Feederwatch continues into the winter months, and even though the window is closed now and the flapping and chirping are muffled, the screen is gone and the view through the glass is clear. No leaves block the way and the sparrows and finches and chickadees and cardinals flutter wildly on the bare lilac branches against the sky. Wow.
Mr. Sunshine checks the level and tells me “it will do.” Some cats will never give you a compliment. Mr. Sunshine is my engineer cat. He loves tools.
I’m finally installing the shelves in my basement studio for my art materials. It’s gotten almost impossible to work down here with all the materials and equipment I’ve assembled over the past year. I am so happy to finally have my supply shelves! But not as happy as my kitties are to have a new set of shelves to play on until I start filling them.
Mimi tests my new shelves for strength and durability. Apparently if they’re able to handle all six pounds of her prancing around on them, they’re good.
Now they claim I’ve ruined it for them, because I put my stuff on them.
Now to get back to work.
No better pillow than your brother’s belly.
Today’s #supurrvisors as I worked in my basement #studio. I’ll just say I could have gotten away with anything, or even left the room, for all the actual supurrvising they were doing. They ought to know I need more than that.
Today’s distractions while I’m working in my basement studio.
Mimi thinks the best thing about her kids never moving out is that they make really soft, warm beds.
From the Garden and Beyond
Don’t wreck the car.
Don’t miss Venus up there in the clouds.
See this and more on my photography website, Today.
Am I putting on a good show here with my black thing and hopping around on the deck to try to get a clear photo of the three of you?
Photos from previous years
Bella’s Warm and Clever Camouflage, 2020
Bella is so clever! She needs to lurk around the woods like the panther she is at heart, so she turns my home into trees and brush to lurk through. As the nights grow colder, my scarves are purrfect!
I don’t see any kitties in here…
What are you looking at?
October 7: Mewsette’s big feets. Out on the deck, Mewsette likes to hang out under the seasonal and holiday table because it has a cloth on it. I’m sure she thinks I don’t know she’s under there.
October 7: And then she had a good nap on the swing. The chickadees were careful not to land on her while she was sleeping.
October 7: Tortie? I don’t see any tortie. Purrfectly camouflaged.
October 15: My foot warmers last night. There were five, then Jelly Bean decided to come over for pets. Cold front came through. Can’t wait for that new furnace!
October 15: Some girls aren’t happy they have to go back inside on what is probably the last warm sunny afternoon of the year. They tell me, because they are cats, they know these things. But my furnace was due to be installed on October 21 and I seriously had to get that basement ready! So they watched, stuck on the deck, as I carried box after crate after bag of things out of the basement and placed it under my tent.
October 16: The situation today. So I ran errands.
From the garden and beyond.
October 12: Driving Through Autumn
Looks like a painting. Just might be one someday.
What says “autumn” more than a bend in a back road surrounded by colorful trees? I drove around looking for just this scene and most others just didn’t work: the light was wrong, the trees weren’t colorful enough or the leaves were past their prime. But this one made me put on my brakes and hop out to photograph it. And of all the autumn photos I’ve shared so far, this one was the most popular
October 12: Fawn in the Trees
One of our backyard visitors, this year’s fawn. I couldn’t have posed a lovelier shot, I followed the fawn with my zoom lens as it walked up the hill, and it stopped, perfectly centered in the garland of leaves, turned around and looked at me. Perhaps this fawn also has a talent for posing for photos.
October 3: Foreboding Sunset
It looks more dramatic than it was, but this was how my camera captured it, I only lightened it a small amount. Those are trees in the middle ground, but in silhouette they looked so much like a castle, and the sky so foreboding, the sunrays shining out from under the clouds so graceful it seems to tell a different story.
I was out for errands yesterday and decided to run around and take autumn photos. As if nature knew that, heavy overcast rolled over the sky. Just as I was heading home the overcast begin to lift, I got this photo and decided to continue.
You can find these and others on my photography website, Today.
From around this date in past years
Sienna of the Potatoes, 2019
I don’t know what it was about the potatoes but Sienna was just too cute trying to hide behind them. On some of these cold, dark, rainy days we have to make things up to make it fun.
Photos from previous years…
Purrfect Camouflage, 2017
Of course I can’t see a black cat hiding behind the red and pink geranium flowers with green leaves in front of a bright window!
I brought the geraniums inside on Halloween night because the temperature would go below freezing. Some years I put them back out but I don’t have time to move them each day and they’ve stayed inside. They usually end up in the corner of the basement for the winter and they do just fine until late winter when they start to bloom again. But I miss my houseplants and I’m giving them a try upstairs for now. So far, so good.
Basil is so silly! Each day he goes behind this geranium and peers at me through the branches until I see him. I’m glad it adds to his environmental enrichment. No doubt I’ll be posting photos of this frequently if he keeps it up.
What other photos have I shared around this date in previous years?
Mimi Modeling, and More
Mimi rubs her little face all over the leg of the rocker, and the leg of me. It’s true, she owns me.
Our little courtyard outside the dining room window is a wonderful spot in the late afternoon in autumn. The morning chill is long gone and the sun is warm, dappling through the yellow river birch leaves as handfuls of them spin and flutter down from the tree. I planted those river birches almost 20 years ago just for this effect, and the brilliant scarlet burning bushes at their feet giving us a little more privacy. So I act like sweeping up all those leaves is the most important thing to do and invite Mimi to supervise because, of course, I need supervision.
It’s been a pretty intense few months lately and I’ve barely been out in my yard, so neither has Mimi. We enjoy these moments of stolen time, and later I like to look out the window and see it looking neater each day. Mimi is much happier, and I get a physical break, a creative perk in photographing Mimi and the leaves and things, and actually breathe fresh air.
These photos are from both Saturday and Sunday, and were intended to be the daily photos from each of those days. So instead you get a post with a lot of new photos.
Great episode on #CatTV when our backyard bunny came to visit the front yard. Look in the circle in the center of the photo.
Margo greeted Mimi on her rocker when she came to visit today. Everyone has to greet Mimi. She runs this place.
I was struck by a funny thought later in the day. Have you ever said to your cats, “Excuse me, I need to use my litter box now.”
What other photos have I shared around this date in previous years?
Daily Photo: Autumn Adventures
Mimi plans her morning adventure, actually in the neighbor’s yard where she should not be. This necessitates a few changes to our daily activities and a few repairs of my fence around the yard along with a little cleanup—and I’ll be making a few repairs to The Creative Cat and my other blogs as well, a little more on that below. I guess autumn is a time for those things!
Once Mimi discovered the little tunnel through the brush along the fence she now heads right down the brick path in the garden and off into her little “wilderness” where as a human I’m too big and I can’t follow. It leads right to the “four corners” where our yards come together and a portion of my fence is down after a tree falling on it. The corner of the neighbor’s yard directly behind me is very densely overgrown, but Mimi emerges on the other side if it, stepping out into the grass.
The first time she did this I had an idea where she’d gone but couldn’t see or hear her, I just sensed where she was. Ultimately I saw a shadow her size moving through the brush, then heard the bell on her collar. She greeted me, and was very happy.
She would probably be fine, and twice I followed her on her little journey that way, meeting her in the neighbor’s yard, but each time she explores a little more and wants to go farther, and this is not acceptable because she will soon be on the street behind us. Mimi hates it, but she is back on her harness and leash. Hopefully over the winter when all the leaves have fallen I can clear more of the brush and grapevines and put my fences back up. It’s something I’ve been intending to do for several years anyway. I don’t like to see Mimi unhappy, and sometimes she hates her leash so much she just wants back inside, but I want to see her safe. She has begun to wander like this before and we just needed a few little adjustments to convince her to stay in her territory.
Such Cuteness, 2014
We had a day today! Normally, during the week, I sit a lot, and I’m pretty dull. But when I’m up and about, so is the whole household, and we had things to do, or I had things to do and everyone had to supervise me. A good bit of it happened in the kitchen, and a nice warm and slightly steamy kitchen on one of the first cold days is a definite draw for felines, so all eight of us were pretty much in one room for most of the day, with momentary variations on who was using the cabinet for what, and it wasn’t always me. If anyone gets any strange messages from me, let me know. I think Smokie did fall asleep before he managed to actually send any messages. Mr. Sunshine, I’m not so sure. Someday I’ll catch up on all the photos I took today, but for now, I still have a few plants to come inside, and I really need to finish out my storm doors, but I can assure you that all felines were involved in everything, and Bella especially was part of each activity.
Alternative Cat Trap, 2012
When a box, piece of paper, garment, newspaper, magazine, book or computer keyboard is not available, a small stack of warm laundry, folded or unfolded, is appropriate to lure and trap cats.
Sunshine and Mimi snuggle together for a nap.
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That Wool Afghan, 2011
I admit it has been a little cold at night, and it was time to put the wool afghan at the foot of the bed, just in case we had a really cold night. But it’s as if they were waiting for me to get the afghan out of the closet so they could cuddle on it, and I’ve barely seen them in three days.
Jelly Bean, in front, isn’t sure it’s worth waking all the way up, but Mr. Sunshine on the left and Mewsette on the right are fully awake and no way are they moving. The black lump behind them is Giuseppe, who they’d actually been using as a pillow. It’s the only time he sleeps on to of the quilt, though he’ll no doubt be back under in a few days when the afghan gets old.
I had to touch up their eyes as best I could because I had to use the flash and they looked possessed otherwise.
Once the leaves fall from the tree out front I’ll have more light, but four black cats on a primarily black afghan will always be a challenge.
. . . . . . .
Shadow Kitty, 2010
Jelly Bean casts a big shadow on the door from his perch on the windowsill. I really enjoyed how the glow of the sun is centered right behind him, as if he’s in the spotlight. He likes it there!
In the years since I took this photo I’ve also used it as an illustration for other feline-themed projects, which encouraged me to have my camera ready when I walked past the bathroom door on sunny days.
Wordless Wednesday: Discovery, 2014
Daily Photo: Four Supervisors
They look dangerous—it’s Basil and his fur brother ninjas! But all I’m doing is washing dishes and they feel the need to see around me. I think I’m safe.
. . . . . . .
What other photos did I feature on this date?
Kitten Room Invasion, 2014
So what was Smokie discovering as he peeked around the bathroom doorframe in today’s Wordless Wednesday?
Yes, that’s right. As soon as I let Smokie and Bella out of their room in the morning Giuseppe and Jelly Bean walked right in and demanded to have their bathroom back. I can see why—it’s a snug and sunny little room, especially on a blustery day, and the two used to spend hours cuddling together on the bath mat. And, of course, they grew up in there…
Bella and Smokie didn’t know what to do—they were excited their ninja teachers were in their room, even if they were tired of their room and wanted to go exploring. So Bella hopped in the tub to play with Giuseppe and the cat track in the tub, and Smokie showed off how nicely he uses his scratching post. Soon they were ready to look out each window and spend some time exploring more of the basement, and Giuseppe and Bean did nap in there until afternoon. Smokie and Bella had the bed all to themselves for a while. I didn’t hear anyone complaining.
But Whose Foot is It?, 2012
The problem with black cats is you can’t always tell where one ends and the next begins.
Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine were lounging in their favorite basket, cuddling and bathing and getting up and moving around and settling back down again. I watched out of the corner of my eye, trying not to be totally distracted as they grew cuter by the minute, then this foot poked out.
Which one of the two of them was it attached to? Mewsette has much bigger feet than this, but looking at them from this level it looked like it was Mewsette’s and couldn’t possibly be Mr. Sunshine’s because he was curled the other way. Right?
Then the foot moved and Mewsette opened her eyes. Perhaps her expression might give you a clue.
I had to move Mimi in order to stand up, but she understood. Finally I could see that Mewsette was curled to the left and Mr. Sunshine was curled to the right with his head on her back.
Oh, the silly things I spend time on.
. . . . . . .
From the Archives: Moses’ Nose
I’ve mentioned Moses, my sweet formerly feral silver tabby, a few times in stories lately, and in researching photos for a project I flipped past this photo of her—of her nose, in a position I always loved as her chin was tucked into her chest, such a very common posture for her. I know she was purring her soft little breathy purr and the tip of her tail was tapping the wood of the deck with happy regularity. She was getting her daily thermonuclear treatment and nothing, nothing at all, was going to make her move until the sun was gone.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and I’ll be featuring the roles my senior cats played in my life all through the years they spent with me.
Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Feline Artwork from Portraits of Animals!
She almost had me fooled until I saw one of the flowers looking back at me and I knew I had to investigate. 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!