What dinnertime looks like in our kitchen. I forgot to move the cardboard box everyone has been playing with so they were a little more crowded than they or I liked, but no one stopped eating. I had to stand up on a stool to be able to hold the camera high enough to get them all.
Clockwise from top left: Charm, Sunshine, Basil, Mimi (half hidden by the cabinet), Bella (on the cabinet), Giuseppe (on the floor, facing left), Mewsette (on the floor, facing right), Bean (eating like a champ). What was that I said about enjoying life with only five cats for the first time in over 25 years? Good thing three are fosters, but we are getting a little crowded.
After a week of Charmee eating her meals and staying in the bathroom half day, out with the household half day, she has been out with the house panthers 24/7 for the past three days, sharing meals, and doing well. She is such a free spirit I couldn’t bring myself to confine her. She had a nice slow introduction and is very happy, and hopefully will integrate well when she heads for her new home, whenever that may be. It seems she may have a food allergy, so it’s also good she’s sharing the grain-free/raw diet of the rest of the household.
Here, she models her happiness in photos I shared on Facebook.
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Shared on Facebook
(From June 10, the day after Zorro and Crayola went home and Charm was officially no longer a mom.)
Day 1 of total retirement. I think I can get used to this. Nap, eat, nap wherever you want, run to window when bird flies past, nap right there, walk in front of the human and get petted, hug the human, nap on desk to assure regular pets. (Charm.) (Those mom cats in retirement deserve to be spoiled, especially the ones who lived on the streets.)
What other photos did I feature on this date?
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Instant Cat Bed, 2014
Catification without having to give up your own furniture! It just means a little cat hair on your clean laundry, but you already have more cat hair on your clothes than you want to admit.
As soon as Mimi hears any drawer in the house open, she is in the room with a desperate expression—she must get in that drawer! And once there, she must have a bath and a nap!
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What’s Going On Out There?, 2013
“Tell those blue jays to keep it down!” Bean thinks in his best cranky neighbor voice as he pushes back the lace curtain and looks out into the yard. “And somebody stop that squirrel from thumping around on the deck roof! Can’t a self-respecting cat have a morning nap around here? What’s this neighborhood come to?!”
It was all an act. There was no need to push back the curtain because it’s always tied back to one side of the window. And it was perfectly quiet. It was just Jelly Bean inventing a scenario.
Mewsette always naps here in the morning after breakfast but lately Bean has been joining her, and he insinuates himself into the lead spot by cuteness and Mewsette slowly moves out of the way as she gives him a bath. Who could resist? Like yesterday’s photo of the two, Jelly Bean has a mission. He has to lighten up the world.
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Mimi’s Aesthetic Statement, 2013
Mimi wisely, and not a little sleepily, looks at me to be certain I notice what she is doing. I have no idea why she curled up with her back touching the bottom box in this stack of keepsake boxes, but her action was quite deliberate. Mimi never does anything unnecessary, so I know this has some particular meaning, it is not just a coincidence.
Aha, I see. “Multi-level Contrast”. The stack of colorful rectangular boxes at odd angles to each other creating a feeling of fragmentation and conflict resolves in the puddle of relaxation represented by a black cat curled in the age-old posture of sleep, round and soft, a dark silhouette.
Really, I don’t make this stuff up. Well, I do, but I didn’t put Mimi there, she chose that spot and position, and looked at me to notice her.
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“Is this seat taken?”
“No, you can sit there.”
Kelly is frightened around all the black cats so she usually leaves her post or moves farther away when they want to share the shelf with her. And Mimi usually rolls her eyes when Kelly seems frightened.
But I’ve been working with Kelly, adding her to my supervisory staff while I’m working in my studio and she’s been very happy with that. Mimi, recently my Studio Manager Cat, went into a royal snit of ignoring me and sitting in front of me with her back to me, but took no other action.
This morning she stepped up on the shelf next to Kelly, who looked at her and looked back out the window. The shelf itself is 36″ long, but I had placed a 9″ x 12″ tablet binder on the shelf and suddenly that was the place to be, and the two found they could sit next to each other in order to watch the neighbors go and the commuters arrive and the birds and squirrels and other critters out there while enjoying their after-breakfast bath.
I usually let them work it out, but sometimes a little intervention helps. These two could be such good friends.
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Don’t Look Up, 2012
Have the basement cats become confused? Do they think they are ceiling cats?
Mewsette and Jelly Bean are on the shelf above the landing that at one time held houseplants, but the time I found Mewsette stretched out up there with a big spider plant teetering at the edge, I hurriedly got my step stool, grabbed the plant and took the others down. I have always been concerned about more terrestrial dangers to them, and after living in a household of cats who gracefully grew very old I had forgotten about cats who explored up, and up, and up!
Neither Giuseppe nor Mr. Sunshine ever attempt this leap. That’s okay. I know all four could carefully fit on the shelf, and it was meant to hold some fairly heavy plants in clay pots with soil, but I’d rather not risk it—it’s eight feet above ground!
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Are you convinced yet that you need to adopt a few black cats…during Adopt a Cat Month!
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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!