Daily Photo Reprise: Lunch First, Photos Later, Maybe, 2011

    Tortitude preventing a good photo.
Tortitude preventing a good photo.

I miss my tortie girls every day, even if I know they’d sometimes be annoyed with what I was doing.

Cookie and Kelly decidedly do not look at me when I take their photo. I should be feeding them lunch, not fooling around with that thing I put in front of my face which they are so tired of—and at their ages, 18 and 19, they have every right to be very, very tired of me and that thing. Meals have been held for far too many photos.

Plus, I’m acting like a fool, waving my hands and yelling at them as if they don’t know I’m there when they surely do. I have some stupid thing made of shiny strips that I’m waving above my head. They don’t care. They’ve seen it all. They are intentionally ignoring me to make the point that photos are not important. Lunch is important. Now.

They should know after all these years that if they just look at me, just once, I’ll stop fooling around and feed them.

They did. I got my photo, they got their lunch. Compromise. It works every time, especially if the light is good.

But aren’t they the very image of feline tolerance of human foolishness?

Cookie and Kelly got their Senior Tortie Lunch Special in my studio where they could eat in peace without five younger cats wondering why they weren’t getting lunch as well. While no one would have even considered trying to steal Cookie’s food—she apparently sent out some signal that I couldn’t see which caused a great amount of respect to be given to her—Kelly was and still is an easy target, and if one of the others would walk near her or look at her, she would feel uncomfortable and even stop eating, which meant that someone else would get her lunch.

But I could spend some quiet time with just the two of them, the studio was cooler and quieter, and at this time I was still arranging it and we had a nice time each lunchtime.

And while Cookie and Kelly are both tortoiseshell cats, they are quite different in personality and build and markings, but here you can see the one similarity between the two—their front paws. Their left paws are nearly solid black with just a few speckles, while their right paws are nearly solid black except the first toe on the inside, pretty much the same color of caramel. Of all the photos I made them wait for their meals for me to shoot, I made them wait until I got the photo I wanted of their paws all lined up, but I never got it. The photo was either blurry or badly lit or someone’s tail landed on top of their paws. No wonder I got such tortitude when I tried to get this photo!

. . . . . . .

The Water Bowl
black cat on desk with window
Mimi on my desk and the water bowl in its place on the windowsill.

One holdout from the days of the tortie girls spending time in my brand-new renovated studio was the little tan and blue ceramic water bowl. At that time I had a water bowl in every room of the house, sometimes two, for all the geriatric cats who’d paraded through the household in the years just previous, and Cookie in particular liked to have a water bowl near.  If you look closely in the photo at the top, you’ll see the edge of it to the right of Cookie’s back. It seems a little small for feline comfort, but that’s never stopped these girls or any of the others.

One of my first daily sketches was one of Cookie having a drink from it when it was still on the floor. Her shape on the floor happily drinking was so familiar after 20 years.

graphite an doclored pencil sketch of tortoiseshell cat drinking
“Cookie Has a Drink”, graphite pencil and colored pencil, 6″ x 4″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The following summer I did a sketch of Kelly drinking from the bowl when it was up on the table, and similarly I had loved to watch Kelly drink at any water bowl in the house, those long legs and her back arched making her look like a Giacometti sculpture, her hind legs shuffling a bit every few seconds as she continually adjusted her stance. I finally caught this scene, and this was actually the last sketch I had the chance to do of Kelly, so both sketches of the girls drinking are dear to me.

sketch of cat drinking water
“Kelly Has a Drink”, colored pencil, 6″ x 6″ © B.E. Kazmarski

No one else pays much attention to it in here, but Mimi considers it her special water bowl and expects it to be filled with fresh water each time we work in here if she is going to be supervising me. I didn’t have any photos of her drinking from it because she usually drinks from the angle in the photo above, with her butt toward me, but just as I was thinking I’d forget about the photo of her drinking, she went to the bowl from a different angle and had a nice drink. My work lights look a little harsh, but there she is. It’s nice to have a kitty around who reads your mind.

black cat drinking from bowl
Mimi has a drink tonight.

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2 thoughts on “Daily Photo Reprise: Lunch First, Photos Later, Maybe, 2011

  • July 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Bernadette, I have written before of my love of Torties. I also had two at the same time, Both had distinct Tortie attitudes but were also so different from each other.My “Sushi” was my alpha female and my “Jinxie” was my needy girl. I also have two other rescues (Tabby and Marmalade) but there was no doubt Sushi was the boss. I lost Jinxie first in late 2010/early 2011 then Sushi in July 2012. My heart was broken but I still have my other two girls who are getting up there in age. I now visit the local Humane Society to hang with the cats and to help “socialize” them. There will be a next generation for me but being with all the kitties (plus my two at home) is good for now.

    • July 19, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Anne, I remember tortie lovers! I lost them both two years ago, Cookie in February and Kelly in August, and I will always remember the last summer with each of them. They left me in good hands, as Sushi and Jinxie did with you. How nice of you to visit the shelter cats–they can really use it, and it helps them when they are adopted. I look at them and think how they know what they are missing.


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