Daily Photo: Rolling in Lavender

Mimi in Lavender
Mimi in Lavender

I agree, Mimi! The lavender is incredible this year…well, this is the first year it’s been there, and I’m thrilled it seems to be flourishing though it’s growing among the old roots of the maple tree and there’s very little actual soil there.

Mimi in Lavender
Just a little bit of a roll.

Mimi’s not actually rolling in it, but she always heads for that spot. I’ve seen several of my cats respond pleasantly to lavender flowers. Plus, there are enticing little white butterflies and even some bees to chase! We are enjoying our front garden.


From Instagram

Nope, not coming back in right now. Lately it’s either too hot, raining buckets, or even, a few mornings, too cold. Today is just right and the girls like their porridge that way. Too bad if I have things to do.

two black cats
Out on the deck.

Oops, looks like I walked in on some sort of a family meeting this morning. When I appeared, they all turned away and started minding their own business. Definitely suspicious. So far, so good, it looks like they haven’t involved any of the other cats in the house.

five black cats
Kitchen meeting.

We know it’s #internationalboxday. We are making a case for baskets. Where is International Basket Day?

basket day
basket day

The #fourhousecatsoftheapocalypse demonstrate their sense of form and composition.

four black cats
Four in the kitchen.

From the garden and beyond

You can find more about each of these photos on bernadettestoday.com or click the photo to go to the post.

Five butterflies in the lavender!

five butterflies in the lavender
Five butterflies in the lavender.

Yesterday’s suburban wildlife (last week). We heard some rustling out the side window, then something crashing through the yard made all the cats jump up and either look out the window or run in the other direction.

neighborhood buck
Neighborhood buck.

What’s blooming in the garden?

pink rose
Pasture rose.

Sing your song. No one else will sing it for you.



We’ve had a lot of rain lately, including some destructive storms that took down mature trees in the neighborhood, and for all my waterproofing and improvements last year, water in the basement. My yard, however, looks like a jungle! I don’t mind rainy days, I find them good for concentration and focus as the rain creates a curtain around me. But we don’t seem to have those kinds of storms anymore!

I did manage to have some fun with the rain.

How about that rain? Fun until the thunder and lightning! I went out in the street to get my feet wet. If there’s water near me, usually I’m in it.

So the big storm turned into an old-fashioned summer thunderstorm, at least where we are. After all the storms we’ve had in the past two weeks, we are glad for that.


From around this date in past years

Mimi Celebrates Spring Flowers, 2020

The cranesbill geraniums put on a show in the front yard for three weeks this year, and Mimi and I enjoyed it just about every day. These photos span early May to mid-May, including the morning when the bird bath was frozen solid and graupel frosted Mimi’s fur to one of the first “hot” days of spring.

This is really the first year of our new front yard, and I’ve been drawn to it because of the potential out there as I plan what I’ll add and plant and change as I can.

Mimi enjoys it too, which surprises me. In the past few years I let the back yard get terribly overgrown because my old mower had simply fallen apart, I couldn’t afford or find a free one and no one loan me one or cut my grass. The deer ate my garden, so I avoided it for a time. I found it painful to see my haven falling apart, and I was also concerned about ticks and other parasites for both Mimi and me. Mimi did not like this idea and even though I brought her out in the front yard, which I could keep under control, she regularly tried to sneak back around to the back yard.

Not so this year. She has embraced our little entrance, and feels great purpose in guarding our castle. Sometimes when I take her into the back yard with me, as when I hang the laundry and work on rehabilitating the yard and garden back there, she manages to head through the gate and we end up on the front porch.

Because I actually had things blooming in the front, I decided to try to get photos of Mimi with flowers. Sometimes she can interpret what I have in mind, but sometimes she just doesn’t care and does her own thing. Still, I just kept trying, and I enjoyed Mimi’s joy at rolling around on warm concrete and being admired.

Ironically, even with all these photos, I didn’t get a view I could turn into a lovely painting of Mimi with flowers. So Mimi gave me a bigger assignment and I’ll just have to make it up!


From Instagram, last Friday to Monday

I never did post last Friday last week either! Just like last week, was supposed to be my “formerly feral Friday” post, again featuring Hamlet “having trouble relaxing. I really can’t get enough of it. And there will be more.

Hamlet again with that relaxation problem.


One of the reasons I didn’t post as usual was the online kitten conference from Friday evening through Sunday. My head is still spinning from all the information! I also put together a special project I’ll be sharing this week.

We’re all getting comfortable for a day of listening to more amazing presentations today in the online kitten conference ! Seven of my household of 10 rescued cats have chosen their baskets by the sunny window, Mimi is on my lap, Sienna is behind me on my chair keeping my lumbar warm and relaxed, and Mariposa is actually watching the screen with me. Yesterday still has my head spinning, and I’m really glad these sessions are recorded because I can’t take notes fast enough!


These aren’t all from last week and the weekend, but I think that’s quite enough photos for now! I’ll share more in tomorrow’s post.



From around this date in past years

Mariposa and the Catbird Have a Talk, 2019

Mariposa and the catbird.
Mariposa and the catbird.

I’m not certain they are having the same conversation, but the catbird sits up and emphatically chatters with wings flapping, then Mariposa’s long whiskers move up and down and quiver though the rest of her remains completely still, and I know she’s engaging in a little cat chatter herself, probably whispering to the catbird about appetites and flavors. (Don’t worry, there’s a screen there, it disappears when I use my zoom lens.)

We’ve had quite a bit of bird activity here lately, and most of it has been from CATBIRDS. Catbirds?! They don’t even sound like cats—except when they do. They chatter away with random noises and squawks and imitations of other birds and other sounds, and then they mew a few times and they sound so much like a kitten that I’ve gone beating through the bushes in my yard looking for the felines. Farther down in this post I have a short video of the catbird talking to Mimi and me in the back yard. Here’s a catbird who commenced scolding me as soon as I got out of my car after parking it in the driveway.

The catbird keeps an eye on me.
The catbird keeps an eye on me.

And here is a catbird from a couple of years ago who came to visit Bella.

Bella has her eye on that catbird! Cat bird?
Bella has her eye on that catbird! Cat bird?

Photos shared in past years

What is Mr. Sunshine Thinking? 2018

Mr., Sunshine thinking
Mr., Sunshine thinking

Mr. Sunshine is not quite the intellectual Mewsette is but he has his moments of deep thought, probably about something to do with tools or engineering some household project. Maybe sitting in the sunshine makes them sit and think, since sitting in the sunshine is part of both scenarios, it makes them drowsy, and so it seems his thoughts are the same as Mewsette’s were the other day.

Sunshine's big yawn.
Sunshine’s big yawn.

Now that’s a good one, ears folded back and all! Now let’s relax a little.



Photos posted on or around this date in previous years


Eight Black Cats and the Garbage Truck Monster, 2017

Garbage truck monster is outside the house.
Garbage truck monster is outside the house.

Breakfast was interrupted by the irregular appearance of the garbage truck monster. Seven black cats are huddling on the cabinet while brave Bella goes to the window. All survived.

Last Friday

Mimi guards the porch.
Mimi guards the porch.

Well, I made it through most of last week with posts, then abruptly stopped on Friday afternoon. I had a field trip on Saturday which you’ll read about in another post. Mimi and I had little time outside last week after we found the little one in the back yard. By Friday Mimi was barely speaking to me, and I really need my little breaks outdoors to exercise my body and my eyes and recharge my creative batteries by just going outdoors for a few minutes and activities once or twice a day. So I decided we could visit our little courtyard out front for a while, until the little one is safely walking around, though I do have two little videos from a few days before the fawn showed up in this post as well.

Now that’s a cat tree!
Mimi the tree hugger. We are out front for a while because of the little one in the back yard.

Now that's a cat tree!
Now that’s a cat tree!

My river birches, evening light. What Mimi is scratching on.

River birches.
River birches.

Standing on my feet. Mimi has some interesting ways of showing me she’s happy.

Happy Mimi.
Happy Mimi.

Welcome Kitty says, “Have a purrfect evening.”

Welcome Kitty.
Welcome Kitty.

Mimi says, “Surely you’re not considering getting up?”

You're not going in yet are you?
You’re not going in yet are you?

The Wrens

Mimi and I approach our woodland garden and suddenly the mulberry tree is filled with what seems like dozens of squawking wrens! They must have had fledglings on the ground. We stopped and watched the show.

The Catbird Talks to Mimi

I have no idea what she was saying, but Mimi was listening intently.


Photos posted on or around this date in previous years


The Magic Grapes Box, 2016

Hamlet in the grapes box.
Hamlet in the grapes box.

“I’m going to nap in the grapes box, okay?” Hamlet is pushing his boundaries, and feeling very brave. The grapes box has magic in it.

Everyone has been taking their turn in the grapes box. Somehow, frightened and feral kitties don’t feel so wild in the box, and they play and nap. It’s just an arm’s length from my chair at my desk downstairs, so all I need to do is turn my head and see a wonderful image.

Above is Hamlet, below is Bella. She got a few more comments and likes on Facebook, but both of them got plenty

“Bella gets some time in the grapes box too, and of course she is CAT 1.”

Bella in the grapes box.
Bella in the grapes box.

. . . . . . .

Deliciously Lazy

Ophelia was deliciously lazy today.
Ophelia was deliciously lazy today.

Ophelia was deliciously lazy today. Note that she is resting her head on the end of her tail.

She has been adjusting well lately. Hamlet was moving faster than her, and far more confident, while she was often timid and hiding, but friendly when she felt safe in a familiar room. But this fourth try at letting them out most of the day has finally done well for her. She explores the house carefully, and she does run from me when downstairs, but she always returns to her familiar space upstairs and is very friendly, as sweet as can be, so precious it’s really hard for me not to scoop her up and hug her, but she would be terrified. I must control myself and not squeeze the floofy. But I did pet the belly, which she loves.

Shared on Facebook

Cats have such difficult lives. The four siblings are trying to decide where to nap today.


. . . . . . .

Daily Photo Reprise: Mewsette in the Mirror, 2012
black cat in mirror with lace curtain
Mewsette in the Mirror, diffuse glow applied, leaving only the most important areas.

Diffuse glow...

Mewsette settles here every day after breakfast, quietly reflecting in the sun. In the brilliant yellow morning light the photo looks as if it’s sepia-toned but it’s not, that’s just the natural tones in Mewsette, in the old cream lace curtain, the antique gold mirror frame, even the pine wood of the wardrobe. The mirror is very old and slightly clouded, pitted here and there.

She still does this, nearly every morning, summer and winter, and I’m getting a number of lovely photos of her here again this year.

I decided to try out a few of my favorite filter techniques on this one, and I think I see a series of cards growing out of Mimi and Mewsette here at the top of the stairs, Mimi in the Mirror, Mimi and Don’t You Wonder What They Think?. Yes, it was a wonderful idea, read more about it, below!

Let me know which of these three you like best: at the top is the “diffuse glow” filter, immediately below is the original photos and below that a feathered and textured cream edge.

black cat in front of round mirrir with lace curtain
Mewsette in the mirror, unretouched though it looks like a natural sepia.

Feathered and textured cream edge…

photo of black cat in mirror
Mewsette in the Mirror with a diffused and slightly patterned cream-colored edge.

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The art print and greeting card design.
The art print and greeting card design.

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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!





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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