Friday, December 1, 2023
black catscatsdaily photomimi

Daily Photo: Mimi as a Still Life

black cat still life
Mimi still life 3.

Mimi as a still life. And not outdoors this Monday.

Because we have not gone outside at all for almost a week, I wanted to share a few photos of Mimi from months ago, May, in fact. I photograph anything that catches my eye, sometimes just to remember it and not necessarily share it, it’s just how I experience the world.

In this case, Mimi hopped up onto my night stand while I was sewing in my bedroom in the late afternoon. The resulting composition looked like a sepia collage layered with shapes and patterns and antique images and a cat silhouette. I took a bunch of photos, just to catch each of Mimi’s angles and the change in the sunlight as it dropped toward the horizon. This was my favorite as I looked them over for this post, though it wasn’t when I took the photos; the runners-up are below. I had initially thought I’d present them in black and white, and they do look cool in black and white, but there’s something about the sepia look—which is the natural color from the photos—that I like far more.

Here are the other two, one very similar to the above but I liked the higher angle of Mimi’s nose on the one above, and the one I initially liked best. Very often, when I take a big slew of photos and let them sit for a day or months, I’ll see more in them than when they were fresh.


From Instagram

The before, during, and after phases of celebrating #boxingday at our house, all in one photo.


From the Garden and Beyond

And Four Doves on a Chimney

Make some warm memories with friends and family this holiday season.

Just happened to catch these four doves basking in the heat from a neighbor’s chimney this morning. (Christmas morning)


Crow’s Nest

Crow’s Nest


From Portraits of Animals

As if my posts aren’t already long enough…Several years ago a reader said she liked my daily photos and suggested I share them here so she didn’t have to check a half dozen blogs every day…I don’t have that many, but close, so I did add those photos here. A reader also suggested I share what’s on Portraits of Animals, my site for art an merchandise. I’m finally getting around to it…at least three years later! So here goes…

Unnamed Tributary, en plein air

Unnamed Tributary, 9 x 12, pastel © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Unnamed Tributary, 9 x 12, pastel © Bernadette E. Kazmarski


From around this date in past years

Unusually Warm, 2021

A sunny nap in December!

There’s not much Mimi enjoys more than a good scratch and a nap on her turquoise rocker. Well, we don’t expect the nap in December, but we did have and unusually warm morning right before Christmas. Possibly that was a gift for Mimi from Mother Nature.


From Instagram

And now, it’s time to catch up on what we’ve been doing!

December 15, Mimi and Mewsette in the Morning

Mewsette is such a clown, and sometimes her mama Mimi gets a little tired of it. December 15 in the morning was crisp and clear, and Mimi followed me out of the back yard but Mewsette was worried. It all turned out okay with a few pole dances from Mewsette and a swat from Mimi when Mewsette forgets about #purrsonalspace.


December 21


Trying to carve out a little space for some watercoloring in here. Patience is key while #simbafostercat and #midnightlouiefostercat investigate and maybe taste a few things.


December 23

Mr. Sunshine is not happy that he has to stay awake and #supurrvise me when everyone else gets to sleep.

Why do they do this and distract me when I have sooooooo much to do?

December 24

Sienna sneaks up on herself in the mirror.

I had to sneak up on the mirror this morning too. I had my Covid booster yesterday and it really walloped me overnight. I never get sick, I’m not accustomed to that, but at least I relieved all the symptoms with just coffee, ice and ibuprofen. Now I know I’m full of antibodies. Still not sure I should look in the mirror. Sienna doesn’t need to worry.

It’s t-shirt weather in Pennsylvania on Christmas Eve! The girls and I were out in the backyard enjoying the mild weather, Mimi hopped up on one of the smaller branches on her outdoor cat tree and gave it a good cover of her scent, possibly also warding off squirrels. The crackling sound in the background is me walking on the leaves.

We want out!

Simba and Midnight Louie are both doing great. Simba needs more healing time before integrating, though.

Boxing Day! December 26

Bella and Basil agree, empty boxes are fun, but the best boxes are full of food.


From the Garden and Beyond

Goodbye, hello, another cycle begins without hesitation, but for that moment when the “solstice,” when the sun stands still. Tiny sparkles in the velvet black of Earth rekindle the light’s return. Happy Solstice.

Solstice Sunset

Not really wild about this Christmas weather, but it does have its mystery. I typically take a walk in the woods or on the trail on Christmas Day but it’s far too wet and muddy, though I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stop and photograph the fog in the woods.

Christmas Mist

Sometimes the humblest things are the most beautiful. I filled the cats’ water bowl and set it on the toilet lid. Sun and reflections did the rest. It all depends on your point of view.

Humble Beauty


From around this date in past years

Three Minutes of Sun, 2020

two black cats
Mewsette makes it a game.

We had about three minutes of sunshine yesterday, and we were lucky enough to be outside to experience it. The snow was still off-limits. Mewsette is non-stop silly all day long, and especially when we go outside. She marches around and rubs herself along everything, vigorously rubs her head on things until she turns herself upside down, rolls around everywhere. And she talks non-stop. Mimi is simply enjoying a sunbath, but Mewsette has to dress it up. Below, Mimi continues her sunbath while Mewsette drapes herself over the step just for fun. She is very much like a big stuffed toy sometimes.

two black cats
Mimi and Mewsette on the steps.

From Instagram

From today

Warm enough for Mimi to have a good scratch on her rocker this morning. Yay for sunshine!

That stuff is all over the yard again.

Brave. But the grass is frozen.

Mewsette protesting the snow.

Mimi feels best when we get outdoors for even just a few minutes once a day. Just like me, she needs to be “grounded”, literally having our paws on the ground outdoors. But in this colder weather, especially with snow on the ground, Mimi has taken a pass on even coming to the door a few times, and I can also see she’s lost her edge and is less active, even eating a little less. So she not only went outside earlier with Mewsette, but I went outside four other times and she came with me. Rather than heading for the door once she was out, she followed me and then started her usual exploring. She’s already perked up a bit.

And a few random photos of these two earlier this month.

December 2: What’s this?

December 3: I tried to warn them there was still snow out there. They wouldn’t listen. Cats never do.

December 3: “Where is my grass?” Mewsette did eventually step into small spots with no snow, and find some pieces of grass to chew on.

December 8: “Okay, we’ll come inside.” It’s cold and gray but Mimi and Mewsette still love their outside time. Remembering mornings out there when it was already too hot to walk around.


Photos from around this date in previous years

Happy Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day!
Happy Boxing Day!

Just put a box anywhere and it’s immediate feline happiness. The contents of this box evolved over several days, but mainly it was Sienna wondering why everycat else wouldn’t stay out of her box! You’ll see this box a few more times because it was around the kitchen helping me sort recycling and other things when it wasn’t a cat container.

And I realized I have Instagram photos I haven’t shared here that go back to the beginning of the month! So I’m going to share a few here each day in groups, sort of. I’m so happy to be back to posting that I want to share them all right now. Soon I’ll have my DSLR repaired and be back to beautiful photos again, but it’s also fun to capture day to day images.

That gray bed by the furnace vent was a favorite spot during the cold weather we had, and was also convenient for visitors who wanted to pet sleepy kitties.

December 6

Curled with your fur brothers and ninja mentors, best place to be on a cold day.

Curled with your fur brothers and ninja mentors, best place to be on a cold day.
Curled with your fur brothers and ninja mentors, best place to be on a cold day.

December 11

Mariposa kneads the edge of the bed while considering the best way to join the warm purring pile of housepanthers. She is very clever this way.

Mariposa kneads the edge of the bed while considering the best way to join the warm purring pile of housepanthers. She is very clever this way.
Mariposa kneads the edge of the bed while considering the best way to join the warm purring pile of housepanthers. She is very clever this way.

December 17

Cold day, warm nap with fur siblings.

Cold day, warm nap with fur siblings.
Cold day, warm nap with fur siblings.

. . . . . . .

Photos from around this date in previous years

What’s the Password? 2018

What's the password, Hamlet?
What’s the password, Hamlet?

“What’s the password Hamlet?”

Mariposa suddenly became a troll, requiring a password for all who would walk along in front of the shop display. The tables have turned from last week when Hamlet was there and Mariposa came down the steps!

Really, she only did this to Hamlet. They’ve been starting little bits of play lately.

“There’s never been a password to walk here, Mariposa. You just made that up.”

There's never been a password to walk here, Mariposa.
There’s never been a password to walk here, Mariposa.

“Well there’s a password now, Hamlet, and you’d better start thinking about it or you don’t get to walk here. I helped to make these things so I get to make the rules.”

Well, there's a password now, Hamlet!
Well, there’s a password now, Hamlet!

“I helped to make them too, and I sit here all the time. (I don’t know what to do.)”

Let me think about this.
Let me think about this.

Hamlet is possibly the most submissive cat I’ve met, and where other cats would smack that little brat Hamlet really isn’t sure what to do, but he’s not going to raise a paw. Eventually he backed away and left Mariposa to own the shop display area. Which is how she ended up in the photos of the new votives instead of him. And she did actually help to make those, but…

Mariposa has been learning fast and was instrumental in creating and photographing these votives.
Mariposa has been learning fast and was instrumental in creating and photographing these votives.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I post on or around this date?


Sun, Flowers and Silhouettes, 2017
Bella enjoying her geranium.
Bella enjoying her geranium.

Bella settled at the upstairs window and then Mimi joined her. All that wonderful soft light made two housepanthers appear very introspective.

Above, Bella enjoys the view with her geranium.

Below, both girls enjoy warm sun.

Sharing space.
Sharing space.

Black and white, in silhouette.

Two silhouettes.
Two silhouettes.

The whole view.

The tall narrow window.
The tall narrow window.

Now Mimi wants up on the wardrobe.

Mimi wants up.
Mimi wants up.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I post on or around this date?


A Chain Reaction, 2015
seven cats, six black cats one gray cat, daily cat photo
It was a chain reaction.

So this is an artsy shot of what they were doing on the bed today. I was working in the studio with Giuseppe as my supervisor, napping on the blanket in front of the heater vent, but every time I stepped outside the studio door one more cat had gathered on my bed. At first there were four and I thought that was pretty sweet. Then Teddy joined them, then Bella, then Simon—I guess those foster kittens know to follow their ninja mentors’ actions! I took photo after photo, of course, but when they were finally all in place, and all lined up, it was just too much! Below are two photos I shared on Facebook.

Because they just look like a blob, from the top: Teddy Bear, Simon, Mr. Sunshine, Mewsette, Jelly Bean, Mimi, Bella.

Then a little later…It was a chain reaction. They’re still at it up there. I have a lot of photos….

It was a chain reaction. They’re still at it up there. I have a lot of photos….

As usual, I wondered how I managed to get anything done!

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I post on or around this date?


Daily Cat Photo: Cat TV, 2014
Five black cats watching birds. Daily Cat Photo
Five black cats watching birds.

Smokie, Mr. Sunshine, Bella and Mimi have front row seats for all the action at the bird feeder while Giuseppe sits at the table. Judging by their actions, I would guess the squirrel is making a fool of herself out there.

Below, they are rather mesmerized by watching all the flapping and fluttering, just before they all settle down for a nap.

Four very intent cats. Daily Cat Photo
Four very intent cats.


. . . . . . .

Daily Cat Photo: Making Pies, 2013
black cat with flour on his face Daily Cat Photo
Jelly Bean was integral to the success of my pumpkin pies.

I let them explore and inspect everything I’d be working with before I started so I could accomplish making my pies without paws, and wouldn’t have black cat hairs in my pie crust or in my pumpkin pies. Jelly Bean got to wear the badge of honor of the flour on his face. Typically this goes to Sunshine, who must inspect all my tools and materials no matter what I’m doing.

. . . . . . .

From the Archives: Kitty Keep-warm Lamp
Daily Cat Photo
Cookie keeping warm.

The days are getting cold, and under the kitty keep-warm lamps is the place to be. Here, Cookie caught some watts on the top of her head under one of the lamps at my desk, keeping her tortie spots in prime color over the winter. I kept it adjusted so it was just the right height for her.

Now, variations on the Fantastic Four and Mimi lounge about on the desk under the lights.

. . . . . . .

Daily Cat Photo: You Really Must Clean Your Desk! 2011
two tortoiseshell cats on desk Daily Cat Photo
Clean your desk!

Cookie: Mom, we’re afraid we’ll get lost if we try to sleep on your desk. Sometimes when I walk across it I slip around on the stuff. I know you don’t like me up on this shelf (and you didn’t know I could get up here, either, I’ll bet) but I just can’t see to walk around down there.

Kelly: And it’s not really comfortable anyway, you’ve got little boxes and tablets and all sorts of other things there. Can you please move things? I want to take my bath and have my nap!

Me: It’s like that because there are always cats all over it, and God forbid I should move you when you are relaxed! I’ll go get a box.

By the time I returned with the box the girls were already curled up on the desk. When I set down the box, Mimi jumped into it, followed by a succession of her children. I simply sat down and got to work with the status quo restored.

. . . . . . .

Daily Cat Photo: Pretty Bean, 2011
black cat at door Daily Cat Photo
Jelly Bean looks out the door.

Jelly Bean looks out the door into the rainy day. I love the little brushes in his ears; all of Mimi’s Children have white hairs in their ears with varying quantity, though Mimi does not, but Bean has the most, plus they are short and tend to stand forward. He’s had them since he was tiny, and that was how I told him from the others until the paint on the ears since without that they were all just uncoordinated balls of black fur.

Sometimes I can manage to get an interesting photo that is somewhat abstract; what does the rest of the image matter but Jelly Bean’s little face? And it’s a different view of his face, intimate and detached at the same time. I love to observe them like this.

. . . . . . .

From the Archives: 5-cat 3-D Puzzle, 2009
five black cats curled, Daily Cat Photo
5-cat 3-D Puzzle

From November 29, 2009…

Another from lazing about on the shawl, the next day. This time it’s all five happily tucked together and warm, napping and watching the birds out the window by turn. Lots of nice subtle jewel tones in this, and nice graceful shapes. If I’d been daily sketching at that time I can tell you I would have sketched this.

Now, really, what would you have done if you’d come upon this warm pile of black cats purring together like a hive of bees? After the photographs, I dug my hands in there to mix them up a bit—kneading as it were, human style!

This is also an example of my poor camera trying to do its best in poor lighting conditions. The light is bright coming in the window and I can tell you that in the winter when the leaves have all fallen it’s quite glaring north light, but five black cats are absorbing it all. There was no angle that worked with my tripod, so all the photos, except a few where I could position my tripod or rest my camera on something, are a little soft. Sometimes my camera just beeps at me because it can’t find anything to focus on. I have to turn to the non-digital 35mm fixed-focus lens I got with my camera 30 years ago for an f-stop low enough to work with the conditions.

Not that the kids aren’t doing anything interesting right now, but I found these photos I’d never posted and decided I’d share these. Back to current events soon!

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Chocolate Bath, 6.5 x 6.5, © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Mimi has a bath in the winter morning sun by the back door, highlighting her mahogany highlights and gently outlining her against the deep shadows. 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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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

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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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