In the same package as the photos of Sun-Ra were a series of photos of Fawn rolling around on the rocker next to the work table in my studio. My little torbie was quite the talkative one, always full of stories. When she wasn’t rolling around on something as she was here, she was wrapping her slight and slender self around something and her extra long tail straight up in the air, dark tabby-striped but for the last two inches which were clearly ginger and bent at an angle like a little flag, quivering, like a rattlesnake tail. She was my yittle girl.
I didn’t name her Fawn because she resembled or was marked like a baby white-tailed deer. Rather, I was listening to the Iran-Contra hearings when she and her siblings were tiny kittens. I’ll let you look up the subject but one of the persons involved in the political misdeeds was the secretary to Col. Oliver North named Fawn Hall who apparently shredded so many papers regarding the issue that the shredder jammed, which became a subject for discussion in the hearings. When I fostered kittens at that time I used shredded paper in the litter box as the safest thing for them to use, and the little torbie spent a lot of her days shredding it even more and telling me all about it, so I named her Fawn Hall.
My memories of that early studio setup in this house are dear. I was building my career as an artist from the ground up, and could hardly believe it was happening. At the same time I was rescuing and fostering cats in that room, and learning so much about their care and personality with each new rescue. All my cats were a part of that exciting time, the regulars and the rescues.
Each room in my house had a rocker, and most still do. I bought them at yard sales and even pulled them from trash piles, as I did this one, its dark red, navy and green-striped seat setting the colors for my studio at the time. I sat in that rocker watching plenty of rescues cautiously creep over to study my toes, watched some kittens being born, and I sat there with very ill cats on my lap, sometimes all through the night.
This photo was special for Fawn’s behavior because I’d finally gotten a photo of her talking. It was also the one I carried back and forth with me in the story “The Balloon” both before and after she died because it was the best photo of the Fawn I wanted to remember. It’s still in a frame on my sewing machine in my bedroom.
It’s apparent a good bit was happening in my studio at that time, and 20 years later it’s good to take time to collect the memories.
Vintage Photos from Other Years
My Studio Window, March 1995
My first black cat, Kublai, sits on the windowsill in the sun in my studio, watching me work, sometime in March 1995.
Seeing my cats on the windowsill of the room I designated as my studio has been a view I’ve enjoyed since I moved in here. It’s my spare bedroom, and though it hasn’t always been completely an art studio as it is now for all that time, it was always my room for creative work. And my cats have always been available for supervisory duties. And as we know, seeing my cats in the sun has also inspired a lot of artwork.
It’s also one of the sunniest rooms in the house, especially when I first moved in and hadn’t planted my river birches near the corner of the house to give light shade to the room. My spruce, just outside, was then, as now, an avian high-rise, but was young enough to have green branches all around where now a good bit of the shaded sides are bare of needles.
But watching my cats sunbathe was always one of my favorite things to see, as I looked up from whatever I was doing to see one or more on the windowsill. I have very few photos of Kublai because he was usually riding around on my shoulders or he sat next to me in whatever I was doing, so these good photos are precious. And on this date not only did I have my heart cat there to observe, but in the photo above you’ll see there is another cat to the right of him.
Never far from me then or any time later in all the 20 years she was with me, Cookie, always near. And both still near, in my heart.
This evening I handed over a finished portrait of another person’s house panther, in memory, sitting on another windowsill, and I’ve been thinking about these photos since I began that portrait. I’ll feature Chief Smithers next week.
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Browse some rescued cats and kittens—browse here or visit PittsburghCAT!
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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.
Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Feline Photography from Portraits of Animals!
It seems I’ve always had a garden kitty, and often that was a black kitty. Mimi is the most recent and of course I photograph her out there nearly every day. Read more and order this photo and browse other feline photos on Portraits of Animals.
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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!