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Allie tipped the scales at a whopping 4 pounds, but with all the fluff she looked much bigger.

She and Raz were both Cat Scouts who hailed from Satellite Beach, Florida. Her mom was devastated when she left for The Bridge. I chose to pose Allie atop a bed of Plumeria, a staple in many Florida gardens. She’s wearing her favorite fancy diamond-encrusted collar (to which I added real live fake zirconia diamonds) and sports her angel wings. Her mom rarely missed photographing a space center launch, thus the rocket in the sky. The cardinal is a reference to her dad, who died a couple of years ago. When they spot one, they know it’s him letting them know he’s okay.

Her mom was especially delighted with these seemingly inconsequential details because they meant so much to her. Allie’s gone, but she’s blessed with the memories of her sweet little girl.

Like all my canvas portraits, the image is carried over onto all four sides. Portraying her eyes was somewhat problematic because her mom provided sub-optimal reference photos and her eyes didn’t photograph well. But her mom says I nailed ’em. I’ll take her word for it.

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