Daily Photo: Someone Has To Work Around Here

Someone has to work around here.
Someone has to work around here.

Apparently I don’t get the day off but am required to be at the service of my fine felines. But who could resist? It’s a job I love.

Late we’ll all be in the studio as I spend a little more time on a few portraits, and possibly later Mimi and I may go back outside for a little more “modeling”.  And perhaps even Mewsette will join us again! She likes to come outside now and then, and she’s really excited and talks and rubs on everything. She’s really hard to get a photo of because she doesn’t stand still, but I did get one clear one this morning. Mimi is in the background, busy watching the activity in the side yard which is where the bird feeder is outside the big casement window.

Mewsette joined me and Mimi this morning in the back yard.
Mewsette joined me and Mimi this morning in the back yard.

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On Instagram and Facebook this morning

Mimi and I begin our Labor Day with a little labor we both love–a modeling session in the back yard. Have a wonderful holiday!

Mimi poses on the chair.
Mimi poses on the chair.

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A little more about my background

I wrote an essay on my own labor decisions between high school and college, and the impact they had on my life. I also considered how the choices I could make in the late 70s are so different from the ones students and young adults can make now.

My apron from Isaly's, and my acceptance letter from Edinboro.
My apron from Isaly’s, and my acceptance letter from Edinboro.

When I was a senior in high school I began my first full-time job as a cook at a local deli, Isaly’s in Pittsburgh. Working part-time nights and weekends until graduation I trained in the day cook’s position of opening the kitchen at 6:00 am to cook the lunch entrée and heat up the soups, open the doors of the shop at 7:00 am for the first customers wanting coffee and a pastry or a brown bag lunch to go, serve meals and beverages and offer counter help at all the stations as needed, plan the weekly lunch specials and soups and order accordingly, also using leftovers, with as little waste as possible, keeping the kitchen and walk-in freezer clean, and deep frying 50 pounds of fish every Friday for a community that still observed this particular weekly fasting menu. Whew!

If you’d like to read a little bit about how I got to where I am today, read the rest on my daily photo and writing blog “Today” entitled “My Own Labor History”.

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Labor Day 2014

Labor Day With a Different Meaning
black cat on papers
Mimi is glad to hold my papers in place in return for going into labor ever again in her life.

For a cat who gave birth to six litters of kittens, “labor day” has a whole new meaning. Mimi is glad to be a paperweight and help me get work done on this particular day rather than go into labor giving birth to more kittens. I’m so glad to give her the opportunity because I really need the help!

As I moved about the house preparing merchandise and packing orders and otherwise keeping busy today, Mimi moved off to nap with her favorite feline cat bed: her daughter Mewsette.

two black cats
Mimi and Mewsette keep the envelopes cool and dry.

Meanwhile, across the room, Sunshine is upended in total relaxation, keeping yet more papers in place, and Bean and Giuseppe have inhabited Mewsette’s latest creation, which seems to be okay with her, at least for today.

three black cats
The boys are comfortably arranged on the table by the window.

Later, I walk through the room and, as usual, Mimi is the only one awake, and Mewsette has spread herself over the top of the box. Such is a lazy Labor Day, though Mimi is ready to follow me upstairs, just for some one-on-one “adult” time together. Hope yours was a good one!

two black cats
Mimi, as usual, is the only one awake.

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What other photos did I feature around this date?

Laboring At What We Love, 2013
five black cats sleeping in kitchen
Five happy cats sleeping all over the place.

Sweet dreams to The Five who are sleeping off the ceiling fan installation supervision from yesterday as they celebrate Labor Day and enjoy the fruits of their labors with the ceiling fans happily spinning. I did briefly press them into service earlier today as artist models, other than that, they are off the hook for work. Trust me that Emeraude is resting just as happily upstairs in the tub, her latest happy sleep spot.

On Labor Day I always feature in photos the ways my cats have inspired and assisted me in my work, which in turn celebrates them in their work. I always begin with the photo below, taken in June 2006 just before Lucy came to me, from left: Stanley, Sophie, Kelly, Namir, Cookie and Peaches. All the cats in the photo have now moved on to other endeavors, but I will never forget the love and support they gave me in the years they were with me. I often feature photos of the Five together in groups or all of them in my workspaces, studio, kitchen and desk, but truly my cats always gathered near me as I worked. In this case I managed to jump up and run to the landing to photograph without an of them following me!

Desk with Six Cats; sometimes my office is not so beautiful! From left it is Stanley, Sophie, Kelly, Namir, Cookie and Peaches.

You hear about me and my work all the time, but I also try to give credit where credit is due—to my feline family, who through the years have always worked just as hard as me…in their own way. But as I constantly reiterate, they were my inspiration for art, and I might not be where I am today if not for them, showing and selling my art was the basis for my business plan for self-employment along with commercial art, and being able to be at home with them, especially as my first group grew older, was one of the decision points in actually deciding when to take the plunge.

And below, I’ve pasted a few posts of my cats at work with links to others.

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Ready for Work

two torties in studio
Tortie Girls reporting for work.

My studio supervisors arrive at work before me! I’m working on starting the day in my studio when my eyes are rested and I have daylight to work with instead of ending it there and working too late into the night.

My tortie girls agree! They’ve been staying up all night with me for more years than they want to remember—after all, they have to supervise me or how could I get any artwork done? The most important role they serve is sleeping on my lap or next to my feet so that I need to stay put and therefore get work done. One would never get up or move while a cat is sleeping.

The younger ones have something to learn from keeping me under control, perhaps someday one of them will show some potential.

Cookie has had a lifelong role in what I do, and this will clarify what she does: I Will Never Get to Retire.

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And Then I Gave Up Work for the Day

four black cats on desk
Maybe she’ll notice us now.

Okay, okay, I admit I’ve been busy, but do you guys like to eat?! Then you’ll keep doing things like this as inspiration.

I also admit I posted this nearly two years ago, but it’s still appropriate today, as is the text below. The one thing I’d add is two torties on my lap, and Mimi on my keyboard shelf. I have been busy, and I’ve missed sharing a lot of photos.

For now, enjoy somewhat over 50 pounds of black cat on one desk.

They are always doing something unique, that whimsical quartet of siblings, but sometimes they have the right idea. I really was tired, my eyes were strained, I was losing focus at the end of a long day, and one by one the three boys piled up trying to get their point across (we need dinner, you need to stop working), hence the multiple nap. Then Mewsette, the big sister, piled on top of all of them and began bathing them all in turn, causing things to start falling off my desk. Still, I could pile papers on top of them and keep working. When the paws and tails expanded onto my keyboard, I decided to take their advice and quit working for the day.

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Move Over Ikea Cats, Cookie’s Back in the Shop!

“I’m so pretty, I’ll bet all sorts of customers will come in today just to see me.”

While I had enjoyed Cookie’s company in my Portraits of Animals shop room at Carnegie Antiques through the spring, summer was hot and busy, and Peaches needed Cookie’s company too, so Cookie has had to stay home all these months. Yesterday, she gave me the look and I decided I’d love to have her company down there again.

It’s good to be back! I hated the ride in the pink thing and I really let my mom know about it, but once we got here I knew exactly where I was and I got right to work.

Who needs those fancy IKEA cats—I can run around and jump on things as well as any kitty, and I don’t have to share it with 99 others!

[Read all about Cookie’s adventures with links to other her trips to the shop.]

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Peaches Has Her Interview

“Go do something else, I need your computer.”

Oh, my! I’ve been waiting ALL DAY for my mom to leave the computer. Eva posted a comment on my blog post last night, and I even sat on my mom in bed this morning trying to get-her-up!

We finally got to the computer and I heard her say, “It’s a good day to concentrate and get things done,” something to do with the weather which is out there and I don’t pay any attention to it, but she barely left her seat for long enough for me to grab a snack and get back before her.

Read more, including a link to Peaches’ decision to apply and her application! Peaches Applies for a Job

Happy Labor Day everyone! We are off to work!

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Home Remodeling Inspectors, 2013
two black cats
Mimi and Mr. Sunshine are ready for work.

Mimi and Sunshine are ready for their supervisory duties, Mimi for aesthetic design and Mr. Sunshine, of course, for engineering and technical support.

I’m so glad I have such talented cats, and that whenever I need to do something around here they are ready to serve as supervisors at a moment’s notice. I installed two new ceiling fans in my kitchen this afternoon, replacing the one remaining of a set I moved here with and installed nearly 23 years ago. Yes, it was time. My kitchen needs far more than this, but this is a start. Below, Mimi lets me know it’s time for her mandated break so she stretches out on my directions, ensuring I won’t continue (don’t be too sure Mimi, your human has installed about three dozen ceiling fans in her life…). It is, after all, Labor Day weekend.

black cat on cabinet
Mimi tells me it’s her break time.

My kitchen was originally two small rooms, a 7′ x 10′ kitchen and an 8′ x 10′ dining room, and the wall was removed between though there are still two ceiling fixtures, one in each section. I haven’t had a fan in the kitchen portion since the bathroom flooded in 2009, and the light fixture wiring went bad on the one remaining in the former dining area. So now I have light and air in both portions of the room, the better to photograph black cats, and nice for kitties to spread themselves out beneath in warm weather. Mr. Sunshine tells me I need the check the level on that fan before I go installing any fan blades. Note his brothers lazily sleeping in the box while he works hard. They were assigned to chase down any screws or other hardware I dropped, but I was left to do that on my own the one and only time ( yay me) I dropped one. Of course, Mimi and Sunshine could not do this as that type of unskilled labor was not in their contract.

black cat looking up
Need any help up there?

The newer styles of fans are much more efficient and much quieter than the older ones, so I won’t be relighting the pilot on my stove all the time and turning up the volume on my radio as when both fans were running. Mr. Sunshine decided to immediately try out the air flow across his belly—to ensure it was properly installed, of course. “Piece of tuna cake,” he said. “I could do this job in my sleep.” And so he proceeded to demonstrate his proficiency.

black cat on back
Mr. Sunshine checks the air flow with his belly.

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First Morning, 2012
black cat silhouette in window
First Morning

It’s not autumn yet, and this particular morning was actually warmer than some lately. But we can tell by the hour of the sunrise, the color of the light, and the busyness of the birds, September is here. But Giuseppe enjoys a warm morning by the open window as I enjoy watching him.

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This photo is featured on the back cover of my 2013 calendar “Compositions in Black and Green”, featuring the black cats in the green and white bathroom, a lovely combination. I still have a few left, and I’m currently working on the 2015 version of this calendar.

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You’ve Really Made a Mess Here, 2011
tortoiseshell cat on table
Kelly observes the mess I’ve made of her table.

You’ve made quite a mess of my table.

I was planning to have a nice evening nap here, but you’ve completely ruined that possibility.

Do you intend to clean this up?

[The idea of Kelly demanding anything in that way is totally ludicrous, though sometimes she shows a little tortitude. She was not so angry as she was somewhat frightened by all the stuff on her favorite hangout, so I did at least organize my things. Silly human.]

tortoiseshell cat on table
Do you intend to clean this up now?

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile 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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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!




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

2 thoughts on “Daily Photo: Someone Has To Work Around Here

  • September 8, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    guys…it wuz a labor oh love round heer yesterday az we volunteered ta due plentee oh nappin !!!! ♥♥♥

  • September 7, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    I hope that Mimi and Mewsette enjoyed their outside time this holiday…Yes I would like to read more about you Bernadette…I got some laughs from reading about installing the new fans…Happy Labor Day to all of the hard workers there…including the human one..lol..


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