Contributed by Julie Austin Photography
I received a call on Saturday, asking if I could come the next day to photograph 16.5 year old Skippy. He was going to heaven on Monday.
I arrived on Sunday to meet Skippy and his people, Becca and Drew. These three are a tight knit family. Becca and Skippy have been together for over 16 years, since Becca was nine years old. Becca and Drew married in 2012, and it has been a happy family of 3 ever since.
Skippy was resting on a fluffy pillow on the bed, looking a bit tired, but still very regal and dignified.
Becca wanted to share her story of Skippy:
On my 9th birthday, my mom and I were out running errands and shopping at Wal-mart. When we got to the check-out line, I started to help my mom unload the items from the cart onto the conveyer belt. I noticed some interesting items in the cart and said, "Hey wait a minute . . . kitty food, kitty bowls, litter, kitty toys?!?" The lightbulb went off in my head and my eyes grew to the size of saucers as I started jumping up & down and squealing in pure excitement, "I'M GETTING A KITTY! I'M GETTING A KITTY!!!!!!!!!!!"
We drove over to the Rogue Valley Mall (the only mall in Medford) and went to the pet store. My mom was talking with the worker while I went to check out the kitties in the kitty cage. My eyes fell on this tiny little kitten that was grey and white. I INSTANTLY knew that he was the one. My mom came over to join me and said, "Do you know which one you want yet?" I pointed and said "That one!" My mom looked concerned and said to me gently, "Are you sure sweetie? He looks a little scrawny . . . like a runt." But my heart was completely set. I said, "No mama. I know I want him. He's definitely the one!" My mom went to the counter to pay and I remember watching as my new kitty pressed his forehead against each of his cage-mate's foreheads...as if saying goodbye to every one of them.
I brought my new 6 week-old kitty home and he celebrated my 9th birthday with me. This kitty was silly and frisky and loved running up and down the hallway while doing this weird skipping-sorta dance, hence why I named him Skippy.
We have spent over 16.5 years together since. Thank you, mama, for giving me the greatest gift ever.
Love you my Skippy
We'll share Becca's amazingly beautiful Good Bye Letter to Skippy next!