Sunday, July 21, 2024
Bellablack catscatsdaily photo

Daily Photo: Dreamy Bella

black cat dozing
Dreamy Bella

Bella may be dreaming of mousies in the basement or whether I’ll accidentally feed them a couple cans of pink Alaskan salmon by mistake, but really I think she’s dreaming of Mr. Sunshine and hoping he’ll join her on the sleeping mat.

And so Dreamy Bella’s dream came true!

two black cats on mat
Sunshine and Bella


From Instagram

Mimi’s taking time out for a nap in the sun on the warm wood steps. These sunny days just wear her out!

Spinach time is coming soon! Can’t wait!

We’ve got the blues. Creeping myrtle is creeping all over my yard. That’s a good thing !

“…When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils…”

It’s taken me a few years to dig this row of daffodils out from underneath fallen trees and branches and honeysuckle and Rose of Sharon and everything else that grew over my Woodland Garden at the end of the yard. This year, the daffodils are free.

Poem reference, Wordsworth, “I wandered lonely as a cloud”


From around this date in past years

Bella is Melting, 2022

black cat in the sun

It’s a beautiful spring morning and Bella is melting in the sun.

I shared this on Instagram on #caturday, but I wanted to share Bella here as a feature because I got several other interesting photos of her before she melted. Here she’s having a good stretch, wondering what I’m doing down there.

black cat in the sun
Having a good stretch.

Now she’s relaxing and getting kind of drowsy.

black cat in the sun

And here she’s just starting to melt. And none of it looks comfortable!

black cat in the sun
Bella draped and falling asleep.


From Instagram

Mewsette approves of the sign I designed inspired by her!

My back yard in the morning is a great creative place for me. While I’m working in my garden and around my house and Mimi and Mewsette enjoy their outdoor time, I’m also thinking through yesterday’s ideas to make them today’s realities. I’d been thinking of signs, and began to visualize a few of them on the wood I’d gathered. Then Mewsette settled on the steps to the deck in just this position and this idea came together.

I just started doodlin around in my studio with some nice weathered wood from my neighbor’s old stockade fence. Originally these signs were hand-painted, not stenciled. I was a sign painter in the 80s and I’d wanted to paint some decorative signs since they’ve become popular again. I gave the wood and the paint and two designs a try, then decided on four designs and started painting.

I have four “Signs of the Cat” and two inspired by flowers and butterflies. You can find them all on Portraits of Animals.

All of my cat artwork and merchandise is inspired by real cats, cats I’ve rescued and fostered, cats who spent their lives with me, cats who were here for just a short time.


Mimi is in her cat tree, Mewsette is prancing around the yard, and it’s not raining yet. It’s a good day. I really wish I could move this tree indoors.

It’s time for my daily cooking show for the benefit of my cats’ entertainment.


Tabbies O Trout Towne…burd warning below!

From the back yard and beyond.


Just past snow
through the detritus of last year’s final folly
faded brown and crackling beneath my feet
you reach a slender tendril of faith
to bear aloft your flag of conquest
a complementary flower
arms open wide
let the rain fall soft on our faces
herald the joy of spring.

Poem in progress © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Hawk and Dove

I hesitated to share this one because of the nature of the photo, but that’s nature.

Some days you’re the hawk, some days you’re the dove, though I hope it’s not as dire as this. It looks like this mourning dove had a rough start to the week, but the sharp-shinned hawk looks pretty pleased. I just happened to see this little scene at an intersection in my neighborhood as I drove down the street. More photos at the link.


From around this date in past years

Practicing My Cuteness

cat on bedrail
I’m looking my cutest!

Just because I’m the cutest kitty you’ve ever seen doesn’t mean I don’t have to practice! I take some time each day to exercise my whiskers and ears and all my furs to make sure I can make them do whatever I want them to do, and I really try hard to come up with a new cute pose every day too. Look—I did that here, just tossing my paws over the footrail on the bed and showing off my big eyes and looking in different directions. I can always tell when it’s a good one because Bernadette runs to get the big black box and points it at me and I hear click! click! click! I work it hard when I hear that! But I can tell I need to work on this one because sometimes I get excited and I don’t hold a pose, I just keep moving from one to another. I could tell she wasn’t happy that many of them were what she calls “soft.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that because I am soft, but I guess it means something else. And I know that when I hear that clicking noise sometimes I just can’t hold still long enough. Sigh. The life of a supermodel kitty…

Though it looks like there’s plenty of light here (because I adjusted it in Photoshop), my bedroom is a little dim and then a contrast of bright reflected light in the window, always a difficult shot. And Mariposa really does not stop moving! It’s what makes her especially cute. But with the telephoto lens I need a lot of light or a fast shutter speed, and rarely have either one in some spots. So I chose the best of the ones where she’s looking up. She’s cute no matter what.

Now the one below, that’s just the cell camera on zoom.

And then the ones from last year at this time where we both tried on masks, well, those didn’t stand a chance!


From Instagram

There is just something ever so sweet about looking at kitties from the back. Mariposa’s shaggy little mane is so endearing. And then tabbies have those racing stripes down the backs of their heads. Could you ask for more than that?

cat from behind
Mariposa’s little shape.

Two exhausted kitties. The weather is unbelievably nice and they played hard.

two black cats
Sleepy girls.

First set of basket naps with the big window open.

five cats in baskets
Basket naps.

From the back yard and beyond.

Pear trees are blooming on #mainstreetcarnegie once again. I’ve been photographing them about 20 years and every year I go and do it again. We just had snow and subfreezing temperatures five days ago. Resilience. More to come.

blooming pear trees
Pear trees on Main Street.

From around this date in past years

Trouble in Paradise, 2020

whisker wednesday
Mariposa haz em!

Whisker Wednesday, because Mariposa haz em. She doesn’t sit still very often so getting a clear photo of her whiskers with just my cell phone is a real challenge.

All of today’s photos were first posted on Instagram on April 1.

“Seriously?” Mariposa doesn’t think I look like her at all!

cat mask
Mariposa pulls my whiskers!

It all started with my little crafty masks when I heard that wearing one was now advisable. When I put it on I saw Mariposa’s nose and whisker pads, and immediately wanted to add whiskers. And then I had to add some of her markings, and then the mask that has ears, so I tipped one of the ears and put it all on, and we both have fluffy hair. Mariposa immediately began pulling my whiskers and took a swat at the elastic holding things on. And then she rolled around laughing.

But I think I should wear it to the grocery store next time I go.

cat mask
Me as a virtual Mariposa.

I guess my choice of April quilt is popular. They were literally right on it.

Six cats on the bed.

Mimi and I found this in the back yard.
The first forget-me-not holding one pure drop of spring rain.

First forget-me-not.

From around this date in past years

Kids! 2019

Mimi and Mariposa
Mimi and Mariposa

No, Mimi isn’t yelling. That would be soooo not Mimi. Instead, she gives Mariposa a big, fat yawn. A few seconds before, while I was grabbing my camera, Mimi had hopped up on the windowsill, and Mariposa was thrilled, reaching down and touching Mimi with those big white mittens, all over Mimi’s head. Mimi is a patient mom, even with others’ kittens. Mariposa did not persist and instead just draped herself over the edge and looked cuter than her usual. Mimi has seen it all already.


From Facebook and Instagram

A sunny morning post-breakfast toilette, whiskers complete, white mittens and ruff floof.

It’s The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse. You have been out all day. (They were sleeping, I know because everyone was yawning when I came in the door.)


The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse
The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse

Mimi and me, enjoying the back yard.

Mimi and me
Mimi and me


Photos from years past.


What We Did Last Week, 2018

A basket full of black cats!
A basket full of black cats!

A basket full of black cats! Now that’s an Easter basket I’ll go for! Happy Easter if you observe, and even though baskets aren’t a part of Passover we can still wish a chag Pesach to those of you who observe Passover, especially if you have cats. Giuseppe and Jelly Bean are the kitties filling the yellow basket to overflowing. I shared this photo last Friday, March 29.

Before I catch up on the photos I posted last week, I’m looking forward to posting regularly here on The Creative Cat once again. All theme, site and server issues are resolved and I’m happy to be back to it.

Also, these photos were first shared on Instagram, which I have grown to love for sharing photos of what the kids are doing during the day, but I have to kick the habit. I love any creative outlet, and the ability to share my photos as well as art and stories easily on Instagram is very exciting for me. Holding my phone and looking down at it caused me to pinch a nerve in my neck and caused muscle and tendon strains in my arm—first my right arm, then I switched to my left to hold the phone but that arm strained on me too.

Sleepy sunworshippers, Mimi, Hamlet and Jelly Bean.
Sleepy sunworshippers, Mimi, Hamlet and Jelly Bean.


About 15 years ago, after I’d been working on a personal computer for about 15 years, and on a computer of any sort since 1978, I had strained my right arm and pinched a nerve in my neck using the mouse with my right hand, always properly, but enough was apparently enough, so I’ve been using my left hand since then. I’ve always been subject to repetitive strain injuries, tendonitis and joint issues like this and not just my hands and arms, but also from simply sitting in a chair that’s a little off-kilter, or wearing shoes that don’t work well with my feet. I recently replaced my bicycle because it had me leaning too far forward and putting too much pressure on my hands and back.

Sienna gets some lap time.
Sienna gets some lap time.

I’m not surprised, it was really just a matter of time until it became a problem. I could tell from when I first began using my smartphone that looking downward at that angle was a really bad idea for my neck. It’s one of the reasons I decided not to start texting, even if I held the phone up in front of my face. Last week, each day, I was taking frequent ibuprofen and holding hot compresses on my neck, and trying to lie flat to make the pain go away. Much as I love it, it’s not worth the time I spent trying to relax the muscles and ease the pain, and I’ve missed several of the posts I had planned for the last two weeks, and now I have to get caught up making stuff!

Mimi's sunny nap was a little chilly on the marble windowsill, but the blanket made it better.
Mimi’s sunny nap was a little chilly on the marble windowsill, but the blanket made it better.

One good thing is that I’ve never had any repetitive strain issues with petting cats no matter how many or how long I pet them!

Celebrating a very sunny day with a boop on Basil's nose.
Celebrating a very sunny day with a boop on Basil’s nose.

And Mimi and I will have more time to be outdoors! We had a surprise snow last weekend and the cover was still good by Monday. “Only one thing will get Mimi to walk in snow these days–the neighbor’s cat is in her yard! She did puff herself up and have a few words, and he wisely slunk off. You can see in Mimi’s shadow she is standing with one front paw raised, guarding her temple. The thing that kept her and kittens safe outdoors years ago, she still haz it. She is toasty inside on a warm windowsill now.”

Brave, bold Mimi.
Brave, bold Mimi.

As a last note, I have a love-hate relationship with my smartphone. I love the convenience, but I really hate the photos it takes, I just don’t feel they are representative of my style or abilities, but that immediacy is hard to pass up. I actually have quite a few I’ve taken recently with my DSLR that I haven’t had the chance to share. Now I do.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

charcoal sketch of black cat
“Bella Birdwatching” revised photo reproduction (more accurate), black and white charcoal on gray toned paper, 5.5″ x 8.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

So Bella is an avid birdwatcher. She spends long hours by the big north window watching the birds at the feeder. I spend long hours studying her profile while she does so. I decided to finally sketch her and thought of the toned paper with white and black charcoal, and I also added a bit of pale yellow green in her eye. 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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© 2022 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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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