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Ross author mourns pet which inspired new book

By SPP Reporter

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Tess the cat died the day before the release of the picture book featuring her photographs
Tess the cat died the day before the release of the picture book featuring her photographs

A NEW glossy picture book on the life of a family cat has been published – the day after the death of the cherished pet.

Tess the nine-year-old cat is the subject of the first solo publication by Black Isle writer and photographer Russell Turner.

Russell had a heavy heart when he picked up his new book, A Cat Called Tess, fresh from the printers last Tuesday, as he and his wife Celina had suffered the loss of their feline companion the day before.

The book, aimed at children and cat lovers of all ages, features photographs Russell had taken over the years of Tess during her wanderings – and some more lazy moments – in and around their Newhall home.

Tess had been suffering from heart and kidney problems and, even though the couple knew she only had a limited time left, the end came quicker than expected.

She died on the Monday morning after leaving the house to go into the garden.

Russell explained his wife had got Tess from a rescue centre before she met him.

The much-loved moggy had come back from death three years earlier when she turned up at the door with serious injuries after she went missing for two days.

“It was touch and go but she made it, so really for her to have lasted another three years was a bonus,” he said.

The 40-page book, which features 21 photographs of Tess accompanied with a few carefully chosen words on every second page, tells the gentle story of her day-to-day escapades.

Russell explained that he decided to write the book after browsing through the scores of photographs he had taken of Tess over the years.

“Celina doesn’t like having her picture taken and Tess became the number one model,” he said.

“She was very photogenic and I accumulated quite a lot of pictures over the last three years. Because I was looking for a project after the last book, Eilean Dubh, this seemed an obvious one to do,” said Russell.

Although her loss will be sorely felt, the book is a lasting reminder of their life with Tess.

“One of the things I was looking forward to was taking a photograph of Tess looking at her book and the local newspaper sending a photographer around to get a picture of me and her together,” said Russell.

The book is for sale at Waterstones in Inverness, The Storehouse at Foulis Ferry, The Emporium in Cromarty and Beauly Gallery.

Russell will also be selling the book alongside his photos and cards at local markets and craft fairs.

Russell has previously published Eilean Dubh, a book of scenes of the Black Isle, with fellow photographers Andrew Dowsett and James Moore, which has sold around the world.

For more information visit www.russellturner.org.

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