Werner Ulrich's Home Page:  Picture of the Month

 Now "Ulrich's Bimonthly"












March 2004

   Picture of the month











Petu's dream, or: the bridge to heaven  According to an Indian legend, when we die we must cross a bridge to go to heaven. At the head of the bridge waits every animal that we encountered during our lifetime. Based on what each of the animals knows of us, they will decide whether we may cross the bridge or are turned away.


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For a hyperlinked overview of all issues of "Ulrich's Bimonthly" and the previous "Picture of the Month" series, see the site map


Having lived for some time now with two cats, my wife and I can hardly imagine any more to live without their wonderful company. The love we feel for them, and the affection they give us (or at least, the feelings they raise in us), have become a precious part of our everyday lives. Sharing our lives with them enriches our marriage through countless moments of shared affection, joy and fun.



It is not that we planned to have cats. Rather, they entered our lives in a sudden and unexpected manner. The first arrival, Petu, was an abandoned baby cat that might have ended up on the street; the second, Hermi, arrived at our place some time later and decided to stay without asking us. We did not exactly invite him in. Quite the contrary, he was forbidden to enter our home and merely got some water, occasionally mixed with milk. He did not care, passed day and night in our garden, patiently waiting for his time to come. Somehow, he knew us better than we did. Some further months passed during which we were feeding him outside, until in a cold December night he decided it was time to move in and we did not have the heart to throw him out. Ever since, he has been sleeping in our home.



It was not all harmony and no troubles, to be sure. Petu did not care for Hermi, to put it mildly, and Hermi did not care too much for Petu either. Gradually, though, things have become smoother since. Something like a courant normal has resulted and the four of us are now living together happily. Even so, Petu maintains a keen sense of having been first. And he knows to show it to this bloody newcomer! It is true that the two cats are as different in character as day and night. Petu is a playful child, always up to pranks, and infinitely curious; he is very clinging and all the time at our sides. For instance, he likes to install himself on my desk when I try to work; he adores to sleep with his head on the keyboard of my computer, so that I have to ask my email correspondents to please excuse his typing errors! Hermi is more reserved, always keen on preserving his dignity, yet grateful for everything we offer him and rewarding us with cute eyes.



This month's picture shows our two pets in a snapshot that is not to be taken for a photomontage. I had just downloaded recent pictures from my digital camera and was viewing a picture of Hermi, when Petu arrived and installed himself on my keyboard. As I had the camera close, I could not resist taking a snapshot of the situation "Petu's dream." It is currently one of my favorite pictures.



P.S. Guess what Petu is doing while I am writing these lines? Precisely: he just installed himself to sleep on my keyboard. Not without first licking my left hand affectionately, so that I find myself typing with one hand. Please excuse any typing errors we may have produced together! It is time for me to stop and get this page on-line.



Technical data: digital camera (4 Mp), shutter speed 1/60, aperture f/3.5, ISO 200, focal length 13.6 mm (equivalent to 61 mm with a conventional 35 mm camera). Original picture size: 1704 x 1272 pixels, memorized with "fine" compression (964 KB); current resolution 800 x 1076 pixels, compressed to 73 KB.



March, 2004March, 2004 - Petu's dream

 Petu's dream, or the bridge to heaven

Until one has loved an animal,  
a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

Anatole France, French novelist and literary critic (1844-1924)


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Last updated 17 May 2010 (layout) and 4 Oct 2004 (text; first published 1 March 2004)


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