All Creatures Great And Small, Eveline Melvine Luce
For her 13th Edition of Smile For The Camera, footnoteMaven of Shades of the Departed invites us to share a photograph of a beloved family pet from our childhood – but since this is Mother’s Day in Canada, I’ve decided to share a photograph of a creature connected to my own mother’s mother!
This is a photograph of my maternal grandmother Eveline Melvine Luce standing in front of the Adelard Lagace family home in Bathurst, New Brunswick. I believe it dates from the late 1940s. There’s a notation on the back from my mother Golda Lagace where she says that “This is the home where I was born“.
This home was actually at the center of a very small, but very busy, family farm. My grandparents raised chickens and hogs, as well as a cow to keep the family supplied with milk. All 14 children had chores to do and so did the cats!
This is why my mother doesn’t view cats quite like I do. When she was growing up the cats on her farm were fairly wild. They lived in the barn and in the fields. They were there to keep the rats at bay! According to my mother they weren’t very friendly and it took a brave child to approach their sharp teeth and claws. Yet if you take a look at this photograph you’ll see a cat brushing up against my grandmother’s leg and I have to think – since she knew the cat was there – that she wanted the cat in the photograph.
My grandfather Adelard Lagace worked long hours, six days a week, at the Bathurst Paper Mill, so my grandmother’s life must have been very tough as she managed the family farm while bearing and raising 14 children. I can only imagine what solace this cat might have provided throughout the long depression years.
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