Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Friend Miezekatze

   from a photographer's notebook...

A camera pack, a bag of film, an EOS-1, and thou...       ©2010 Steve Ember

“When a cat adopts you, there is nothing to be done about it except to put up with it until the wind changes.” – T.S. Eliot

I’ve no idea what her family calls her, but to me, she’ll always be Miezekatze, or Mieze for short. And she will always remind me of a wonderful autumn afternoon in Samedan, in the Upper Engadine region of Switzerland's Canton Graubünden.

It was nearing the end of a perfect day of shooting in Samedan's high Alpine sunshine. I had reached the very old Romanesque St. Peter parish church, at the top of the steep cobblestone way,  and set about getting some pictures…when, across the road, well up a path leading to some houses, I became aware of a little black and white kitty.  She had apparently been watching me.

Mieze trots over to meet and greet a visitor to her village    ©Steve Ember
“Rrrowllll?” she called over to me, an inquisitive purr-gurgle carrying across the distance.  Well, there was nothing to do but to answer. 

“Rrrowllll,” said I.  Then, considering she might not recognize my “American” accent in Cat, I went into bilingual mode, and called over, “Hallo, Miez-Miez-Miez!”

At which point, she began a brisk trot down the long path, across the road, and directly up to me! 

You smell good. Whatcha got in your pocket?  ©2010 Steve Ember
A curious examination of my shoes, trouser legs, and nearby camera pack and clear baggie full of film ensued. I then knelt down and she proceeded to climb into my lap and up to my face, her purr-machine going at full tilt.

Then, it must have been time for her evening devotions.  Or perhaps Miss Mieze just sensed I wanted to shoot the Alps across the way while the light remained good.  She trotted confidently over to the open church door and ambled inside.  I did my shooting from the church's terrace and just as I returned, out she came.

Now, we cat lovers know that a tail held erect with the little "crook" at the end denotes a happy kitty.  A hanging tail, perhaps not so happy.  A swishing tail, maybe one should keep his distance.

But pure horizontal?  Perhaps Mieze was merely in the process of restoring her tail to its upright "happy" stance once again as she prepared to rejoin her new friend, the photographer who had been attempting to converse in Katze, but with a strange Amerikaner accent.  In any case, the unusual "tail language" had me smiling as I edited my images from that afternoon. I hope it makes you smile, too!

I think this one must be digital, hmm?         ©2010 Steve Ember

If you'd like to see larger images of this sweet little "Swiss Miss" (as well as her lovely Alpine village of Samedan), please visit my foto-community pages.

©2011 Steve Ember
I'm back! Didja get some good shots of the Alps? OK, let's play some more!  By the way, got anything to eat in that film baggie?  ©2010 Steve Ember

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