Mimi has always loved to climb this tree. It really is reclining, and has been since about 2010 when we had heavy snows and ice. The roots apparently weren’t firmly rooted, as it were, and the tree just sort of laid down under the weight of the snow, but not all the way down. That happened with time and more winters, and along with a large branch that fell from another of the trees that winter, it was the beginning of the end of my fence.
Although it changed the nature of my woodland garden, I didn’t mind so much because it’s a mulberry, and it produced the best berries ever, like big blackberries. I gathered them every year from the bottom of the tree while the birds gathered them from the top. Those berries made jellies and juices and wine one year and flavored vinegar the next, depending on the ambient temperature. But over the past two years the groundhog denuded whole sections of branches and this year most of the fruiting branches are dead. I had decided I’d remove it and restore the open area under the tall trees as I’d originally had it. But Mimi still loves to explore it and then climb, so we’ll keep it for a while. Sure wish I could bring it inside!
So watch as she begins her trek up the tree! First a little scouting around the bottom.
And then up she goes! Look at her look of concentration as she starts up the steep part.
Up she goes, and reaches the top where the trunk branches out.
These photos are from April 13. Now watch this little video from this past Sunday to see what she does from here.
And while Mimi was climbing the tree, Mewsette was exploring the garden. Mewsette was initially a little timid outside, though she begs to come out, and enjoys it. The unfamiliar sounds and smells and breezes were a little intimidating to her, and thinking in terms of an indoor cat that got outdoors this is a typical reaction. She had stayed close to the deck or basement door, but as these new sensations have become familiar she’s explored a little farther around the yard regularly. I keep watch over both of them, which can be a challenge when they both want to do something different.
They really only spend about 15 to 20 minutes outdoors, then we go back in. They do want out through the rest of the day, but once or twice a day is enough, and about what I have time for right now.
Oh my goodness! Someone tell the human to relax! Just because it’s less than a week until her open house starts, doesn’t mean she has to race around the house, make a mess, and, worst of all, keep us awake.
I’ve been planning my week long in-person and virtual open house for months, initially scheduled for the beginning of April so that I could set up not only indoors, but on my deck, my front porch and in my tent in the backyard in the warmer weather. That way with mostly outdoor displays, and lots of time, people could schedule a time to come when they were the only customers here and safely browse.
And as always, I have opportunities for people who don’t live near me, but still want to take advantage of the discounts. I’ll have new products that you haven’t seen yet, and updated products that you have.
But with getting the car, and just a few other things at the end of March and beginning of April, I have postponed, postponed, postponed, until now I just have to do this! And yes, I am racing around the house trying to do at least three things at the same time. Sienna and Preppy Kitty just want to have a nap.
I intentionally do not advertise my open house for my own safety, because it’s at my home, and I don’t want total strangers to stop by. Therefore, it’s by invitation only, so that includes all my friends, and friends of friends.
I’ll be sharing information here and on my blogs in a couple of days, but if you want to sign up for my open house newsletter, I’ll have special discounts and offers for you in there. Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/dBOYjT
The Taste Testers Team is ready to go to work. I am making a batch of homemade cat food, and they can’t wait to find the excuse to eat all of it let me know whether or not it’s good.
Sunny and warm, the girls can finally get back to working on their tans.
My shipment of new housepanthers has arrived. Actually, we’re playing a treat foraging game. Mr. Sunshine is right on it, Jellybean does pretty well, so do most of the others. You can see by the look on his face that Basil still hasn’t quite figured it out.
From the Back Yard and Beyond
From around this date in past years
The Magic Basket, 2020
This basket has inspired some pretty fantastic naps. I can’t even tell what’s happening in some of them. I’ve featured other photos of three or even four of them piled into it. Whatever the magic is I’m glad they’ve found it!
Mimi is such a showoff, and she always has something to say too. Now she’ll want me to leave the ladder out in the yard just for her.
Market Square in Pittsburgh, Friday about noon.
A very strange sight in normal times, but few people walking through the empty square wearing masks is a reminder these are not normal times. I needed to run a round of errands for business, picking up things I’d ordered from regular vendors who are minimally open with many safeguards. After disappointments at online orders that did not come through as expected or at all I’m glad to be supporting the small businesses I’ve long relied on for materials, packaging and equipment repairs. Seeing this, and all the many others who were wearing masks and respecting social distancing, really brought home the breadth of this crisis and the seriousness with which most people participate. I know that step by step we’ll all find our way out of this in a way that protects and supports all of us.
The most exciting news is that I took my camera for repair. All my errands took longer than anticipated in part because of all the extra precautions, so I dropped off the camera, but didn’t get back in time to pick it up on Friday. I hope to pick it up Monday or Tuesday. I can’t wait—it’s been six months! I am also happy to have been able to return to the manufacturer in a very small town west of me which makes the greeting card boxes I prefer (although you may see some of the ones I bought as a substitute) and also little gift boxes that I can use as is or decorate, as well as a packaging distributor, so I can get the last of my packages in the mail, and just in time for my sale next weekend!
From around this date in past years
OMG, it’s Sunny, Let’s Get Out There, 2018
We’re not going to talk about the weather for this past week. We are just going to enjoy the sunshine and pretty flowers, and nice, somewhat warm air.
Mimi’s real cat tree reclines through a thicket of forsythia and grapevines, so she is cleverly camouflaged as she walks along her way, stopping every few steps to have a really, really good scratch on the bark and sometimes bare wood. She has her favorite spots. I just realized the photo from this date last year shows her on the same section! Scroll down to see.
Below, Mimi demonstrates the proper way to thoroughly reply to a face rub left by a neighbor cat. First, have a really good sniff to be sure you’ve gotten the entire message, and completely understand. Make sure you open your mouth as well as your nostrils, and swing your ears back for good form.
Then rub your chin thoroughly across the entire area, turn your head and slide one cheek fully from nose to ear, then follow with the other cheek, and finally, for total emphasis, rub your forehead all over it.
This message was likely in response to yet another neighbor cat who appeared on the edge of the yard in one of the spots where the fence is missing. I saw Mimi staring at something, thinking it was a small critter in the leaf litter, then saw her posture as she began to move forward and saw the white cat with orange spots who lives a block down looking eager and friendly. Mimi was having none of it. Wearing her harness and leash she took off over 10 feet toward him barely touching the ground, and when he realized he wasn’t going to meet a new friend he turned and ran along inside the fence, past Mimi’s tree, above, and out of another opening in the fence. Mimi stopped when he went through the opening, stood with her head high and very proud. I chased after in case she might actually leave the yard so I didn’t have a chance to take any photos at all. But Mimi is absolutely certain where the boundaries of her territory are. Below is the kitty, who I photographed last summer intending to share him here but never got the chance.
What other photos have I shared on this date?
Wordless Wednesday: Stalking the Squirrel
Looking Out the Door, 2017
Aren’t they sweet? It was the only angle I could photograph them that I didn’t get a lot of reflection, although that’s nice, see below. But this is what I saw as I swept the porch and looked down. Below, looking at me, looking away, with the springtime front yard reflected on the door.
On Facebook and Instagram
It’s Chewy.com day and Mr. Sunshine and Mimi are guarding their cases of food from the strange humans who are making loud noises in the neighbor’s driveway with a backhoe.
Mimi is really going to miss her life-size cat tree. I wish I had the space in the house!
What other photos have I shared on this date?
Catnip Tea?! 2013
You made tea out of perfectly good catnip?
And what’s worse:
YOU HAVE YOUR OWN PERSONAL STASH OF CATNIP?
I can’t believe you would betray us this way—a jar full of the best leaf in the house, and you keep it to yourself, and you make TEA?!
. . . . . . .
Yes, I do have a stash of dried catnip leaves that I use in herbal decoctions for myself. Homegrown.
I wasn’t going to hear the end of it until I shared some.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
This will be here before we know it! Available as a print and as a greeting card. 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 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!