Mewsette’s many long curving whiskers catch the sunlight, then she enjoys a contemplative moment.
Maybe I’m reading too much into Mewsette, but I think she’s doing far more than just enjoying warm evening sun on her side. She always appears deep in thought to me, especially when she turns her head and goes back to what she was thinking.
An update on Basil
Basil is recovering from another veterinary visit, this time with our regular veterinarian who is a housecall veterinarian. After four photos he felt much better. Actually, after a distance reiki session with Ingrid King from The Conscious Cat he felt much better. Basil is easily traumatized, something we don’t need with his asthma, but a certain amount is unavoidable.
He has had good mornings in the past three days, but most of the time he’s quiet with big eyes. Monday at the vet he was on the edge but was good, though the carrier and the car ride really terrified him. I got out the carrier for him to reintroduce to it so I could pack him in it for today’s appointment and he hid the entire time it was out. My vet’s current protocol is to have cats in an enclosed room and the owner elsewhere, which was fine, Basil was not in his carrier but had cover in a box, but just freaked out when she went in. She was scratched when he tried to get past her, then he stuffed himself into a cubby storage. She did not get the blood glucose test done but we all doubt he is diabetic, and it would likely be sky high again after this anyway. We decided she would try to give him the steroid anyway.
Still, he was really traumatized. He turned around in the cubby to look at me and even after doses of flower essences he let me pet him but was unresponsive to food or treats or even catnip and would not come out for a couple of hours. I’m pretty sure the reiki treatment finally loosened him up because his change seemed to happen about the time Ingrid later told me she’d done his session. He was walking around in there after that and affectionate and purring and way less stressed. I kept him in there because I wanted him to eat something before he was out in the rest of the house to really test his recovery from this. He eventually did, and when I let him out he ended up back in his hiding spot in the basement (which I thought I had blocked again in the meantime, but not well enough) but only for a few minutes. Since then he’s alternated walking around and doing cat things, even flopping down and beating up a kick stick, and resting. I can see the shot has had some effect in reducing swelling in his airways, but the full effect will be after two or three days. I’m just glad these appointments are over and he is more comfortable, and less stressed for being able to breathe more easily.
From the back yard
From a week ago to today.
These unique little flower heart purses are so precious, and so welcome in May. Bleeding hearts love full sun, but I have mine planted in an area that’s become shady so the flowers aren’t so plentiful, nor as large, so finding the blooms each year is a little celebration. That’s another area of the yard that needs a little cleanup, including trimming some trees, so I’ll see many more little purses each spring.
Along with other spring-blooming bulbs and annuals, I have this planted near the little concrete sleeping cat statue in the area I consider my memorial to the cats I’ve lost. I have a sprinkling of all their cremains in the soil under the kitty statue, and nearly all the plants, several of them native plants, are traditionally significant of remembrance.
“Could you just fill my water bowl?”
Just a moment earlier she was drinking from it, but I bumped my camera against the storm door window and she heard me. I wondered how that bird bath kept coming up empty!
Still loving my dogwood. This would make a nice fabric pattern.
Saturday, May 16
I saw the rising mist this morning and ran off to the trail and woods to catch a few photos. There’s the sun in the mist at the top of the trail. I also saw a box turtle in a vernal pool but he wasn’t too happy to see me, and the water snake ignored me. Some mist on Robinson Run, some sweet white violets, and lots of people enjoying the trail, well-spaced.
I’ve passed this spot on a back road each spring for years. Looking down into a valley coursed by a winding stream I see what looks like a bluish haze just above the ground among the trees and in an open clearing, on both sides of the stream and reaching up the sides of the little valley, extending at least the length of a football field. I know the haze is a population of wildflowers. Wildflowers always call me to come and meet them, see their little faces and study their leaves, learn about their habits and habitats. No visit is complete without a full course of photos from every angle to document them, and to share the beauty that called me to that place. pathsihavewalked.com/grateful/
Some perfect raindrops hanging around on a morning after the rain.
Composition in brown and green.
I carefully tracked this wren through brush and low leafy plants but couldn’t get a clear enough shot to capture the little bird’s curiosity and intensity until it paused just long enough on this vine, touched by the late morning sun, such a nice composition in brown and green.
I’m still taking way too many photos to know what to do with! I have to catch up with Mimi photos in the yard too! I think Mondays may turn out to be the day for her posts. For most of my nature and wildlife photos that don’t have a link to one of my other sites, please visit www.bernadettestoday.com and you’ll see them all there.
From around this date in past years
Fluffy Kittens and Mom! 2019
You know that if I disappear for a while, it’s usually got to do with cats. This being kitten season, this happens more frequently than usual, but I always come back to tell the tale. The light was dim at dusk when I took these photos so they are somewhat blurry and unclear, but just figure I took my art materials and did some sketches because these kittens are too cute not to share!
Kittens are popping up everywhere! A local family discovered a litter of kittens living in a shed on their property, near their chicken run. Even though we are definitely small town and suburb here many people keep backyard chickens, and much of the land was actually farmland even within the past 50 years so you find a lot of interesting old buildings and bigger yards that are just right for a mom kitty trying to live outdoors and care for her kittens.
You might wonder how people could miss a family of cats living in their back yard and think they just appeared, but that’s the way cats usually do it. It could be that they recently arrived, or they’ve been there all along, but well hidden.
They may have recently moved in, in accordance with the biological habits of cats. Mother cats move their kittens as they grow, typically about every two weeks, to accommodate their bigger size and need for space and safety, and for their next stage of development and training as kittens. Kittens start to move around at about four weeks, but don’t usually leave the nest to roam very far until they are about six weeks old, so mom may have just moved them closer to the source of food, or to a larger accommodation that’s safe them to live while leaving for brief and then longer explorations, and learning to hunt for their food. It could also be they were forced to leave their last home in some way and mom found the shed in your back yard to be an acceptable place to live.
But they may have been there since birth. The mother cat initially searches for a safe place to give birth that’s close to a food source, whether that be from hunting, being fed, or dumpster diving. She forays out for food alone only when necessary, and often nocturnally for safety, so unless someone is up in the middle of the night they won’t see her. And even if it’s daylight you may not think twice about a cat in your yard now and then. She could belong to a neighbor or be a stray passing through, and it’s surprising how many people don’t even notice cats, even in broad daylight, unless they really like cats, or they don’t like them at all.
Mom will usually begin to bring the kittens out at about five or six weeks for brief explorations and play, eventually bringing them to the food source and showing them around the neighborhood. Seeing her alone may not alert a person, but kittens always do. So after all that time and all mom cat’s work, the human finally notices there’s a little of kittens in their yard.
So it was with these guys. The mother was around, not friendly, but not timid. They live near a park but also in a residential neighborhood, and she could have been an outdoor-roaming cat. Mom cat is longhaired and was first seen after she’d given birth. The family saw her in their yard regularly and began to put food out for her, which quickly disappeared so they presumed she was a stray. She seemed to love the chickens and the chicken coop area, and because there are often rodents around chickens they welcomed the cat, and that may have been why Oreo chose this shed in the first place.
There are five kittens, the bold gray and white and mom’s mini-me the tux, a gray pouf and two little panthers. The kittens are getting close to the end of the optimal time for socializing, which is eight weeks, so we met Tuesday evening to figure things out. They are willing to take the kittens into their bathroom and socialize them for adoption, surrendering them to Animal Friends when they are ready to go. Mom approaches her feeder but has never allowed herself to be touched so she will be vetted and returned to the yard, but if she wants to come in, she has a home. We made plans for how and where to trap so she can start feeding them in a particular place, and I tied open a trap for them to grow accustomed to.
The feeder called me Thursday to tell me that she was holding the fluffy gray kitten and what should she do? I said just take that kitten inside and put it in your bathroom with food and water and a litterbox, and possibly she’ll be lucky and get most or all of them that way!
I will update as things progress. And maybe I’ll get some better photos next time!
From Facebook and Instagram
Spring is back.
Catbird is having a bath. Yes, a catbird. We are surrounded by these chatty busy birds who occasionally make a very convincing mew.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Mewsette emerges into the sun with the blue fuzzy she has chased around and around and around my room until finally she captured it and presents it to me. I am honored. 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!