Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Daily Photo: Mimi’s Garden Adventures, a Squirrel, a Bunny, and Wild Catnip!

black cat watching squirrel
Mimi watches the squirrel.

While I was being dull running around and working in the dirt, Mimi was watching a young squirrel, likely Buddy MCMVXIII,trying to get into the bird feeder and rustling around in the leaf litter finding good things to eat. She is on a leash, though she regularly turned to look at me, saying, “Please, let me at him…”, what a nice dinner for her and the kids, I’m sure she was thinking. But we let Buddy go about his business. There was also a bunny, but the bunny became today’s daily sketch.

Buddy the squirrel.

As I went about cleaning the overgrowth and turning the soil in each of my raised garden beds I distinctly remembered having seen a mint plant that I’d like to move to a more convenient place so I could finish turning the soil. Peppermint and spearmint regularly travel around my yard, though I hadn’t remembered seeing this one near last year’s Brussels sprouts. Then I couldn’t find it, I remembered it being a nice mound at least six inches in circumference.

Then I did find it and as soon as I saw its tattered, reduced state and silvery leaves I thought, “Catnip?” Rabbits often don’t care for mint and I’ve never had my backyard bunnies nibbling on it. It is a native wild plant and grows easily here but I gave up growing it years ago because I always had all the neighbor cats in my yard when I’d grown it and my cats never got any at all, and this was pretty much what most of my catnip plants ended up looking like. On closer inspection I distinctly saw white hairs all over it, and of course that was not from anyone who lived here.

catnip plant
Catnip, with some distinctly white hairs.

I nipped the tip of a leaf with my thumbnail and took it to Mimi. Here is is looking both fat and grumpy, while we know she is not. The curve of her body makes her look fat, though, but she does have quite the imperious expression most of the time. “Yes, slave? What do you need now?”

black cat in grass
Mimi, who is neither, looking fat and grumpy.

I showed her the leaf and indeed it was catnip by her reaction: sniff, alert, lick the leaf part off my finger, chew and swallow, stand up with big eyes. “Where’s more of that?!” She followed me to the garden bed where the plant was, smelled it but couldn’t find it. She just isn’t used to catnip in the wild! Eventually she found it and got a deep inhale of it…

black cat with catnip plant
Getting a nose full of catnip.

…then she rolled all over it, not doubt what the other customer had done. I did dig up the plant and put it in a pot to bring inside. I don’t have a whole lot of sun in convenient places but we’ll see if we can get some interest from the household.

black cat rolling in dirt.
Rolling in catnip.

Mimi may have been thinking of squirrel for dinner, but I was thinking asparagus! Last May the neighbor’s tree had fallen on that whole area of my yard and I thought for sure I wouldn’t have anything there this year after taking a while to clean off the branches, and then the difficult winter, but asparagus is tough stuff though it looks delicate when cooked.


And just a few photos of other flowers as well, taken with Mimi’s assistance since I was lying on the ground to get these angles—first the creeping myrtle or periwinkle in the woodland garden in gentle dappled sun; a little more on this flower later and others, which also grows on the area I keep as a memorial to my felines.

creeping myrtle flower
Creeping Myrtle or Periwinkle

Then also the multitudes of wild purple violets.

purple violets
Wild Violets

And a memory from 2010, same daffodils as today, with Cookie.

tortoiseshell cat with daffodils
Cookie with Daffodils.

For these early spring flowers I have to lie on my belly to get the right angle, and this must be closely supervised by Mimi, and one of these days I’ll have to have someone get the photo of her standing on my back while I’m photographing—and wish I’d had someone get Cookie in that position!

black cat in garden
Mimi walks toward me as I lie on the ground to take a photo.

Mimi and I came inside at one point because I needed a peanut butter sandwich for strength and she needed to check on things inside. So sweet, she reported directly to my studio and laid herself on my drafting table as a clear suggestion that that was what I should do next. Kitties have always been able to read my mind, especially those kitties charged with managing me. I had so many visuals and ideas and colors and patterns and shapes swirling around in my head, it was really one of the other reasons I’d had to take a break. And of all things we do, Mimi loves to be in the studio with me while I work, especially when the sun shines like this and rainbows are all over the walls. Sometimes I think I’ll burst with how much I love her.

black cat on drawing table
Mimi waits for me in my studio.

But I thanked Mimi and gave her kisses and took her photo, then went back outside; a sunny spring afternoon on the weekend is a gift to a gardener as well, and more soil needed to be turned and plants planted and transplanted and brush cleaned up. I had started a sketch while we were outside, and I finished that one later.

. . . . . . .

What other photos have I shared on this date?


This is How It’s Going to Go Down, 2013
thre black cats
Thee black cats huddling together…

That’s all I heard before they noticed me, and I was a little surprised that Giuseppe was the leader of the pack. I guess dating Mlle. has given him a little chutzpah—since chutzpah is the only thing a guy when have when he’s missing his matched set of fuzzy dice.

I was a little wary and kept an eye on the three warlocks meeting in the plaid bed, but just a while later they were each fast asleep. Really asleep. So much for the big plans, whatever they were.

I don’t like to use the flash for the harsh highlights, but in this case there was no other way., too much black cat and all my camera could do was say “beep”.

Feel free to suggest a caption!

. . . . . . .

Brothers, 2011
two black cats in red cat cube
What did we ever do without the cat cube?

Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine cuddle inside the red cat cube.

It never ceases to amaze me how these two—or any two of these four—can be totally involved in a fur-flying, knock-down, drag-out fight one minute, then cuddling and bathing each other the next. I guess they have these things figured out…

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile 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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© 2014 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
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.

3 thoughts on “Daily Photo: Mimi’s Garden Adventures, a Squirrel, a Bunny, and Wild Catnip!

  • Pingback: The Creative Cat - Daily Sketch: Backyard Bunny

  • bluemoonalone

    Ah yes Bernadette..all of the catnip I have planted through the years has suffered the same fate as yours..rolled upon & nibbled until too have given up on growing my own for making catnip toys..

    • Bluemoonalone, when I still tried to grow it I put chicken wire cages over the plants and I would come out to find an empty cage and just dirt. That must have been one long kitty arm!


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