Daily Photo: Basil and Bella

two black cats
Comfortably napping.

Basil and Bella, together for a day of naps and baths.

These two aren’t related, but I fostered them together and they are about as bonded as kitties can be. They’ll go days without paying attention to each other (that I see), but I see them greeting, bathing, napping and just hanging out together at some point nearly every day. One of the ways I knew Basil wasn’t feeling well was that he wasn’t spending time with Bella, and one of the ways I knew he was on the mend was that he and Bella were together. The other day they spent the whole afternoon on the cabinet by the window, napping, bathing, and observing life.

And they have this habit of synchronized activities, as in this bathing and just looking series!

I apologize for the blurry or badly lit photos. It’s difficult for me to remember exactly how to set my camera for shooting toward a window and backlighting, difficult enough under regular conditions but definitely made more of a challenge with housepanthers in the scene. I was so accustomed to my old camera. But here they are, from early morning when they got started on this day of friendship.

two black cats
Basil and Bella were both enjoying the sun a while before.


From Instagram

It’s the terrible tabby stepmonster on tabby Tuesday!

tabby cat on steps
The terrible tabby stepmonster.

From the backyard and beyond

But how is there room for hate in anyone’s heart when there are such wonders as a tiny flower to be discovered? Let it fill your soul.


I was lying on my belly on the path from my front yard to the back. I’m surprised I didn’t get Mimi in the photo. Thyme-leaved speedwell, veronica serpyllifolia.The flower itself is about 1/8″ wide, see below for a comparison.

Size comparison

You can always find more photos on Today.

From around this date in past years

Hamlet Reflecting, 2019

Hamlet reflecting.
Hamlet reflecting.

For being a former feral cat, Hamlet knows a heck of a lot about striking a beautiful pose. I wish I’d had my better camera, but I’m glad I had at least my cell phone to capture this lovely moment.

Here is his entire pose—look at that tail!

Hamlet reflecting and then some.
Hamlet reflecting and then some.

Photos from years past.


Wordless Wednesday: Tangled Bliss

Bella and Jelly Bean snuggling in the basket.
Bella and Jelly Bean snuggling in the basket.

We’ve passed a number of cool, cloudy, rainy days and warm sun fills the basement doorway. All Mewsette and Mimi want is OUT. I’ve been curtailing our out time for my own selfish purposes, or so they think, but I wasn’t going to get away with it today. Still, it was much later in the day when I saw the fawn that we actually did get to go outside for any length of time. I have photos from that event, but this morning was wonderful, and rich in memories of many other cats who spent time at the basement door.

Hamlet joined us. He is friendly nearly all the time now and loves when I scratch my fingers into that deep ruff he has grown, purring, blinking, kneading with both paws. I finally got a good photo of this.

Then in two different views we watched the girls at the door. I love the silhouette of Hamlet’s furs.

And he watches them for instruction.

It’s interesting to compare Hamlet’s fur from last year and this in the photos below. Some long-haired cats take two years to develop their full coat, and he certainly bulked it out.


What other photos have I shared around this date?

Daily Photo: Whiskers

Mewsette's whiskers.
Mewsette’s whiskers.

Mewsette has the most amazing whiskers, especially when she’s relaxing in the big grapes box and the morning sun touches nearly all of them. Look at that thick, rich fur. Mewsette has fur like plush. Aren’t black cats amazingly beautiful?

. . . . . . .

From Facebook

I set up at a little Pet Day event in Slippery Rock today and came home with some photos of only one cat but several dogs plus horses and ponies! It was nice to be away for a few hours, and since I’m so rarely away I got a big multi-cat greeting when I came in the door.

. . . . . . .

Other Photos Posted On or Around This Date…

Daily Photo: Necessary Distractions, Kitty Belleh
black cat on back
A Sunshine belleh.

I’ve had a few long days at this desk and just as I’m nearing my breaking point with sitting in this chair, Mr. Sunshine provides the purr-fect antidote—he unrolls himself from his kitty ball posture and rolls over onto his back. This is not only pleasant to look at, but also an interactive display, because I get to touch the belleh.

If I moved too fast or petted him too vehemently, Sunshine would roll himself around my arm and bite and scratch me, but I know better and so does he. I need to relax, not work myself up more, so I slowly reach out and run my fingers through the thick longish fur on that belleh and I am rewarded with an invitation to keep it going. It’s the purr-fect antidote indeed, and though I need to stop and get some work done, I could still get another dose.

black cat on back
What to do with a Sunshine Belleh.

. . . . . . .

Premiere of Reality Show “Mousewatch” on Cat TV , 2013
black cat watching cabinet
“Don’t interrupt my show.”

Giuseppe has opened the cabinet door where mousies are known to visit and settles in for an evening program of “Mousewatch”.

This involved quietly being vigilant in one spot for hours punctuated by five or six seconds of extreme awareness.

Isn’t this what reality TV is all about?

Giuseppe really does open either both the cabinet doors or only one as you see here by standing up and pulling on the knobs at the top corners of the doors—often both at once, but in this case just one door will do; one of these days I’ll get a clear photo of him opening the doors, or even a video. Then he looks inside and listens, sometimes disappears inside to explore, then settles down outside the cabinet as you see here. He cannot be moved.

This cabinet is under the sink. The few cabinets I have in this kitchen are the old metal cabinets, and this sink cabinet is quite a production. The top sink area is one solid piece, which I like since it’s very easy to keep clean and automatically drains right into the sink. The bottom section is another story. From years of leaking faucets and drains there are patched rust holes here and there, and underneath that are patched holes in the old wood floor, which is where the mice come up from the basement—though I would swear up and down that I’d patched everything. Someday soon I’ll replace this thing, but my kitchen needs so much renovation, inlcuding replacing the entire floor, it’s probably still going to wait a while.

And I have to wonder about these mice. Are they being paid by the network to engage in high risk behaviors for the entertainment of feline audiences?

. . . . . . .

Wordless Wednesday: I Think I’m Having a Flashback, 2013
black cat with wild eyes
“Too many ears behind me!” Just go back to sleep, Giuseppe, it’s just a mirror.

. . . . . . .

It’s Hot, 2012
black cat on top of table in front of window
Mr. Sunshine catches a breeze by the window.

Mr. Sunshine exposes himself to the neighborhood in an effort to catch a breeze on his belly by lying on his back with his legs spread. It’s classic Mr. Sunshine in the summer.

It’s a little hot here. We’ll get used to it.


. . . . . . .

Arrangement of Two Black Cats, 2011
two black cats
Arrangement of Two Black Cats

It is what it says.

I watch them all the time, of course, and sometimes, by their own random movements, they form the most wonderful compositions. A turn of the head, two shapes in the same space that complement each other, how their shapes catch the light, the glint of their eyes in inky fur, it’s part inspiration by feline, part abstract arrangement.

Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine are not looking at each other or touching each other, yet they are interacting and the space between them becomes as important as themselves. I watched the two move about on their own and shot several photos until this one had that positive-negative balance I was looking for.

That’s one of the reasons why I desaturated this one to appear black and white, and I also increased the contrast so the dense black shapes are the boldest elements in this image.

And aside from their wonderful personalities, that’s the wonderful thing about having all these black cats around the house, their shapes become patterns and elements in addition to being living beings. I am constantly visualizing feline-patterned things and soon enough I’m going to have to do something about all those ideas.

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ink sketch of two cats around curtain
“One L-o-o-o-ng Kitty”, ink hybrid technical pen, 9″ x 5.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It’s a sweet memory of the very first time two formerly feral fosters braved the first floor of the house. Read more and purchase.


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2 thoughts on “Daily Photo: Basil and Bella

  • June 4, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Beautiful kitties! What a good Cat Mom to know that something was wrong by their not spending time together – good catch!

    • June 4, 2020 at 11:11 am

      Yes, their behavior is just as important as physical symptoms in determining they have a health problem. Basil especially–he wasn’t comfortable being near any of the other cats most of the time, and though Bella tried he would move away or leave. And he ended up going into his trauma response to his surroundings, being afraid of noises and reacting defensively when he came face to face with some of the other cats. I was making a list of these things to report to my veterinarian on Monday or Tuesday, but he collapsed in the kitchen that Sunday. Got to keep an eye on these things!


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