Daily Photo: Longhairs

The longhairs
The longhairs

Basil and Hamlet inhabit my desk. Obviously, I can’t work with all that hair all over my desk and keyboard. Basil is actually medium-haired, though he has a nice ruff and tail in winter. Hamlet, on the other hand, is quite long-haired with a magnificent tail. The two hang out pretty frequently. I was honored by their supervisory visit of my evening work.

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

Daily Photo: I Want to Be an Art Cat
Hamlet the art cat.
Hamlet the art cat.

“I want to be an art cat.”

Really, Hamlet presumes he is my next model. He gave me four wonderful poses on the windowsill, this is the nicest.

He is still not comfortable with me unless he is inside the bathroom with the door closed, and even then not all the time. Hamlet jumps up on my drafting table right past my elbow, and ignores me, not making eye contact or responding to anything I say. I see him softening a bit though, as he did today when he moved to that corner, settled himself down facing me, and calmly looked at me. He is trying very hard, and this is not easy for him, but he will do it, he has decided. I will be patient.

Cats have always liked my studio, and I think that’s why it was always a successful foster room. It has a different energy than the rest of the house. It’s my happy room, it’s dynamic and the cats sense my happiness and enjoy it.

Ophelia is more comfortable and welcomes petting, but she too mostly avoids me when she’s out in the upstairs. My second floor is not that big, it’s 15′ x 22′ with a notch taken out for the steps, but it must seem vast to those two. They ran right into the bedroom for the first two weeks, didn’t even look in the studio doorway. Then Hamlet decided to bravely go in there and sit down.

I have been without my flower essences since last fall. They are kind of expensive and I needed to pay for other things instead, and I remembered that I’ve fostered and socialized cats for decades without them. And then I remembered how Bert and Ernie reacted, and Alvina, Simon and Theodore, and even Hamlet and Ophelia at first, and decided tonight to order two. I hope I can help them ease into socialization with more confidence.

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From Facebook and Instagram

So nice. Mimi has a good stretch in warm afternoon sun, on the way out to the yard.

Mimi has a good stretch.
Mimi has a good stretch.

 

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Caturday Art Photo: Portrait of Bean, 2014
black cat in vignette
Bean looking handsome.

Bean shows his profile. Not always the silly boy.

Bean quietly contemplated the sunny landscape outside the second-story window, looking here and there, looking at me and looking at the ceiling, as I took photos of each move. I decided to try out the photo filters built in to my Smartphone as I did. I usually like to take a photo without any features and play with it in Photoshop so that it’s as flexible as can be, and while most of the filters are pretty bad (oil pastel? really? did the designer of that filter ever see an oil pastel let alone a drawing?) “Vignette” works well, which is what I’ve used on Bean. All of them can be done better in Photoshop, but the other filter I like is “Tint” which adds areas of soft red, yellow and turquoise areas to a photo. I can only use one filter at a time on this phone and I happened to take this photo with Vignette, so I manually brushed in similar colors and then changed the contrast a bit.

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Daily Photo: Bella’s Morning Sunbath

Bella in contemplation.
Bella in contemplation.

Bella sat in the sun by the back door watching all the activity but quickly became drowsy with the sun filling her fur. Black fur absorbs light and heat, and Bella fairly glows with contentment.

There’s a white enamel tray on the other side that is reflecting sunlight onto what would be her shadowed side. Instead it highlights her should and legs and the side of her face with cool light, contrasting with the warm light from the sun.

In black and white.
In black and white.

I initially thought I’d like it in black and white because of the subtleties, but better than that I liked all the tones in her fur, the sable, mocha, sky blue, violet, and all the other tones between.

Then I just wanted to focus on her face.

Just her face.
Just her face.

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From Facebook and Instagram

Undecided, contemplating each direction, front and back, left and right.

Four directions.
Four directions, Mewsette, Bean, Giuseppe, Sunshine.

“I killed this blue fish.” Hamlet then proceeded to eviscerate it as he does with all the toys. This fish was pretty malnourished, but he did find a pinch of catnip.

Hamlet
Hamlet

Tucking into their baskets for a night of work in the studio. Four stages of sleep: Jelly Bean, sitting up considering a pre-nap bath; Basil, reclining, sleepily holding one eye open to see what I’m doing; Sunshine, engaged in early, light sleep; Mimi, fully engaged, featureless black lump in basket.

Four stages of sleep.
Four stages of sleep.

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Other daily photos shared on this date

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Le Matin Bleu, 2015
cat silhouette and shadow in blue
Le Matin Bleu

I believe it is Bella looking sculptural as a silhouette and graceful as an elongated shadow among all the geometric shapes and shadows of my kitchen in the morning.

The blue is because I left the incandescent light filter on in my DSLR, and this is what it does to natural daylight. I actually quite like it as a technique. I like monochromatic photos and duotones, which is technically what this is, black in the shadows and with all other colors tending in shades of blue.

Pourquoi Français? Because I already have a post or two entitled “Blue Morning”, and Mimi, Mewsette and I all have French names. Because, why not?

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From Facebook: Five on the Afghan
Five black cats sleeping on the Afghan
Five on the Afghan

Like you don’t already get enough daily photos from me…but I’ve been remiss in this. Occasionally I share a photo on Facebook directly from my smartphone, no blog post or anything, just because I want to share what the house panthers are doing right at that moment. I know that many readers are not on Facebook so I’ve been intending to share them in my daily photo posts on these days, and by the time evening rolls around I’ve forgotten. I’ll catch up on a few I’ve shared already, but I will do my best to remember after this one.

Five of the house panthers were toasty and purring on the afghan on this cold, cold day, sleeping in a semi-circle. They were so relaxed and it looks so cheery I had to share.

“A semi – circle of warm and purring kitties on a wool afghan on a cold and snowy day. That space could be for me. Tempting!”

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Wordless Wednesday: Fresh Air!, 2014
cat looking out window
My neighbor’s cat gets a nose full of fresh air.

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Four Cats on a Cloud, 2014
four black cats on a kitty beanbag
“Four Cats on a Cloud”

Clockwise from about 7:00, Mimi, Sunshine, Mewsette and Bean all crowd themselves on the “cloud bed”, the old fleece kitty beanbag bed that’s filled with snips of upholstery foam. I had put it away when they tired of it a couple of years ago and recently brought it back out and washed and aired it. It is, for now, a cat magnet. There have been no cats on my desk because, well, there they are. I have even been nearly alone in my studio and, strangest of all, in my bed, because of the novelty of this cloud.

Typically three of them share it, Mr. Sunshine, who thinks it belongs to him, Mewsette and Bean. Mimi joined them today, and has ended up at the bottom of the pile. I haven’t yet had all five on this thing, and lest it look as if there is no way they could all fit, there is always room on top. Only Giuseppe is missing—he was posted on Mousewatch in the kitchen, one of the cabinet doors under the sink slightly open so he could peer inside.

I bought this bed at a yard sale in the late 90s just because I couldn’t pass it up, even though my cats have never been big on beds—they tire of them easily and I’m stuck with big foam constructions that take up space and aren’t used, when all I need to do is fold a blanket and set it down and immediately it’s covered in cats, or begin to work at any desk or worktable. Or just sit down and I’m covered in cats. They do tire of this one, but it has a fond memory. The day I brought it in the house and dropped it on the floor until I decided what to do with it Kelly saw it, her eyes grew even larger and rounder than usual, and she began talking about the new bed in the house, cautiously walked over to it, sniffed and circled it, then stepped onto it, and it was hers. Until Moses discovered it, and since we all knew Moses was incredibly special Kelly was honored to let Moses have the bed.

So was I because Moses had taken to sleeping under my desk chair—formerly feral, a little uncertain, she loved me but wanted to feel safe, so under my chair felt good to her but I could not move for fear of running over her. Moses climbed on the bed with Kelly one day and I inched it closer to my desk so it wasn’t in the middle of the floor. Kelly gave up her claim and the cloud bed stayed next to my desk chair downstairs until after Moses died in 2006. I still remember looking down at her and seeing her blink up at me, tap her tail and purr a little harder.

Kelly used it again after that in the winters, but it’s been away since she’s been gone. I have found no photos of either of them using it, but I’m sure they are somewhere. Seeing it there is probably one of the reasons I decided to share Kelly’s story today, since her attachment to the bed was fairly early in her time here. For me, it’s not just the joy of seeing four black cats all tucked together and purring on their section of the cloud, it’s also the memories that are tucked into the cloud itself.

Plus, they inspired today’s sketch, which I’ll post a little later this evening.

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“Really, That’s Very Interesting.”, 2013
black cat with head tilted.
“Really? That’s very interesting.”

I get the idea she’s being polite and just wants to enjoy her sunbath. But she’s awfully cute.

Possibly a photo for the 2014 Compositions in Black and Green calendar? Read more below.

AND…pawprints in the snow on my desk on the deck—and they are not Mimi’s! Who has been visiting?

Pawprints in the snow on the table.
Pawprints in the snow on the table.

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I Could “Daily Sketch” You, 2013
black cat with colore drawing pencils
Mimi looks at my pencils, then at me.

Mimi looks at my pastel pencils, then at me.

“I wonder how you’d look if I sketched you in blue, or purple or pink,” Mimi says. “I just might give it a try.”

Guess I pushed the non-representational colors too far for someone. she didn’t follow through with her threat, and I’m kind of glad. I mean, it would be totally cool to have a kitty who could draw, but I’m not sure I’d like how I look. Perhaps that was her point, too.

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Why Are We Here? 2012
two black cats
Why are we here?

Giuseppe, do you think there’s a reason why we’re here?

You mean, like, on this table? We sit here every morning…

No, stupid, a reason why we’re…like, on this planet, maybe in this country or here, in this house, with Mama Bernadette?

Where else would we be?

Well, there are cats everywhere. We could be somewhere else instead of here.

We’ve never been anywhere else.* What would make you think we could be anywhere else? We’re like a part of here.

No, Mama Mimi was somewhere else before, and she was there, she was a part of that place, until she came here.

Okay.

And she was somewhere even before that, a few somewheres—those people took her from the big building she told us about with all the other cats—and dogs and rabbits and other things—and before that she was in a house with some people with her mama.

So…?

So why is she here now, and why didn’t we move around like she did?

Jelly Bean, I don’t understand.

Don’t you think about these things?

No, we’re here, why worry?

Do you remember Fromage?

Sure, I remember our little foster sister.

She was lost and all alone. How did that happen? And how did she get to be here?

Mama Bernadette’s friend the tall lady brought her one morning, and then she came and took her away after we taught her how to be a cat. I think that’s where she lives now. There’s no mystery about that. We saw it all happen.

Imagine what life would be like if we were out there [gesturing out the window behind them] somewhere like Fromage. How would we get to where we are supposed to be?

Well, Jelly Bean, I wonder sometimes why I’m here and Mlle. is in Kingston if we’re supposed to be together.

See? I’m trying to put it all together, and I just can’t figure out why we’re here.

Boys, what are you up to? You look like you’re hatching a sort of a plan, or you’re in some deep metaphysical discussion…

two black cats
What are you looking at?

Do you suppose Mama Bernadette thinks about these things?

I’m sure she does. I think I need a nap.

*Actually, they were in “the other house” for their first three days, they just don’t remember. I didn’t want to try to explain.

A few other posts showing the boys at their stuff on the table in the morning:

Wordless Wednesday: Aw, Little Brother

Daily Photo Reprise: That Does It! 2011

Daily Photo Reprise: I Knight Thee…2011

I’ll Give You Three Seconds to Get Your Paw Off of Me…

Let’s Shake On It

And other cat conversations…sometimes with me, sometimes with each other.


Click the title or the photo to go to the original post.

The Telltale Paws, 2013
black cat paws under pillow shams
Something seems out of place.

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Thank You, Mewsette, 2013
black cat scratching at toilet tank
Mewsette helps to finish the job.

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On the Prowl, 2012
black cat in tub with toy
Stalking the wild crackle ball.

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Like a Salad With Your Salmon and Turkey? 2011
black cat eating lettuce
Mewsette enjoys a nibble of greens.

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

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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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Victoriana Cats from Portraits of Animals!

set of four sepia images of black cats
Victoriana Cats in dreamy semi-sepia tones

Though these photos may look antique and sepia-toned, they are neither. My cats are perfect models and knew to pose in the bright yellow morning sun in front of my round antique mirror and the narrow casement window with the lace curtain. Read more about Victoriana Cats and browse the gallery of Feline Greeting Card Sets.


© 2017 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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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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.

2 thoughts on “Daily Photo: Longhairs

  • February 24, 2017 at 12:26 pm
    Permalink

    Those two are gorgeous. Love that beautiful black coat and how their personalities are captured in the picture.

    Reply
    • February 26, 2017 at 10:59 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you, Momma Kat. Even brothers have their differences.

      Reply

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