Sienna enjoys a session in the sunny spot at the basement screen door first thing after the sun comes over the trees. That’s about the time I open it in the morning, later each day, of course, and I still do on cold mornings so kitties can get the sun and we get some fresh air. While Mariposa and Hamlet and Bella are usually right there as soon as I open it, it makes them so excited they have to race around the house. Once things settle down Sienna knows she has some quiet time to enjoy a nice sunbath.
She occasionally spent time at the old door, which had been there for about 15 years. But this new door is a real favorite place, and I’m glad to see her moving around the house more after all the renovations and confinement over the summer. It took Sienna while to learn to trust that she wasn’t going to be locked in somewhere so I’m glad to see her enjoying this sunny spot. The old door had a 10″ panel at the bottom so we did get a lot of sun before it went over the house in the past, but half of any kitty was in shade! This is more like a windowsill, and any windowsill has always been a favorite of Sienna.
I’ve been insulating the basement door and the screen door, and planning a sheet of plexiglas on the inside of the screen so that maybe we can have the door open for a while in the winter without making the furnace run constantly for several hours.
And that leads me to another update on things. I haven’t gotten back to Instagram or to posting on my other sites yet. The biggest reason is that I have made and collected so much to share over the past few months I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed by it, but in a good way. A big chunk of that recently is Mimi and the boys out in the back yard, lots of amazing photos that go back to August, videos as Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine explore the back yard. I could spend all day putting together just one video and part of me really wants to to do that!
I’m still trying to work out my daily schedule so that I don’t get caught up on social media all day, nor do I work on my blogs all day, both of which are very easy to get caught up in and quite fun to do. I’m just about ready to get back to my studio for painting. And projects like the door insulation I mentioned above, putting things away, rearranging, cleaning after this summer is still a daily activity and will be for a while; my kitchen cabinets are still not ready so I’ll have the kitchen to work with some time in the next couple of months. I finished three large design projects for customers this month but I don’t typically see any work of that nature after October, so I really do need to get back to blogging and promoting what I have for sale, and making more stuff.
And I’m thankful for the love and happiness of all the kitties who live with me, and all the creative opportunities that I have right now and in the future. Between the two I have a reason to get up in the morning and plenty to keep me busy all day, every day, and that makes me very happy while it makes my kitties need a nap.
Photos from previous years
Get Your Tomatoes Out of My Basket, 2022
Apparently there’s no excuse for me to have put my tomatoes in her napping basket.
And there’s no arguing that those tomatoes and more were in the basket before Sienna. With cats, possession is the entire law.
However, if she were to hatch those tomatoes, so that we had more little tomatoes…
Sunny morning adventures. It’s that odd October weather with beautiful clear sunny blue mornings then overcast that creeps in about noon for a gray afternoon. We get as much out of the sunny morning as we can, well, I hung out a lot of laundry anyway.
Oh. (I can see they are watching me at the counter out of the corner of my eye, I have to have my camera ready before I turn around to get a photo where all #sixblackcats are looking at me. Doesn’t always work!)
From the garden and beyond
I also made a brief video of these dreamcatchers catching some dreams. Visit the post to see.
Photos from previous years
Sun Salutation, 2021
Sunrise welcomes the dawn directly into the kitchen, and what’s a kitty to do but some yoga to warm up? Sienna actually has a sweet habit of walking around on the cabinet and doing downward and upward cats. I love the shadows of the muntins in the door on her.
Sienna among reflections.
Everything I do is supurrvised by felines.
Finally taking down the tents, and tables, and print racks, and art screens, and all the rest of the stuff from my open house. That’s the easy part. Putting it all away is the big challenge and involves my overstuffed shed. I didn’t intend to clean it out today, but I did, and I’m glad, except for the time I should have been spending on work. No feline supervision on that part, except for watching from the windows, for the safety of the felines while I was down there playing 3D Tetris with unusually shaped objects, many of them as big as me.
After that comes putting things away inside the house, and I’m at a loss for that at the moment, so I’m posting on Instagram. But rain is on the way, and that’s the reason for all the work today.
Indoor storage supurrvisors.
Mimi and Mewsette were exhausted with the outdoor tents and tables deconstruction and storage and left the indoor work to the kids, who made a game of it.
Three judgemental cats.
“It’s about time you got those traps and bags of sheets and blankets for trapping, blocking our view, off the front porch.”
Or was that me talking?
From the garden and beyond
Past, Present and Future
Past, present and future, all on one branch: summer’s leaves grow burnished, a quartet of ripe red berries flash for attention, and a flower bud forms in wait for spring.
Photos from previous years
Hey, I completely let the second anniversary of my hip replacement fly by! Guess I’m back to life as usual, and that’s a great thing.
Home Physical Therapy, With Cats, 2019
Physical therapy at home…with cats. That’s me underneath Bean, Mewsette, Giuseppe and Mimi.
To be fair, they were settled on the bed before the therapist and I got there, and they were thrilled at the prospect I would join them for a nap. I did manage to move them sufficiently to do my therapy, and the therapist was very amused.
The cool thing is at night I have to sleep with pillows between my knees to keep my legs straight, but I have cats and they work much better than pillows. Pillows don’t have a healing purr.
I caught myself walking from the kitchen to the office without a walker or cane this morning. I had very little pain and forgot I needed help. I told the therapist and she said just to be careful, but I was in very good shape both in my therapy and the way I walked up and down those steps. I’m feeling good!
Already napping. But I need to do my exercises!
Photos Shared on Previous Years
Mimi at Work, 2018
What Mimi thinks of me taking most of a week to work on a painting. No lap, because I stand when I work, no room on the table, because this was a big one, and she can’t even step on my drawing paper. It’s totally unfair. A cat just can’t be a cat!
I love it when she curls her tail like that. She does it when she’s feeling extra emotional about something, either really happy, or a little mad. Mimi never gets really mad. But she kept me company through the entire thing. What would I do without her?
Photos shared in previous years
Even though it wasn’t quite warm enough to hang the laundry outside we still got some time out in the sunshine on Sunday afternoon. Last Thursday, as promised, the temperature did not exceed 70 degrees, quite the difference from the day before when it was 93. With the cooler temperatures and a little extra time for me the three of us enjoyed our time outside the girls exploring and me photographing them, just with my cell phone. Mewsette went all the way to the picnic table, which she’s never done before, and she was very impressed with herself. Mimi found lovely sunny spots in which to look lovely. I’ll be sharing some of the others in coming days.
Below, going all the way back to last Wednesday…Mimi is sleeping on the job but can quickly wake up to give me instruction by sleeping on the middle of my pastels. I decided that day’s painting would be my last of the September painting challenge because I was falling behind despite the fact that I was staying up later and later each night to get my paintings done. Steadfast Mimi stayed with me each night. You can read a little more about that painting challenge in New Feline Artwork.
Here is the scene on Thursday morning when the temperature was not already 80 degrees at 8:00 a.m. I rarely complain about the weather since it does no good and I still have to do what I do anyway, but two full weeks of 90+ daytime temperatures and 70+ at night in late September had me pretty cranky, and uncomfortable too. And I wasn’t the only one, considering the miserable cats—I was almost concerned about them since Mimi wasn’t even interested in going outside and no one really paid attention to what was outside the basement door. We are all glad it’s over!
Then most exciting on Saturday evening was the baby squirrel invasion! Bella is keeping a close eye on the two little girl squirrels who’ve been cleaning up under the feeder.
That photo was taken with my phone, but then I ran to get my regular camera. I looked over her ears and saw…
What was that, then the tails rearranged to become the two below. The light was a little dim and they were busy little squirrel sisters so clear shots were a challenge, but the tails really got me.
Then the one sister decided to hide under a leaf, but left her tail up in the air.
Telling secrets, making plans! I yell at their parents who destroy any feeder not made from glass and metal, but I told these two I was happy they wanted to clean up the ground under the feeder.
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I saw rain and knew I couldn’t pass up a black cat silhouetted against the windows covered in raindrops. Hamlet was the purrfect model, no longer concerned when the camera is watching him. He had birds to watch while I captured his profile, and and another view of his lovely eyes. I made them both black and white photos, then used an Instagram filter on the photo below.
The original black and white photo…
Interesting to see a few more rainy day photos from previous years.
Daily Photo: Rain, 2014
Nice soft rain this morning, Mimi and I tried it, but decided we’d rather come back to the deck and watch it. The geraniums and begonias from the deck are enjoying it, though.
Mimi and I went out the back door as usual to do morning things, even though it was raining. At first it was a light drizzle as I moved all my geraniums and begonias from my deck to the deck steps and path so they could get a good drink and enjoy the rain. Soon enough it was raining a little too hard for us to enjoy so we came back up to the deck to fill the feeders and just hang out for a little. I first shared this from Instagram.
I love photos where my footprints and my cats’ pawprints walk together. I used one for one of my animal sympathy cards so I’d have one that could be used for either dogs or cats. I had always thought these pawprints were Namir’s, taken on one of his last mornings with us, but looking through the folder of images from that morning it could be either him or Cookie. I think that’s totally fitting. So many memories out there from all these years.
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From the Archives: Sunny Autumn Mornings and Rainy Day Kitchens
It seems September is for memories…when the sunlight in the morning reminds me of these two, just as the green leaves are turning yellow and all the flowers are still blooming, that poignant mix of past, present and future that happens as the year wanes in autumn.
Moses, 19, and Stanley, 23, enjoy the gentle autumn morning sun on the deck in the summer of 2005, a scene I photographed on many a morning, this being my favorite. This was Moses’ last summer; Stanley was with me for one summer past this one.
Beautiful autumn mornings always bring memories of earlier days for me, and as Mimi and I stepped out onto the deck I remembered Stanley and Moses joining me outdoors, creaky and stiff, but warmed by a nap in the sun. Cookie and Namir had to stay inside, and sometimes I’d see Mimi quietly watching us from the garden. My yard is not fenced, and Stanley had a habit of darting off unexpectedly, while Cookie, a youthful 14 at this time, and Namir at 12, would sometimes wander off in opposite directions, while Moses, deaf by that time and fairly hobbled with arthritis, happily slept in the sun on the deck then moved down to the bricks when the deck was in shade. The two geriatric cats had natural seniority and always had their time outdoors. If they came in while I was still in the garden or working on the deck, Cookie could join me as well as Namir, and they did have the opportunity fairly frequently.
Moses always had problems with her knee joints especially, which had never fully formed and always kept her at a slow walk, and pretty much on one level; I set up a series of footstool and chair next to my bed, and she could slowly walk up steps, preferring the second floor. No medications seemed to make a difference and I couldn’t find an alternative practitioner near enough to get her acupuncture, which I sensed would work for her. Instead, she only asked for her daily thermonuclear treatment, simply lying in the sun for at least 15 minutes, even in winter. Only the outdoors would do for this; she preferred the sun-warmed bricks outside the basement door, but the weathered wood of the deck worked for her as well, and her silver tabby fur seemed to hold the heat after she’d come back inside.
Stanley had been with me for 21 years when he passed two years after this photo, and we estimated his age between 3 and 5 when he showed up my porch. After seeing many more cats in that age range over the years, I would guess Stanley was closer to the high end of that span in part because of details in his eyes and body structure that I recognize now. Three years seems kind of juvenile for him at that time, though his swirly stripes and white paws and chest always made him seem youthful. He had slipped into chronic renal failure at age 21 and I dosed him with sub-cutaneous fluids anywhere from daily to twice monthly from then on, but he thrived even with that, enjoying every moment of ranging about the yard, downloading his “pee-mail” from the foliage and uploading responses.
My deck hasn’t changed much in these years. Every summer I still have the pot of basil on one side and parsley on the other, often a cherry tomato plant that grows all over everything and flowers in pots wherever they get enough sun, although the wonderful red-apple hummingbird feeder finally cracked and couldn’t be repaired. I’ve had that since I moved in, and it’s in photos of my deck, yard and house for all those years, like a permanent accent, and whenever I see it in a photo I truly miss it. Not as much as I miss those cats, though.
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Rainy Day Kitchen, 2010
Cookie and Peaches curl in little tri-color bundles on the cabinet in the middle of the kitchen on a chill, damp rainy day…six years ago, hard to believe. Peaches was enjoying every moment, though with some difficulty; she was suffering from renal failure and general old age at 20 years old, but she wasn’t concerned, she just found a comfortable spot and had a long afternoon nap. After all, she could still get up on that cabinet without any trouble.
Cookie stayed with her during her last month and while Peaches had always, and still, enjoyed the energy and company of her much younger feline siblings in the Fantastic Four, she easily accepted Cookie’s vigilance, much closer to her age and quite full of the wisdom of it all.
Today was not rainy but was a rather dark and chill day like this day but the kitchen was warm and bright; I don’t remember what I was doing that day, canning, making a big pot of soup or baking something, but I remember the company of my girls, and reaching out to just put a hand one of them and then the other now and then as I was working. They were so accustomed to this from me they didn’t even wake.
I didn’t post this photo at that time; something else was happening or I ran out of time to post that day, but the boys spent part of the day in the kitchen with me, and it reminded me of this.
Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Feline Art and Gifts from Portraits of Animals!
Sienna is famous! Visit my ecommerce site to browse the painting “Draw Me Like One of Your French Cats”:
- in the original, as a print or greeting card
- on gift items that I make by hand…
- on a votive lamp which is lit by a battery-operated string of seed lights with a timer
- on a keepsake box made from a wooden cigar box.
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:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!