Friday, December 8, 2023
black catscatsdaily photogiuseppemewsette

Daily Photo: Avoiding an Existential Crisis

two black cats
Giuseppe and Mewsette try to answer some heavy existential questions.

I walked in the kitchen to find these two obviously in some deep existential contemplation. Cats are not typically existential, so when they do get existential it can easily become an existential crisis. I don’t want them to suffer like that, so I am glad I walked into the kitchen, clumsy human with that big black eyeball thing where I LOOK at them and wave my hands to get them look at me. They returned to their normal fully present in-the-moment food-obsessed selves.

Now I can go off and have my own existential crisis, like a good human should do at least once a day.


From Instagram

A Video: Mimi and Mewsette and Snow!


From the Back Yard and Beyond

Keep Warm Station

Remember the video from the other day? Well, this is the photo, except that this is three starlings instead of four mourning doves.


From around this date in past years

Simba: That’s The Funniest Thing I Ever Heard! 2021

black cat yawning
That’s the funniest thing I ever heard!

We are still working with this, but at least we know how to treat it!

So a cat pees in a litterbox, what’s so special about that? Sometimes it’s the Best. Thing. Ever. Simba thinks I’m easily amused. I was up to 5:00 am for the last five nights getting things done for my open house and then observing him, so I was also a little giddy.

But really, folks, I was seriously worried about him today. I could tell he was in a lot of pain Saturday night but I couldn’t start the meds until Sunday morning. After two doses on Sunday he was playful and as friendly as ever, and I was just so glad he was feeling emotionally better.

But by Sunday night he was uncomfortable and not producing much urine, and I decided to assess in the morning. He hadn’t eaten since before this all started on Friday, and today I could tell he was in some serious pain. I even saw him straining and not producing anything in the box. I wasn’t sure if this was where he should be 36 hours after seeing the veterinarian, or if he needed more treatment.

On top of that we had a little non-recognition aggression on Louie’s part after he came back from the vet on Saturday night, hissing and growling, but Louie isn’t a fighter, he ran and hid. He responded to me, though, lots of affection and belly rubs. Still, more stress for both of them.

two black cats
Simba and Louie wonder why I keep interrupting their naps.

Although Simba had been given an appetite stimulant at the hospital, he wasn’t eating, not even the food he had when he first came here. The hospital suggested a urinary diet food, and he only eats dry. I don’t like the ingredients in most commercial urinary diets, but I found one by Farmina at Pet People in Green Tree. The manager there always helps me out, gives me foods that have been returned because cats don’t like it and things that are slightly outdated for me to distribute to people who are fostering for me or community cat caretakers, and sometimes my own cats, and also holds coupons for me for the food I get for my own cats. That’s how I set up all the food I needed for Simba and Louie when they came here. She told me her cats were on Farmina foods, as were most of the store staff’s cats. A 3.3# bag of Farmina urinary is $30 but she had a special offer for a free bag, so I didn’t have to pay a thing to give it a try.

He is difficult to medicate but I figured I’d work it out. Simba is not eating any food, but he eats plenty of treats, especially Temptations treats, and I’m sorry if your cats like them but they are not advisable for cats with urinary tract issues. One med is a tiny pill and the other is a bitter liquid, and even the pill was difficult—I got it in his mouth, but he managed to hold onto it and spit it back out, even with butter on it and a dropper of water. I tried pill pockets, but no. So I crushed up the pill and then crushed up three or four treats and he hoovered up the dust. One method down! The bitter liquid is the pain reliever, and I just have to get by with giving him smaller amounts frequently so he can’t spit them out.

I was glad to see him at his fountain again Sunday night, though, “washing his hair” under the spout, getting his head all wet and at the same time drinking from the bowl of the fountain. I decided I’d transfer him over to my new veterinarian if she has time rather than continue treatment at the more expensive veterinary hospital if he needed more treatment.

In the late morning he was in and out of the box, spending long squats, producing just drops or even nothing sometimes, and flopping down on the floor afterward, flapping his tail, trying to crawl between the scratching post and the wall as if he needed support, and not tolerating a lot of touching. So I spent the early afternoon calling my new vet and a few others to see if they had an appointment to help me continue his care, and no one really did. I called the hospital and described his condition and that it seemed as if he was headed for a blockage at this rate and I wanted to head it off if I could. They said that was a concern, and if he wasn’t producing anything at all I should bring him in right away. But since it wasn’t even 48 hours they could see us as a recheck and assess him and give more treatments if necessary. But also since it wasn’t 48 hours since treatment, and he was producing urine, though very little, there was still time for the medications to take effect, reduce more of the swelling and allow more flow. I told them I’d observe him through the day just in case things went that way.

I visited them several times through the afternoon. He had gotten some feces caked in his tail and bloomers so I distracted him with yet more treats as I brushed that out. Through the day I could see him relaxing, he was more responsive, moving more easily, even playful, though still only drops of pee and no food gone.

The three foster kittens have their spay and neuter surgeries on Tuesday morning, early, at Fix Ur Cat, and their foster is taking them. I needed to write a check for her to take with them. I ran that over to her and came back to take another look at him and change out the litterbox before feeding my cats, deciding then if I would take him back to the emergency hospital.

Right after I got the litterbox filled with new litter, he hopped into the box, squatted and it sounded like you turned on a little faucet! No hesitation, and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Then he stood up and I saw it was at least 1/8 cup, maybe a little more. And afterward, no flopping around with pain, just sat down, licked himself and looked at me like I was crazy.


He’s still not eating, but I may be able to get an appetite stimulant without taking him out there.

So now, it’s well after midnight, and I’m going to enjoy a good, restful night’s sleep with no worries about getting gift items made and photographed and displayed, about few customers at my open house, about Simba in pain and trying to pee and Louie upset and scared, I’m just going to sleep. We’re all going to rest.


From around this date in past years

Daily Photo: The Door Into Summer

black cat on rocker
Mimi on her rocker

So we had a really big snow! And this only days after I was outdoors, barefoot, with Mimi and Mewsette. But we knew this was coming and I could prepare a particular project—getting the tent out of my back yard. More on that below. But as for the snow, and the cold, Mimi was having none of it and would ask if we could go out, then come back in. Above, the day after the snowstorm she finally ventured out on the deck when I filled the bird feeders and made it all the way out to her rocker, ready to have her really good daily scratch on the seat, but it had snow on it! Who let that happen?

Below, her adventures with finding “The Door Into Summer”. Mimi was so hopeful I hated to disappoint her. She gave the weather several chances to clean itself up, at the basement door, at the back door, and at the front door, but apparently snow was completely unacceptable. Mewsette was a little more adventurous, but it was just too weird. Title from the novel by Robert Heinlen.

In fact, later, Mimi got control of my computer and was ready to send a message to someone, somewhere, to complain about the weather!

cat at computer
Mimi at the compuer

This was one point where Mimi and I differed. I like snow!

me with snow
Me with snow.

Here are the birds out in the trees. I could watch them all day, right along with the cats.

Leading up to that event we had a few oddly warm days, in the 50s, in December! Interesting to be barefoot on a sunny December afternoon. Well, for me at least, the girls, not so much.

Barefoot with Mewsette and Mimi.

But that was the day I decided I had to move the contents of “the tent” back into the basement and put tent and all away.

From Instagram: I’m nearing the end of this pretty big project, and now it’s time for me to get busy making things for this holiday season, albeit a little bit late, in my new basement studio space!

Just about two months ago when I got the new furnace, I had to move things out of the basement so that they could get in and have room to work. I decided that was a good enough reason for me to start a project that I’ve wanted to do for several years, moving a portion of my studio space into a portion of the basement. That meant moving about half the contents of the basement out in the back yard under the tent I use for festivals, waterproofing the walls, setting up my work tables, equipment, new shelves, moving everything from the spare bedroom studio on the second floor that now belongs in the basement studio, and organizing it.

After two months it’s time for everything to come back in. I’ve already had one snow on this tent and that’s not good for it, and I’m tired of looking at it out there, so today was a long day in the rain and drizzle, carrying things into the basement, under the deck and into the shed, folding up the tables and the tent and putting everything away.

It’s been nice to have this big really physical project to work on for a while. I enjoy that now and then, and I didn’t even mind so much giving that precedence over my creative work, in part because I knew at the end of it I’d have much more comfortable spaces to work in everywhere in the house and I can be far more productive than I was able to be before. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing the things I make down there now. I can’t wait!

So, here are a few photos from my first two days working in the basement.

Don’t know, some sort of pastry maybe? I’ve been working hard all day in my studio in my basement and they’ve been torturing me with absolute cuteness. This is only one of about 52 photos I’ve taken, every time I turn around, there they are, a different combination of cats, in a different shape, cuddled into their cloud bed. What am I supposed to do?

four black cats
Four on the fleece bed.

At least Hamlet is awake to keep an eye on me and inspect my work (with a cute little blep).

Hamlet inspects my work.

Just a few things I managed to get finished today in my new basement studio space despite the incessant cuteness of my cats.

Some new and old things.

We had a framing party over the past few days, getting orders ready to ship out. Of course my supurrvisors participated. I also had one entire half of my work table to work on, all in my newly set-up basement framing area.

This is how it is for now.

A print of “The Goddess” went home as a surprise Christmas gift this year. This is a linoleum block print based on my tortie cat, Cookie. “Well, everyone knows a well-rounded cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and and an object of worship.” I make each print on rice paper, then use watercolors to give “The Goddess” her tortie colors. I cut the mats and frame it myself. Read more about “The Goddess” here:

“The Goddess”

And the party.

Probably my favorite photo of all from this autumn’s color show, “The Lichen Tree”. Someone ordered several framed prints for Christmas gifts, another framing project in the past few days. Find “The Lichen Tree” here: It’s a little oversaturated from being photographed.

“The Lichen Tree”


From around this date in past years

A Basket of Hugs, 2020

Bseket Full of Hugs

Mewsette and Jelly Bean couldn’t be any sweeter, even when they’re just having a nap together in the basket. Mewsette always seems to watch over the nap.

We’re joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop on Comedy Plus!

I had planned a gallery of basket nap photos from Instagram for today’s photo post, but I realize that since I’ve added the cloud bed—you’ll see—to my basement setup, there have been very few basket naps, as well as bed naps. The cloud bed is the place to be now!


From Instagram

December 8: I finally found a good spot for this big fleecy cat bean bag bed. It doesn’t fit anywhere else in the house, but it’s perfect for on top of my work table for Mr. Sunshine and Bella to share. And probably a few others too. There’s a furnace vent right above the table, so it’s a prime place to nap in the basement all day long. When I want to work there, well…

December 14: Don’t know, some sort of pastry maybe? I’ve been working hard all day in my studio in my basement and they’ve been torturing me with absolute cuteness. This is only one of about 52 photos I’ve taken, every time I turn around, there they are, a different combination of cats, in a different shape, cuddled into their cloud bed. What am I supposed to do?

December 19: Catching up on some quality mom and son time, little Mimi cat and her son Mr. Sunshine, sleeping on the job while they’re supposed to be supurrvising me. Instead they’re distracting me!

December 20: That’s some big napping energy on my work table. Yes, five can fit on the cloud bed. Collected are Mimi, Giuseppe, Jelly Bean, Mr. Sunshine, and Bella. The second photo shows them from above, so you can see how they managed to fit themselves together.

December 22: A little bit of girl time this morning.

December 24: It’s so yucky today, Mimi and Mewsette didn’t even look at the door let alone ask to go out the door. Everyone took a nap spot early and they stayed there all day. I missed the moment when all three of them looked at me.

December 30: Morning nap spot chosen, nap mode activated. Brothers.


From the back yard and beyond.

I’ve been posting regularly on my photo website Today, but I really don’t have the time to share the photos here each day. The deer have been so inspiring, birds, squirrels, and all those autumn photos that I’ll never forget…if you’re interested, please click the link each day to go there and see what’s new! If I have a chance I’ll share photos.

Doe in the Snow.



From around this date in past years

Hard to Tell, 2019

Hard to tell what's going on.
Hard to tell what’s going on.

They do these things, and it’s hard to tell. They are smashed together in the limited space on my desk, twisted around each other, heads tucked in and over each other, tails in faces. The desk lights are on and are warm, and I am there and if they are in my way there is always the chance of being petted. What else is a bunch of kitties to do on a cold winter day?


Photos from previous years…

Afternoon Bed, 2018

Mariposa and the big lump under the covers.
Mariposa and the big lump under the covers.

Mariposa pauses in her bath and contemplates the Giuseppe-shaped lump under the quilt in front of her. A great way to spend a dark, cold, drizzly day.

And from the weekend

Ceiling fan

Part of her is uncertain what it is. Another part of her wants to stalk and kill it.

Mariposa and the ceiling fan.
Mariposa and the ceiling fan.


Squirrel! Apparently squirrel watching is only for the three longhairs this morning, Hamlet, Mariposa and Basil, as they watch the squirrels chasing each other through the trees in the back yard. They also happen to be formerly feral rescued cats who are now watching for fun instead of for breakfast on a cold morning. No wet and dirty paws for these three!

Hamlet, Mariposa and Basil.
Hamlet, Mariposa and Basil.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I post on or around this date?


Pretty Flower, 2017
Just another pretty flower.
Just another pretty flower.

I think Basil is stalking the squirrel running up and down the tree out front, acting just just another pretty flower on the geranium, which is inside. Don’t tell me cats don’t have an imagination.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I post on or around this date?


Sunshine on Sunshine, 2015
Mr. Sunshine in the sun.
Mr. Sunshine in the sun.

“Look, this is my spot of sunshine, and it’s your job to make sure those kittens don’t get in my the way of my enjoying it,” he said.

After all, it has his name on it, for real!

Spots of sunshine have been rare this month, but so far things have been peaceful.


. . . . . . .

What other photos did I post on or around this date?


Wordless Wednesday: Smokie Silhouette, 2014
long-haired black cat silhouette
Smokie Silhouette

Of course, this is Basil, back when he was a little Smokie guy. It’s the first time I saw his face beginning to mature and lose that soft rounded kitty nose. What a handsome kitty he’s become!

. . . . . . .

Four Thankful Kittens, 2-14
four tabby kittens
Four thankful kittens!

They may be in a litterbox, and they may not think they are in a good place right now, but these four “hissy kittens” were saved from euthanasia by the rescue group I work with. I picked them up at the shelter yesterday and transported them to their foster home.

Open door shelters have limits on the number of animals they can take in, and if they are full and an animal is acting out and needs socialization, they often don’t have the means to handle that. Many now have foster programs, but with the number of cats, especially, who are surrendered right off the street, foster homes fill quickly.

I am grateful for the person in our group who contacted the shelter and convinced them to work with our rescue, which is what saved the lives of these four cats. They were hissy, combative, frightened, and certainly not adoptable. So was Smokie back in August, and look at him now! Likewise many other kittens I and others have transported to foster homes.

Our group representative was contacted on Monday that a litter of three 14-week-old “hissy” kittens had been surrendered and she immediately sought a foster home from among the volunteers in the group—generally, we only have until the end of the day, possibly through the following day, to secure a foster and transportation. I offered to transport if a foster home was found.

A woman named Mindy offered, and we made arrangements for the next day. In the meantime, a fourth kitten about the same age was surrendered, and included in the rescue.

The foster home is some distance south of here and I finally got to the shelter yesterday, Wednesday, and drove the kittens to their foster home.

Mindy has a house full of rescued cats, and as soon as we brought the kittens inside she was handling them in their foster room.

Each of the kittens scurried into the corner where there was a litterbox under the table, and gathered there, feeling safe. Happily, the lone kitten, though completely unrelated to the other three, cuddled in with them, all gray and black tabbies.

Below, six of Mindy’s cats line up for attention. I’m looking forward to seeing these four “hissy” kittens in a month or so!

Six of Mindy's cats.
Six of Mindy’s cats.

I am thankful for this group of wonderful people who saved their lives! And this is the best reason of all to donate gift cards, food, litter, toys, beds and even cash to help us save cats every day of the year—read about it in Holiday Cheer for Rescued Cats!

. . . . . . .

How Do I Get Anything Done? 2014
black cat
Mr. Sunshine gazes at me until I notice him.

Sunshine is determined to make my workday both beautiful and fun, all with his own unique abilities. He positions himself on my desk with part of himself overlapping my keyboard and mousepad so I’m sure to notice him, then he makes sure I get a close look at those dazzling peridot eyes. That might be enough for some cats, but not for Mr. Sunshine.

black cat
Then he curls himself into impossible cuteness until I am totally preoccupied with him.

His next move at enhancing my enjoyment of my day is to slowly roll back and forth a few times and wave his paws. Eventually, he knows, I will rub his belly.

black cat
Then he begs for a belly rub.

Then he rolls over on his back and while I’m distracted and incapacitated by my camera he hits a few keys on my keyboard.

black cat
Then he rolls even farther and makes sure he hits the keyboard a few times.

As you can see, there was a period of time when I got no work done, but it was time well-spent.

. . . . . . .

I Think We’ve Been Discovered, 2013
“We’ve been discovered.”
“We’ve been discovered.”

Giuseppe went ahead to scout the food situation in Emeraude’s bathroom, opening the door just enough to get in, as Sunshine and Bean waited outside. He was a little surprised to find me in there, and Emeraude gave him a withering look when he inquired into the availability of her food.

. . . . . . .

2012: Through the Looking Glass, and What Mimi Found There
Through the Looking Glass, and What Mimi Found There
Through the Looking Glass, and What Mimi Found There

This is a reflection of a reflection, with a reflection of reality as well.

Indeed it does look as if Mimi is ready to step into the looking glass; that mirror is at an angle in the corner next to the window and the reflections are uniquely angled and difficult to achieve.

But this photo, backward from the way it is seen in life, is of a reflection—in a mirror across the room from the window! I have a full-length mirror on one panel of the bathroom bi-fold door so that I can see myself from top to bottom before I face the world, and to give the bathroom the feel of a little more space. In the reflection in that mirror I can see an angle I’d never be able to achieve otherwise, at least not without also seeing myself in that mirror. But that also explains the odd greenish cast and the random light and dark blurry spots; the mirror on the door is rather old, like many other things around here.

Either way, Mimi and I both had an adventure with this photo shoot today.

This image was in Compositions in Black and Green 2013, and another from the series was in the 2014 calendar.


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pastel sketch of three cats in silhouette
“Mewsette’s Tail”, pastel on white multi-media paper, 6.5″ x 9.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Mewsette slaps her tail back and forth so enticingly, Bean simply cannot resist. 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.

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