The View From Here

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The House of Fielding (and Caster) is having a rough time of it these days.

I picked up Xena from the vet on Thursday night, where the ultrasound showed she has mild heart disease. Which means they have to calibrate the heart meds to be able to put her under in order to do the dental work. After I brought Xena back home, I noticed that Beano was having problems — listless, no appetite, no litterbox activity, and he wasn’t trying to jump into my lap. I had to hospitalize him today, and the vet couldn’t figure out the problem in the preliminary examination this afternoon, but he’s lost a lot of weight since his last visit. So Beano’s going to spend the weekend at the clinic on IV to rehydrate and hopefully get his appetite back, and they’re going to run more tests. I will be away much of the weekend shooting a wedding, and he needed to be monitored. But I had a hard time leaving Beano there — the last time he spent time away from home was three years ago when Beano and Xena were put in the animal shelter after Arliin passed away. They both developed heart murmurs from the stress, and I’m sure these few days will be stressful on the Old Bean. He kept looking at me with his scared green eyes, staying close to me, and I was a puddle when I walked out the door.

I felt horrible, and I drove home, parking by the lake to think. Looking at water, trees, and sky is calming.

I’ve always known that adopting Arliin’s cats would one day bring back painful memories of losing David’s cat, Hugh. It didn’t stop me from taking on that responsibility, knowing how much it would affect me, but they are my living connection with Arliin and I know what she would have done if she were alive, just like I knew what David would’ve done with Hugh in this situation. Pets outliving their humans should be taken care of.

I took the photos above with my mobile phone before leaving my spot by the beach, resolving to get psyched up for tomorrow’s wedding by going to the rehearsal and (literally) focusing on the task at hand and getting my mind off the stress of sick pets and vet bills. I didn’t take many photos at the church since I like to take that time to meet the families and plan my strategy for the ceremony, which is the the trickiest part of the day — i.e., trying to be in several places at once when I’m working solo and shooting discreetly. The variety of ceremonies (religious, non-religious, mixed traditional/modern, etc.) differ in timing and formality, and it helps when I know the order of service beforehand so I can be in the right place at the right time. I think of which side is best to stand on, when I have enough time to dash to the back to shoot the wide angles, where the light is falling… I’m sure my brain grinds through this information in my sleep. And speaking of sleep, it’s time to get some.

I also received some happy (non-vet-related) news after the rehearsal, which turned the tone of the day from bleak to optimistic. I’ll close with my favourite photo from the evening: father/daughter hugs. Living far away from family, I naturally gravitate towards the family moments. It’s one of the many reasons why I love shooting weddings.