Daily Photo: A Valentine Proposal

Is Jelly Bean proposing to Mariposa?
Is Jelly Bean proposing to Mariposa?

Is Jelly Bean proposing to Mariposa on Valentine’s Day? No, it’s just the usual pre-breakfast boxing match in which Mariposa thinks no one can see her inside the legs of the stool. Jelly Bean is ALWAYS up for a play boxing match. That’s just one of the many ways kitties show love! Happy Valentine’s Day!

If so, she's not taking him seriously.
If so, she’s not taking him seriously.
Maybe that's not what he meant.
Maybe that’s not what he meant.
Nope, sure doesn't look like it.
Nope, sure doesn’t look like it.

Photos from years past.

.

Happy Valentine’s Day, 2018

Mimi's Valentine
Mimi’s Valentine

Mimi’s red collar is just the right touch of Valentine’s Day. While I still gather myself after the cat show, I’ll also start getting back to posting.

Below are other Valentine’s Day posts, and some many are repeated, but that’s okay because Valentine’s Day is eternal, right?

~~~

Daily Photo to Illustration: Heart Cats, 2009

 Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette hug each other in a hart-shaped embrace.
Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette hug each other in a heart-shaped embrace.

This is the original photo I used as the foundation image for my Valentine, “Heart Cats” and one of the very first series of “Compositions in Black and Green” photos too. Everything has a start somewhere, and this is where several inspirations began.

After all five black cats plus Namir and Cookie made a real mess of the bathroom, pulling down all the towels, the bath mat and anything else not attached and too high to reach, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine cuddled on the pile of stuff. I just had a single bulb in the ceiling at the time, and I had all the fixtures in place but I’m not even sure the door was in place yet, much less all the towel bars or anything. The light was not good but as I walked past the doorway and saw these two hugging each other I snapped a quick image just to capture it, not caring how it came out, then squatted down to capture a few more. The lighting was still poor enough that all the photos were grainy. Their pose was so dear, and I was afraid I’d never see them do this again! Little did I know

But I pulled the image out a little later and both posterized and applied a “poster edges” filter to it…

The first iteration of this image, posterized and with poster
The first iteration of this image, posterized and with poster

Then decided to work out a more dramatic image…

valentine greeting card with cats
“Heart Cats” Valentine Card

~~~

A Valentine’s Day Message to Mademoiselle Daisy Emerald Marguerite, 2016

Giuseppe ponders his Valentine message.
Giuseppe ponders his Valentine message.

My fairest lady, as I dozed in the dark and cold night I felt your presence. Then, as if by some divine command, out of the darkness came a magic message from you on the magic message machine.

~~~~~

To my Valentine, love from Mlle Daisy Emerald.

purrrrrrs

nuzzles

xoxoxo

~~~~~

I read your message repeatedly, listening to the sweetness of each word, and imagined your precious and lovely visage…

black cat on rug
Giuseppe’s favorite photo of his love.

Though your message was simple, I looked deeply into it, and began a response to you, my most brilliant gem. I felt the presence of my wise mama Mimi near, and knew she could explain.

“She still loves you, my son,” she told me, “and you must send her a message at this moment while your thoughts are connected.”

My mother is so wise, but I had no idea how to go about this sending messages. My brother Mr. Sunshine had always sent them for me, and he was nowhere to be found, and I was afraid to leave for fear you’d think…oh, I don’t even want to imagine what you might think!

So I turned again and looked into your precious face, my flower, my Marguerite, my Daisy, my emerald-eyed princesse and knew that I didn’t need any keyboard or or mousie or magic connection to get my message to you. We are connected across the miles, and we always will be.

After I’d had my time to drink in your essence through your words, I went to the big north window and sang for you, and over the cold and under the stars, I know you heard my song, my lady. All my love flows to you, all my thoughts are of you this day to celebrate the promise of St. Valentine, all 24 hours of this precious day for lovers near and far.

Please my most precious flower of the day, look out your window on the balcony and look to the south. You will see a soft red glow on the horizon and you will know it is my heart aflame for you.

You have my heart forever, my most constant love, as you have since that amazing day in June four years ago when you pledged your devotion to me.

Until we may be together,

All my love,

G.B.V.

~~~~~~~~

FeteNationale-wflags-heart

Read about Mlle. Daisy Emerald and the long-distance affaire between the mature French-Canadian feline lady and the young American opera star.

They so enjoy writing florid Victorian-style letters to each other, sometimes the poets, sometimes the artists, sometimes the bonneted Mlle. Daisy Emerald and the beplumed Giuseppe Verdi in their Revolutionary roles as we prepare for our Fetes Nationales.

~~~~~~~~

Sweet Mlle., how we miss her.

~~~

Happy Valentine’s Day! 2014

valentine wish with five cats
Happy Valentine with the original photo

What’s cuter than a basket of kittens?

valentine with five cats
Happy Valentine in all red.

A basket of adult black cats who all love each other—and everyone else!

Couldn’t decide which one to use, so you get two Valentines!

~~~

Happy Valentine’s Day! 2013

Happy Valentine in all red.
Happy Valentine in all red.

What’s cuter than a basket of kittens?

Happy Valentine with the original photo
Happy Valentine with the original photo

A basket of adult black cats who all love each other—and everyone else!

Couldn’t decide which one to use, so you get two Valentines!

And here’s how it happened!

Watch as the scene developed over the course of the day. Above, Mewsette and Giuseppe swirl together in the basket I’d set on my desk chair to get it out of my way.

Then Mr. Sunshine joined them.

They couldn’t be cuter, putting their heads together.

Until Jelly Bean decided he might be able to fit in there too.

And he did.

Four sweet faces.

Then their mom came along. Well, she’s tiny, and she often sits on them.

A frenzy of bathing their mom ensues as she walks on the edge of the basket to her chosen place.

“This is why you have a bunch of kittens,” Mimi says, cushioned on her warm and purring children. “That’s all I have to say about the matter.”

I did manage to get work done despite the cuteness, but needless to say I did not get to sit down again today. I could also be heard to say, “You guys, stop it! Stop being so cute! I have work to do today and I have to stop taking photos!” They were without mercy.

I did have one photo with all five in the basket, but, being black, it was difficult for my camera to focus, so I did a little Photoshopping and put together that photo using a clear image of Mewsette’s ears, in the back.

(Mimi had a reaction to the fleas that came in the house from a groundhog nesting right next to the basement door, so her fur is really scruffy, poor girl! We quickly took care of that and you can see how lovely she is today in many more recent photos of her.)

~~~

Heart-Shaped Cats, 2012

heart-shaped cats on afghan
Heart Shaped Cats on the Afghan

My Fantastic Four are famous for their heart-shaped hugs and cuddles, but the two most famous are Mr. Sunshine and his sister Mewsette, featured here in just a few everyday cuddles.

This is only a portion of my personal heart-shaped cat collection. Mr. Sunshine and Miss Mewsette have always been cuddle buddies, and they’ve always had this habit of curling up together cheek to cheek and chest to chest and wrapping their little arms around each other, even crossing tails in the front. They are a somewhat elongated heart here on the afghan with the heart right-side up, but looking at them below they are a more typical heart shape only with the heart upside down!

heart-shaped black cats
Heart-shaped cats the other way!

Mewsette is clearly posing, but Mr. Sunshine isn’t as concerned, he just wants to cuddle. Unfortunately, they don’t always cuddle together in the best light or against a contrasting background, and they are black, absorbing all of what’s available and not giving much back, making photos a challenge. Look closely, though, Mewsette has her arm right under Mr. Sunshine’s chin and he has his below hers, then he has his hind leg tucked into her belly and she has hers wrapped around his hip, then they have their tails layered on top of each others’, completely interwoven.

Here they are one night in my studio as I was moving furniture and cleaning, supervising what I was doing.

two heart-shaped black cats
Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette curled again.

And then the view from the top shows them heart-shaped again, but Mimi is sleeping behind them so they look a little misshapen.

two heart-shaped black cats
Heart-shaped again!

I found one very early photo of them as they were apparently developing this wonderful way to cuddle, though Giuseppe in the background looks a little miffed at the attention they are getting. I can assure you that I only got one shot because Giuseppe got up and sauntered between me and them.

black cats curled together
Early stages of the heart-shaped cat.

And finally, the photo of them I took on the night before Valentine’s Day in 2009 where they have their technique fully developed. Too bad that old camera wasn’t so good in low light conditions! Still, I couldn’t believe how sweet they were.

two black cats curled together
The original Heart Cats

Sometimes when I get a good photo composition that’s blurry or otherwise unclear, and not in a way that I can use for effect, I play around with it in PhotoShop. I never get enough time playing in PhotoShop so I’ll take any excuse. I liked the way this series of filters and adjustments clarified the image, even though it’s no longer photographic. The black outlines and areas of color remind me of the illustrations from some of the books I looked at and read as a child.

illustration of two black cats curled together
The original Heart Cats illustration.

I liked this so much I used it to print on a tote bag for sale.

And, of course, this very photo went on to become a Valentine note card, available all year round as a greeting card for when you need to send a note to that special heart cat.

two black cats with one heart
Heart Cats note card © B.E. Kazmarski

~~~

Happy Valentine’s Day, 2011

HEART CATS
Happy Valentine’s Day!

~~~

Happy Valentines Day from My Creative Cats!, 2010

digitized photo of two cats embracing
Heart Cats

Animals know all about love. Brother and sister Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette cuddle themselves into a heart shape, and they look like they couldn’t want anything more than each other.

I had a little fun in PhotoShop with a photo that wasn’t quite as clear as it could have been. Sometimes they strike these wonderful poses when the light isn’t the best—like in the dark in the bathroom so I can see them when I’ve just turned on the light! I only got one shot. It’s fun to go beyond the everyday photo editing and play around with filters and colors and techniques.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Heart Cat decorative dish.

Heart Cats Decorative Dish is 6″ wide x 4″ high, and about 1/2″ deep, made of polymer clay and painted with a variety of paints and finishes. Each one is handmade, hand-painted and unique. This dish is made of polymer clay rolled very thin, baked in a form and then painted. I’ve always like this shape for a dish, rectangular, but raised at the corners so it’s graceful but can still really hold contents. Read more and purchase.


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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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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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