As everyone happily takes their turn in the cool of the tub on these hot days, I remembered this early photo of the Family of Five. Yes, there are actually five cats cavorting, in the tub. From the left you see Giuseppe, Mimi, Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette, but Jelly Bean is “understood” because that is what Giuseppe is looking at—actually, that’s who he’s wrestling with.
I took it early in 2009 near the end of my bathroom “remodel”, which occurred after a watery accident, but I hardly minded the chance to completely gut and rebuild the bath after 20 years!
To my surprise, the Fantastic Four, who had lived in the bathroom from the ages of three weeks to four months, moved right back in even after the bathroom had been completely renewed, playing in the tub, which is now in a different place, hopping into the sink, on the opposite wall, and enjoying the floor space and custom litterbox under the sink. As you know, they still consider the bathroom their playroom.
The Fantastic Four were about 18 months old here, and it was just about that time that I realized they would be staying. I had intended to keep them for their first year in order to observe them for any signs of FIP. They were actually up for adoption from that point, but it was the middle of summer and kitten season, and even four friendly and playful black cats could not compete with the tide of kittens. By the time the shelters were emptying of kittens, it was near Halloween and we are careful of black cats around that time of year.
That was also about the time I began photographing them as a family, constantly amazed at the compositions their various familial combinations could create. The white and mint green bath renovation sealed it for me as the photos of them playing in the new space featured their feline shapes and the photos came to look like retouched black and whites.
I love Mimi’s face in the top photo—that’s her looking directly at you. She was just beginning to be more playful and social and while most of the photos are of her kittens she was involved in a lot of the shenanigans as she eased her way toward becoming a plain old housecat.
The rest is history! Here is a link to a gallery of photos of them in the bathroom in those first few months before I moved in the rest of the furniture, which I delayed so I could keep shooting neat photos.