the phrase, “What’s for dinner?” He did look at me hard, though, at first. Looked at me, looked over at Annie, and then back at me. And then let me know the deal, in his way. It was like, okay pal, you have my permission, but if you ever don’t treat her right, it’s between you and me, understand? And it’s been our understanding ever since.

We’ve watched a lot of TV together-he likes NCIS. There’ve been mornings when he would help me out by walking over my keyboard and sending email. Other mornings when Annie’s on the road and I’m sacked out, tapping my forehead gently with his paw to remind me it was past breakfast. Keeping me company on one of his favorite perches–our flatbed scanner. (Drives folks in the office a bit nuts, having a scanner full of cat hair.)

He was pretty good with small flash, too. He really got into the Strobist series.

picture-2

I’m struggling writing this, mostly with the sense of tense. I’m trying to describe this stuff in lighthearted fashion, as if it’s still going on. It’s not. It’s going to be hard thinking about Nigel in the past tense.

A little while back, seeing Nigel not be his usual, gregarious self, Annie took him to the vet. The diagnosis was Hemangiosarcoma, among the most aggressive and deadliest of cancers. He had been dealt a tough hand of cards. It mostly strikes dogs, rarely cats, which confirms my suspicion he was, indeed, part pooch. (How does that happen? How does a few bastard rogue cells completely snuff an ebullient little life force like Nigel in 3 short weeks?) He retreated into dark places, under beds and into cabinets. We did our best to make him feel comfortable. He knew what was up. The wisdom in those eyes of his spoke volumes, right to the last.

Now he’s gone. He’s in the ground, with a small marker. I put roses on his grave. I have to figure they were his favorite ’cause whenever I gave them to Annie, he would try to eat them.

I’m writing this, knowing I can’t read it to him, the way I would occasionally read to him about the Yankees or the Knicks from the morning news feed. But I think we had a good last conversation. Told him I was sorry about trying to teach him to be a VAL. I thought that little speed light harness thing was gonna work:-) Of course, he quickly let me know he was more suited to the director’s chair than to grip work.

Thanks, bud. Thanks for watching over Annie. Thanks for letting me in the house. Thanks for occasionally letting me use my pillow.

img_06811

Just, you know, thanks…..and Godspeed…I’ll see you on the other side. More tk….

337 Responses to “A Personal Blog Today….”

J.P. says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:25 am

Joe, I’m so sorry for your loss. Nigel sounds like a king among cats. He was lucky to have a couple of humans who could appreciate that, not to mention one with the lighting chops to photograph a black feline. My condolences to you and Annie.

johnwaire says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:26 am

RIP nigel. thanks for sharing joe. hard not to shed a tear…

Edward Bussa says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:26 am

With you man. Live, Love, lose. What are you gonna do. Appreciate you sharing.

James says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:27 am

Sorry to hear about your loss Joe.

jt says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:30 am

it’s posts like this that make me admire you, ands not just your work.

and i’m not even a cat person.

my condolences.

-joe

Jonas says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:31 am

Man, that’s heartbreaking… I’m sorry for your loss.

Matthew says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:34 am

It is truly amazing how these little balls (well actually I’ve seen the videos of Nigel….not so little) of fur can completely come into our lives and make things just feel right. Please know that they come and go with purpose and grace. Don’t be surprised to see him out of the corner of your eye or to find cat hair in the scanner….even years past. I am sorry for you and Annie’s loss. I know that he was loved by many and will be missed.

Marcmelendezll@mentioned?live.com says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:38 am

Sorry for your loss guys. Losing a family member sucks.

Curtis Ferguson says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:38 am

Sorry to hear of your loss. Going through the same situation and circumstance right now, except with a dog. Got a pick her up at the vet today, knowing the end is near cause nothing else can be done. Never easy.

Thanks for sharing,
May God Bless you and your family
Curtis

Kholloud says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:41 am

Oh Joe & Annie am sorry for your lose .. the story touched me and reminds me when i was 6y and found my dog dead .. it feels like yesterday =(

Sara says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:45 am

So very sorry you and Annie lost a best friend.

Paul says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:47 am

I feel your loss all two well — my wife and I had two cats for fifteen years. Note the past tense on that sentence. In September, the one who thought he was “my cat” lost his short battle with a carcinoma. He changed from being a noisy goofball who liked to sleep on my chest at night to a withdrawn former shadow of himself, hiding in strange places. Four weeks later, almost to the day, his brother — a.k.a “her cat” — died of exactly the same thing.

My sincere condolences.

Gregg says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:49 am

Oh, fuck me. I’m sittin here cryin like child. Started at the end of the second paragraph cause I knew where it was headed.
Joe, I am so sorry. I lost a good one too a couple weeks back.
They’re all good, really. Little fuckers wend their way into your life and heart like nobodies business. And, Joe, your heart is such to readily accept their wending, so, I do know your pain. I’m feeling for ya brother.

Cindy Snyder says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:59 am

So sorry, Joe & Annie. Been through that several times with several different illnesses (they don’t call me Crazy Catlady for nothin’). Whether the remaining time is long or short, it’s never easy. But they always seem to know when it’s time, and how much you care, and what a wonderful life they have had. You were blessed with Nigel, but he was equally blessed to have found you and Annie.

Elaan says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

Joe, I’m sorry for your loss. It’s so hard to take.

Pets are amazing; they give us everything and in return we have to deal with injuries or sicknesses that they can’t tell us about. And we have to deal with their passing. It seems like such a high price to pay during times like these.

Keep your warm memories close. Peace to you & Annie.

Scott Slattery says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

Joe, I know it’s hard to lose a pet, a friend. We’ve lost a few these past few years and as much as I bitch about them getting in the way, taking up my time, and generally pissing me off sometimes, I miss them terribly when they’re gone. We are very sorry for your and Annie’s loss. Hang in there!

Scott

Karen Vaisman says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

Dear Joe and Annie,

Your story brought me to tears. I have a 19 year old cat that has been by my side before my children were even a twinkle. He is slowing down and your story hit just a little too close to home. I am so sorry for your loss.

Karen Vaisman

Sanne says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

So sorry for your loss!
It’s always very hard to lose a loved pet, so my thoughts are with you and Annie.

JivZ says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

I have to cuddle our (also black) cat tonight for sure after reading this. Sorry for your loss.

Arie (not the driver or the cat) says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:06 am

Sorry about your loss Joe. It’s amazing how animals hold a special place in our hearts. Rescued animals especially return the favor so I’m sure he was a happy and greatful cat and felt loved.

Marcelo Pereira says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:06 am

Sorry for you loss Joe. God bless you all …….

Matthew Kauffmann says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

So sorry to hear of your loss. Will keep your family in my prayers.

Ovidiu says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:08 am

Joe. No words, no matter how elaborate, could help you now..I know what means to loose a friend. All I can say is commiseration and I am really sorry for your loss.
RIP Nigel

Luke says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:09 am

Joe, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how much I love my little guys, and they’re definitely getting extra treats tonight after reading this.

Oliver says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:09 am

I’m sorry for your loss. Been in your position way too many times, but willing to do it over and over again, just to experience the unconditional love of a pet turning family member.

Paul Timon says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:09 am

Totally at one with you.

Annemarie Mountz says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

So sorry, Joe. My thoughts are with you and Anne.

Will Foster says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:12 am

I know you had a deadline on those NatGeo scans you wanted me to do… But Nigel wanted me too chill…

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/photo.php?fbid=1447629594564&set=a.1275802538995.2042760.1347925868

Thanks Nige!

Kevin says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

Joe,
This story brought tears to my eyes. Our fur pals in our life, are sometimes the rock. The one that comes and meets you no matter how bad of a day it was. Thank you for opening up like that, and please give Annie my best. I’m sure it’s not easy on either one of you.

Delos says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

So incredibly sad. We’ve lost two dogs from cancer, so your post brings back those memories of their valiant but futile fights for their lives. I’m so sorry for your loss.

JoJo Nihili says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

more t/k…

Josh says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

Loss is never an easy thing to deal with when it strikes the family. Know that there are many people who will read this and instantly relate to your grief. My condolences to you and Annie.
Thanks for posting something so personal and reminding the rest of us what really matters.

Tim says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

So sorry to hear of your loss, Joe. Pets are such a joy to have around, but absolutely devastating to lose.

Jim Greif says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:15 am

I was sorry to hear about Nigel. Pets can have an amazing impact. My condolences to you and Annie.

When my sister and her husband lost their first dog (never having been pet owners before), they were heart-broken. The loss never went away, but they finally got a new puppy. It didn’t take long for them to love her, a lot.

Jim

Christopher Gray says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

Joe and Annie I am so sorry for your lose. Joe I have enjoyed your little antidotes about Nigel and your “adventures” with him.

I am sure you will visit him long into the future in your memory vault.

Thanks for sharing and Peace to you all.

Lewis W says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

Sorry, Annie. Sorry, Joe. Rest peacefully, Nigel.

Ryan says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

God bless you and Annie for your loss! It is posts like this that show how down to earth you are and not caught up with just being a famous photographer, that is very refreshing.

Dawn says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:19 am

My heart breaks for you and Annie, Joe. Well written and you truly have not only immense talent for all things lighting but all things living. There arent words to ease your loss but know you and Annie will be in warm caring thoughts…

JC Photog says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:20 am

RIP Sir Nigel, we all are going to miss him in your life.
Sorry or your loss

Roland says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:20 am

Hi Joe,

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. When I was a child, our neighbors also had a black cat that always climbed up the tree to the balcony of my parents’ house and knocked at the door. Usually when we let him in, he immediately headed for the kitchen…
At the end, he also died from cancer (after having undergone surgery twice), and I still miss him even after more than 10 years.

Best,
Roland

Ian says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:20 am

I am sorry for your loss. Nigel sounds like a pretty cool cat.

Mike says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:22 am

Joe I am so sorry for your and Annie’s loss! I have a Nigel of my own but his name is Dante. My wife rescued him right after we met and he has been my little buddy ever since. Reading your post about Nigel reminded me alot of my life with Dante and the time we spend together. I wish i knew what to say. Just know that y’all are in my thought and prayers during this tough time!

glenn usdin says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

i’m so sorry.

Harry says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:24 am

Man, this one hits close to home. I lost my cat in January. He was only 7 and his kidneys failed. The day I put him down was not only my dad’s birthday but I had to shoot a wedding reception. Wrote about it here: http://hlimphotography.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/death-life-and-everything-in-between/

I am deeply sorry for your loss. I know I still think about my cat.

Tom says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:25 am

I’m very very sorry to the entire family.

Erik says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

Sorry to hear about your loss.

Monday was the one year anniversary of us having to put down our cat, Max. He also had cancer (in his stomach). It’s amazing how attached we can get to our pets.

Pamela says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

My condolences. So very sorry. Dealing with 2 old ladies myself who have taken care of me for almost 20 years & the thought of them passing away this past week has me all weepy because I look into their eyes & know they are getting close. So sorry again. Here are pics of my two & I hope it gives you some comfort.
http://flic.kr/p/6LWoMZ
http://flic.kr/p/6M1oMS

Cezar says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

Sorry for your loss Joe and Annie, it’s hard to loose a member of the family, no matter the form his or her soul takes. Even if now this sounds empty, you know, he will always live with you, and through you, your pictures and your stories with us.

Kara says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

We lost our 13 year old ball of fluff this past June from thyroid disease. You never realize how much such a small creature can be such a huge part of your life until suddenly they’re not there any more.

I’m so so sorry for your and Annie’s loss!

Jason S. says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:33 am

Condolences to you and Annie. I need to go play with the cat now.

Simon says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:34 am

Sorry to hear that Joe. My deepest sympathy to you and Annie.

Siddharth Jain says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

Mr. McNally, I am really sorry for this terrible loss. I know what it feels like when you lose someone you truly love for I have also lost my dear dog.

I, and for that reason, all your readers were never a stranger to Nigel. It was your love for him that made him a well known name amongst your readers.

With so much love and affection, he can only go to heaven and I am sure, in his next birth, he’s gonna sport the SB-900s even better than you. :)

May God bless his soul.

Lesley Gracie says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

Aww Joe, sending both you and Annie BIG hugs, so sorry for your loss.

x

Mario says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:36 am

So sorry about Nigel, but a wonderful tribute that brought a tear and smiles. Thanks for sharing, Joe.

Allan Morris says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:38 am

Joe
So sorry to hear about Nigel, it is amazing how we become attached to our furry little friends, they are always a part of the family and always in our hearts.
Nigel may be gone but will never be forgotten.
always remember the special moments and smile.

I’m sure you’ve seen this already Joe, but hopefully it will make you smile or shed a tear in remembrance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0ffwDYo00Q

All the best to you and Annie at the difficult time

Allan

John Leonard says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

Sorry to hear that Joe, We have four cats, all rescued from shelters. We lost our African Grey ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/enigma1977/2458420854/ ) parrot this past spring. He was fine, and then within 3 days he was gone. I even took two days off of work and drove him 2 hours away to a specialist. It’s heart breaking.

I’ll say a prayer for your family. God loves all of his creatures, and comforts us when we mourn. Matthew 5:4

M.D. Welch says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

I am sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is one of the hardest things to go through. So much love and good times. Give Annie my best.

Preeti says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:48 am

So sorry for your loss.
This was a lovely tribute to a wonderful cat.

bobwyo says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:49 am

My condolences to you and the whole family.

When I go home tonight and my two rescue Bengal cats insist on a treat, I’ll give them an extra one in memory of Nigel.

Paraphrasing Mark Twain: Do they allow cats in heaven? They’ve got to or it wouldn’t be heaven.

b

JSturr says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:50 am

That’s really sad –

Roger says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

Hi Joe,

Reading your words I can understand all to well the pain you feel at the moment. My wife and I have had two litter mates for 13 years and just last week we had to say goodbye to one of them. He to was a vibrant loving cat that lost a quick battle to cancer. You know full well what you are in for with pets but when the day comes to say goodbye it is so difficult. Nigel was a lucky cat to have a kind, compassionate keepers and nothing can take away all the good moments you shared. You are not alone in your sorrow. Prayers are with you and your family. I am so sorry for the loss.

rld says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

Sorry to your family for Nigel. You have great memories…

We’ve lost five of the eight cats we moved from California to Connecticut ten years ago. Each one is more difficult that the previous one.

justin says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

Sorry for your loss Joe. It is obvious he was loved, and you can’t ask for much more in life.

Steve says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:58 am

We lost our Nige! (named after F1 driver) two years ago – he’d been with us for 17 years and we brought him over with Herbert (another drivers name) from the UK to the US when we moved with work. He was our child before our children arrived and his loss was devastating.
We’ve recently lost Herbert after 18 years – again the feeling is terrible. But we know that they had everything they ever wanted and more love than they probably needed

Cat people are special – hang in there it gets easier

We are now owned by Timo & Mika (two more drivers names!) who will no doubt break our hearts in years to come but the pleasure they will give us will be immeasurable

cats are great – I’ve never met a bad one

Take care

John A. says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:59 am

So sorry for your and your family’s loss! People who aren’t pet owners don’t understand the valuable roll they play in our lives. In fact, they become family members quite quickly.

However if I had to guess, I’d be willing to bet Nigel had a much better than average life (save for maybe being blinded on occasion with 2 dozen speedlights at a pop) and enjoyed you and your family as much as you did him.

I know no words will help with your grief, but rest assured, he had a good life and will be looking for you. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

DaleG says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:05 am

Joe and Annie, My deepest condolences. These companions in our life are more than mere ‘pets’. Angel has been gone from our home for two years and we never fail to remember her place in the room and in the family when we gather. Peace.

Dee says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:11 am

RIP Nigel! Joe and Annie be strong.

Alexander Evensen says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:11 am

My condolences to you and your family :(

All the sadness comes from all the love you all shared with him :) From what you have written here, I’m sure he had a great life and loved you guys equally back :)

And to Harry a couple of comments before me, my condolences to you too. It must have been a very hard day for you :/ But you did a great job on the pictures still I think :)

TIm says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:12 am

So sorry to hear of your loss. We have two cats and they are a part of the family as much as any human member, they contribute and make life so much richer.

Peter Collins says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:12 am

I’m all choked up now…

I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved Nigel. I know how tough it is to lose a family member like that and it never gets easier.

A week ago today I lost my black lab, Louie. I’m on the road touring with an orchestra and didn’t get a chance to say a proper good bye. I’m glad you were able to bid a fond farewell to Nigel and help to make his last days as comfortable as they could be.

My heart goes out to you and Annie.

AimeeJ says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

Animals capture our hearts and souls like no other can. YOu both gave him a good life. My condolences to you both.

Peter says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:18 am

Oh Joe,

Broke my heart to read… A warm hug to you and also to your good lady.

Not even one of Einar’s jokes would make up for this one :(

Take care,
Peter

TonyJ says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:19 am

So sorry…been there before and hate it. Still missing mine after 7 years.

Teymur Madjderey says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

I am very very sorry for your loss and your wonderful post made me tear up big time. I miss my own cats very much too and can feel your pain.

farewell nigel.

and all the best to you and your family joe!

regards,
teymur.

Kris Mitchell says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

You’re always at your best with words when you’re writing from the heart Joe, this is no exception. So sorry for you & Annie’s loss.

Tom Bricker says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:32 am

Sorry to hear about your loss. I’m sitting on my girlfriend’s couch with her ‘Romeo’, a cat whom had to approve of me before I was to stick around. Now, I’m in the position to buy a valuable gemstone and some precious metal before even thinking about some new glass.

Artioma says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:33 am

Sorry.

William Chinn says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:33 am

Being Buddhist, I can only tell you that Nigel is still with you. Whether in your hearts, that fur ball rolling along the floor, the sounds you hear in another room, or that hair on the scanner years from now. Now without the discomfort of cancer, he can still listen and provide comfort when you ask those meaning of life questions. If you don’t understand, watch CBS Tuesday night at 8pm and don’t turn the channel during the commercials.

Terri Jacobson says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:33 am

I am so sorry. This part of life is never easy. Your tribute and photos of Nigel were beautiful.

Chris says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:37 am

Hey Joe,

I don’t normally comment on blogs that I read but didn’t seem to have a choice on this one. I’m right there with ya man. My golden retriever has gone through, and is going through, a tough bout with hemangiosarcoma, and he probably won’t be here much longer. Fortunately, he’s let us live in his house for over 11 years too, and we couldn’t have asked for a better friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Annie.

Rob C. says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:38 am

So sorry Joe. Isn’t it amazing how they can burrow their way into your heart so deeply that the pain at their passing is almost unbearable. We’ve been there a couple of times and I try to tell myself that it’s just a dumb cat, but it never works. It hurts, but try to think of the good times and the great life you gave Nigel and how he enriched yours. Soon you’ll be able to talk about him with smile again.

Regards.

Venura Herath says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:43 am

R.I.P Nigel! :'(

-april says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

I’m so sorry to hear about a member of your family.

lyle says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:49 am

Thanks for the advice, ill take catnip instead of flowers henceforth.
Hugs to y’all.:)

Alex Kahl says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:54 am

Sorry for your loss and thanks for sharing Joe.

The little black furry guy who is living with my parents is already 18 years and year after year it is getting harder for me reading posts like yours, reminding me that time is flying by so fast and that I should spend more time with him again, like in the old days.

His name is Fluffy, he looks just like nigel and I will definately go see him this weekend.

Thanks for reminding and all the best.

Alex

onnie says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:02 am

joe, you have always made me smile with your words, and inspired me with your images; today is no exception, tho’ the smile comes with a few tears. i lost my pup in the same way a couple of years ago and so, i understand how you and your wife are feeling right now. my heart goes out to both of you. i am so sorry for your loss. he was a beautiful boy …

Ben says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

Joe,

I’m very sorry to hear the sad news. I am also soon to depart the loving company of my life long mate, full time lay-a-bout and also cat ‘Ziggy’ but not for the same reason. I have to leave the country I have been living in permanently and he can’t come with me. I can’t imagine my bed without him successfully laying right in the middle forcing me to the edge. However I am very thankful that he has a whole range of people to force to the edge of their beds in his new family home.

All the best
Ben

Matthijs says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

I’m sorry for your loss.. Your story shows you really loved the little guy. In the end, you can only think of the great times together, and remember the fun with him. This is a very touching story and a true memorial for Nigel.

David Randall says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:10 am

Joe and Annie,

I am so sorry for your loss.

I remember the first time I saw Nigel on one of your videos, a huge cat with a whole lot of personality. Pretty cool.

Take care
David

Dave says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:19 am

Sad sad sad. I have lost many special pets, get that hole filled fast. Kittens are easy to come by, the fun is training them.
I still have a collar from 20 years ago. A Siamese that was super human. We can only have that hole filled with new friends. I feel for you guys and hope you read.
Funny though my Latest tom cat is named sh%t head.

Phil Garceau says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:21 am

I know what your going through Joe. I just lost my old friend, a springer spaniel. I’m sorry for you and your family.

Chris says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:29 am

Condolences Joe – and Annie. I love the way you feel things, it draws me back to your work time after time.

Best Chris

jrdrake says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:34 am

Godspeed Nigel… Im very sorry Joe…

David says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:43 am

Joe – Very sorry to here about your families loss. Nigel sounded like quite the character! That small sparkle of life shines on, changed, yet not diminished. Thanks for sharing.

marcus says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:47 am

We said goodbye to a faithful pet in tragic circumstances, I hope I can appreciate some of the pain you and Annie are feeling. Losing our close animal pals is not so different from losing family or friends, at least at some level. You have my sympathy, Marcus

J Howe says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:47 am

It’s tough to lose a friend. Sorry for your loss.

Alan says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

Joe,
I follow your blog religiously because I want to learn all you have to teach, about photography and life. You and I are about the same age, but our life experiences seem mostly miles apart, but not always. We have a house full of dogs, cats, and a bird, and I dread the day I have to face this again, although I know it will come all too soon. They become so special in our lives, and the loss of a special family member is never easy. My heart goes out to you and Annie

Darryl Wong says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:58 am

Here’s to Nigel and the nine lives he gave you =).

Dana says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

Sorry, Joe, connecting to an animal is connecting to life — they are the barometers of our day to day doings, and are always there for us, living in present time, helping us to stay in the now moment. My old poodle, Zephyr, (16) is blind, deaf, and losing his way. I’m his seeing-eye person, trying to just enjoy the blessings of the present.

marianne says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Thanks so much for sharing that fantastic eulogy! Especially touching to those of us who have been chosen by rescues :-)

Chanelle says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Aaaah so sorry to hear this. I can really relate to this for too many reasons to go into in a blog comment. Thanks

Greg Ambrose says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

How could it be that a creature so loving and loyal be allowed so brief a time with us? Is it that goodness is measured in heartbeats? And theirs are most rapidly consumed? Their physical time with us is too brief and yet, thankfully, their spirit remains with us for a lifetime.

anita says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

thanks for sharing this, it certainly brought a tear…I am sorry for your loss. I know my cats are like my kids and its hard when something happens.

Simon says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Sorry its tough losing family.

Mike Stultz says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you are feeling right now. In early September my 6 year old Golden, Okie, developed Lupus and after a 2 1/2 week battle he passed on. My heart is mending but it will take some time as will yours. I wish you and your family the best.

Gary says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm

So sorry for your loss. This really hit home reading it because I had such a similar relationship with my cat George. What is even more difficult is that your 1st picture could be a picture of my cat they looked like twins. I lost him about 2 years ago now but every once in a while I still see him out of the corner of my eye wandering the halls.

Clyde says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Same story with me. His name was Fritz and he was her true love. If Fritz hadn’t approve of me, there’s no way Cindy and I would be married now. He passed away last winter and left a big hole in our lives. Fortunately, a Maine coon cat kitten has helped cheer the place up! Fritz is outside with a marker and we’re pretty sure it was his intervention that kept our house from burning down last month when the forest fire came to within a half mile of us!

Tim Skipper says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Joe,

It is amazing how animals become part of our family. Several years ago my wife and I took in a Great Dane. She had just been weened from her mother and we had to bottle feed her some for the first few weeks. We raised her and had her as part of our family for 16 years. When she died a little over two and half years ago it devastated our family.

Electra knew when we were sad, happy, sick, or even afraid. She would stand beside us and mother us all the way up to her last days. We still miss her, still laugh at stories about her, and occasionally we accidentally call one of the new Danes by her name.

If there is a dog heaven I know she is there waiting for me.

Ian Pack says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Joe, my thoughts are with you and Annie at this sad time. We don’t have a Nigel, but Clouseau & Kato the lunatic Seal Point Siamese brothers who have just convinced me it’s feeding time. They’re sitting outside the office door making a typical Siamese noise!

God speed. Ian

Kim says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I’m so sorry Joe. I always loved it when you mentioned Nigel in your posts. I have a 12 yo Bernese Mountain Dog that was just diagnosed with cancer 4 weeks ago. I understand your pain.

JonDM says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Awww, that’s so sad. I actually just watched your “Da Grip” video on youtube (and learned a thing or two) where you refer to Nigel mid video. So sorry for you loss.

Juan C Ettedgui says:

on October 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I’m Sorry Joe and Annie. i’m sure he knew how much you cared about him and was glad about it.

Kevin Alano says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm

So sorry to hear that Joe and Annie, we too lost our dog to cancer. I found this video on Vimeo a while back even before our dog was diagnosed and it really touched me, and now watching it again it has helped me connect to the feelings of connectedness we have to our extended family members that have passed away. I must warn you though you better have a box of Kleenex by your side when you watch it as ver emotional and it is so beautifully done. It’s entitled “Last minutes with ODEN” http://vimeo.com/8191217 may peace be with you both.

Linda Brinckehroff says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm

SOoo sorry for you and Annie losing a favorite pet. I will miss your references to Nigel.

Bruce S says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Oh, man, here I am crying on Friday morning on a photo & lighting blog! The evil McNally strikes again! Thanks for the great story and tender insights into your life. Sorry a part of you is gone.

Paul Kelly says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Having shared the exact same experience recently (coming into a “family” that pre-dated me and very suddenly losing our Jasper) I feel your pain.

Best wishes to you all…

Paul

Lorri E says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Joe & Annie, I’m so sorry about Nigel. Cats can have such personalities and from all your stories about Nigel, he definitely had a great one.

Tim L says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I’m sorry to read about your loss, Joe. A good pet is a member of the family and losing them is very hard.

Becky says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm

That was beautiful Joe.

I have a cat EXACTLY like that who has gone through so much (he is now a eunuch due to several urinary blockages). I was told by so many people to not bother treating him (the cost for all the surgeries was out of this world) but I couldn’t imagine life without my lil Tobi!

I’m so sorry to hear that Nigel is gone. My condolences for both Annie and you.

Bob Dein says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm

The older I get, the more these things tear me up.

Ana Adams says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Sorry for your loss, Joe and Annie.
Pets are family, be strong and trust Nigel is fine now in kitty heaven.

Norlinda says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Oh Joe. So sorry to hear about Nigel.

Mike Nelson Pedde says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Sending hugs (http://bit.ly/hugcert)

and love too…

Mike.

Ang says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. Little one’s like that have an immense unconditional love and the loss is just as immense when they are no longer physically around.

Melissa R says:

on October 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Sorry for your and Annie’s loss. I hope you all adjust as easily as possible after losing a friend.

Andrew Ness says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Joe,

I know exactly what you are going through. My wife is a vet tech and we have always had a few different rescue animals around. Our beloved Hoots (feral cat) passed last week very sudden. We were just devastated. All my best,

Andrew

Matt Hunt says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Sorry…always liked Nigel’s appearences in the blog and he seemed a real character.

Kitty (fellow email editor, Lightroom diasater creator and pillow thief) agrees.

Jeremy says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Read this while our cat makes her request for breakfast very clear. She just got and extra cuddle. Sorry to hear your sad news, was always good to read about Nigel.

Barney Streit says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

So sorry to hear the news Joe. Your eloquence is extraordinary. One suggestion: go out and get a kitten ASAP. Best wishes to you and your wife.

James says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm

:( :( :( Made a 27yr old bloke cry . RIP Nigel

Tom o'Connell says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Joe,
My heart goes out to you. People without animal friends just can’t understand what a huge amount of value they add tour lives. All you can say is that you gave him the best life possible and move on. Only time fills (and maybe another cat or dog) fills the huge hole in your heart.
Best,
Tom

Nikki says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Awwww, that just breaks my heart. I’m so sorry for your loss, Joe and Annie. I know how devastating it is to lose one of your furry buddies.

When I met my husband, I had 2 cats, Sheba and Sammy (mom & daughter). He definitely had to pass inspection from them first :-)). We were lucky and had them for 16 and 18 years. When we had to say goodbye to Sheba, my husband told me that we shouldn’t be sad as she had a long life and loved us well.

Today we have 4 cats, the oldest is 17 and suffering from renal failure, although doing surprisingly well. Our youngest is 6 and been very sick for the last few days. I’m taking her to the vet shortly and pray it is something curable.

Take care.

Jim Poor says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:42 pm

So sorry to hear this news Joe. Condolences from the Poorhouse. They are never with us long enough.

Rory says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm

There is something special about the bond between pet and owner. (Though I think with cats it’s us who are the pets)

Sorry for your loss

Cathy says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Oh man, I’m so sorry. Been through that, and will return again I’m sure. Can’t live without the fur-buds. These fur kids of ours are such a big part of our lives in all sorts of ways. When they leave us, they leave pawprints on our hearts.

Glyn Dewis says:

on October 15, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Joe, I’m so sorry to hear about Nigel; he seemed like such a character and was great to see him appearing here on the blog and on a few of your videos.

To be honest, I read this on the tube coming back from Scott Kelby’s Workshop in London this evening and had to turn away from other passengers; very touching post and as someone who owns a couple of cats that are constantly by my side when I’m sat here infront of the goggle box I can only imagine how you feel.

All the best you and Annie,
Glyn

Alex H says:

on October 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Joe, my deepest sympathy. I am a huge cat lover, and some people don’t understand how cats all have different personalities and quirks. No cat is like another. I also have to admit I teared up a little in the airport reading this. Please send my condolences to Annie and of course to yourself. Hopefully the weekend has a silver lining.

-Alex

Jim G. says:

on October 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm

My condolences to you and Annie. Your blog did him proud and he would be happy to know he touch many more than just you two.

Todd says:

on October 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Joe and Annie, our sincere and heartfelt condolences. My wife and I have two cats ourselves, (Meow-chan and Mika-chan) and you have reminded me how important it is to cherish each day we have to spend with our loved ones.

(I will have to try out that speedlite harness idea out on them one of these days. Never thought about that…)

Mahalo for sharing such a personal story. Our hearts go out to you in this difficult time.

Brian Davis says:

on October 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Nigel seemed like a great cat. It’s so sad to here he’s gone. May he rest in peace.

Tim says:

on October 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm

sorry to hear that, annie and joe. i’ve had several dogs and cats in my life and i know how hard it is to say goodbye. well, maybe there will be a venerable successor for nigel a later date? there are so many good F1 drivers… bear up, joe!

William Beem says:

on October 15, 2010 at 3:44 pm

It’s amazing how much these furry little beasts get into your life and your heart. I dealt with it last year when I lost my dog after 17 years. Very sorry to hear about your loss, but very glad you had the time with Nigel.

Edd Carlile says:

on October 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm

So sorry for your loss.
:(

Donna Luker says:

on October 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I’ve said early goodbyes to far too many furry friends. They just don’t live long enough & it’s so damn hard to watch them go. I know that both you & Annie will experience the void of Nigel’s passing, but you’ll also still find some amount of happiness in the memories.

RIP Nigel.

My condolences to you & Annie.

Sincerely,
Mom to Piggy, Pooh, Leia & Luke (aka Fatass)

chris says:

on October 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Joe and Annie so sorry for your loss,Cats are such characters i understand where you are coming from Joe with the starting out my Parents had a cat who would size everyone up and let you know if you were allowed in sadly he is with us no more Rest in Peace Nigel

Michelle H says:

on October 15, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Joe, I’m so sorry about Nigel. My dog was diagnosed with Hermangiosarcoma over a year ago. With surgery and chemo, somehow he’s beating the odds on it, but we’re expecting the same type of thing any day. I feel horrible for you guys, and glad you wrote about him today.

Tom Marriage says:

on October 15, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Joe & Annie,

Sorry for your loss. Loved the stories about Nigel. Quite the character. All the best to both of you.

Duarte says:

on October 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I’m sorry for your lost, Joe & Annie.

Jebb Graff says:

on October 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I’m sorry to hear it. My wife and I were just going through all the posts we could find with Nigel in them the other night. We have two cats, one is black and named Cecil. We have a tender spot for all animals and definitely one for black cats. Again, we’re sorry and send our condolences to you and your family.

Jeff Weiler says:

on October 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Thanks so much, Joe, for the sweet story. Sounds like my wire’s story. Our three cats have helped her(and me) get thru a huge change in her life.

Frank F. says:

on October 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Hi Annie and Joe,

The best of luck in the coming time. It’s unbelievable how much you can love an animal. They just feel it when your down, they listen when you need to be heard and they hug you when you need it.

Verino Popovic says:

on October 15, 2010 at 4:46 pm

So sorry for you loss. =(

Gary F says:

on October 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Sounds like a lot of love, between souls who rescued each other. Hope you can find it in your heart to rescue another soul someday. Sorry that your pal had to leave so soon.

Pat Delany says:

on October 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Joe,

I am deeply and truly saddened by the news of Nigel’s passing. Please extend my condolences to Annie. I had the privilege of meeting her at LRP over Labor Day weekend and even asked asked after Nigel. I understand your loss. We have three furballs of our own, Slinky, Harley, and Buzz. Regrettably Slinky is in the twilight of her years and according to the vet, it only a matter of months. I dread the inevitable. It seems silly that these little bundles of fur can embed themselves so deeply into our hearts, yet I’m glad they can. I don’t think anyone can really understand what it means to be accepted by a cat. It’s a special thing, different from dogs and other pets. I hope your hearts heal buoyed by the fond memories of a being as special as Nigel. God’s speed to him.

Warmest regards,
Pat

Craig Brandt says:

on October 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Joe,

Been a fan of yours for several years now and can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from you and your writings on your blog. But that’s not the issue here…. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know what you are going through. My wife and I have had Great Danes for years. The sad part about these dogs is that you only get about 7 to 8 years with them, and then they’re gone. They are our kids, and every time we have lost a pair it’s devastating. So sorry for your loss of Nigel. I know there’s nothing anyone can say so I won’t try. Just remember that Nigel will never leave your heart and because of that he’ll always be with you in some way…. Take care and best wishes during this difficult time.

Craig

Gary says:

on October 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Sorry to hear about Nigel. I am glad all of you got to have some time together. I live with a Vet Tech and she takes in all of the strays, including me. God Bless you and your family Joe and bless Nigel where ever he may be.

Gary

Paul Evans says:

on October 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Sorry for your loss Annie & Joe

Lyn Rees says:

on October 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm

So sorry Joe. Really is losing one of the family.

Jack McGinnis says:

on October 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Heartfelt Joe, I’m sure Nigel was lucky to have you in his life. My best to you and Annie.

Morgana says:

on October 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I’m so sorry. I know what it’s like to lose a furry member of the family. :(

Polgara says:

on October 15, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Really sorry for your loss. No words to make it better. You have some wonderful memories of him

PatC says:

on October 15, 2010 at 6:07 pm

So sorry, Joe and Annie. Your broken hearts will mend, but your memories of Nigel will live forever. Thanks for sharing such a touching eulogy.

Jeff Raterink says:

on October 15, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Joe,

Sad to hear about Nigel’s passing. Loved watching him add his personal touch to some of your videos. I lost my dear friend Morph this summer. Balled like a schoolboy who had his knees scraped up. I used him for a bunch of impromptu lens/flash tests. It always hurts to see your friends go…

Bob_VA says:

on October 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Often this appears to comfort the loss of a dog . . . but I know it equally applies to those of the feline persuasion who entered and enriched out lives.

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent; Her eager body quivers. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

Edward says:

on October 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Joe and Annie, I am very sorry to hear about Nigel. I have a similar story about meeting my Wife and a little white and brown short hair named Gizmo, so your post strikes a particularly strong chord with me. It still amazes me, how someone so small can make such a big difference in our lives. Thank you for sharing him, and his antics with us on this blog. I can’t look at long stemmed glasses without smiling.
Cheers Nigel

Carl Cox says:

on October 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I’m sorry for your and Annie’s loss Joe. My cat was eighteen years old when he passed. That was six years ago and I still miss that cool kitty.

Gregg says:

on October 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I don’t know where I found this quote but I think it seems up feelings at a time like this pretty well.

‎”The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to them alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost”.

So sorry to hear of your loss, may time heal your hearts with loving and wonderful memories of your beloved friend and companion.

Jack Rea says:

on October 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Annie and Joe
I am sorry for your loss. I wish there was something one could say when we lose one of our furry pals, Nigel will be missed and will never be replaced. Thankfully you will always have your memories of him. It is hard I know I lost my Golden a short while ago, Thankfully there are the memories and photos.

Valerie Gossert says:

on October 15, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Joe and Annie, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I hurt right along with you and share your pain. It’s incredibly hard to lose one of our furbabies, especially to something as ugly as cancer. I know! It’s been 2 years since we lost our sheltie, Sera to cancer. It’s amazing, though, how they teach us and watch out for us right up to their last breath. I’m sure that Nigel was courageous, strong and had dignity during his battle, as did our Sera. I truly believe that God loves all His creation and one day, we WILL see them again.

Rick Lewis says:

on October 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Joe,

We lost little Sophie this year to lung cancer. We were blessed with eight years of her company and in many ways she could have been Nigel’s sister. I still find it hard to talk about and hard to believe I took it so hard.

Your words were very eloquent and I know very difficult to write. I’m glad you shared with us though. We’ll say a prayer for little Nigel tonight; may he rest in peace.

God bless,
Rick & Linda

Ken says:

on October 15, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I’m certainly familiar with how “pets” become much more — how they become an integral part of our families. I’m sorry for your loss. And I hope you also realize just how wonderful a life Nigel must have had. He will be patiently waiting for you on the other side. My best.

Tracy B says:

on October 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Your post today was so appropriate for me today.

Yesterday we said goodbye to Go, one special ferret. He is an inspiration to all. He had an accident in June that initially left him paralyzed but he got through it. He did so with tenacity and perseverance. When he got cancer, he took his medicine better than any ferret before him. He always fought the good fight, including in play. How they pull at our heartstrings, You can not tell me God didn’t put a soul in those animals and that He has a special place for them when they are done touching our lives on this earth.

I wish you and Annie the best as you adjust to his departure from your earthly lives, but believe he will still be listening to you for the rest of your days.

Simon says:

on October 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I’m really sorry to hear of your loss.

Animals to many of us make as big an impact when they go as do people – sometimes even bigger. The great memories you have, both photographic & mental, now take on a whole new meaning and a whole new level of preciousness. I recently lost my best friend from the animal kingdom quite suddenly & unexpectantly due to another extremely rare ‘rogue bastard cells’ type situation… writing this short comment to you stirs up a multitude of emotions than it maybe should but hey, I loved her very much.

Godspeed to Nigel.

BIgness says:

on October 15, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Joe,
Very sorry for you and Annie’s loss. One of the horrible things about blogs is we become part of a virtual “family” and I’ve always enjoyed the blogs and videos of Nigel-and I am not a cat person. His sheer size was surely all heart and brains and you’ve brought us all many many happy times with your stories of Nigel.

Now we must all mourn a little as well I guess. Hang in there. Everyday it will get just a tiny bit easier. Feel for you, really do.

joe says:

on October 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Condolences :-(

Michael Zdanis says:

on October 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Buried a bunch of animal friends … from cats and dogs to horses. It is all part of life, but never, ever easy. Best wishes at a hard time. They truly can be your best friends.

neil rasnick says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm

via con dios nigel

Jim White says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Sorry for your loss Joe. I’ll never forget the day I agreed to let my wife bring home two kittens, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Fifteen glorious years we shared with them and then they were gone. Sorry for your loss . . God Bless you and Annie

kathyt says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:44 pm

So sorry for your loss — my heart goes out to you and Annie. It is so hard to lose one that spends their whole life just loving you.

I have always enjoyed the stories and pictures about Nigel.

James B. says:

on October 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I’m very sorry for your loss, Joe.

On another note, I find it interesting how many women use their cats to gauge potential suitors.

Al says:

on October 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Sorry, man.

Paul Glover says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm

So very sorry for your loss. As a fellow cat-servant I know how close one can become to them. Our Chester is reminding me how important he is to us by sitting purring on my left arm while I type this around him.

Andreas says:

on October 15, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Sorry for your loss, Joe you’re a terrific writer. You made it very enjoyable to read a sad story.

Omar says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Hi Joe,
I’m so sorry for your loss. The 19Lb cat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s8I1DCokgw, we will remember him with love, RIP Nigel.

By the way, I want a NatGeo’s Shirt autographed by yourself.!
What I need to do?

Scott says:

on October 15, 2010 at 11:49 pm

We recently had to put our ferret (Snoopy) to sleep. For such a small and mostly voiceless little guy, he was a great teacher about remembering to play. A sweet and gentle soul if there ever were one. He was my buddy. And even my wife, who didn’t care too much for ferrets, came to love him with a big place in her heart. He just had that effect on everyone who met him. Changing their minds about this animal they didn’t know too much about. With me through good and bad. Always ready for a good game of chase and be chased. I wouldn’t have thought for a moment, when he came into my life rather unexpectedly, that he would leave such a huge hole, when he left it. Kinda hits you like a ton of bricks. Cancer sucks.

Losing a part of your family is never easy. Condolences to you and Annie.

Scott

Linda Jeffers says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:21 am

Condolences to you and Annie for the loss of your kitty. Just loved what you wrote about Nigel. What a writer you are.

Fausto says:

on October 16, 2010 at 1:10 am

Joe
As usual, your more personal posts knock me back on my heels. I’m so sorry about yours and Annie’s beloved Nigel. My hope is that your pain does not last long, but his memory will be with you a very long time.

William says:

on October 16, 2010 at 1:41 am

My beautiful furry friend lost her life prematurely this year. The world is a lonelier place.
Who’s going to sit on my keyboard now?
Sorry to hear, Joe.

Deb Young says:

on October 16, 2010 at 3:39 am

Joe
So sorry to hear of your loss – spotted Nigel a few times on your vids & when I knew you were a cat lover you instantly went up in my estimation! Shed a few tears whilst reading this!
Condolences to Annie too – both my cats were ‘rescue’ cats – sadly lost one on the road 10 years ago – I was devastated. Wiz, the remaining one is now 16 and although a bit arthritic manages ok, though I know I’ll be a mess when he goes.

God bless Nigel

SteveW says:

on October 16, 2010 at 3:44 am

Whew.

Love your blog because you write from the heart.
Today was no different except you ramped it up a heap.

Condolences.

Martin Jensen says:

on October 16, 2010 at 4:13 am

Sorry for the lost!!
Beautifull written!!

Lasse says:

on October 16, 2010 at 5:01 am

Annie and Joe, I’m really sorry for your loss. I can not imagine a cat having had a better home.

//Lasse

Kevin Blackburn says:

on October 16, 2010 at 5:07 am

Sorry for your loss my friend just did it with my Basset Hound Missy after 13yrs know how you feel.

You and family are in my prayers

Kevin

xuke says:

on October 16, 2010 at 5:13 am

Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too -

Bob M. Montgomery says:

on October 16, 2010 at 6:10 am

Joe,

As always, your way with words is just right. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your pal, your compatriot and your keeper, as well as Annie’s guardian, of course. We have a black bundle of fur who looks remarkably like NIgel and seems to exhibit many of the same personality traits.

All the best, sir. I’m sure Nigel would appreciate the thoughts, but he’s probably busy asking whoever’s guarding the animal pearly gates, “what’s for dinner?”

Bob

Steve says:

on October 16, 2010 at 6:46 am

Moving… words can hardly express my feelings reading the post

My condolences

KenG says:

on October 16, 2010 at 7:26 am

So very, very sorry for your family’s loss. I went through a similar period in June when I lost my beloved dog, Pixel. Perhaps Pixel can show Nigel around in his new home.

It gets easier, but it takes time.
Be well..

Skip Barber says:

on October 16, 2010 at 7:26 am

Joe,

Terribly sorry for your loss.

Skip

Dick Wood says:

on October 16, 2010 at 7:42 am

Joe:

I know how you feel, I roo had a close friend Juliette, and mutt of the first class. She was such a dear friend. We lost her 3 years ago, and remember her almost every day.

But remember all the love Nigel gave to all of you. God speed Nigel

Mark Coffey says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:11 am

This post really hit home. We have just lost our Echo, weeping I am reminded of how deep the wounds can be.

http://markcoffey.ca/blog/uncategorized/a-big-loss/

Thank you for your heartfelt post.

Pedro Moreno says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:19 am

Joe,
I am very sorry for you loss. Love your thoughts about Nigel.. He knew how much he meant for you and your family. He was love and he will be miss.

One day at the tiem.

Pedro

Jill Flusemann says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:21 am

Joe, Jill Flusemann here from Minneapolis. I had the pleasure of your company in New York and Venice (simply remember fondly the modified Wilma shot). I am SO SO sorry to hear about Nigel. Having lost my own BeBe a few years ago who was truly my baby in every sense of the word to kidney disease I know how hard it is. Wishing you, Annie and the family all my best. I have BeBe in a stone cat on my cupboard so she is with me. How lucky you were to have a Nigel. Take care,
Jill

Kathleen says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:22 am

Joe and Annie, I’m so sorry to hear about Nigel. As a cat person myself I know how they become most-loved family members and how hard it to lose them. I always showed my two your posts about Nigel so they’ll misss him too. Hope Arie is OK.

Scott Robert Lim says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:24 am

So sorry, I know a beloved pet is like a family member. Thank you for sharing- I know his spirit will live on and the little reminders of his life that use to be a nuisance- like his cat nips here and there- ruining your new this or that, are celebrations and sweet reminders of his blessed life. May you find peace and gratefulness and sorrow to comfort your soul.

Christy says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:25 am

I have trained my dog Senna (named after Ayrton Senna) to shake her head “no” when asked “do you like cats?” Despite our apparent bias, I confess to tearing up when I read your post. So sorry for your loss and my best wishes.

Viveca says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:29 am

A truly moving tribute, so beautifully written in that it is not at all maudlin, just a homage to an old friend who will always be there with you in your hearts…

Cindy says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:31 am

Cats can really find their way into a special person’s heart. Our 9 yr. old maine coon was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma nearly two years ago. for some reason he has survived, but walks a thin line everyday. My husband now calls him the spoiled child. You and Annie had the privilege of caring for a cat…that is something special. God Bless.

Terry Riley says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:33 am

Sorry for your loss. We lost our 10 year old black lab last week to Mast cell cancer. He was a big part of the family. Thanks for all the motivation and enthusiasm that you bring.

sandy says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:36 am

I feel your loss, we just lost our Maltese after a wonderful and long 17 years with us. I’m sorry seems inadequate, but I am and thanks for sharing… and the morning tears

Rusty Bryant says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

I know how you feel Joe. I’ve lost my both my little boston terrier Emma and my yellow tabby cat Eggo. How is it that an animal can get that close to our hearts?

Tyler Vance says:

on October 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

Well said.

tv

Robert Trahan says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

My condolences on the loss of your beloved Nigel; may he chase light and mice in heaven.

Gerry Johnson says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:07 am

Joe,
Thank you for sharing. Nigel must be proud of how well he trained you (as mine have me).
God bless.
gerry

Jim Digby says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:12 am

Oh my God it hurts. Our hearts are with you and Annie.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….
Author unknown…

Debbie W says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:16 am

I’m so sorry for your loss. Your post was a wonderful tribute to Nigel. I think once you have lost a beloved pet, you experience a little of the pain others are going through when you hear of their loss. My thoughts are with you both.

Matt Brandon says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

Joe and Annie, I too am sorry to hear about Nigel. Just two weeks back while I was leading a workshop I learned that my cat had died while I was away. We don’t know why and will never know. I have always been a dog guy till we moved to Malaysia. My daughter wanted a pet and with so many Muslim friends we felt a cat was a better choice. I begrudgingly gave in. Jessie rescued Shadow from the some woods next to a local wet-market. The vet said the kitten only had day or two left had Jess not brought it home. Shadow became my lap buddy and like a dog would put his head on my lap and insist I pet him. All that to say, I feel your loss. Blessing.

Karen Squires says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:23 am

I’m so sorry Joe. I understand how you feel.
Go rescue another kitty. I’m sure Nigel would approve.

hugs

Karen

Eric says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:24 am

Joe & Annie, I am sorry for the loss of your good friend, Nigel. My wife & I recently went through almost the same quick unexpected loss of our dear friend. It is hard. Eventually it gets easier to where you mostly just remember the good times and they make you smile and laugh (plus shed a tear or two.)

Mary Ellen says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:27 am

We lost our Golden of 13 years to the same cancer. One and a half years later it still hurts, but I can’t imagine missing out on all the joy she gave us. Thank you for sharing ~ even if it made me cry.

Eric Laberge says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

I truly feel for you Joe, as many here who have commented so far. It is difficult to lose a loving pet, and their absence hits you more than you realize. I know where you are coming from as I have experienced the same thing as well. They still hold a place in your heart long after they have gone, even 15 years later in my case.

knh771 says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:34 am

I’m very sorry for your loss. I’ve always felt cats choose us, rather than the other way around. Furry guardian angels of sorts. Prayers for peace and comfort…

Richard Davis says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:43 am

Joe,

I share your pain! Many years ago, when I was 11 or 12 we pickup up a kitten from I don’t remember where. We called her Matilda for a few days till we discovered she was a boy and changed the name to Mathew, Matty for short.

Matty grew up with me, through my parent’s break up and divorce, moving house, etc. He saw me off to college and welcomed me back whenever I came home. When I took to working I would go off overseas for 10 week tours before returning home. Matty would sleep on my mother’s bed when I was gone but my mother started to notice him moving back to my bed one or two days before my return.

What was more curious was, as my schedules became less regular and my returns less frequent, Matty would still somehow be able to predict my impending return. Mostly I couldn’t call ahead to announce my return but Matty would know.

And then, one day, many years later when he was 15 or 16 he went to my room, curled up on the bed and refused to take any food. My mother took him to the vet and they decided the best course of action was to put him down. I came home two days later. I was incredibly sad.

Matty used to spend the summer days snoozing under the rhubarb leaves so we cremated him and hurried him under the rhubarb. And every year the rhubarb comes back strong as ever – like his eternal gift to us.

Bob Stares says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:50 am

Hi Joe…I live alone, well that is without another human. I have 2 cats. Little Boy and Little Boy Too. I recently had a scare with Little Boy that brought into perspective how much that little animal meant to my happiness and how sad I had become at the thought of losing him. Think about the comfort and fun he brought into your life and do what we all do when we lose something we love…remember to smile when you think of him.

Jerry says:

on October 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

Mine was an orande Tabby. We did chemo, etc. It was more for us than him. My condolences.

John Tebbetts says:

on October 16, 2010 at 10:09 am

Joe and Annie- I am so very sorry to learn of your losing Nigel. Joe, thank you for sharing your and Annie’s love for Nigel with all of us. For me, I’m just glad that I don’t have to account to anyone down here or a higher power as to whether the loss of one of the dog members of my family versus some folks I know is more painful. If only we could be as good as some of our pets. Many the memories temper the pain.

Leon says:

on October 16, 2010 at 10:10 am

A wonderful tribute! Sorry for the loss of a good friend…

Atiyeh says:

on October 16, 2010 at 10:15 am

the first time i heard about Nigel was when I was watching one of your clips and he came in and u were distracted and you said, oh here is nigel.. come in nigel… and he came looked around but left! I just knew he is one speical cat..

sorry for your loss.. beautiful post for his memory.

God bless.

Veronica C. Burgess says:

on October 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

I appreciate you sharing such a personal event in your lifes. Having lost a pet recently, this brought up some serious emotion. I am so sorry for your loss.

Veronica C. Burgess

Jay Abramson says:

on October 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

Sincere condolensces to you and Annie. I know well how you feel. Remeber him fondly and often. gotta stop now – can’t type when I can’t see the keys…

Tammy says:

on October 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

So sorry to hear about that, Joe. So sad…but a beautiful tribute. He will be up there with Beautiful Joe (if you know that book) all good as new and teaching the others how to be VAL’s!

Mo says:

on October 16, 2010 at 11:18 am

Sorry to hear about Nigel. I had cats before and lost them. I was impressed to hear that your wife is an F1 fan and her cat was named after Mansell. You should get her a new cat and call him Ayrton)) she won’t be disappointed

Jason says:

on October 16, 2010 at 11:21 am

:( A very sad day for you and the family. Thank you for sharing such a great homage.

Rob Byron says:

on October 16, 2010 at 11:42 am

Hi Joe,

My most sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved Nigel. Our pets are our babies and their loss is just the same as if it was a person. I fully and absolutely understand your feelings.

A great blog post today, one that would make Nigel proud… or at least purr a little. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Take care and may God bless you and Annie.

Rob

Terry Wheeler says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Joe,
Never thought I would get teary eyed reading your blog!
Cats and Dogs truly are part of the family! I have felt this same pain you are feeling, so I know it hurts!
Thank God for people like you and Annie that love and respect pets!

Terry

kkjensen says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Joe & Annie,

My deepest condolences for your loss. Nigel’s left big shoes to fill.

God bless…

kkjensen

Vic Peek says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Sorry for your loss. My best buddy Elmo ( 15 year old Cocker ) died in my arms (cancer) 5 years ago. Still think about him and still miss him. I still feel the void when I get home – he was there to greet me every time. Dogs and cats love you for regardless. Time will reduce the pain but the good memories will be there forever.

Ilkka says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm

My condolences. In that first picture he looks like an older version of our youngest. All one can do is to be thankful of the time one gets, I suppose.

Stephane Hachey says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm

May he rest in peace. Sorry for you loss.

Glenn Riegel says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I always enjoy your blog posts and share your insights and adventures with my high school students (I teach photography at a vocational school). This note hits home on so many fronts and drills a hole into that special spot that anyone that has ever loved a four legged being and lost them to age or disease will know exists forever in their soul.

It’s been ten years, and yet, when I read your need to share, the emotion wells up as if it were yesterday. Loved ones never leave us…we simply mourn the loss of their physical connection.

-Blessings to you both and to all that celebrate special relationships.

-Glenn

Alex Ödman says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I’m sorry for your loss.

I know how it feels. When I was round seven years we got a cat. Since then and 18 years to come we was brother-in-arms. He was my brother and we understood each other like no one else.

Here are two pictures of him. http://www.alexfotograf.se/2010/aslan

Take care Joe. You are big source of inspiration.

/ Alex

Jeff Lawrence says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

My deepest of condolences. Animals are my favorite people.
I have not posted before, but this post definately deserves a comment. A pet can easily become a close family member and I can’t imagine how I will feel one day when I will eventually loose my own. Always remember Nigel and the good times. I am confident that Nigel was as fond of you as you were of Nigel and take comfort in knowing that Nigel knew how deeply you and the family cared for him.

God Bless from one of you photographer fans.

Kerry says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Joe,

We’re sorry to hear about your loss. People that don’t have an affinity for pets as part of the familiy won’t understand. We’re dog folks more than cat people, but we completely understand your feelings towards Nigel.
Over the years, we’ve lost a number of pet family members some of which had been with us 15+ years. Know this. Nigel’s body may be in the ground, but his spirit lives on. He knew he was loved and a respected part of your family.

Kerry

Ryan says:

on October 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm

My condolences to you and Annie. As a cat lover myself, your story brought tears to my eyes. Ever since I’ve started following your blog I could tell Nigel meant a lot to you, and I’m sure he will be greatly missed.

James Falsken says:

on October 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I feel for you Joe and extend my condolences. I have to say do not wait to bring another new face into your family’s life. It is the best way to mend your heart. I know because just 2 weeks ago someone poisoned my service dog and my losing her nearly cost me my own life. She was just 3 1/2 years old when someone tossed a tainted hunk of meat into our yard. I cried for days after her passing and I started to look for a new dog to train to become a service dog like my dog Lizard was.

I bought home a dog from my local shelter and we are hitting it off pretty well. We started the 2 year long process for training her. The tears have dryed up now, but I will forever carry my best friend around with me. I am sure you would have wanted me to keep going.

The thing is the shelters are full and need good loving homes to place these forgotten animals. My local shelter gets 1500 dogs a day and only has kennels for 300. I do not want to know what happens to the unlucky ones that never get a chance to the rare kennel space. In looking for my new dog Kaelee. I visited the shelter on four separate days and there never was a single empty kennel. Even after taking kaelee home I know her kennel wouldn’t be empty for very long. I say before you give away or toss old toys go find a new loved one. It will help to ease the pain of losing a dear friend.

My Service dog Lizard could even call 911 for me and that is something my ex-wife would never do! I wish you all the best!

Jackee Swinson says:

on October 16, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Joe, So sorry for your loss. Our pets become close and very special to us. Think of him as being in a better place and being happy. You will be with him again someday. Until that day arrives please keep him alive with all the memories.
I love your blogs. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Tiffany Meyer says:

on October 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm

This is your most revealing and information rich post yet, Joe. I am so sorry for your loss…though I know Nigel will reappear in your lives as another creature. Bless you both for caring and nurturing some “throw away shelter animals” and letting them realize both your potentials together.

Gary Martin says:

on October 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Annie+ Joe..So sorry to hear of your loss..I have watched the video’s on youtube where Nigel was in the background and read your books where you mentioned Nigel numerous times..He was obviously a huge part of your life and of your memories of the years gone by..I hope that you guys can be happy in the future without him.. He was a lovely kitty…Obviously had huge character..I hope he went peacefully and May he rest in peace…
Big hugs from Dublin Ireland! Keep up the great work..
Gary..

Gisele Pernell says:

on October 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm

My friend David Hufford sent your blog to me. I am so sorry for the loss of you and your wifes cat Nigel. Animal people are a special breed and the loss of a pet at times hurts more than the loss of a human friend. I guess it goes with the unconditional love a pet provides and their wisdom of which people you can trust. There is a site RainbowBridge.com with a lovely poem that will ease your heavy heart and give you hope that you will meet up again. I lost my beloved Maggie May, a 5 lb bundle of love on Aug 6 this year and I have the poem framed with her picture by my front door. It does help ease the pain of losing her after 12 years of endless puppy kisses and long conversations and secret sharings. I also have 2 rescued cats and a Pomeranian named Kissy that still looks for Maggie in the house.
God bless you all for providing them a home with love and the courage to admit that you are an animal lover and not afraid to let people know it.

Penny says:

on October 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I know some people tell you animals have no souls. I think these people are sadly mistaken. Or maybe they’ve never had that animal best friend that has touched them. Most of us out here have had an pet and felt the extreme loss at their passing. I have had quite a few myself. At the time the pain is something you can’t talk about, or deal with. It’s a pain that makes you wonder if having pets is worth the pain of loosing them. They seem to be here and gone so fast it’s not fair. All we can know as “owners”, which we are not, is that we gave them the best life possible while they were here. I know that each pet I’ve had knows without a doubt that I loved it to pieces. And I know they loved me. They are family, to me anyways. You loose a part of yourself when they pass. And I sure hope if there is an afterlife that all my little buddies are awaiting my arrival. Cause if they’re not, well, I just don’t see the possibility of eternal joy and happiness. As I type my dog Jesse is out basking in the fall sunshine, enjoying every moment, something we tend to forget to do. So Joe, know that he knew you as a best friend and will always be your little rose eater :-)

Tom O'Connor says:

on October 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Joe, what a great story.
So many similarities in our lives.
I grew up in New York and went high school in the Bronx.
Wonder how many pictures of yours I saw in the Daily News riding the D-Train to 164th street.

Chris says:

on October 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm

My “Nigel” was Omar..also a black Persian ball of sweetness. And I had him to comfort me after I lost my “Annie” to cancer. He’s now gone too; but I feel both their loves in my heart. Joe, it is beautiful to be sensitive and feel the highs and lows of life as you do…sure beats the tough opposite.

Best

Chris

Tom O'Connor says:

on October 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Joe, what a great story.
So many similarities in our lives.
I grew up in New York and went to high school in the Bronx.
Wonder how many pictures of yours I saw in the Daily News while riding the D-Train to 164th street way back when.
I have 2 great shots of my beloved cat Kaisee next to her “cat in the box” remains. I hope to see her and Nigel on the other side too.
Tom

Jason L. says:

on October 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I am glad you shared with us how Nigel lived it is better to keep those we love alive in our hearts than to think of them as being gone. Those moments you share have a way of teaching you decisions yet to com. Sorry for your loss!be joyous of what you shared!

Chell says:

on October 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm

So sorry for your loss of your sweet fur baby. Some pets really leave their mark in our lives. Thanks for sharing your tribute to him with us.

thom says:

on October 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm

sorry for your loss.

Tim Buckner says:

on October 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm

I am so sorry for you loss.

Mike Neale says:

on October 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm

All the words have been said, Joe,…(227 compassionate hugs before ours),…what a great family.

mn

stewart says:

on October 16, 2010 at 6:50 pm

my condolences on your loss – it is always tough to take losing a pet. hopefully he’s sitting up there in kitty heaven having a nice bowl of catnip, watching NCIS and having a good time!

Deb P says:

on October 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Oh my gosh Joe, thank you for sharing this. I am so sorry about Nigel. I loved when he made his way into your videos! I can relate to your hurt and I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts!

Dan Appel says:

on October 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm

It has always been fun to read of Nigel’s antics and many of the tube videos in your series. He will be missed by many, but no more so than you. I am so sorry for your loss.

David says:

on October 16, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Joe and Annie, I am so sad to hear that Nigel has moved to another place that is watching both of you from. I am sure that his motor is running at quick pace.

Jeanne says:

on October 16, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Your Nigel tales always brought smiles to my face. They own us, you know and dig deeply into our hearts, never letting go, really. I am so sorry for your loss. As the human to three geriatric cats and a kitten with three legs, I can appreciate the sense of loss and loyalty. No doubt, Nigel will be waiting for you on the other side, expecting more chatter from the sports’ pages.

Jeanne

Alexis says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:28 pm

No need for apologies — I think many of us know what it’s like to lose a beloved pet. This was a lovely tribute.

Oliver RR says:

on October 16, 2010 at 9:50 pm

This hits home. Our little scarred portly black ball of rescued fur seems to live on love alone, but she gives more than she takes and my back will probably never recover fronm the position I have to sit in to work at the computer while she sleeps on my lap. Why don’t I just make her sleep somewhere else? Well, reading this post you know why, that’s how they end up sleeping on scanners. How do you say no to a cat? (you don’t). I am sorry for your and Annie’s loss.

Doug Evans says:

on October 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Joe & Annie –

I’m very sorry to read of your loss! I’ve enjoyed and laughed at the stories and images you’ve shared of Nigel over the years. It’s a very difficult pain to get through and I truly sympathize.

My childhood buddy, “Waldo” was a goofy character stuck in a labs unconditionally loving body. From my late teens to mid 20s saw me through many happy and some heavy times with the usual and uncanny love and apparent understanding that he always did.

I rescued him from a Hippie Commune in Wilton, CT in 1979 (not kidding) where he was loved, but unintentionally neglected. When visiting my Mother’s friends, Waldo and I immediately had some connection – and everyone saw it. Waldo expressed it when I was away and really made it known when we’d go back to visit.

The “owner” was going back to school in Bridgeport that fall and had no place for a big, energetic 1 year old lab – I grabbed the opportunity and after a million promises and pleas, he came back with me.

Everyone fell in love with that amazing pooch!

After a thousand stories and 11 years of unconditional companionship ended abruptly one night – I came home to find my buddy was gone – hour by hour, then a day – a few more, a week – eventually the hurt did lessen – yet still so easily brings tears to my eyes all these years later.

I, as most here do, understand a bit of what you feel and hope that as silly and trite as it may sound, we share in your sadness while hoping the pain recedes quickly giving way to the happy memories – You two gave Nigel a great, love filled life!

Joe, your entry was stirring and beautifully written. You two are in my thoughts…

Doug

James F says:

on October 16, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I’m so sorry.

We almost lost Edgar, our Siamese-shaped great Dane, to cancer, and still count each day with him as a blessing because we know it’s only in remission. You and Annie have our sympathy, and I’m sure he appreciates the roses – all cats are ruled by their stomachs, I swear it.

Michelle says:

on October 16, 2010 at 11:34 pm

My condolences to you, Annie & Joe. Our fuzzy friends give us more than we know, treasure Nigel’s memory in your hearts and he will be with you forever.

JerseyStyle Photography says:

on October 16, 2010 at 11:35 pm

A perfect post for your friend, your family. Us here in NJ are sending our best to you and Annie. Our pup, Bella, was knockin’ on heaven’s door last year but luckily pulled through. These little beings…they touch us. This is a great remembrance.

Godspeed, Nigel.

Juli says:

on October 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm

sorry for your loss. feel for you deeply. my Cuddles is responsible for my husband being with me today. she’s the one he had to be able to past muster with. we lived with one of my brothers from the time she was a kitten, and after we moved she would hide from him when he came to visit. this is a person she knew, so when she let Mark pet her, he was it. she left me a few years ago, but went off to die on her own so I don’t really have closer even now. I was crying as I got to the end of your blog as it reminded me of several of my feline friends. Thomas, long departed, used to wake me if I over slept for he had to have that one tbsp of wet food each morning. Cuddles for the reasons above, and Tigger who passed just this summer. She started acting old and Mark, knowing how I felt about Cuddles not giving me closer, told her “whatever happens, you can’t go die on your own cause mom can’t take it again.” she didn’t. we were both there and told her goodbye and it was okay to go. I’m counting on seeing all my furry friends again on the other side.

AdamJRed says:

on October 16, 2010 at 11:57 pm

We are sorry for your loss, but are glad he left such a wonderful legacy of memories, some now shared with us.

While they may not like it, our cats will get an extra hug today

David says:

on October 17, 2010 at 12:24 am

So sorry for your loss, Joe. My own furry little ones have been my constant companions (and, I admit, more than occasional photographic subjects).

Victor says:

on October 17, 2010 at 1:03 am

Thank you for sharing this personal story. Like you, I met our dog Bonbon when I met my wife. She also lost her battle against hemangiosarcoma earlier this year. She may not be here with us now, but she will always be in our hearts, as I’m sure Nigel will be in yours. My condolences to you and Annie. May Nigel rest in peace.

Bonbon’s story: http://bonbon.pets-memories.com

Une Herzer says:

on October 17, 2010 at 3:57 am

Sorry for your loss, but also thank you for sharing that recount of a lovely friendship.
We too lost, or said goodbye to a few dear pets along life’s road. It’s the memories we hold that keep the bonds strong.

Gloria M says:

on October 17, 2010 at 5:21 am

Joe- You had me in tears. I hear it gets easier with time. I’m not sure yet as my furry child of 18 went to Kitty Heaven in August. Thinking of you, Annie and Nigel……

Gloria M Maine 2010 DLWS

Deanna says:

on October 17, 2010 at 5:26 am

Hey Joe, our thoughts are with you all. We lost our beautiful dog to cancer this past Christmas, and I blogged about her too (http://deannawhyte.com.au/?p=172, if you’re interested). She was my husband’s dog before I showed up, but luckily she decided she liked me, too. Her end was, like Nigel’s, sudden and super FAST. I still hear her around the house occasionally, and feel like her protective spirit is keeping an eye on us. xox

Mary says:

on October 17, 2010 at 6:10 am

I am sorry. I know how hard losing a friend in a cat suit is. Time will help.

Ruth Knox says:

on October 17, 2010 at 7:47 am

Thanks, Joe, for sharing with us the magic you and Nigel shared. I’m honored to have met him through your blog.

Nigel Walker says:

on October 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

Hey Joe,

My sincerest apologies on your old mate. You may recall me from Dubai and your initial absence when Chase had to take your class for the first day back in 2008 at GPP & possibly my return visit the following year. Alas I go by the same name & hope my days are as happy if not longer than your old pal.

Go well and I trust that a living Nigel makes a little hope grow stronger, albeit not feline!

We all love your work Joe – and as for you passion in life, we sincerely trust you will grace the shores of the photo world forever and a day.

Nigel (the Photog!)

KatrinaZ says:

on October 17, 2010 at 10:36 am

Thanks for sharing your loss with us. It helps others of us like me to deal with the lost of a pet also. I lost my dog Prancer in July 2010 after his having been my shadow for 10 years. We miss them but are thankful for the time we had with them.

Steve Ashton says:

on October 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Bloody hell Joe, you have me in tears…… so sorry for your loss bud, I know how it feels to loose a close animal friend.

The words you wrote say so much about you as a person, anybody who feels that way about any animal is a very good person. We lost a cat 5 years ago now. The night he died in the vets we went for a walk a walk we have done many times before. That night a black cat just like ours crossed our path not once but 4 times.

We stopped he came to us we stroked him and he he rolled on his back. Then he got up and just walked off….. stopped and looked back at us… we never saw him again. I have done that walk hundreds of times since. Not one more black cat.

It will get easier in time but why would you forget him…. he will for ever be part of your life.

Ban_D says:

on October 17, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I’m sorry for your loss too – sorry to hear these news.
Pets can really become like would be sons and daughters, so i know too by experience how hard to loose them. :-(

Kirk Norbury says:

on October 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm

We just our cat a couple weeks ago due to old age, sad time :( Nigel looked just like Mitsy :) first time I saw him I thought he was her long lost brother, or boyfriend :)

I’m sorry for your loss

Best wishes

Kirk Norbury

David Apeji says:

on October 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

So sorry for your loss Joe and Annie.

Charlie Horvath says:

on October 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm

My wife’s gatekeeper was named Nerd – a black himalayan that had to give his okay for one to have a chance. he left us a few years ago much like Nigel so your story had a special meaning to me and Su. At least Nerd and your Nigel will be waiting for us when we cross the Rainbow Bridge — what a day that will be!

Daniel Solorio says:

on October 17, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Almost cry, sorry for your loss.

Best from Mexico.

Daniel

J W Nienstedt says:

on October 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Ugh, losing a pet is rough. It’s amazing when you realize how much they give to you. There’s nothing like the loyalty of a good pet. I’m sure Nigel will be well remembered.

Randy Frost says:

on October 17, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Joe and Annie, I am so sorry for your loss.

Alan says:

on October 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm

I am so sorry for your loss.
There is something very special about the animals that share their lives with us.

My wife found Kaila as part of a litter of cats that had ben thrown into a trash can.
Raised as a dog, her cat was the most protective animal I have ever come across.
She slept on her own pillow at the head of the bed and every morning would look at me… deciding if I was allowed to stay one more day.

She lost her battle with kidney disease recently and I swear I still see her darting into a room out of the corner of my eye.

Thank you for sharing this.
Always nice to be reminded that we are not alone.

Alan

Sotiris_s says:

on October 17, 2010 at 11:39 pm

I so sorry for your loss. I have experience a similar one some years ago.

Jay Rodriguez says:

on October 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I am so sorry for your loss Joe & Annie.
My Wife Judy and I experienced a loss too last year. I had a pure bread Siamese show-cat named Lynx that was part of our family for several years. He was known as the welcoming committee over at my home.
I know how you guys are feeling right now.
My condolences!

~jay

Linda Shapiro says:

on October 18, 2010 at 12:26 am

Some say when we get to heaven our pets come running out to meet us. I so hope that’s true! I’ll have one wonderful pound puppy named Zeke who gave us 17 happy years up there wagging his tail and ready to take us for a walk. I’m so sorry for your and Annie’s loss of Nigel. Thanks for sharing the story and the hurt.

Jason says:

on October 18, 2010 at 1:15 am

Mine is “Maggie”…stereotypical in stature, the Black Lab that has ruled my life for the last 10 years. Her gray and hiding periodically warns me of things to come, and if I have the grace to deliver a eulogy like yours, and not bawl like a baby, well…let’s just say that’s not gonna happen.

My heart truly goes out to you – non-pet owners just never understand how much a part of our lives these children become. Yours must be aching now, and while the ache fades with time, the memories linger forever. It may not help now, but know that other hearts are with you…

Louis van Zyl says:

on October 18, 2010 at 1:26 am

Sorry for you loss. I still miss “Alex” even though she has been gone more that a year. She is still around every corner. The fond memories last forever.

Valerie Evans says:

on October 18, 2010 at 4:23 am

Joe, and Annie

I’m so sorry. It’s one of the most humane things I’ve ever seen to watch a grown adult mourn the loss of a pet. And I know they aren’t really pets. They’re family members. Best wishes

Julie says:

on October 18, 2010 at 8:34 am

What a beautiful tribute to Nigel. You may not be able to read it to him but I think he can hear and see you. I think their spirit lives on with us until we meet again. You know what is said, love never dies. Bravo to Annie for adopting and giving a second chance to her furbabies. My sympathy to both of you.

Tanya Rist says:

on October 18, 2010 at 8:35 am

Joe and Annie,

So sorry for your loss. Our 17 year old Yorkie has numerous medical issues, and I swear she’s surviving on love alone at this point. She is the light of our lives, along with Ruby cat, our little black kitty that I rescued from the streets back in June. Its so difficult losing a loved one, and our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. All the best from Switzerland……

IPBrian says:

on October 18, 2010 at 8:36 am

I am truly sorry to hear this Joe. Best wishes.

Rui Cruz says:

on October 18, 2010 at 9:09 am

Dear Joe,

so sorry to hear about Nigel. I really liked the video you made of him. I really love cats, have four at my house (well, you know it’s actually ‘their’ house).

There’s one less reason to come to your website now. It’s a good thing you can take a picture! :)

They really grow into your heart, a little like a weed. It’s very difficult to let them go. At least you have pictures.

They do kinda’ prove you existed, don’t they?

Maybe now you and Annie can save another one, maybe an “Ayrton”?

God bless.

Rui

Corey Melton says:

on October 18, 2010 at 10:59 am

wonderfully put. sorry for your loss, Flash.

-Corey Melton

Chris Rowe says:

on October 18, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Don’t usually do cat stories (I’m not a cat fan and anyway I’m allergic to the little sweethearts!) but I really teared up reading your story Joe.

So sorry for your loss – my thoughts are with you.

Chris

Rick Massie says:

on October 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Sorry for your loss. Those animals certainly become a powerful part of the family, I keep telling myself my dog and cats are going to live forever. If only…

A nice tribute to Nigel. Sounds like he will certainly be missed. My thoughts are with you.

tzb says:

on October 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I know a lot about what you had to go through… Been in these shoes twice over the last years. I often smiled seeing Nigel in your photos and videos, as he reminded me of our cats, and now this news really did sadden me. I am sorry for your loss and these aren’t empty words.
Godspeed.

Mark Vinett says:

on October 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Hi Joe and Annie,

My condolences to you both on your loss of Nigel. My wife and I lost our beautiful tuxedo cat Abbey last fall to an infection. The loss was very traumatic for us. I got all emotional and teary with your blog. These litter gifts from God warm our hearts with such unconditional love….and warm our laps with kneading on a cold winter’s day….And can bring a big man to tears….

Joe I love to read your blog. Your writing style makes me feel like your talking right to me….like we are in the same room. I love your Pics. Just picked up your new Life book….Life was a great magazine. I always looked for that magazine when my dad came home from the post office.

Again my condolences to you both.

Mayra Martinez says:

on October 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Just made it home after DLWS ME, and read your post. We have two cats, and they are members of our family (not ‘just pets’). I am sorry to know that Nigel is no longer in this world, but he’ll live on as long as you remember him. Our condolences to you, Annie and Arie.

Chris Wanamaker says:

on October 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm

As a cat owner myself, I have a hard time imagining what life would be like without my “Bella”, “Peanut” and “Madeline”. Joe and Annie, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you two.

Deb says:

on October 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm

So sorry for your loss. My old man is sitting with me right now. I treasure everyday with him and pray that he will be waiting for me on the other side. I’m sure Nigel will be waiting for you!

Deb

Zahir Turion says:

on October 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Hi Joe … this sentence is very touching “tapping my forehead gently with his paw to remind me it was past breakfast. Keeping me company on one of his favorite perches-our flatbed scanner. ”

hope you’ll be ok soon :) be strong :)

Dwayne D.C. Tucker II says:

on October 19, 2010 at 6:44 am

Joe,

I’m sorry about the lost;
That was a beautiful read I almost dropped a tear for ya. I’ve seen him on the blog a few times already he was a beautiful cat! :(

Keep strong.

DT.
Miami, Florida | Nassau, Bahamas

DAR says:

on October 19, 2010 at 9:23 am

How sad to lose a furry friend like Nigel. I read the blog only because of the beautiful shot of his shiny fur that reminded me so much of my “Olive” who is also out there frolicking with Nigel now. She was my best friend and also surveyed every guy who came to court me. She would bite those she didn’t like. Instant decision on who was right for us. She did decide on one however but shortly thereafter she had to be put down also. She was 15 at the time. She was right about her cat bite decisions.
I miss her very much and your photo made me think of her again. Thanks for that wonderful write up too. My condolences to you and Annie.
DAR
Florida

Paul Fletcher says:

on October 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Joe – I am really really sorry to hear about Nigel. We have two cats, one very much like him. Our cats love to be with me in my office when I am working on imges. The one will get up from a soft cushy place just to come sleep by me on a hard pelican case. Our cat like Nigel loved to be carried, get & give neck messages and just be by us.

Hope comes in the morning,

blessing on you & your wife,

Paul

yael says:

on October 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

So sorry for your loss. i’ve just lost my 20+ years old cat Fuki, last Monday, 8 days ago. She died i believe, in her sleep, as i found her upon returning home. I’m so grieving over her, and i can understand how you must feel. She was a light coloured persian cat, sweet and innocent. I’m sure Nigel had the best of homes and lives. Maybe Nigel and my little Fuski are playing now together in cat’s heaven.
May he rest in peace.

Jeff Klofft says:

on October 19, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Joe,

So sorry to hear of your loss. Our black cat got a form of digestive cancer at age 8 and we had to give her a steroid pill daily (never a fun thing to do with a cat). She lasted on that regime for over 5 years. It was still tough to see her go. You certainly gave Nigel a worthy send-off.

Jeff

Jack Flemmings says:

on October 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Joe,

So sorry to hear about Nigel. Prayers for peace and comfort to you and Annie. My wife and I also lost our Sweet Pea in May of last year. Still very hard to think about. I read your post to Judy, she wishes I hadn’t, and thought I could make it through but broke down slightly toward the end.

I truly believe they know when it’s time. Sweet Pea came over to me for one last belly rub, though she cut it short, something she would never do and then went over to Judy for one last kiss. She was weak, most likely hurting, but said good-bye with lady like dignity.

Now the rest of the story: We had no plans to replace her, not for a long time anyway. But my animal lover wife took in a stray a little after that, that was in bad shape and expecting kittens. She delivered five healthy babies on July 3, 2009, amazing considering how sick she was. She didn’t live much longer after that. Through circumstances we ended up keeping the first born. Named him Liberty but he gets called Henry mostly. It’s bittersweet but Liberty has some how wound himself into our lives. I think we hold back our heart a little, at least for a while, but somehow we have another furry friend without intending.

Blessings to you and Annie….

Dianne A says:

on October 19, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Joe – sooo sorry for your loss. One reader said it wonderfully – a friend in a cat suit. I’ve had several of those cat-suit-friends over the years and it doesn’t get any easier to lose them. They become part of you – plain and simple. Sending good wishes to you and Annie and Arie. Go find another furry friend who will not replace Nigel, but will add yet another love to your life.

Jeff says:

on October 20, 2010 at 2:19 am

Been following your blog for some time and whenever I try and explain to my wife some amazing thing you managed to do, she immediately knows who you are – “the guy with the cat”.

Both me and my wife started our mornings with red swollen eyes. We too have our nigel whom I had to ask permission to court and has since become “my” cat. But time is also moving on for him and we’ll probably soon be in a similar position…
Our sincere condolences – even we will miss Nigel.

Gemma Harris says:

on October 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

i understand how you feel. am sure nigel is looking over you all blinking her love back to you x

Paul says:

on October 20, 2010 at 10:37 am

Allthough your post is written in your personal style, which is funny, positive, full of good energy, you’ve transmitted a deep sorrow. I hope Nigel is in cat Heaven where he gets to eat all the roses he wants…

Ken Lim says:

on October 20, 2010 at 5:51 pm

In how you put pen to paper, is why we enjoy your work and your personality. With this entry, Nigel is not just a cat, he is your child, you made him human to us and shared his quirkiness in your videos. Again, the uniqueness of your personality is portrayed through your videos, either instructional or a skit with God.

Thanks for sharing your inner most thoughts with us.

Paul says:

on October 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm

So sorry to read about Nigel. Being a photographer and a photography lecturer in the UK I’ve bought your books and watched your films on You Tube and, as a cat owner, particularly enjoyed Nigel’s cameo appearance. We lost a cat too this Summer and it leaves a hole in our lives that we can at least fill with happy memories.

Paul

Wwt says:

on October 21, 2010 at 5:34 am

As usual, powerful, moving and illuminating words (pun at least partly intended). Like one of the other commenterrs, I like to pretend to myself that our lovable furball (that also leaves hair on the scanner — and everywhere else) will be with us forever… I’m so sorry for your loss — our thoughts are with you.

Tom Snide says:

on October 21, 2010 at 8:06 am

Joe –

Thoughts and prayers for you buddy. I just lost my cat of 17 years and thought I was silly to be so sad when he was gone. But you hit the nail on the head, they come into your life and become part of the family. When they pass away, it feels like you’re losing part of your past. In my case, my wife and I had a cat before we had a house, kids (now 15 and 12). So it was sort of like losing our first child.

Great photos. Shows how powerful a decent photo is, in it’s ability to preserve a moment in time and later evoke all the memories and feelings of that time.

Take care,

Tom

SFW ’10

Curtis Thomson says:

on October 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Thank you Joe for sharing Nigel’s life with all of us. Felt like I knew the little guy. We have two very special cats ourselves, brothers. who were rescued from the wild as kittens where they had been abandoned to an irrigation pond with the buzzards literally circling overhead. Both are alive today, sixteen years later and leading the good life with us here in Northern California wine country.

Those who have never had the good fortune of being owned by a cat, can not appreciate the
level of attachment that is possible with these furry, human like critters. My sincere condolences to you and your wife. It would seem that Nigel also led the good life and
judging by the number and content of the previous responses, his memory lives on.

Ben Madden says:

on October 21, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Joe,
Man, that’s a tough call. Nothing to be said that can ease the hurt. Just know a fellow cat guy sends his prayers.

Alistair Forrest says:

on October 23, 2010 at 5:24 am

My wife made me read this. Look, I’m a tough guy alright? Sniff… okay, my keyboard’s in danger of getting wet now :(

Rosanne Aresty says:

on October 23, 2010 at 8:55 am

We too have a cat-woofer in our house as I call our beloved cat, Knubble. We found Knubble on a giant rock formation called the Knubble and well it stuck. Knubble is still with us and he is a huge furry cat that we actually allow to have a life outside, so he is strong and kind of scary looking with big claws. But, in reality, he is a big mush and cannot get enough attention and love; he is the cat that walks my daughter to the bus every morning only to trudge back looking for more food. Which he always gets. Such is the life of a cat that is well-loved. Lots of food; most comfortable chair in the house; cat treats; lots of love and belly scratches. And your Nigel had the same in your house. You clearly loved him and that is what is important.

Paul says:

on October 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Well said Joe

Abhijit Bhatlekar says:

on October 24, 2010 at 12:39 am

Dear Joe,

I am very sorry to hear about Nigel. Like you, your family also has became a part of my home, thanks to The Moment…. Like Annie, Clair & Caitlin, Nigel also was a fond friend. I cant find words rightnow. My prayers…thats all.

Abhijit

Jesse says:

on October 25, 2010 at 5:40 am

Keep your head up. Because that’s the only direction you’re going to see Nigel from now on. ;)

Daryl Chan says:

on October 25, 2010 at 9:48 am

Been following you for years and was in your class in Hollywood. Been busy and haven’t read your blog for a couple of weeks now only to read it today to find out about Nigel. Always a fun partner in your stories and videos he’ll be missed. Take care good friend.

Susan says:

on October 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Awww…so sorry, Joe. Know you miss him terribly…but rest assured, no doubt he’ll be hogging your pillow again one day on the other side…

Sue Thomas says:

on October 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry and know that you must miss Nigel so very much.

Jonathan Markworth says:

on October 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Joe, Carly (a nearly human goldendoodle) sleeps on my pillow when I am away and looks at me strangely when I would like to do the same upon my return. I know. The big world focuses to a fine point and then it grows again. Jonathan

Melba says:

on October 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Joe, so sorry to hear about Nigel. I will miss hearing about your adventures. I just lost Kool-Aid, my 13 Yr. old 30 Lb. bright orange tom cat to a stroke. I bought him from a soup wagon in Wonju, Korea. He spent months under my bed only coming out when I had left for work to eat and use the litter box. Once he came out, he fell in love with me. My friends used to say, “that silly cat think he’s a dog.” Following me from room to room never wanting me to be out of his sight. Each morning when I left for work he would cry. Always waiting at the door when I came home. I will miss him for a very long time! It’s funny how such a simple little creature can bring such unconditional love into our lives. Best wishes Melba

Kim says:

on October 30, 2010 at 6:25 am

I’m sorry to read this…I fear the day that my Pixel goes off to cat heaven :(

Beautiful story…I’m sure Nigel is up there somewhere…following you whereever you go now.

RIP Nigel!

Kevin H. Stecyk says:

on October 31, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Not only are you wonderful photographer, but also a wonderful storyteller. They are the same, aren’t they?

It’s amazing how much pleasure our furry friends bring us.

I wish you and Annnie well as you miss and grieve for your close friend Nigel.

Matt Staples says:

on November 3, 2010 at 6:02 am

*hugs*

Chris Ball says:

on November 6, 2010 at 2:50 am

I’m sure God caught him before he fell. Long may he watch over you

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