Photo Essay

"Who's Going to Feed the Cats?"

No. 28

We go through transitions our whole lives. We experience births, deaths, among various jobs, and new loves. How do we reestablish ourselves after these changes, and what do they all have in common? Here we see Luana, 87, undergoing one of the biggest transitions of her life. After playing the part of wife and mother for fifty-one years on the same country farm, this narrative chronicles the journey of a woman dislocated from her home and into an assisted living environment.

In the first half of the story, we see Luana in her home setting. She is doing the dishes, making the bed: normal acts of preparation for the day. She looks comfortable; a woman familiar with her surroundings and rooted in routine. However as the narrative progresses, we see this 87-year-old woman regress into an 7-year-old girl: incapable and in need. Her power has swiftly been reduced after her transition into the new, foreign environment. She is no longer queen of her domain; Luana's power over her environment has gone. But what do we have left when we have no power? And who's going to feed the cats?

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26 responses

  • mahesh haris

    mahesh haris said (12 Nov 2009):

    An extremely beautifully done series. I love all the photos and the lighting. you have captured these amazingly and deserves to be published. Well done Kimberly. would you mind if i ask you what kind of camera and lens you used an the ISO speed .

  • mahesh haris

    mahesh haris gave props (12 Nov 2009):


  • Marco Martinez

    Marco Martinez gave props (12 Nov 2009):

    Very touching story in words and, particularly, in images. It is very strong and emotive. Her words, "Who's going to feed the cats?" sums it all up for me. Wow! I love this story.

  • Simon Kossoff

    Simon Kossoff (Deleted) said (13 Nov 2009):

    This is a great essay of beautiful and powerful images!

  • Katarzyna Chadwick

    Katarzyna Chadwick said (18 Nov 2009):

    great work!

  • Yereth Jansen

    Yereth Jansen said (14 Dec 2009):

    Like Marco said, very touching story.

    Love the colours, the atmosphere. It really brings across the message. Well done

  • ♥ Cairenn ♥

    ♥ Cairenn ♥ said (23 Dec 2009):


  • Isrohan Alvarez

    Isrohan Alvarez said (23 Dec 2009):

    visit her :)

  • Julie Stiefel

    Julie Stiefel gave props (23 Dec 2009):

    Wow. VERY moving and brings to light the process of aging and getting phased out of life. My parents, (mom 81 and dad 86) both live with my family and I. We face new challenges daily. Relationships shift and responsibility burdens change The physical, emotional, and mental pain of aging has definately shown me just who the strongest people are...the elderly. Bravo for this story and accompanying photos.

  • Kel Casey

    Kel Casey gave props (23 Dec 2009):

    Remarkable and poignant story.

  • Kieran Guckian

    Kieran Guckian said (24 Dec 2009):

    Found these very moving, you can feel the pain and fear in these images. Amazing set of images very powerful.

  • peggy gardner

    peggy gardner gave props (24 Dec 2009):

    exellent series, except I wonder - what happened to her husband?

  • Wendy A Perry

    Wendy A Perry said (24 Dec 2009):

    Wonderful! Beautiful lighting ..beautiful story...

  • Karen Zimmerman

    Karen Zimmerman gave props (24 Dec 2009):

    Such a sense of loss and pain. I was really moved by this series, and it is extremely difficult to see a woman, queen of her farm, reduced to a room, where privacy is taken away even in the bathroom...

  • Dan Khadem

    Dan Khadem gave props (24 Dec 2009):

    Touching. It's interesting how different cultures take care of the elderly. With this site being pretty international, the thought of putting your parents in a 'home' rather than your own home is very foreign to many cultures including cultures here in the U.S.


    MEZEUS said (24 Dec 2009):

    What happened to the cats?

  • catharine amato

    catharine amato gave props (27 Dec 2009):

    very well done

  • Tiago Pedroso

    Tiago Pedroso gave props (28 Dec 2009):


  • Karmakar Akash

    Karmakar Akash said (29 Dec 2009):

    This is a very moving story. One of the most influential photo essays I have seen.

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham (Deleted) gave props (30 Dec 2009):

    What a scary process. A fantastic photo essay!!

  • Jacobz Johan

    Jacobz Johan gave props (10 Jan 2010):

    touching good story!

  • Keith Montgomery

    Keith Montgomery gave props (15 Jan 2010):

    absolutely amazing.

  • G Richard Anderson

    G Richard Anderson   gave props (15 Jan 2010):

    you do great work

  • Maria L. Ferrari

    Maria L. Ferrari gave props (1 Feb 2010):

    I love your story

  • Maura Wolfson-Foster

    Maura Wolfson-Foster gave props (2 Apr 2010):

    Such an excellent documenteation.....true words, and authentic photos. voted.

  • Slimeface

    Slimeface said (15 Jul 2011):

    A sad series indeed but Luana still moves around on her own pretty well and has some eyesight.... maybe even some hearing and this is beautiful. Dying is relatively easy.... it's living that is tough. God bless your beautiful Luana

    This short but powerful series wouldn't be the same if not for The thoughtful and goodhearted photographer. Well done and would love to see her published for many others to discover life near the end doesn't have to be over.

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