Daily Photo: A Good Morning Scratch

black cat scratching on rocker
Mimi has a good scratch on her rocker.

Mimi has been feeling really extra-specially well. A good scratch on her rocker each morning, even on the chilly ones, really perks up her activities. My time for posting has obviously been limited, but I hope to get at least one post up each day for a while here, and likely Mimi will be a part of it!

As I’d mentioned in my update week before last (where does the time go?!) my veterinarian and I discussed a toxoplasmosis test considering the neurological nature of her symptoms and Basil’s recent positive test. I took her for that test last Monday, and she was negative for an active infection, but positive for antibodies, which means she had the infection. When she had it, we don’t know. It could be as long ago as when she lived outdoors, or it could be from last spring when Basil had it, and she has finally passed it. She may have been carrying it all along and is one of the cats who has a flareup now and then.

When I say she’s been feeling really extra-specially well, I mean that, though she was feeling better than a few months ago, now she is back to being her quick and talkative little self. When we went out on the front porch, she liked to hang out, walk from edge to edge, visit her catnip, go and sit under the spruce waiting for something she could kill to run out from the groundcover. I haven’t really needed to use her harness and leash. Not anymore. Now she sometimes immediately heads for the edge of the porch above the steps to the driveway, stops and looks at me, like, “I’m going to go roll around on the warm driveway and smell things down there, k? Bye.” And she’s off down the steps. We’ve had to reinstitute the harness and leash. She hates it, but I love that she’s feeling so well.

When she’s in the back yard, she wants to be in the front yard, and when she’s in the front yard, she wants to be in the back yard, and regularly positions herself for that, and then makes a break for it. Below, she and I were on the deck, and she’ll often head for those steps on the side and race around to the front, but this time I decided we could go together because I wanted to get a little video of her racing up the side of the house.

She is eating well and active during the day, now that the cooler weather has set in she heads upstairs to my bed for naps throughout the day. Her fur looked fine before, but now it’s soft and glossy again. The test was very expensive, about four times more expensive than your average blood test, but it’s worth knowing the presence of toxoplasmosis as I continue to observe her. If it flares up again we can try the appropriate antibiotic, which worked well for Basil.

Along with observing Mimi I’ve had actual paying work to do: Deb at Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation hosts a Pet Memorial Sunday celebration each year, but this year she decided to make it virtual with a live dove release, and I did a lot of the production for that, including recording my own presentation. It was a lot of work and a lot of hours, and last Sunday I’d planned to share my video of the dove release but fell asleep while editing. I will share this year’s Tribute Scroll as I do each October.

Aside from that I’ve been working my way around the yard, still clearing the overgrowth from the past few years, clearing the basement for waterproofing and a new furnace, still working on things I thought would be done over the summer, but things didn’t get this way in a matter of months so I just need to be patient. I’m also getting ready for my open house in a few weeks, the one I’ve been putting off all year, but now I finally have all the materials. I’ll be sharing that information here because distant friends will be able to purchase as well. Plus there are cats who need to be rescued, or who need a low-cost spay or neuter, or something. And in all that I hope to be able to share at least one post each day. I don’t complain. It’s better to have so many things to accomplish and do as much as possible than to have nothing to look forward to when I wake up in the morning, even if it’s only cleaning out the corner of the basement. Thank you for continuing to follow us in this year of transition for me, and ironically enough for all of us as well!

From Instagram

Sometimes I can’t handle this level of cute this late in the evening. Really, she just wants my chair. Oh, sorry, her chair.

Mariposa by my computer.
Mariposa by my computer.

And, not cats, but…

RIP RBG. I had to take the time to create a quick graphic to share with my thoughts.

Notorius RBG

 

I remember the days when employers could legally discriminate against women, colleges could refuse to accept female students into programs “where men belonged” or to the institution at all, when a bank could refuse financing to a woman, when women were fired from employment because they were pregnant. RBG walked through history and changed all that by breaking through those barriers herself, and then changing the law to accommodate the women who followed.

And she didn’t stop with guaranteeing equal representation and opportunity for women, but extended that net to all Americans who were not given equal opportunity in our country for race, sexual and gender identity, and more in voting rights, housing, employment, education and other public spheres.

I thought she was immortal. What she accomplished in her life will ensure that she won’t be forgotten. She is one woman on whose shoulders all we women stand when we have the freedom to live the life we choose.

I just want to cry at her loss, though, because Notorious RBG won’t be around to work her magic anymore. Buckle up, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

 

Photos shared in previous years

Last year at this time I was getting ready for my hip replacement!

Mimi and Her “Suggestions”, 2019

A disapproving Mimi sat in the empty planter.
A disapproving Mimi sat in the empty planter.

Lately Mimi has been positioning herself in significant spots around the front porch. I know she doesn’t really like it out there, but I need to keep her out of tick territory in the back yard. The front porch area is likely clear of ticks. I took her actions to be just making the boring old front porch a little more interesting, like sitting in the mail basket the other day, below, or sitting in the empty planter above the settee, above. She does like to get herself into little spaces so this would relieve some of the drudgery of spending time in a place she finds boring.

Mimi waiting in the mail basket.

But then I caught myself noticing those spots and deciding to do something with them; in fact, they were spots I’d always decorated and made special and it bothered me that I hadn’t been able to keep them that way this year. This year, because of my hip, I didn’t place any flowers anywhere and really didn’t clean off my front porch and set it up for summer. I don’t like it, but the time and money for extras isn’t always here. But the other day when she sat in the mail basket I looked at the table as I took her photos and decided to just clean it off. And then I added some fresh flowers from the yard. And then I cleared a few other things off the front porch that really belonged in the basement. I forgot to photograph it, but I have to replace the LED candle and a few other things.

Then the next day she sat in the planter above the settee. I miss having flowers there because I can also see them from inside the kitchen, and I also have a two LED candles on timers for that shelf for decoration at night. And I love the flagstone patio, uneven as it is, and the rope lights by the little wall and even feeding the birds, which I stopped this spring because of difficulty walking and affording bird seed.

When she was sitting there I remembered I had some asparagus ferns and red geraniums that the baby raccoons had tortured on the deck steps, but they would do well enough for just something green there. And I pulled out the candles and added batteries and added plastic covers so the stayed clean and water wouldn’t roll underneath to the batteries. Then I decided I would clean up my little patio and start feeding the birds again the next time we went outside.

We usually take a break out there in the early evening but didn’t get the chance last evening, so out we went this morning. Mimi scratched on her birch trees and explored as I moved furniture and swept leaves and twigs off to the side yard as mulch. I trimmed around ground covers and set up the lights, then added some bird seed to the feeder and put a suet cake in the holder. Mimi was very pleased with the results, then gave an approving scratch to the settee.

Mimi checks my work.
Mimi checks my work.
Mimi has a good scratch on the settee.
Mimi has a good scratch on the settee.

I was pleased too. I still have a lot to do out there but it kind of feels like my house again! I’ve had as a goal working on all these little projects before my surgery so I had my familiar places to hang out in the time I’ll be recovering. And really, if Mimi hadn’t kind of pointed these things out to me I might have decided it was good enough as it was, but I’m glad she made the suggestions. Including drinking out of the birdbath again so I cleaned up the overgrowth around it and moved things out of the way to get to it easier.

Mimi on the bird bath.
Mimi on the bird bath.

Photos from years past

Daily Photo: Mimi’s Discovery, 2018

Mimi on the flagstones, keeping cool.
Mimi on the flagstones, keeping cool.

Mimi wanted you to “Enjoy a rest in the shade on Labor Day!”

She’s found a new area to model her little black cat self. Really, I just follow her around and take photos. She does all the rest.

This is the flagstone walk that leads around the side of the house from the back yard. It had gotten overgrown over the course of the past few years, not the least from the forsythia that wants to take over my back yard. As part of my cleanup campaign this summer prior to my open house I uncovered the walk once again.

The flagstone path that leads around the house.

It’s a little rough. When I start out a new flagstone area I just lay the stones down until I have them together well enough to fit, which can take months because I carry stones home from everywhere I go. Then I dig up the soil, lay down a plastic barrier and settle the stones so they are level on top, then sweep soil over them. I started this several years ago but the intervening years were busy. One of these days I’ll do that.

Mimi has always liked it. On these hot days she has headed over to that side because it is shady for a good bit of the afternoon. Then over the weekend she decided we needed to have a photo shoot. Above she’s on the path. Below, she’s modeling her charms at the edge of the herb garden.

Mimi in the herb garden. She knows exactly what she's doing.
Mimi in the herb garden. She knows exactly what she’s doing.
"You don't interest me."
“You don’t interest me.”
Over there.
Right here.

Isn’t she the best?

~~~

From Instagram

Toes on Tuesday. Hamlet’s elegant fully floofy toes are observing me while Hamlet sleeps.

Hamlet’s floofy toes.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I feature around this date?

Too Many Ears and One Eye, 2017
Too many ears and one eye.
Too many ears and one eye.

I have to get bigger bins. They can only fit four of the family on top of one of the size I have now. Because, you know, they have to be together.

Yes, there are eight ears. The brothers are all there with their heads together, and Mimi is on the corner, curled up. I took several photos, most of which looked like the one below, but Giuseppe just happened to open one eye. He is such a ham. He knew exactly what he was doing. Doing to me, no less. How do I get anything done when they do things like this>

Too many ears.
Too many ears.

And the ones below show they really do this all the time!

. . . . . . .

From Instagram

We had a nice Labor Day and hope you did too.

I took this photo and couldn’t decide how I liked it best. The top one is the original photo, then I made two variations. Mimi, laundry, shadows, bricks, seems to be a theme.

Mimi on the bricks, original.
Mimi on the bricks, original.
Mimi on the bricks, black and white.
Mimi on the bricks, black and white.
Mimi on the bricks with an Instagram filter.
Mimi on the bricks with an Instagram filter.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I feature around this date?

From This Week, 2016
Keeping an eye on me.
Keeping an eye on me.

Yes, they’re keeping a close eye on me ………. zzzzzzzzzzz …………. also still getting a lot of mileage out of that box. Giuseppe, Mewsette and Bean from way back on August 30. But along with the photo below they kept a close eye on me all week and made sure I got the work done. And didn’t run off and disappear for days and weeks at a time again.

I think they're trying to make sure I don't run off again.
I think they’re trying to make sure I don’t run off again.

Then just this morning, photos taken with my tablet and shared on Instagram from an absolutely perfect early September morning, cool, sunny, low humidity, the basement door open and everyone feeling good, milling around and wrestling. It’s the morning zoo at the basement door, seven black cats enjoying the purrrfect sun and breeze. Basil and Bella are wrestling at the door, they’ve been back to it since the heat ended. Mr. Sunshine is in the shadow upper left waiting to leap.

The Morning Zoo
The Morning Zoo

Mimi and Bella have a little girl time.

A little girl talk.
A little girl talk.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Nothing to see here, move along.
Nothing to see here, move along.

Then later, Giuseppe and Bean, one on each side, lovin on their mom. Mimi just stepped up onto them and laid down. They are all stuffed into that exhausted little box. Great way to end the week.

The boys lovin on their mom.
The boys lovin on their mom.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I feature around this date?

Daily Photo: Bella Studio, 2015
Bella looking lovely as I mat and frame my photos.
Bella looking lovely as I mat and frame my photos.

What would I do without my studio cats watching over every detail of what I do, and often being very artful and inspiring in their own right? Bella means beautiful after all. I can forgive the cat hairs on the mat.

. . . . . . .

Home Remodeling Inspectors, 2013
two black cats
Mimi and Mr. Sunshine are ready for work.

Mimi and Sunshine are ready for their supervisory duties, Mimi for aesthetic design and Mr. Sunshine, of course, for engineering and technical support.

I’m so glad I have such talented cats, and that whenever I need to do something around here they are ready to serve as supervisors at a moment’s notice. I installed two new ceiling fans in my kitchen this afternoon, replacing the one remaining of a set I moved here with and installed nearly 23 years ago. Yes, it was time. My kitchen needs far more than this, but this is a start. Below, Mimi lets me know it’s time for her mandated break so she stretches out on my directions, ensuring I won’t continue (don’t be too sure Mimi, your human has installed about three dozen ceiling fans in her life…). It is, after all, Labor Day weekend.

black cat on cabinet
Mimi tells me it’s her break time.

My kitchen was originally two small rooms, a 7′ x 10′ kitchen and an 8′ x 10′ dining room, and the wall was removed between though there are still two ceiling fixtures in each section. I haven’t had a fan in the kitchen portion since the bathroom flooded in 2009, and the light fixture wiring went bad on the one remaining in the former dining area; both were ones I’d installed when I moved in, but had actually moved from the house I rented and had installed there in 1986. I got my money’s worth out of them, for sure.

So now I have light and air in both portions of the room, the better to photograph black cats, and nice for kitties to spread themselves out beneath in warm weather. Mr. Sunshine tells me I need to check the level on that fan before I go installing any fan blades. Note his brothers lazily sleeping in the box while he works hard. They were assigned to chase down any screws or other hardware I dropped, but I was left to do that on my own the one and only time ( yay me) I dropped one. Of course, Mimi and Sunshine could not do this as that type of unskilled labor was not in their contract.

black cat looking up
Need any help up there?

The newer styles of fans are much more efficient and much quieter than the older ones, so I won’t be relighting the pilot on my stove all the time and turning up the volume on my radio as when both fans were running. Mr. Sunshine decided to immediately try out the air flow across his belly—to ensure it was properly installed, of course. “Piece of tuna cake,” he said. “I could do this job in my sleep.” And so he proceeded to demonstrate his proficiency.

black cat on back
Mr. Sunshine checks the air flow with his belly.

Other daily photos shared on this date

. . . . . . .

2012: First Morning
black cat silhouette in window
First Morning

It’s not autumn yet, and this particular morning was actually warmer than some lately. But we can tell by the hour of the sunrise, the color of the light, and the busyness of the birds, September is here. But Giuseppe enjoys a warm morning by the open window as I enjoy watching him.

. . . . . . .

2011: You’ve Really Made a Mess Here
You've really made a mess here.
You’ve really made a mess here.

You’ve made quite a mess of my table.

I was planning to have a nice evening nap here, but you’ve completely ruined that possibility.

Do you intend to clean this up?

[The idea of Kelly demanding anything in that way is totally ludicrous, though sometimes she shows a little tortitude. She was not so angry as she was somewhat frightened by all the stuff on her favorite hangout, so I did at least organize my things. Silly human.]

 

Do you intend to clean this up?
Do you intend to clean this up?

Read more Essays on The Creative Cat.

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AfterDinnerNap-Etsy~~~

Feline Photography from Portraits of Animals

black cat in Mimi walks through the buttercups and forget-me-nots.
Mimi walks through the buttercups and forget-me-nots.

Mimi is never so happy as when she’s out in the yard, as you can see by her “happy tail”. She’s so short that I can’t get a good photo of her face without flowers in the way, but perhaps that’s how she wants it. Click here to read more.


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Bernadette

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.

4 thoughts on “Daily Photo: A Good Morning Scratch

  • September 22, 2020 at 12:36 pm
    Permalink

    mimi; we iz buzzed happee ta lurn ewe iz doin sew grate; N we hope de hee bee gee beez never everz ree tern 🙂 { pssst….due knot for get de side yard when yur in de front N wanna bee in de bak 🙂 ♥♥♥

    Reply
    • September 22, 2020 at 1:46 pm
      Permalink

      She just did that right now! I’ll have to get her whole routine one of these days.

      Reply
  • September 22, 2020 at 8:17 am
    Permalink

    Love all the pictures !!!!! Great to hear that Mimi is doing well 🙂
    Julie hangs around my computer when she wants attention too 😉
    Sometimes I miss a multi-cat home. Who knows what the future will bring.
    Nancy and purrs from Julie

    Reply
    • September 22, 2020 at 9:38 am
      Permalink

      One thing that’s true even with one cat, there is never a dull moment!

      Reply

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