It’s a warm afternoon, just like 2011.
We’ve been going outside every day all winter long, but Cookie found the snow and ice just weren’t fun anymore on her 19-year-old paws, so we mostly stayed on the deck. But today we explored the yard in all its winter tatters.
Cookie knows I prefer her to wait for me to come with her into the yard, so she pauses at the top of the steps—but her expression is, “As soon as you turn around, I’m going to run down these steps.” She did. I followed. Sometimes my position of authority means nothing.
But after a little sojourn of the weatherfish, under the deck, the fallen branch, picnic table and park bench, our favorite thing is just to sit together.
I’m so glad Cookie and I can share this time—it’s nice to have a buddy to walk around the yard with. She and I also remember other friends who used to share our time in the backyard.
Plus it’s only February and the tomorrow weather will change and I know it will be a while before we get a day this nice again.
While Cookie and I were sitting on the steps, we were being very still so we could count the birds in our yard for the Great Backyard Bird Count, February 18, through Monday, February 22 (2011).
Meanwhile, back in the house, Kelly was showing the wooden shelf in front of the window a thing or two! My cats have always enjoyed clawing wood, from my very first drafting table supports to this shelf that gets their butts up off my desk surface and gives them a better view out the window. Kelly is no different, and after getting a nose full of the sweet spring-like air she had a good energetic scratch all over the shelf.
What Mimi and the Fantastic Four were doing that day I don’t know—there were no photos of them! Likely they were all piled up on the bed napping, lazy bums.
Just a few days later…
The weather is unpredictable, and my tortie girls were glad I tossed the old flannel bathrobe back on the table for them to cuddle into as the sleet clicks against the windows.
My senior girls aren’t terribly close but they certainly don’t mind each others’ company when the weather turns bad!
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Ophelia Camouflaged, 2016
Not to be outdone by her handsome brother Hamlet, Ophelia wins the cuteness award for today.
And she is so well camouflaged, she blends right in! I couldn’t make the bed until much later today because the two of them were having so much fun.
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Basil and Bella, Forever Friends
Basil and Bella, still the best of friends, no matter how many other cats have come and gone from their lives. They are not related at all, but are very closely bonded by experience.
Sometimes when the cats see another cat outside the front window they act aggressively because they can’t get to the cat, and they transfer that aggression onto the nearest cat indoors. “Transferred aggression” isn’t unusual among cats especially in instances like this, and I’ve watched for it since Stanley joined us all those years ago. He was famous for his outsized reactions to cats he saw in “his” yard, or anywhere near it.
Mr. Sunshine can be pretty nasty in cases like this. Last night I heard the telltale sounds of a situation like this and though I was blocked in by matboard and baby gates with Hamlet and Ophelia I ran downstairs as fast as possible as Basil was racing up and leaped over it all. All three boys had puffed tails as they came up from the basement, but Bella was nowhere to be seen. She reappeared a few minutes later as I was calming the boys with some play, and handed Mr. Sunshine a roll of paper towels to kick the s**t out of.
Bella was covered with stuff from the basement floor and tufts of fur protruded here and there, and she looked a little dazed; she’d obviously been rolled around. Mr. Sunshine is her main man, she flirts with him all the time and they cuddle. That’s probably why she was right next to him when he saw the cat. I was concerned she would be traumatized by it, and that she might be injured, but I waited until she calmed a little and checked her over. She was clear, and by dinner was still a little timid but was fine when dinner was over. Today, no flirting, but she did settle on my lap for a while, and later kept herself busy sitting on the wardrobe looking over the matboard barrier at Hamlet who learned to leap over it and escape down the steps.
She was curled on my desk chair downstairs when Basil stepped up onto it and began bathing her around her head and face, then curled up with her. He was the first one greet her when she came here
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What other photos have I shared on or around this date?
Mimi’s Cold Paws and…Dogs! 2014
This morning, though it was warmish and drizzling, we still had snow cover. Mimi desperately wanted to visit the yard, but not until…
…I made some solid footprints in the slush for her delicate little paws to step into.
She visited the basement door where we’d spent so many happy mornings in the warm sun of the garden, and the brick patio, but it’s all closed up now.
Although it was VERY exciting under the deck! Apparently lots of critters have been visiting over the winter, and a shelf I’d had suspended from the rafters came down, no doubt under the weight of our overfed groundhog, which has excavated everything under there. Mimi is in this photo though.
What do you do if the black cat is ON the ladder instead of walking underneath it? Once all her exploring was finished she had no interest in getting her tiny little paws cold and wet. I had to carry her from the yard up onto the deck.
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Jelly Bean meets Sasha, a Shih Tzu, the subject of one of my next portraits! You can just see him inside the door as he and Sasha are just about eye to eye, but the reflection is confusing.
If possible I like to meet my subjects in the fur, so Sasha and her human stopped by today on the way back from the vet. Sasha has congestive heart failure and though she’s doing well her human wants to have this done now while she’s still looking healthy. She had won the certificate at last summer’s Animal Care and Assistance event to help raise money for veterinary costs at Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Clinic. This is one of the portraits I’ll be posting as I work, so look forward to seeing more of Sasha!
Not sure about Bean and Mimi, though, as they slowly approach the door after Sasha jumped a few times to say hello!
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Then shortly after I met with Sasha and her person, I had to drive to a printer in Pittsburgh to pick up post cards for an upcoming event. No need to worry about anyone getting in the door unnoticed! Miko comes to work each day and guards the entrance door since the plant is noisy and the office is a little farther down a hallway and there’s no person right at the entrance door. Even over the equipment noise Miko heard the door and me. I didn’t have any treats with me at the moment. I’ll have to take extra next time.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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.
Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Tortie Girls Grays from Portraits of Animals!
These are lightweight 10″ x 13″ pine wood trays each with a hand-colored and signed block print of my tortie girls, “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, adhered in the bottom. Inside of the tray is painted pure white, outside and upper edge is painted pure black with a matte finish on the entire tray. Read more and order.
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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!