Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Daily Photo: A Little More Exploring for Mr. Max

black cat
Hey, this wine bottle looks like me! Mr. Max is exploring!

“That wine bottle looks like me!”

I thought Mr. Max would never ever grow tired of the floor-to-ceiling cat tree but has occasionally come all the way down the stairs while he has his time out of the room. Exploring my display he encounters my two black cat wine bottles, the one shaped like a black cat with and the other for Zeller Schwarze Katze, both wines imported from Germany—who knew black cats were popular with wine drinkers in Germany? No, Mr. Max, I won’t be exporting you. And I hope the bottles don’t scare you back upstairs!

He has been expanding is circle of activity and hops onto the top of the storage dresser I have next to the bathroom doorway. That’s where the wardrobe used to be where all the cats could peek around the bathroom doorframe and watch what was happening in the bathroom. Really, sometimes cats are just nebby (that’s Pittsburghese for nosy). Mr. Max is no different.

black cat at doorway
Mr. Max at eye level at the doorway.

Morty usually takes off so Max has the upstairs pretty much to himself, but at this point Morty was hungry and wanted his dinner. I have no idea of the nature of this conversation between the two of them, but it probably involved food.


two black cats
Not sure of the nature of this conversation.

And he does spend plenty of time on the cat tree, checking if I’m looking at him and if I think he’s cute. And he meowdeled for a video to show his technique.

He’s wayyyyy up at the top level of the cat tree that stretches from the floor to the 10-foot-high ceiling, chasing his tail! The lighting is difficult here because the ceiling is so high and the bright window is right there, but I think you can see and enjoy his silliness and he enjoys this serious attempted conquest of his own tail.


Featured Daily Sketch: Cuddle for Two, 2014

brush pen sketch of two cats
“Curled Together”, brush pen, 7″ x 4″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Mr. Sunshine settled on my desk this afternoon and curled up right where I could reach out and touch him now and then. Eventually Bean joined us and had a nice bath right in front of me, walked all over my lap and keyboard purring for a while, then went to his brother for a cuddle, first a head butt, then a little mutual grooming, then settling in together. I love the wordless conversations, and when they settle together it’s wonderful to be near. As always, I took a photo of them, yet another photo of two cats cuddled together on my desk, but as they tucked themselves closer together I saw a wonderful shape develop, just a single, simple line that connected them both as they were connected in their cuddle.

Just for your reference so you can see approximately what I saw, the photo I took is below. I like the way they have their heads tucked together, but Bean had settled his face deeper into his hip by the time I got my pen to draw.

two black cats curled together
What the boys were doing.

See this sketch and other sketches I featured from that date.


From the Back Yard and Beyond

The Front Porch at the Golden Hour

This is the house where I trapped those incredible fluffy kittens in 2019 from this post.


From Portraits of Animals

The Garden Gate, the May Garden

From around this date in past years

Large and In Charge, 2022


I have you so wrapped around my tail.

“I have you so wrapped around my tail.”

Indeed he does. When I walk into the studio and now the bedroom he is up high enough on something to make face-to-face contact. He looks at me and bobs his nose once, and I walk over and lean down so we can nose tap. Then he sniffs my face and my bangs, then I lean forward and kiss him on the forehead. That’s how we greet each other. It was all Simba’s idea.

Simba has his favorite places, and they tend to be where I am. He is such a people cat. Also quite a talker. Because he’s  venturing around the house far more than Midnight Louie at the moment, I have more photos of him. In fact, I have more photos of him than I know what to do with at the moment. So just bear with me. This is a little narrative of one afternoon where he found a few happy spots while Midnight Louie had all the cat beds in the studio, and my regulars invaded, looking for food.

I heard Simba meowing at the door and knew I’d be working upstairs for a bit so I decided it was time to let him out. I was still using the baby gate at the top of the stairs to keep Simba exploring up there and keep my regulars out, to avoid conflict.

Outside the baby gate at the top of the stairs.

While they complained about not being part of the fun, I played with Simba in my bedroom. He was lovin it.

Simba lounging.

Stretching his legs and enjoying a nice soft bed! Plus, he had all my attention to himself. At the same time, he had a new view out of a window—and more people to watch.

A new view.

While he was distracted, I went to the top of the steps and removed the baby gate. Cats came streaming up the steps and headed into the studio like a line of ants.

Four cats invading the studio.

We all ended up playing for a few minutes and I handed out lots of pets and “good kitties.”

“Hey lady,” he says, “I’m going to have a nap now.”

A Big Yawn

Meanwhile, the three geniuses try to plot the abduction of the cat food in the studio, if only they could find it.

So far so good. Simba doesn’t want to be out of the room all day, just the portion between breakfast and dinner. He’s not accustomed to that because he’s always been free fed. With my erratic schedule I decided to free feed him too. But he and Midnight Louie are adjusting. It’s a lot of fun.


From Instagram

Mewsette is Creative Director for a photo shoot for a very big project I’ve focused on for the past several days. I’m building a wholesale website for my Custom Pet Memorial Votives, and I’ve been waiting for the spring flowers to use as a backdrop. I think the photos turned out very well (over three days!), thanks to Mewsette and Mimi!

Mewsette directs the setting for photographing the votives.

I’ll be marketing this website to animal-oriented businesses–#veterinarians, #groomers, #petsitters, #trainers and #animalbehaviorists, #animaldaycare–as well as #animalrescues and #shelters.

It’s something I’ve been planning for a while, and #mrsunshinecat ‘s medical expenses let me know it was time to get moving on this. He’s been enjoying hanging out on my desk and on my lap while I’ve been glued to my computer. He’s doing really well too!

In the last photo she’s actually standing on my back to get the same view of the shot as I’m getting. Such a #purrfessional!

Mewsette on my back.


It’s dark in here, and the Darkness has eyes. Time for the daily cooking show, a prime-time feline entertainment. Sorry kids I’m cooking this for me, but you’ll get your lunch too.

Yesterday’s #supurrvisors as I worked in my basement #studio, Mimi and Mr. Sunshine. They don’t have to keep an eye on me. They are so cute together but I can’t keep my eyes off them!

The aftermath of the catnip party. Bella sleeps on her piece of catnip after slobbering all over it.

Sometimes when I’m really busy with something, as I am right now, and I’m running around the house, moving from one place to another, from downstairs studio, to upstairs studio, to computer, to kitchen, even outside for photography, the kitties get really worked up along with me. I’m typically running up and down the stairs, talking to myself, talking to them, I’m sure I can be pretty disruptive for their daily life.

I’ve been up to that yesterday and today. They have been following me around, and all gathered in the kitchen when I was cooking lunch, and there was a little shoving, a little hissing, and I decided they needed a #catnipparty. It grows in my yard, right now it’s fresh and green, some of the leaves are almost as big as the palm of my hand. I brought in several branches, picked off sections of it and gave a section to each cat, well spaced around the first floor. A great time was had by all, and then a great nap.

Some cats are jerks on catnip, and this doesn’t work in that instance. But for this group, it was the purrfect afternoon.


An auspicious way to start #caturday . At the sign of the crossed tails.

Hamlet had a really #easysunday .



From the Garden and Beyond

Do a little catching up on Today. The SEO feature tells me I should have at least 300 words to be indexed, so I’ve been writing up brief essays with nearly all the photos I’ve posted lately. They can be some interesting reading, and they are fun to write!


From around this date in past years

Welcome Kitties, 2021

black cat in basket with flowrs
Welcome kitties with flowers

As usual, this was Mimi’s idea. I was busy decorating the front porch with some of what’s blooming in the yard and imagining the lovely photo I’d get with Welcome Kitty and the rhododendron flowers. Mimi read my mind again and jumped up on to the table then stepped right into the basket. I immediately got busy getting my phone ready for photos but Mimi decided a few seconds as a pose was good enough. My phone camera finally woke up and was ready so I gently guided Mimi back to the basket, and after a few half-hearted attempts to get away she went back to the basket and did every cute thing she could think of. I got the Welcome Kitty photos of my dreams, just wishing I’d brought my DSLR outside for a little more control over the shots. Mimi is truly amazing.

Below are a few of my favorite shots.

But then the excitement continued. Aunt Mary came to visit! She had a whole box of crackly packing paper that I can use for many purposes, including actually packing. And she pulled up just as Mimi was in the grand finale of her welcome kitty purrformance.

Mimi greets Mary
Mimi greets Aunt Mary

Then we went inside. Today’s welcome kitty in the shop was Mr. Sunshine, napping on the table, who feels that letting humans pet him is an appropriate way to greet guests, and so Mary got to pet him while he purred and air-kneaded. He even briefly stood up and looked pleased. We were very impressed.

Mary greets Mr. Sunshine
Aunt Mary greets Mr. Sunshine.

Then Basil and Jelly Bean had some extra pets too.



From Instagram

I have a lot of catching up to do, once again. The photos above were shared first on Instagram, and below I’m sharing photos from today, then from over the weekend to last Friday. I’ll continue sharing current photos and also moving back in time.

Oh no, they both fell asleep on my hand. Now I’m stuck here.

two black cats
Giuseppe and Basil map on my hand.

Flower child.

Mimi enjoys a nap in the grass,

Even though she’s outside in her happy place on the front porch, a box is a box and Mimi must be in it.

A box is a box.


From around this date in past years

Mimi in the Rain, 2020

black cat at birdbath
Mimi watching the raindrops.

It’s a good day to watch raindrops make ripples in the birdbath.

This was Friday, a nice rainy morning, no storms or wind. I was trying to ignore the rhododendron blooms covered with raindrops but it was no use, I had to photograph them. Mimi and I went out several times, and she wasn’t happy to stay on the porch. The rocker is at the corner where the rhododendron is so Mimi was hanging there with me, rubbing all over the chair, and contemplating the birdbath for a drink. I saw her from the back and heard the words above in my head, but missed the photo, picturing it in black and white. Sometimes I can get Mimi to repeat an action if she likes it, I did, and I got the photo with the absolute purrfect position of Mimi’s head and hears, and the ripples on the birdbath. She was purring up a storm, really happy even if she couldn’t go off the porch.

Probably the third time I went out to photograph the rhododendron the rain was only falling lightly and Mimi decided she had places to go. Still photographing the rhody blossoms I watched her go down the steps, then turn the corner to head for the back yard, and finished up my photos as she headed for the gate, plainly ignoring me calling her. She knew I’d follow. (Below are some photos of her in this same place from a different angle, one of my favorites! I think I’ll add it to my gallery.) Later I got some very nice photos of her on the wet flagstone walk that I’ll feature another day. I still have to catch up with two outings with galleries of photos. Mimi is so inspiring!

And the photographs of the rhododendron…one of my favorites in the past was tiny raindrops on the flowers that glittered as the sun came out, but these were big wet drops and looked like crystals and pearls. The light was dim because the rain was falling, but even with that every edge had drips and drips clinging. Everyone’s favorite, including mine, is the large one below, and then I have a little gallery of others. The larger one, “Magic on a rainy morning”, was one of the reasons I went back outside more than once. I really wanted those stamens with the pearls of rain strung along them, and the profile of the flower against a darker background, but focusing on just the stamens was a real challenge. In the end, I used the one I’d gotten on the first outing, even though the stamens wasn’t exactly what I wanted, because the flower is so beautiful. I’ll be creating with these, for sure!

rhododendron flower
Magic on a rainy morning

As always, to see more photos from out there, please visit which has even more photos than my Instagram profile.

From around this date in past years

It’s All So Unfair, 2019

Bella and Sienna have to share the screen!
Bella and Sienna have to share the screen!

They have to sit inside and watch me and Mimi having a great time outside the window, and they have to share it too. Wrong.

Actually, I am outside photographing some new stuff which I enjoy, but I’d hardly classify it as a good time. And they didn’t really have to both crowd into one window, except that Mariposa was at the other window and she’s a kitty who likes to touch other kitties with her big white mittens. That would not do.

Photos from years past.


Backyard Panther, 2018

The backyard panther watches you.
The backyard panther watches you.

Mimi is watching.

I don’t know if she realizes how interesting her poses are when she does something like this, but I have several that are really unique, looking right at me through some greenery in the yard. I could only find her to take the photo because I knew she was there. Below she watches something interesting in the greenery.


And, just for context, here is the whole scene. This side yard is just celebrating the amount of sun it gets since the tree is gone. This is the second year and all my groundcovers are trying to compete with each other. Mimi is the black shape in the center. Behind her the gate is open, and next to her I still don’t have a fence back up. But everything is growing enthusiastically.


From Instagram

I was pretty quiet over the weekend with the spaghetti dinner, but now I’m back up to it again. From last Saturday…

Up in the treehouse on a dark drizzly morning.

Up in the treehouse.
Up in the treehouse.

And from today…

When we put our heads together…we have a good nap. Because, you know, there is only one basket in the entire house, and the brothers must sleep in a heap.



. . . . . . .

What other photos were featured on this date?


Can We Just Go to Bed Now?, 2013
black cat in box with art materials
Mimi actually looks a little cranky in her supervisor’s box.

You don’t really need to paint all those boxes behind me tonight, do you?

I’ve had a very long week supervising you and I need my beauty rest.

Can we just go to bed now?

You’re right, Mimi, we have had a number of late nights this week, and you don’t even look happy in your supervisor’s box. But I just need a little time to get the first coat on these boxes….

It is quite late and we had a huge storm this afternoon, so first thing tomorrow morning Mimi and I will have to inspect the neighbor’s maple tree which is lying across our yard. We are glad that the tall old tree fell where no one was hurt, and we will report from the back yard tomorrow.

And Mimi has never had a cranky moment in her life, no matter what I hand her.

. . . . . . .

Big Yawn, 2011
black cat yawning
A big, sunny yawn.

Not as pretty as yesterday’s photo, but Mewsette does have wonderful yawns!

By the way, I did catch Mewsette in a big yawn during the photography stakeout last Thursday. (I looked back through my photos from April and May 2011 and I have no idea what I meant by that!)

Hope you had a great day, though!

. . . . . . .

Your Package is in Good…Paws, 2011
tortoiseshell cat on boxes
The goods are safe with me.

Ever my assistant and constant companion, Cookie.

This is a big box of printed materials plus a smaller box to be delivered to a customer.

On top of the stack is Cookie.

No one would dare attempt to touch anything in the boxes with a tortoiseshell cat en garde.

Cookie took this role upon herself as she has for most of her life, being a working kitty. She is happy to provide assistance during my workday. She is also 19 and was very pleased with herself at climbing up and up and up onto the boxes on her own—or, well, I was glad to see that she can still do this while she had no doubt.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

"Studio Morning Shift", pastel on black pastel paper, 9 x 12 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
“Studio Morning Shift”, pastel on black pastel paper, 9 x 12 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

 I actually had a different image planned for today but Mimi, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine were totally enchanting getting organized in the best cuddle pile on my drafting table by the window, the light was wonderful, and, well, here you are. Read more and purchase.


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

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!




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 Little More Exploring for Mr. Max

  • 15andmeowing

    Max is a handsome boy.

  • Brian's Home ~ Forever

    Max sure is a handsome dude and we have that same wine bottle here, and a white one too. Thanks for joining Angel Brian’s Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

    • Oh no, do I have to find a white one somewhere now? I had no idea!


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