Daily Photo: Everyone’s a Critic

black cat looking at artwork
What’s wrong here?

“Seriously? You call yourself an artist? Those things don’t look like cats to me. Is this some sort of abstract art?” Midnight Louie is aghast at the cats I’m painting for a book cover.

What’s wrong with them?

“What’s wrong with those cats? They have dirt or something all over them.”

You’ve never seen cats marked like that?

“I have. I thought there was something wrong with them.”

You mean because they are not purrfectly sleek and solid black?

“Yes. Why would a cat want to be otherwise? You have plenty of shades of black here. You could fix them.”

black cat looking at artwork
You seem to have enough black here to fix them.

This is how the woman who commissioned me to paint them wants them to look.

“Humans are known for poor judgement. You could set her right.”

I could, and then I could get the work done so I can get your shreds with gravy.

“That is not a choice.”

It is, as I always say, that’s why we have art, we can make the kitties any color we want. And it’s okay. I like all those other colors too. Of course, though black cats are the most beautiful.

“I’m still not convinced they have to look like that. But at least you have some taste and judgement.”

black cat looking at artwork
I’m still not convinced.


Update on Simba

Art Cat

He’s doing well as long as he stays on the medication, even with the urinary diet. That’s what was recommended so I’ve held off on a veterinary visit to give it enough time to take effect. It may just take some time for the diet to have its full effect, but I have the feeling I’ll need to take him for a thorough workup, blood tests and urinalysis, not just an exam. We’ll see how income rolls this spring, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to cover this testing and then also senior workups for the four siblings. I guess we’ll see.

From Instagram

They’re not sure why, but the kitchen is the place to be right now. I’ll just leave them and their uncertain tails to figure it out.

Six cats in the center of the kitchen.


Not sure how much Mimi would enjoy a bike ride, but I certainly would at this point. The streets are clear, the sun is out, and it’s fairly warm. I may need to take a ride down to Main Street this afternoon.

Mimi on my bike with an opinion.

I couldn’t resist!

My first bike ride this year, actually my first bike ride in about 5 years, one hip replacement and diagnosis of mild emphysema later.

Back in 2017, my old bike was causing me some pretty extreme back pain and numbness in my hands from the angle of my hands on the handlebars. In spring 2018 I bought this bike, a purple Schwinn Cruiser, the bike I always wanted, on clearance when Kmart was closing, much better for the kind of riding I do today. That was also about the time when my hip was really starting to go, and I never got to ride this bike.

Hip replacement in October 2019, summer and fall 2020 were busy with home repairs and cleaning up after two years with a really bad hip, summer and fall 2021 were vendor shows and getting back to business.

Finally, midwinter 2022, I get to ride my bike around the block. It’s built for cruising, and I have a basket and panniers for my camera and art supplies, or for my groceries. I’m looking forward to getting back on two wheels.



From around this date in past years

To Snow or Not to Snow, 2021

black cat in snow
To snow or not to snow.

To walk in the snow, or to stand there and yell at me for it. Mimi did some of both. Below, she considers something, then tells me off.

But she did eventually try stepping into the snow. I’m not sure what she had her eye on, but she wanted to get there. A step or two and she was back on the deck.


From Instagram

Something skittering around in the stack of baskets. It turned out to be a wren who flew out of the baskets after the girls went back inside. Very exciting!

Jellybean is experiencing basket envy, because there aren’t two other empty baskets right there beside him, he wants the one where Bella is sleeping.

February 3: Morning staff meeting. Basil, Bella, and Mr. Sunshine in attendance. The boss, Mimi, on my lap. I used the landscape setting on my cell phone so I could get all of them in the picture. Interesting angle.

January 20: What a little princess in her nest of warm and purring housepanthers.

January 15: We really should have a ride, don’t you think? Mewsette is really not the type for a bike ride, but we can think about it.

Mimi admires her shadow. Enjoying a sunny morning on the deck.

January 13: Mimi’s latest thing is to get into the shed. She’s telling me to open the door, now. Instead I picked her up and kissed her because she’s so cute. She was thoroughly disgusted.

Just a few more and then I’m caught up! And a few multiple photo posts from January.

From the back yard and beyond.

Winter Flowers

Petunias still happily blooming in the basement.

Winter Flowers
Winter Flowers

Rooftops and Storefronts

The view out my back window on a sunny winter day.

Rooftops and Storefronts
Rooftops and Storefronts

Autumn Horizon

Remembering those endless warm, sunny and colorful afternoons with still so many photos to share.

Autumn Horizon

From around this date in past years

Waiting in Line, 2020

cats in studio
Cats in my studio

My studio has been taken over by cats, all six of whom want my attention in one way or another. And a bowl of fruit.

Jelly Bean wants my lap. Mimi wants me to go down to the kitchen to give her a snack. Mewsette wants my chair. Amy (on the easel) wants her portrait finished. Kelly (on my computer screen) wants her portrait painted. Allegro (on the wall above her) wants his portrait framed. The bowl of fruit wants me to get that piece of forest green velour matboard already.

But, later, it turned out to be another great day for a nap on the bed! Clockwise from the top: Basil, Mimi, Jelly Bean, Mewsette (facing Basil), Mr. Sunshine kissing Bella, Giuseppe.

7 cats sleeping on bed
Seven-cat puzzle


. . . . . . .

Photos from around this date in previous years

Bean on Angle, 2019

Bean on Angle
Bean on Angle

Sometimes those odd angles are fun and interesting.


Photos from years past.


Studio Supurrvisor, 2018
Last night's studio supurrvisor, the elegant and introspective Mewsette.
Last night’s studio supurrvisor, the elegant and introspective Mewsette.

I do regularly spend time in the studio making new things. I don’t usually make five new things in three weeks, though. Even though this cat show is an annual event it snuck up on me—I attended it years ago but with one thing and another over the years it’s been over a decade since I’ve been able to set up as a vendor. In January, when I saw others posting about attending, I realized that this year I could go, and I would go.

But after my open house in December I was out of just about everything and didn’t want to go with just my leftovers. I also see this show as a unique opportunity to reach a new audience and have been planning a new display since last year, and a list of new ideas for gift items that I didn’t make last year because of my car. Getting ready for this cat show is so much fun and very exciting thnking about what I’ll make, thinking about the people I’ll see, considering the new display I’ve been planning since last year.

Along with a couple of design assignments I knew I’d be in a crunch this week so I’d planned to give up on my regular schedule of posts here and post at least once a day to share this adventure both here and on Portraits of Animals as well as Instagram and Facebook.

As long as Basil is happy I don’t have to fold the socks and put them away.

I think many of my followers on Portraits of Animals are already followers of The Creative Cat and my social media, so I apologize if you’re seeing way too much of me this week. It’s all part of self-promotion too, and it never ceases to surprise me that even when I’ve shared something in five different places, followers still miss it. Social networking is inexact at best, all the more reason for putting things out everywhere more than once!

Those of you who are signed up for “The Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter” will see it all one more time when I send out my summary email on Saturday morning—I hope to set up most of my display on Friday night and photograph it for that along with bits and pieces from my posts. And then when the show is over I can list it all on Portraits of Animals, so it’s available for everyone.

Hamlet explores.


At this point in my adventure I’ve been up very late for the past five nights and will be again, up early each morning since life goes on while I’m doing this, and even with what I’ve been making so far I’ve only made about half of what I’d planned, nor could I replace a few representative pieces of each of the handmade items I sold last year. I keep coming up against that time and space continuum thing…but even though I haven’t met the goal of making everything in these three weeks, unreasonable as it is, tonight I had to stop starting new things and finish off everything to be sure it’s dried, tagged, and packed for setting up my display on Friday.

Thanks for following along! I’m looking forward to settling back into my routine next week, getting back to writing up my posts and preparing my photos, and sharing my fine felines and life as a somewhat erratic creative person.

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"Studio Morning Shift", pastel on black pastel paper, 9 x 12 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
“Studio Morning Shift”, pastel on black pastel paper, 9 x 12 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

They piled up for a nap on my drafting table and what could I do? Read more and purchase.


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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.

2 thoughts on “Daily Photo: Everyone’s a Critic

  • February 11, 2022 at 10:39 am

    dood…give it a minit ore two, mom B’s makin a ruff sketch…bye de time herz finished
    yur gonna say WOW…..can eye bee ona book cover two !! 🙂

    • February 11, 2022 at 11:50 am

      He’s a hard one to convince! We’d have to see about an outside kitty being on a cover, though, I always stay with my own photo references or the author’s for copyright reasons, but maybe one of these days I’ll include Mariposa and we’ll say it’s Dai$y!


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