The neighborhood so quiet
this sunny autumn
all we hear is crickets
rustles in the myrtle
while my shadow hovers over
yearning, waiting, listening
warm sun relaxes
speckled light on leaves and fur
my purrfect camouflage
perhaps a mousey there?
another sound, I’ll make my pounce
and dive into the clover.
Oh wait! I’m wrong! You silly cat!
It’s just the Fall affair!
Poem copyright © www.TheCreativeCat.net
This is a community poem that grew up around the photo when I posted it on Facebook. How fun! Susan Ritts Stoltz began it and Denise Trumbull contributed several lines. I did my best to channel Mimi and her thoughts on such a purrfect moment.
An “idyll” is kind of a literary form, at least that’s the way I learned about it. The word derives from ancient Greek “little picture”, and ancient Greeks and Romans used it to describe brief poems of a pastoral nature. The concept arose again during the Renaissance and was used far beyond works of a pastoral nature to include writings of an “idyllic” place, event or time.
What better for an autumn afternoon of lazy thoughts and warm sunshine? Mimi seemed to approve. No mousies or crickets were hurt in the writing of this poem.
Actually, the photo above was taken last Thursday and posted on Instagram last Friday. Here’s one from this morning.
Waiting for Dinner, It’s in the Oven
7 of 8 black cats are gathered in a warm kitchen to smell roasting meat and liver and simmering stock that will become their dinner today and for the next week. It’s going to be a long afternoon for them…
I feed my cats a mix of canned and homemade raw and cooked foods. I’ve been feeding raw to my cats since Cookie and Kelly were here, building up to where I fed entirely raw to Mimi and the kids for a couple of years after we lost the girls. Commercial raw diets became more and more expensive and as my household expanded I wanted to keep up with it but in a more affordable way.
I am an experienced cook, having cooked may way to college, through college, and years after that until full-time employment became more stable. At home I have always cooked my own meals, and included all the food processing I’d done from growing my garden and putting food by each year. Then, later, cooking for my parents, for my mother and for my brother. Back in the late 80s I read about homemade cat food and raw diets and made food for my cats for several years and into the 90s when I’d moved here. Ingredients became difficult to find as small family farms were pushed out of the market, unable to compete with big agribusiness and for years I couldn’t get the fresh pasture-raised meats I preferred for my cats, and for cooking in general when I made meals for others. But I found a few friends willing to supply me with a small amount and also joined a raw feeding group here in Pittsburgh, and through them rediscovered a meat market that buys from all the organic pasture-raised farms north of Pittsburgh. These aren’t new farmers, they have always farmed this way, and now they can afford to again because people will buy from them over the grocery store. After feeding raw for a while I looked at the expensive can of grain-free food and thought, “I can do that.” I talked to a few professionals about cooked diets for cats and have a few recipes that are working well.
So today we were cooking chicken thighs and chunks of beef with beef liver. That will make about 12 pounds of food to which I will add supplements that make it a complete diet for a feline. I know just what’s in it because I put it there, and I know where it came from. The whole carbon footprint is even pretty small since it’s all local.
Some people as why I’d “go to all that trouble”, but I cook every day, what’s the big deal about putting some meat in a pan and then adding supplements? And also that I’m “taking things a little too far with those cats”. My cats eat every meal and they are all as healthy as rocks, and it costs me less than buying premium food, and even less when there are no conditions or diseases brought about by ingredients in food they shouldn’t be eating. Sometimes the canned is basic Friskies pate. They get a healthy variety. What better could I do for my muses and models?
Photos from previous years on this date
Nine in the Kitchen, and a Video
Quiet Sunday morning with all 9 in the kitchen, 7 adult cats chilling on the cabinet and the 2 kids chasing each other around it on the floor. My feline models got a few days off while I was out photographing other things (imagine that! and more on that in another post).
The sweetness just went on and on, and I managed to get a precious video of a “brotherly foster bath”. Giuseppe is washing Bella who is washing Basil who is washing Sunshine who is washing Giuseppe, and then they all switch around. If they weren’t black you could see them better, but then it wouldn’t be these extra special housepanthers. You can watch it here or click to Youtube.
. . . . . . .
Yesterday on Instagram
The rare and wonderful Lucky Four Leaf Black Cat Clover
One of those leaves is a little small, though.
. . . . . . .
Photos from previous years on this date
Mewsette Enjoys an Autumn Afternoon, 2015
Mimi insisted on going outside this afternoon since we didn’t get out yesterday, and Mewsette mewed most piteously to join us. How could I tell her “no”? Mimi had to go on her leash so that I could follow Mewsette around, and she made the most of her 20 minutes in the warm autumn day outdoors! I’m surprised I got so many clear photos of her because she never stops moving! She likes to race around and look wide-eyed at everything. Above she looks positively stunning with a mix of colors—sitting at the top of the steps near the blue and white and green pots of parsley and rosemary, hardy things that can take a freeze and frost, with the dogwood glowing red and orange in full sun on the side of the house. This is one of my most favorite photos in a while! I have about a dozen photos of Mewsette and Mimi from our day today, so scroll on down and read the captions. I may have a few new greeting cards here…
Below, Mimi gives me a look that needs no interpretation while she has to bear the indignity of being stuck on a leash. A harness and a leash.
Below, I managed to catch a photo of Mewsette shaking her head. Not sure how I caught that so clearly but it’s very interesting to see!
Here are the rest of Mewsette’s photos along with a few more of Mimi, unhappy, on her leash…
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Mewsette slaps her tail back and forth so enticingly, Bean simply cannot resist.
Giuseppe, Bean and Mewsette were hanging out on the cabinet in the center of the kitchen so they looked like only silhouettes against the morning sunlight through the back door. I really liked their activity and the big silhouettes plus the long shadows on the varnished cabinet were interesting varieties of textures. I just wasn’t sure about the colors since they were slipping around, I just wanted to capture the warm colors in the background and the cool colors in the highlights. I think I got that!
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals 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
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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! —