Old Tommy


Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post:  Meet Tommy, sitting by a fishbowl on a window sill, pretty as a picture. The back of this card has the following written on it, Dear Lina, here is a picture of old Tommy he is a live [sic] and well. Gay said he did not think he could get away tomorrow. Give our love to Mrs. Brady and sister. It is addressed to Mrs. Pauline Bauldwin, New Milford, PA Route no.1 Dated October (illegible date) 2 PM 1908. It is written in pencil, except the address which is in pen – it is a neat script. Unsigned – I guess Lina knew who was writing.

The photographer had an excellent eye and this is a great photo. Most notably the wonderful reflection in the fish bowl – a little universe unto itself showing a trim yard and house in tiny replica. I can’t actually see a fish, but there is a large and interesting shell evident in the fish bowl and I wonder what book it is sitting atop of, but nothing on the spine.

Old Tommy is a hefty fellow. He is dignified and not even giving that fish bowl a sideways look – at least not while the camera is on him. Another of my cat stories from my youth is about a tabby stray named Zipper. My mother rescued him as a tiny, malnourished kitten being abused by boys outside a laundry mat. Anyway, Zips was a hunter and feral fellow and, additionally, a great admirer of the large tropical fish tank we kept. Zipper liked to sit next to it, eyes shining with interest, and he would gently pat it intently, while looking at us innocently. To my knowledge no fish fell prey to Zipper (we did have a top on tank although it had an opening), but it was a large tank and who’s to say really if he had the occasional fish nip or not?