Daily Photo: Grandma and Lucy

two feral cats
Grandma and Lucy.

On Sunday evening I dropped off some food for a caretaker and got to photograph some of my favorite feral cats. The tortie is Grandma, because she probably was grandma to most of the colony before they were TNRd, and Lucy, a stunningly beautiful Siamese mix, two girls who haven’t missed many meals, are nice and plump with thick plushy fur, well taken care of community cats.

The two were on the woman’s porch, though the colony is much larger. I was headed back to the shed where Lucy is standing to pour the bag of food into the container the caretaker uses. But I’ve been here before, and you may even recognize these two—I took my DSLR with me. Despite the heavy overcast, the snow provided a good bit of reflected light to capture these two. They took off down the steps and down the walk, as I slowly walked toward them carrying the big bag of food and my camera with the telephoto lens at the ready. They both stopped and Grandma sat and lifted her paw, the universal sign of a cat guarding her castle, and purrhaps the sidewalk was cold too. But she held the pose long enough for me to get several shots of her and even change the lens.

My telephoto is an f4 lens, which, because it’s physically longer than a regular lens, lets less light in to the sensor, so low light photos can often be dark, oversaturated, and blurry, a real disappointment at missing a good shot like this one. My regular lens is a zoom but not a telephoto, and it’s f2.8 and lets in far more light, but even though it looks like Grandma is “right there” she was actually quite a distance away, and when I enlarged her in the resulting photo she was a little blurry.

The detailed photo rant was in part to share that it’s important to me to get clear and beautiful photos of, well, everything I photograph, but especially of community cats to show that they are not filthy disease-carrying flea bags, but they look like any other cat you might have in your home as a pet.

But jeez, tough as nails. Would you sit in the snow like Grandma?

Look below—I don’t see a tortie there, do you?

tortie cat in the weeds
Grandma in the weeds.

And because it’s been brutally cold here with, in some places, a foot of snow often coated with ice, here are a few more details of their living situation: their system of shelters and a heated water bowl.

And their food bowls. This isn’t all of them, but there are three more on the side of the shed.

Winter is a dangerous time for any animal to live outdoors, and this past winter with its unexpected snows and ice and polar vortex cold has been a killer even for humans, as we saw last week in Texas. But people who care provide the right kind of care for these cats, and they can survive in good health.

~~~

From Instagram

It’s just snow, snow, snow everywhere #littlemimicat looks. At least she can finally go out the basement door onto a bit of the patio now that the human has finally decided to shovel out there. Oh, for those long summer mornings lying on the bricks in the shade of the laundry hanging on the clothesline. (Mimi never goes outdoors without the human and a leash and harness.)

They were missing summer too, but at least there’s fresh air to sniff. I’ve had this door actually taped shut for the past month because of the cold. This is the first time it’s been open since then, they don’t care how cold it is, they missed it! But what’s with all that white stuff out there?

From the back yard and beyond.

This little basement flower was smiling down over my washer this morning. A blue bacopa flower she’s actually very tiny but makes a big statement with color. Good morning! Thanks for making the laundry happy today!

While photographing the girls, above, I slipped over to my favorite county park as I saw the sunset building to a golden glory.

dramatic sunset
Dramatic Sunset

And while that sunset was unfolding I saw a tree dancing in the woods at sunset.

Dancing in the woods at sunset.

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From around this date in past years

Sunny Morning Daydreams, 2020

black cat face
Daydreamy Mewsette

What is Mewsette thinking, sitting with the winter sun warming her back? I often find myself wondering that. From the time she was a kitten she spent a fair amount of time in her own little world, while her brothers jostled each other for attention. But I feel a kinship with a daydreamy kitty, and sometimes we daydream together.

. . . . . . .

Photos from around this date in previous years

Creative Days With Creative Cats, 2019

Mimi naps on the light-colored pastels.
Mimi naps on the light-colored pastels.

Photos from years past.

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Snow at Night, 2017

Well, I guess I won’t use those colors right now. It can’t be comfortable, but then what do I know about cat naps? Mimi is happy. There’s a little sun.

I love long afternoons in the studio, especially when I’m working on a portrait. It’s even better when one or more of my fine felines shares the experience. I haven’t had too many long afternoons in the studio this week, but when I finish in the late afternoon or early evening sometimes nearly all ten cats in the house are in the studio.

Snow at night at my studio window.
Snow at night at my studio window.

Usually at night this studio window is solid night.

But I am enchanted as the falling snow slowly defines each twig and needle and roof peak and even the sky from the darkness. There is a cat silhouette watching at each window in the house.

I took this photo at 11:00 p.m. Wednesday. I had another photo planned but assisted the Homeless Cat Management Team with another hoarding rescue earlier today so I’m off my schedule again. You’ll hear more about that later this week. And possibly I was meant to share this photo right now instead of tomorrow.

. . . . . . .

From Facebook and Instagram

Mimi and I got some time outside today even with the extra projects. That’s the very topmost section of the wild black cherry tree in the far corner of the yard. That’s how tall it was.

The quiet of coming snow.

W knew it was coming.
We knew it was coming.

. . . . . . .

What other photos have I shared on or around this date?

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Today’s Adventures

One of the first few times Hamlet and Ophelia settled on the bed for an afternoon nap.

Two dark shapes on the bed.
Two dark shapes on the bed.

Mimi and I spent enjoyable quiet time out in the back yard this afternoon for our daily adventure, just before the rain began, below. But a little later I let Hamlet and Ophelia out of the bathroom for their daily adventure in the upstairs while I worked in the studio.

Afternoon is a good time because though plenty of other cats are up there with me , they are seriously napping and the two can run around as they please. For the most part they’ve been skittering, kind of scared, keeping under or next to the furniture except for some time spent looking out the bedroom window.

I walked out of my studio and glanced in to see them both on the bed, looking relaxed, and making no move to run, though I was looking at them and they were out in the open. It seems as if they knew all about beds, but they’ve never had the chance to sleep on one before. They are making some progress. Hamlet enjoys being scritched around the neck and blinks his eyes at me, but no fast moves. Ophelia gets cuter every day, and her fluttering little excursions make her seem like a comical little femme fatale. I see her fluffly little tail moving around the room and I have to laugh.

. . . . . . .

From Facebook and Instagram

I think I took some of the same photos of Mimi outside today!

Mimi and I went out to get some fresh air and fill feeders when the rain was still promising, dark and still. She always begins her time outdoors having a really good scratch on the bench on the corner of the deck, one direction, then the other, twice each. And then she gets her harness and leash, which she hates, and pouts, and tells me off. But she gets over it. I sat at the picnic table with her on my lap, we felt the weather change, listening to the quiet, watching a white-throated sparrow stock up on sunflower seeds. Wish I’d had a better camera with me.

Mimi and I went out to get some fresh air and fill feeders when the rain was still promising, dark and still.
Mimi and I went out to get some fresh air and fill feeders when the rain was still promising, dark and still.
 She always begins her time outdoors having a really good scratch on the bench on the corner of the deck, one direction, then the other, twice each.

She always begins her time outdoors having a really good scratch on the bench on the corner of the deck, one direction, then the other, twice each.
And then she gets her harness and leash, which she hates, and pouts, and tells me off.
And then she gets her harness and leash, which she hates, and pouts, and tells me off.
She really tells me off.
She really tells me off.
How can I be so cruel?
How can I be so cruel?
But she gets over it. I sat at the picnic table with her on my lap, feeling the weather change, listening to the quiet, watching a white-throated sparrow stock up on sunflower seeds. Wish I'd had a better camera with me.
But she gets over it. I sat at the picnic table with her on my lap, feeling the weather change, listening to the quiet, watching a white-throated sparrow stock up on sunflower seeds. Wish I’d had a better camera with me.

. . . . . . .

What other photos have I shared on or around this date?

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Sable, 2015
black long-haired kitten
Smokie looking handsome.

Smokie is pretty tired of his slinky fur sister getting all the attention. He is exquisitely handsome and he knows it, especially when he’s basking in the warm morning sun showing off all the sable highlights in his velvety fur. And he’s watching a certain kitty with a certain toy…

black kitten with green ball
Smokie with the green sparkle ball.

He’s managed to capture the green sparkle ball from Giuseppe! Or, did Giuseppe possibly let it go? Either way, Smokie is pretty excited to have it for once as he hears Giuseppe singing about this Mlle. cat all the time and it sounds like something Smokie wants to know more about. Something tells him the green sparkle ball is an important part of the situation.

. . . . . . .

 

Winter Reflections, 2011
Naptime for Cookie.
Naptime for Cookie.

Every 18-year-old kitty deserves to nap in the sun on the table curled into an old flannel bathrobe.

Why do I have a bathrobe on my kitchen table? Doesn’t every cat owner have some sort of feline comfort area on their table? It was warm in the kitchen when the sun was shining so I took it off and laid it on the table to grab when I went upstairs; instead, Cookie settled on it. How dare I consider moving it? And what a wonderful reflection, both literally and figuratively.


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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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Bernadette

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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