From The Archives: Cookie’s Minions, 2009

Cookie with her minions.
Cookie with her minions.

I know everyone’s eyes go first to the eyes of the black cats behind, but mine go to Cookie, who was pointedly ignoring me. She was never a happy model until her last two years.

Behind her is all five of the black cats. Cookie hardly thought of the Five as her minions, but they certainly gave her loving respect as here when they decided to share their shawl with her. I was trying a little photo shoot with them when the light was very bright coming in the window, and Cookie decided to join them for a nap. I let them all resettle and then did my best to get them all to look at me at the same time, but this was as close as I got, not even any good faces that I could Photoshop in place.

In the front, obviously, it’s Cookie. Directly behind her to the right is Mimi, Cookie’s lady-in-waiting even then, though I didn’t realize it, staying close and likely absorbing a lifetime of learning from Cookie. Behind Cookie to the right is Mewsette, Cookie’s gentle guardian. The three sets of eyes you see are the three boys, Giuseppe on the left, Mr. Sunshine on the right and Jelly Bean in the back, in the middle.

While there are six cats in this photo, there were still three others in the house at the time. Missing, but probably not far, are Kelly, Peaches and Dickie.

Sweet memories for a December afternoon (I missed sharing this in December).

What other photos did I post on or about this date?


Mentoring, 2017

Sometimes Hamlet isn't so sure about Basil.
Sometimes Hamlet isn’t so sure about Basil.

Basil is Hamlet’s ninja sensei, just as Giuseppe was for Basil. But sometimes Hamlet thinks he could probably teach Basil a few things.


From Instagram and Facebook

A Cat-spiracy at the Desk

On my lap and desk right now, Mimi on my knee, Giuseppe on the desk and Hamlet on his back, purring. It’s a cat-spiracy to keep me from forgetting dinner.

A cat-spiracy.
A cat-spiracy.


What other photos did I post on or about this date?


Basil in His Fort, 2016

Basil in his fort.
Basil in his fort.

Basil looks very mysterious and dignified keeping partially obscured in his fort by the back door. Only the morning sun captures a few highlights in his fur, but the reflected light captures his eyes.

For the real view of things, though, we get to see what Basil’s fort is made of.

What Basil's fort really looks like.
What Basil’s fort really looks like.

Ah, the bliss of a cardboard box. It can become anything you want, and Basil is truly the king of his own little castle. At least until one of the little fluffies comes along to challenge him. He likes being one of the elder statescats and acting like a ninja trainer with the little ones.

. . . . . . .

Shared on Facebook

Pigeon posture?
Pigeon posture?

I did post all these photos on Facebook, but FB only shows you four and you had to see the full yogic beauty of Tweetie’s afternoon.

Tail 1.
Tail 1.

“Oh my goodness oh my goodness, the sun is shining and I MUST do my sun salutations before it goes away again! The posture of one’s tail is VERY important! Oh, I feel so relaxed now!”

Tail 2.
Tail 2.

Tweetie is the type of kitty who would preface everything with, “Oh my goodness oh my goodness” while flustering around and flapping her tail.

Tail 3.
Tail 3.

(And the one I think is cutest because it’s closest to what she does all the time when she flips her tail over her back.)

Tail 4.
Tail 4.

Squirrel entertainment

Now this was also shared on Facebook, but you wouldn’t understand the reference in this photo if I didn’t include a photo I shared on FB the other day.

Mimi checks out what’s left of the gutted green pillow from where the squirrel wisely dropped it before trying to drag it up the tree and over the roof to his lair. Before the snow I found climps of pillow stuffing all over the yard. We’re hoping he comes back and provides more kitty entertainment.

Mimi checks out the pillow.
Mimi checks out the pillow.

The big entertainment this morning. Look closely and you’ll see Fatso the squirrel disembowelling one of the pillows on my porch swing, a blob of stuffing in his mouth and clutched in his paws. Apparently he didn’t insulate his nest well enough when temps were warmer.

Squirrel guts the pillow.
Squirrel guts the pillow.

. . . . . . .

What other photos have I shared on or around this date?


Mentors I, 2015
two black cats

Giuseppe has been there to greet Smokie from the very first time Smokie ventured from the bathroom and it’s been sweet to see the big ninja with the little fluff ball. Smokie adores him! I think the feeling is mutual, even when it sometimes looks as if Giuseppe is trying to eat Smokie alive though that’s just how they wrestle with their difference in sizes.

This is “Mentors 1” featuring Giuseppe and Smokie. I’ll feature another mentors post as well.

Smokie tends to imitate his big fur brother. How else do kitties learn to be kitties?

two black cats
Big and little ninjas.

Smokie can be really annoying as teenagers can be, but Giuseppe is always patient.

two black cats
It’s an understatement to say Smokie looks up to Giuseppe.

And Smokie comes in handy sometimes too, as here when he acts as a bolster pillow for Giuseppe.

two black cats
Using Smokie as a pillow.

Learning to supervise the human is a special course in ninja training.

two black cats
Learning how to supervise me in the kitchen.

. . . . . . .

Other daily photos shared on this date


MGM House Panther Bean, 2014
black cat yawning in front of mirror
It’s another MGM House Panther—Jelly Bean!

Jelly Bean tries out the MGM House Panther look after his brother Giuseppe did a few months ago. He thinks the famous movie studio should update its image. Lions are endangered and should not be used for silly things like movie logos.

“House panthers rule, don’t you think?”

black cat in front of mirror
What did you think of that?

. . . . . . .

Shadow Play, 2013
black cat with shadow
The performance begins.

I thought Mewsette was simply enjoying the sun by the back door…until I crammed myself in the corner to photograph her from a different angle and saw that she was actually cleverly involved in a shadow performance using one of my serving trays. Here the main character enters and wordlessly begins the performance.

Then, below, turns her head to make her point.

black cat with shadow
The play continues.

Another kitty enters and makes a wordless comment facing the audience directly.

black cat with shadow
Another character enters.
black cat with shadow
Mewsette takes a bow.

Finally, Mewsette takes a bow. Bravo!

. . . . . . .

A Loyal Sister, 2012
tortie cat and black cat
“She is my sister.”

Mewsette let herself into the bathroom this afternoon and cuddled with Cookie, who can use some big little sister warmth and energy!

On these cold days Cookie stays in the bathroom where it’s warmer and she has the litterbox and water within a few steps. Kelly stays in there with her for company and has been giving Cookie her own brand of love and healing.

Perhaps Mewsette just wanted to see what special food and treats the tortie girls had in there, but if so she would have checked and left; and the funniest thing is that it’s Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine who open doors if necessary, Mewsette has never shown the least interest or ability. When it was the girls’ lunch, I couldn’t coax her away with anything and didn’t have the heart to make her leave. So the girls ate a little later than usual.

Cookie still has some healing to do; her blood test results were truly frightening. However, if it hadn’t been 17 degrees this morning we would have gone outside. I had her with me at my desk and she is wobbly but was back to looking out the window with the boys and wandering from door to door wanting to visit the outside even if it was obviously frigid.

But with a tortie sister like Kelly who cares for her and a big little sister like Mewsette who gives her warmth and energy, she’s on her way. Here’s another photo of Mewsette guarding Cookie.

. . . . . . .

Can’t I Get Any Privacy? 2011
black cat with white spot
Don’t look!

But Jelly Bean, your little white thong/diaper/Speedo is so cute. And you’re the one who decided to expose yourself in the middle of the bed.

The other three of the Big Four seem to be featured more often than JB, and I’m not sure why. He’s just terminally cute for some reason I can’t define, but it’s hard to catch his cuteness and his LOUD PURRR in a photo.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

"The Goddess," hand-tinted linoleum block print.
“The Goddess,” matted and framed hand-tinted linoleum block print.

Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship. That’s why I call her “The Goddess”.

“The Goddess” is a hand printed, hand tinted linoleum block print of a very round tortoiseshell cat, matted and framed and ready to hang. Image is 8″ x 12″, with mat and frame outside dimensions 16″ x 20″. “The Roundest Eyes” is the other print in this set.

Read more and purchase.

All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun! —


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