Vintage Photos: Looking Out the Basement Door, 1997 and 2002 and Today

two cats at door
Sophie and Cookie look at me out the basement door, in 1997.

Cookie and Sophie sit side by side at the basement door, these two BFFs and my guardian kitties. No doubt Cookie was unhappy at not being outside with me but I was likely doing something like cutting the grass and she was much better off inside. Sophie didn’t mind either way, and only came outdoors now and then.

The two would often sit here, together, in the summer when I had the interior door open. They are watching me in this photo from 1997, but they also enjoyed watching all that happened in our little garden and out into the yard from the ground level of this door. They did this so often that when I replaced the concrete step at this basement door, I wrote their names in the concrete—more on that below. I treasure this photo, and until I began reviewing my boxes of photos last year I didn’t even realize I had it.

More memories than I can share are wrapped up in this photo and the ones with it on the same roll of film from 1997-1998, but I will add that this was my first summer in the garden without Kublai as he had died the previous September 1996; Kelly and Namir joined me in October 1997 and later in this roll of prints are the photos of the first time Kelly and Namir came down the stairs to join us, in spring 1998. Still later are photos of Moses rolling around on my bed, finally looking confident and playful at about age 10. Apparently, losing Kublai and Allegro, I wasn’t taking as many photos, which I think was correct, but I did capture the essentials.

Below is another photo I’d found, of the two side by side in summer 2002, in their appointed positions.

two cats looking out door
In 2002, Cookie and Sophie sit side by side and look out the door.

Another familiar sight, side by side on the concrete step I mentioned above, and a new door, a solid oak screen door I’d salvaged from an old home that I could cut down to fit this odd-sized opening. It’s the door you see today.

And another view of this couple, of Cookie turned to look at me, as she always did, to periodically check on me—and perhaps also Namir, by that time fully integrated into the household, who might sneak silently over on his long legs and pull her tail as he appears in the lower right of the photo.

two cats looking out door.
Cookie turns to look at me.

Then one from just this morning, which was the reason I included the photo of Cookie turned to look at me. This morning was dark and a little drizzly so the photo is blurry, but Mimi, third on the right, turns to look at me, just a quick check (the one where she is actually looking at me is way too blurry).

three black cats at door
Giuseppe, Mr. Sunshine and Mimi, as Mimi turns to look toward me.

And finally, here is the concrete step, with the two names, in the positions where they always sat, Sophie on the left, Cookie on the right. The concrete hardened faster than I anticipated and I barely had time to scratch their names into the surface with a nail, so they are hard to see, but I look at them every time I walk down the basement steps and pass this door.

Sophie's and Cookie's names kind of carved in concrete.
Sophie’s and Cookie’s names kind of carved in concrete.

If you look between Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine in the photo above, you’ll see the shadow where Sophie’s name is carved in the surface, also right next to where Sophie is sitting in the photos above that.

I’m accustomed to being supervised by attentive and often critical felines, including inside and outside the house which, of course, includes anywhere in the yard. I love these memories, and I hope you have memories like these too. Don’t forget to take photos of them at the windows, watching you and greeting you as you come home. Someday you’ll cherish them too.

And you can see that my household at one time held no black cats at all! Even with the losses, I love to look back over my lifetime of feline companions and remember each one, and each of their stories. During Adopt-a-Cat Month, you can save a life and add to your collection of memories by adopting a fine feline or two!


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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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