Something Familiar About That Black Cat on the Stool…

black cat on stool by easel
Jelly Bean posing like the kitty on the box...

One of the photos I included in my post earlier today about our Sunday in the studio reminded me of yet another artifact from my collection of feline-themed things from my childhood…

notions box with little girl artist and black cat
The Feline Artist With Her Black Cat
same kitty box
My kitty box, very well-used.

Above is that artifact, a satin-covered notions box, about the size of  a shoebox but not as deep, given to me by my aunt, I think. To be perfectly honest, this one was my mother’s and it’s in quite good shape since she kept hers in a dresser drawer with her cotton and silk gloves from years ago—mine, on the other hand, was always out on display because I liked to so much, and I still have it, though you can barely see the image on the lid.

And that’s what I wanted you to see—what is that? A girl wearing a beret at an easel painting a black cat sitting on a stool?! Did someone know something I didn’t, or was the universe sending me signs?!  Why did it take me so long?

I think cute little girls with unnaturally big eyes were the fad then, and so were little girls and kittens. But I really did always love this notions box and displayed it on my vanity wherever I lived. Mine had a gold base with a Victorian flocked pattern, and the little girl was wearing a gold cowl neck and the kitty a gold polka-dotted bow—and was also a tabby. No matter, it still fascinates me to see this and remember how much I loved it from all those years ago. I don’t remember not having it, I must have been very young when I received it.

black cat with decorative box
Jelly Bean posed himself like this, I did not make any suggestions.

But the other cute thing is Jelly Bean himself, who is the cutest thing on four legs, and who is really getting to like this attention from all the photos. I set up the black velvet on the table by the window to photograph these two boxes and he came hopping down the steps and sat by the box as if he had an appointment! Then he stayed around as we did a number of shots.

Note that the kitty in the painting also has a generous white area on his chest, much larger than the Bean’s which is more of a smear, but he does have his big belly spot. I’ll have to get him a red tie with polka-dots and maybe a gold one too, and he and I can pose for a silly photo.

But I don’t think I’ll have to pose Jelly Bean—he’s got the runway method perfected. I’ve included the slideshow below so you can see how Jelly Bean posed himself in this little shoot. He really did come noisily hopping down the steps as soon as I set the box on the velvet, and moved himself around and posed. In between he brushed a little dust off his lapel and shined his white spots. I’ve eliminated the really blurry images but included the rest of them. Of course, had I known he would join me I would have used something else as the backdrop. It just fascinated me that he had been sleeping and showed up for this and acted like a professional! Something else I don’t know?

If it pauses, mouseover the image and you’ll get the controls, or simply refresh the page.


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.

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10 thoughts on “Something Familiar About That Black Cat on the Stool…

  • November 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Just got done reading a few of your posts. I simply “love” this one and although I have a few pics of my litties “from my past” I only have “items” of my Twinkie who passed alomost 3 years ago, tucked away! I think that box is awesome and it is a great treasure! Thanks for sharing and thanks for your articles!! Linda

    • November 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      Linda, of all the things I write about, I think these articles about rediscovering clues from my past that may have led to my life as an artist as the most popular, and actually the most fun for me to write. I’m sure you have plenty of memories of your past kitties, even if you don’t have many photos. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  • November 15, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Loved this, Bernadette. Jelly Bean is definitely a pro. Like Denise, I started thinking about my own cat-related treasures from childhood, some of which I still have and others which, alas, have disappeared over the years. But you’re right — the big-eyed girls were very “in” in the 1960s, as were the big-eyed kittens & puppies. Have a couple of the big-eyed kitten pics here.

    • November 16, 2011 at 12:23 am

      Tammy, I’ve been wondering what he would do in the household pets category at a cat show. I’d just love to show him off!

  • November 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Wonderful post. Got me thinking about treasures from childhood and
    the sad realization that all that’s left is my first teddy bear,
    a gift from my mom on my first birthday. That’s special, but
    no trinket box with a facsimile of Mlle Daisy Marguerite!

    • November 16, 2011 at 12:22 am

      Denise, I’m too much of a pack rat and keep everything, even worn out old baby shoes. I loved my kitty things then, though, and everything is packed away or gone, but I still have my kitty things.

  • November 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Great post, wonderful box and fantastic cat 🙂 Something was certainly fortelling your future.

    • November 16, 2011 at 12:20 am

      I don’t know what took me so long to get around to it.

    • November 16, 2011 at 12:20 am

      Dianda, isn’t it something? I have looked at that box and chuckled about the little artist painting cats, but when JB sat on the stool by the easel it was just too much!


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