From the Archives: Celebrating Black Cat Appreciation Day Ten Years Ago

The Four in their bed.
The Four in their bed.

They had just outgrown their cage and I moved them to the bathroom. They napped in the cuddle cup that had been Moses’ bed for years and had her gray-kitty pillow cover in there, and under that was Stanley’s pink sweater girlfriend so that my two best foster mentors could still work their magic on my other fosters, even after they were gone.

The two looking up are Mewsette, at the top, and Jelly Bean, at the bottom. The green paint is on Giuseppe’s ear, and that leaves Mr. Sunshine under Mewsette.

Below, Mimi nursing. They are only three weeks old, and small for their age (a minor concern, though they were vigorously healthy) and already their combined selves are as big as her torso and then some. My vet and I decided to start weaning them a little early because Mimi was losing weight and growing lethargic.

Mimi Nursing
Mimi Nursing

And in other activities ten years ago…Mewsette met the lion on my skirt and challenged him to a wrestling match!

black kitten
Mewsette challenges the lion on my skirt.

Mimi is already tired of me and the camera–this is the only photo I got of her looking up at me while she nursed, though she did that frequently. But I was just learning the challenges of photographing black cats, and just how blurry a picture could be.

Do you mind?
Do you mind?

Mimi managed to escape, but Giuseppe and Mewsette are having none of it.

two black kittens
Where did she go?

All four put their heads together and try to figure out where their mom went, and Mewsette is ready to run and get her.

four black kittens
Let us out!

And here is where she was, just out of their reach. She’s listening, but she’s taking a break.

black cat
Mimi takes a welcome break after nursing

Suddenly, it was nap time!

four black kittens napping
Four-part nap.

This was also when I decided I had to mark them somehow to identify them more easily as individuals. They had all looked nearly alike until now when their ears began to move upright and they began growing at different rates. Still concerned about FIP, I wanted to keep track of everything I could as well as possible, and wanted to have a way to track any incidents among them. So that day I decided to start with my non-toxic tempera paints, a dab on their right ears, keeping the colors consistent: yellow was the young Mr. Sunshine, then known as Luciano, green was the budding opera star Giuseppe Verdi, and red was the big bold girl Mewsette—Jelly Bean’s white spots and white ear hair were much more prominent so I decided he didn’t need a spot. Read more about the significance of the paint on their ears.

Mimi nursing in the newly arranged foster room.
Mimi nursing in the newly arranged foster room.

While Mimi had of course been nursing them, she seemed a little stressed as they grew. August was hot, this was her second litter that year, and she was adjusting to a new feline family and a new lifestyle. Her wet and dry kitten food was available to her all the time—Cookie, Kelly, Namir and Peaches never once hopped the screens to get into the room and steal food—but I also purchased some KMR to mix for her and for the kittens to lap from a dish, mixing some wet food into it and in a few days they were nibbling the wet food and lapping KMR as well as nursing. Mimi was grateful.

They were ready for the new space! Even the litterbox was exciting!

Even the litterbox is exciting!
Even the litterbox is exciting!

And they got to meet my feet! Up to that time they’d only seen me from the waist up and touched me when I picked them up.

Kittens playing with my feet.
Kittens playing with my feet.

And hide under my skirts! Often all four of them would run under my skirt and wrestle, which was impossible to photograph. Every once in a while they still do that today!

Mr. Sunshine, aka Luciano, emerges from under my skirt.
Mr. Sunshine, aka Luciano, emerges from under my skirt.

The little tails make me smile.

Photos pulled “From the Archives” were taken by one or another digital camera of mine between 2002 and, well, yesterday, but usually they are older than that, and I had never had the chance to feature them. Vintage photos were taken on film at any time back to 1983 when I first got my Pentax K1000, and a few from before that from photos I found in my family’s house. They’re a fun way to “introduce” other members of my feline family who came and went before I began blogging, and to illustrate my feline family in general from days gone by.


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.

Subscribe to my e-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter.

© 2020 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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!




If you visit and book services, I'll get a commission.

Rover now has services for cats! Book now at!

If you click this ad and set up an account, then make a purchase of at least $49.00 within 45 days, I'll get a commission.

Friendship Friday.



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

2 thoughts on “From the Archives: Celebrating Black Cat Appreciation Day Ten Years Ago

  • August 18, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    I am Mom to the orphans. It breaks my heThanksw for what you do, and for sharing. As I write this, Chloe Jo is in my left arm, being a baby. She is almost seven, but still an emotional kitten. Hugs.

    • August 19, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you for what you do too! Fostering little bottle babies is a huge task and frightening considering the risks. Keep it up! The kitties need you two. Purrs to Chloe Jo.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: