Animal Magnetism
Bup and His Buddy

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Bup the cat and raccoon buddy

Our big grey cat Bup made friends easily. (Actually, his “official name” was Blue, but since a single name never suffices to adequately cover a cat, he had many: even more after engaging in some particularly egregious mischief.) He'd even sit in the bird feeder twittering to the birds to come and play with him. One afternoon I wandered out onto the front porch and found he'd invited a raccoon (Procyon lotor) to lunch. This occasioned some anxiety: raccoons, particularly solitary males, are known to kill cats. But this one was quite sociable: Bup wasn't molested in any way and went on to live to a ripe old age.

This photograph was taken by John Walker in the mid 1970s in Mill Valley, California (outside the house where Autodesk was founded in 1982). The shot was taken with a Nikkormat camera and Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens; exposure was not recorded. Film was probably Kodak ASA 400 colour print film, which I almost always used in the years before I became a sharpness fanatic. (Back in the Bronze Age when this photo was taken, 400 speed film was much more grainy than contemporary emulsions.) This image was scanned from an enlargement of the original negative (now lost in the mists of time). The print has hung on assorted walls in both hemispheres in the almost 30 years since it was made and has faded a tad. The scan preserves all the resolution in the print, which isn't all that much.

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by John Walker
July 10th, 2003
This document is in the public domain.