What cool toys!
So I got all of seven stalks of asparagus out of my garden this spring, but was glad with at least that! Last year my neighbor’s tree fell across my yard in a storm in May and the asparagus was covered at a crucial time, after it had produced edible stalks, but before it began producing the greens that feed the asparagus crowns for next year. After this winter everything was slow coming up and after everything else started sprouting, no asparagus. Then suddenly this past weekend, asparagus! Well, a little, but there is nothing like the first fresh asparagus right out of your garden.
Bean was pretty excited too, as you see. I set down the basket with my seven precious stalks and he was right on it. If you look closely at the photo below you can see one of the many endearing things about Bean—he uses his paws like a raccoon does, holding things as if he has fingers. Even though I clip his claws they are still long enough to grip an asparagus stalk at the end and wave it around, and he even sits up on his haunches like a raccoon too.
And it actually managed to get away from him, but he got it under control! I wish this photo was a little more clear—he was intent on playing with one of my precious stalks of asparagus as I had foolishly decided to take a photo of his cuteness until he ran away with it.
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What other photos have I featured on this date?
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Drama in the Stairway, 2013
Really, they are just kind of hanging out enjoying the sunshine even though it looks as if Giuseppe might be in trouble with Mewsette for some reason. But Mewsette isn’t that kind of kitty, and Giuseppe is just enjoying a bit of a snooze.
I not only take photos knowing they’ll be nice photos, I sometimes just point my camera and see what happens, adjust a few manual settings, approach from an odd angle, just let it happen, and this was from a series of those sorts of photos, and the first name for this photo was “Just and Interesting Shot”.
Even the good DSLR has a hard time with all the black fur and the glare of a spot of sunshine, so when I saw Giuseppe walking up the steps and Mewsette at the top with sun on her head, little smears of sunlight on the edges of the steps and reflecting in interesting colors, I took a few shots. Apparently the camera metered the light for the brightest areas because I could see the bright streaks of sunlight and everything else was dark.
But I’ve learned what’s in those shadows. I could see the silhouette of Giuseppe’s profile, and Mewsette’s eyes and just a bit of sun on her. I always shoot both JPG and RAW files, so I opened the RAW file and changed the exposure a bit to see a few details. It’s already a bit grainy but after this point it the grain just looked like dirt, so I stopped here, took a look at it in black and white, decided I liked the oversaturated blue and yellow highlights and left it at that because I like the outline of Mewsette’s face and the curving lines of her whiskers, and the flash of light on Giuseppe’s chest and on his leg right above his paw, the little bit of light on the step that just defines him.
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Preparing the Studio, 2012
As part of the set up for a day of working in the studio, every cat in the room needs to interact with whatever it is I’ll be using. This is especially important when I watercolor—each needs to have a good long drink from my jar of rinse water before I even begin painting. Perhaps it’s that little residual cat spit in the water that gives my work a special quality.
Then all cats must walk on all surfaces and inspect all boxes and other containers. Below, Mewsette waits her turn at the water while Mr. Sunshine pauses in his drink. Mimi has finished her drink goes on to inspect my work table.
I’ve discovered it’s best if I just let them do as they please, then settle down. That’s not a bad policy in other areas of life either.
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You Can’t See Me, 2012
“I have fixed the rug in exactly the way I want it.
“You can’t see me at all behind this wrinkle I have so cleverly built out of the rug.
“Also notice that I am squinting. You can’t see cats when they are squinting at you like this. Or when they have their paws over their faces. Or when they have their head in a bag or under the couch, even if their fuzzy butts are hanging out in plain view. You may think you see us, but it’s just your imagination.
“And furthermore, don’t even consider changing this rug from the way I have it set up. When I choose to leave it, I will expect to find it exactly like this when I return.”
Guess he told me.
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Giuseppe Prefers a Sun Roof, 2011
The red cat cube has added excitement to everyday life. Here, the cube has been turned on one of its sides and Giuseppe, sitting tall, looks out the sun roof while Mimi enjoys the side door.
I’m not sure how long this thing can hold up. The wires that hold it in shape are already bent up even though I straighten them out regularly and I see some tears in the fabric here and there. They use it for cuddling, for solo sleeping and for ambushing. Yesterday, the cube made it into the kitchen as various cats used it for various purposes and dragged and pushed and rolled inside it. Sometimes I hear fearsome yowling as the cube rocks and rolls, the sides bulging with feline hips and paws and heads, and all cat parts remain inside though it rolls over once or twice. Giuseppe spent part of the day sleeping in front of the door in the cube.
And, of course, it provides hours of entertainment for me.
Unfortunately, the cube only lasted about three weeks—here it’s nearly at the end of its run.
© 2014 | 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: Bok 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!