I have a lot of catching up to do, and not the least of it is celebrating black cats, and you can see that Giuseppe has an opinion about that! Of course, I hardly noticed the difference on August 17 because we celebrate black cats every day. They think they should get more treats and fewer photos when they all get together, but in the end we’re all pretty happy with what we do for each other.
This day was founded because black cats especially are said to have a more difficult time being adopted, and they are also still seen as bad luck or as objects of abuse. Black Cat Appreciation Day was founded in 2011 by Wayne Morris of Rikki’s Refuge in memory of his sister and her beloved black cat Sinbad. August 17 was her birthday. You can read more at https://rikkisrefuge.org/ .
Giuseppe wants to know, did you get that?
And, of course, I couldn’t leave a group of five cats with only two photos, especially when I also got these five below, lined up and waiting for…something. After all, it was their special day. But every once in a while when my camera tries to photograph a group of black cats, all it sees is black and the photos have some interesting effects. That means they are a little blurry, grainy…what was that I said once about calling a poor quality photo “abstract”? I couldn’t help but share these, though, because of their sequencing. I could not get them all to look at me at once! Three looked at me and two didn’t, then they switched around. But it was great fun and everyone, Sunshine, Mimi, Giuseppe, Mewsette and Basil, were in great form.
But it was a GREAT DAY with special food and some treats in the afternoon. Kind of like every day, but with awareness.
Not only did I not post here for two weeks, but I even missed a week on Instagram. I was so overtaken with work that came in—yay!—plus house projects and yard projects as I feel the summer coming to a close and I want to have the biggest things done, like waterproofing the basement and reorganizing for my new furnace (somehow) by October. Plus, I’ve finally gotten just about all my materials together for my new items and I can get started on those, but my basement and upstairs studios aren’t quite ready yet. All of this will somehow work with the open house I’ll finally host in September. Finally, I had set up my most convenient computer downstairs to download all my photos onto to make posting easier and more efficient, then the USB port decided to quit reading any device. So I’m patching it together, and looking forward to posting regularly again. I really miss sharing daily, especially when something like an important holiday comes along. Here are a few IG photos from the past two weeks, and I’ll be sharing the others in the next few days.
July 31. It’s a purrfect morning for three little rescued girls to enjoy. The basement door is the closest we have to a catio, but they sometimes spend the whole day there.
August 1: Having a good slow knead in the dishtowel drawer in preparation for a nap on a quiet, dark morning.
August 3: All work and no play makes you a very dull human.
August 5: Supurrvisor is sleeping, what can I get away with?!
August 5: “Is this some sort of an internet meme involving a cat and zucchinis?” he asks.
Sometimes Mr. Sunshine has no sense of humor.
August 7: This week’s farmer’s market haul, this time from Bedner’s Farm Market, another farmer’s market I’ve been going to since I was little. Their farm is just north of here and they have all in-season produce from there, and also carry other produce from other farms that’s not in season here, plus local bread, honey, dairy, cut and dried flower bouquets and bedding annuals and perennials, then later autumn flowers and decorations and pumpkins!
A summer recipe for those tomatoes: Marinated Fresh Tomatoes on Pasta. It’s so easy! When I’ve been out on the trail on my bike for a long summer day and I come home exhausted and starving, or I’ve been working out in the yard, this is often what I make.
- 3# ripe juicy tomatoes coarsely cubed
- at least one clove of garlic thinly sliced
- a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Put the tomatoes in a bowl, mix together everything else and pour over tomatoes, gently mix, let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Cook a pound of spaghetti or linguine, drain and put in a warmed bowl, pour tomatoes over, add fresh-ground black pepper and 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, gently mix. Enjoy! You can also use rice, quinoa, couscous, polenta or any other grain, or warm bread. I’ve got to go and eat some now.
From the back yard and beyond.
Speaking of the farmer’s market, here are photos from yet another one, the big one I went to several years ago.
Fruits, Vegetables, Masks and Social Distancing at the Farmer’s Market
This vendor really had a knack for displaying the merchandise, and then the sun was shining in at just the right angle.
From around this date in past years
Callie and Her Kittens, 2019
I knew I should have taken my good camera with the telephoto lens because all I’d be doing was sitting in my car, but I left without it so I didn’t get good photos of Callie and her feral friends. In fact, we didn’t get her either that evening. But Michelle and Denise did get her neonatal kittens off of the floor of the front seat of the broken down minivan missing a door in the neighbor’s driveway.
It started with Michelle posting last Wednesday, “So I was following the Callie cat after she ate two bowls on kitten food just to see where she goes. She jumped into an open window of the broken down vehicle across the street. I’m not sure if she was pregnant, but this could be a possibility. I’m afraid to tell my neighbors or go snooping to see.”
Callie, a small long-haired calico, had been seen at all the feeding stations in the past few weeks. It was pretty clear she was probably pregnant, but she was on the ssmall side and fluffy so it was hard to tell. She lived outside the house of a neighbor who had several cats who regularly had kittens, and we’ve been spending time trying to stop that with TNR. Michelle has pulled in several kittens from that colony in addition to our TNR.
Later, Denise joined Michelle and had the moxie to just go and get those kittens. I posted about caring for neonatal kittens and shared my article on trapping a mom with kittens as bait and tried to keep in touch. Later in the afternoon I just went the few blocks and met with Michelle.
“Send good trapping vibes to a little calico mom of these six tiny fuzzballs! She had them in a junk van on a nasty neighbor’s property (photo 3), unsafe to her and kittens. Kittens are bait behind trap under orange towel (photo 2), she is on the steps watching on the other edge of photo. She is likely in heat again, dallying around a gray male we haven’t trapped yet. This is where we trapped kittens and TNR several adults last January. I’m being useful sitting in my car giving instructions since I can’t walk too far right now.”
Michelle turned out to be a chanpion bottle feeder for six kittens whose eyes were just about opening. And that was a good thing because we didn’t trap Callie that night, not for all the kitten music and clever trap setup. Very wily, and acting as if she was in heat again already she stayed with her homies and waited by the van for her kittens to magically reappear.
Late the following afternoon she finally went into the trap. But when Michelle and her husband tried to put her in the crate with the kittens, she got loose in their garage. They set up a trap in their garage, which is actually very neat and clean and fairly empty. We got her a spay appointment because that might help to calm her down if she was indeed in heat, but she wasn’t trapped in time for that. As far as I know she is still loose in the garage, and poor Michelle is still feeding six kittens every two to three hours. I will update as things change.
Photos from years past
Daily Photo: Boxes and Baskets and Birdwatching, 2017
Basil on a pile of papers, Giuseppe in a box, Hamlet in his favorite basket, lots of sunshine, breezes, and a great station on Cat TV. Cats don’t need fancy things to celebrate World Cat Day, just as long as they have things they like EVERY day. Or else.
When the kids grow up but don’t leave.
This is what happens when the kids grow up but don’t move away, 10 years old and still playing with mom’s tail.
Mimi is downloading her pee-mail, apparently there’s been quite the discussion about something.
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What other photos have I shared on or around this date?
Wordless Wednesday: Basil’s Afternoon Nap, Position 4, 2015
I Heard There Was A Meeting…
“Did someone call a meeting, about…kittens?” Giuseppe asks, joining Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette. The little ones have been permitted an hour or two in the first and second floors of the house. The door to the basement is blocked, and whoever is down there looking out the basement door is kind of stuck, as is whoever is upstairs with…the kittens. Actually, it’s gone really well. Each kitten has a favorite spot and spends lots of time looking out the windows and doors in ones, twos and threes. The big cats might complain, but they also herd the kittens around and give them little licks. This scene happened after the kittens had invaded a really good nap on my work table.
Below, however, Giuseppe and Bean stuff themselves into a small peach box. It seems they are invisible to kittens when they are in the box. Well, they make the rules around here.
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Today’s photos from Instagram and Facebook
And three kittens held perfectly still for a record 18 seconds. Cat TV taken to a whole new level.
Alvina found it first, but the others soon joined her. They seem to have an unspoken communication where they all come together when it’s something important. Like a bright red bird, right there, on the feeder!
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Giuseppe, Mr. Sunshine and Mimi hang out with me in the kitchen.
Often when I draw these five black cats, and even when I don’t but just visualize, I am visualizing their silhouette as a shape, but not paying any attention to their color. That may be stating the obvious seeing cats in every shade of pastel and watercolor and colored pencil and any other medium I have, but because they are solid and because they are black, I can start with them and go on to other ideas.
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!