Thursday, November 30, 2023
black catscat photographsdaily photofoster catsSimonTheodore

Daily Photo: Simon and Theo

Hanging in the hallway together.
Hanging in the hallway together.

I took a number of photographs of them when I visited to see the eclipse, my 2015 formerly feral foster graduates. They are two years old and fully adults, and if I thought they were beautiful when they were kittens and juniors, they are even moreso now that they have their full coats and mature faces.

The front door was a favorite place here, and it is there too!
The front door was a favorite place here, and it is there too!

They’ll be evacuating this weekend in front of Hurricane Irma along with Baby and Elsa and the dog Bingo, and of course the humans, my niece Jennifer and children Kyler and Cassidy. I am wishing them safe travels and returns, and hope their home and Savannah come through Irma’s wrath without a scratch.

Be good boys!

Good night, boys!
Good night, boys!

Love to everyone! From 2011 with Bingo.

My great niece and nephews with Bingo splashing through Robinson Run.
My great niece and nephews with Bingo splashing through Robinson Run.

And from 2016 when I took Simon and Theo to Savannah.

Happy family with all their cats!
Happy family with all their cats!



From Instagram

They got themselves pretty organized yesterday.

Five organized cats in my studio.
Five organized cats in my studio.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I feature around this date?


Seven Happy Housepanthers, 2016
Seven Happy Housepathers.
Seven Happy Housepathers.

The weather has been so purr-fect lately, the sort of temperature and breeze that you hardly notice it’s so comfortable. After this summer of heat and humidity and invading insects and falling trees, we are very grateful for this. I actually didn’t see much of most of the household some days, and sometimes they seemed downright lethargic. The first few quiet nights when I could turn off the fans were so restful. As soon as a few cool nights had passed I caught Bella running up and down the steps and around the house just for fun. And finally they join me again in the basement each morning and mill around and supervise the litterbox cleaning, and entertain me while I ride my exercise bicycle. It’s good for things to be back to normal.

Another sign of the moderating weather, there hasn’t been the normal level of play and interaction in the household, but we are back. Mimi and Basil have a discussion about who gets that section of the sun puddle. Mimi handled major tomcats in her earlier life so fluffy Basil and his big paws are not intimidating at all. He decided to move. Both photos were shared on Instagram and Facebook.

Mimi and Basil have a discussion about who gets that section of the sun puddle.
Mimi and Basil have a discussion about who gets that section of the sun puddle.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I feature around this date?


The Meeting, 2014
four black cats
“We’d like our privacy here.”

“We’d like some privacy from prying human eyes and ears here.”

“Don’t worry, she has to wear those shiny things on her face and humans can’t hear worth a frozen mousie.”

“Why doesn’t she ask us about these things before she does them?”

four black cats
I was not privy to the discussion.

“I like the old ones better. These little ones, you can keep them.”

As I worked in my studio today a meeting of four great minds convened on my work table. I was not privy to their discussion but overheard nips and chirps, at least for three of them. Bean apparently slept through the whole thing, unless he was meditating in an effort to achieve a higher spiritual plane or divine inspiration.

“The last one was pretty cool.”

“I really want the bathroom window back.”

four black cats
The discussion gets heated.

At one point the discussion grew quite heated then completely silent as Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine engaged in a stare down. No paws were exchanged, but the siblings were silent for a while afterward.

I get the feeling it was all about the intruder in the bathroom who has been getting special foods and stealing the human’s attentions. “The thing is trying to be cute,” Bean said in a brief moment of conscious engagement. “It ran to its gate and started gabbling nonsense about meeting ninjas. I told him to stop acting like such a fool.”

You hissed at him, I interjected. Several times. Several long hisses from across the landing.

“Relax human. That’s how we adult felines talk to [snicker, snicker]…kittens. That’s how they learn their place.”

Somehow I think the little guy understands this already, and he just can’t wait for the ninjas to beat him up.

. . . . . . .

We’re All Nuts Here, 2013
black cat eating peanuts
This is what I saw, Mewsette eating peanuts.

I’d shelled some peanuts to add to my dinner and left the remainder on the cabinet after I’d eaten and Mimi and I went outside to the compost bin and other destinations in the back yard (good thing we went when we did, it’s storming out there now), and when we came back in, this is what we found—Mewsette with her face in the measuring cup of shelled peanuts! And she wasn’t just sniffing them, she pulled one out and proceeded to nom it down. That Mewsette, she has such strange food preferences!

Then she decided to stock up and pulled out a bunch to drop onto the cutting board.

black cat eating peanuts
Nom nom nom.

Of course, Mr. Sunshine can’t ever be out of the loop on a new discovery so he came over nose first and decided he liked them too. That was when I decided I’d remove them, and peanuts probably aren’t such a good snack choice for cats anyway as a possible choking hazard, but then dry food would be a hazard as well as many treats, and I would bet a cat’s sensitive digestion is not prepared for a crunched up groundnut and all its starch and oils. Mewsette likes all nuts—good thing, living here—but there are nuts that are toxic to cats and she likes those too: macadamia nuts. I opened a bag of my favorite trail mix and she dug her paw right in and pulled out a macadamia nut and would have eaten her way through all the other contents including raisins. I don’t get that trail mix anymore.

two black cats with peanuts
Mr. Sunshine noses in on Mewsette’s noms.

. . . . . . .

The Night Shift, 2013

three black cat faces
The Night Shift.

Working on a project on my computer last night, I was closely supervised by not one but three black cats. Though last night was the evening of Labor Day, still they saw fit to cease their resting and get back to work to start the week a little early with me. I certainly appreciated their assistance.

Below, what the three of them looked like, Giuseppe and Mewsette touching front paws in some arcane black cat communication code while they’ve left Mr. Sunshine to watch me. Note the letters and papers slipping off the desk under Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine. Note that I am taking a photo and letting it happen, in fact I didn’t even notice. Cats will do that to you.

three black cats on desk
The full view of them…

Giuseppe at the door.Giuseppe stands at the door watching the birds and chipmunks, hence his very alert and somewhat aggressive stance. The sun comes down the hill at an angle and filters through the leaves and branches of my river birch and then through the garland of grapevines around my door, creating lovely and changing patterns at all angles on the porch outside, the screen of the door, the floor inside and on Giuseppe, who has no idea he’s modeling abstract shadows and seems to emerge from the sunbeam itself.

. . . . . . .

Kitty in the Courtyard, 2011

tuxedo cat through fence
Kitty in the Courtyard

I saw this exact kitty skitter across a street when I was photographing something else in that neighborhood and slip through the posts in a gate. Luckily the street isn’t very busy at all, but the cat’s actions, and the way it ran through the gate as if it was heading home, made me concerned that it might be a stray nursing mother cat.

I finished my photo session and slowly rolled down the street in my car; I have often found stray cats are less suspicious of a car moving slowly by on the street than of human footsteps. Even though I was barefoot and walking on a sidewalk, highly unlikely to make much noise myself amid all the ambient noise of a late afternoon in a small town, I felt the car more appropriate.

As I rolled past the gate I saw the cat through the posts on a sidewalk bathing, and the cat saw me. The gate and courtyard were adjacent to an huge old abandoned rooming house that had been condemned after our flood in 2004, but people and animals regularly made it a home. I pulled over and got out leaving my engine running to mask my sounds, and aligned myself with the openings between the slots on the fenceposts.

A good camera with a viewfinder and a zoom lens makes a dandy telescope. I zoomed in on the kitty as it alternately stared at me and sat, turned around and reclined while bathing. A quick check of the white belly didn’t reveal the telltale signs of a nursing mother, and while the kitty was black in the important areas I think I detected the presence of a matched set of identifiers under the tail. Plus his, as we’ll assume, face looked as if it was developing the jowly look of an unneutered male.

As I got closer to the fence he got up and ran to the back of the courtyard. No sign of other cats or of kittens, and I was surprised to see the courtyard looking fairly neat. I’ll swing past there a few times as I pass through that side of town to see if I find more cats. If I do, I’ll talk to the neighbors, of which there are only two left on this street, but I think this one is on his own for now.

I did talk to people who lived around there but they all produced their own cats; I never did find out who this cat belonged to.

. . . . . . .

Your Manner of Housekeeping is Exceedingly Deficient, 2010

black cat with cobwebs on her face
Your Manner of Housekeeping…

Mimi reports to my desk with cobwebs all over her face. You can see she has something important to say.

You’ve heard of the “white glove treatment”, wherein the lady of the house, wearing white gloves, follows the cleaning person around and wiping the gloves on freshly-cleaned surfaces to see if any dirt was left?

Well, this is the “black cat treatment”, wherein a black cat pokes her nose where it doesn’t belong and shows that her human is simply inadequate in yet another way.

We love our kitties, even as they try to set higher goals for us and improve our performance.

Hard to believe, but this was one of the first photos I took of Mimi without one of her children, and it was only at about this time in our relationship that she began to be friends with me! It takes a long time for the “mom” to wear off.

Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Feline Photographs from Portraits of Animals!

Three seriously cute housepanthers
Three seriously cute housepanthers

These three really have to stop this sort of thing. I have work to do and I can’t be distracted by such serious cuteness. Mimi, Sunshine, Jelly Bean. Read more, and purchase.


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Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

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Tuesday: Rescue Stories

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