Wednesday, May 22, 2024
BasilBellablack catscatsdaily photoFantastic FourFour Housecats of the ApocalypsegiuseppeHamletjelly beanMariposamewsettemimiMortyMr. Maxmr. sunshineSienna

Daily Photo: These Four Daffodils, and Happy Kitties

four daffodils
Four Daffodils

These four…
these four daffodils…
blooming together…
out at the end of the back yard…

These are pretty much where Mr. Sunshine was facing each time he kept those brief vigils from the deck.

It’s daffodil time out in my back yard and I’d been watching the buds form then the stems grow tall, buds angling over and beginning to open. The weather turned warm and sunny, especially for March, and Mimi and I checked things each morning. When I discovered the four daffodils blooming on one clump in four of the same daffs that always bloom at the same time, I knew. The morning they were fully open two had been weighed down and one off to the side with some rain overnight but I coaxed them back up to their positions from the day before and snapped way more photos than I knew. But what better celebration of remembrance than bright flowers that always look as if they’re celebrating, symbols of the return of life in spring.

~~~

I shared all of these photos on Instagram over the past week, when I’d intended to start posting again, but this kind of sums up the week pretty nicely and you get to see all the kitties. I had a couple of design jobs that were time-consuming and two book cover illustrations, one of which gave me a lot of indecisiveness because I couldn’t create my idea and spent far more time than usual in the design stage. But the first is done, the second is designed and just waiting to be painted over the weekend. I am working in my studio again, and you can read more about that below.

Also, Mimi’s urinary tract infection is proving difficult to dispel and I’ve been spending some extra time giving her medications and alternative treatments to make sure she eats enough, she’s hydrated, she’s comfortable, and reporting to our veterinarian. And a lot of sitting at my desk where she can relax on my nice warm lap so I am reluctant to move from my desk. I finally got a urine specimen today—yay!—so I hope we can find out more about what’s happening for her.

And I am still borrowing a car to run errands. Monday I’ll go to the one body shop around that still does the sort of repairs I need and see if they can do them. Repairing, or purchasing, is going to be a big hurdle but I can’t do vendor shows without a car, and it’s particularly difficult without this particular car. So all the more reason to get back into my studio and organize all my work spaces so that I can be more efficient here and get work done. I am missing my usual first vendor show of the season today, and I missed two art exhibits in January and this month for the lack of a car.

~~~

Nice…purrrr…….

Mimi’s new favorite place in the backyard. It’s very sunny and warm today, very nice.

black cat on pallet
Nice…nice.

Hard to believe these two are 10 years old this year. They aren’t related in any way, but I was fostering Basil here and he could use a buddy and Bella needed a space and they bonded the moment they met.

 

two black cats
Basil and Bella

If you ask these two about this behavior they would tell you it’s not what it it seems, but I regularly see these two engaged in synchronized sleeping, or nesting among the bed pillows.

Sienna and Mariposa are about the same age, would have been born in 2017 likely a few months apart. They’re both friendly and affectionate with me, crazy playful, and pretty nearly identical in size and shape, though different fur pattern and length, but their purrsonalities are quite different. Mariposa is bold and confident, while Sienna is a little skittish and sometimes timid.

Of course both of them end up under my bed when there’s another human around aside from me.

Maybe they would tell you that the only two cats in the house who aren’t black have to stick together.

two cats on bed
Sienna, Mariposa.

Mimi discovered a sunny spot in the sun on the cat tree in my bedroom, while the three former ferals settle quietly down for their afternoon nap.

four cats in room
Mimi naps on the cat tree in the sun, Sienna, Mariposa and Hamlet on the bed

Mimi has been primarily staying on the first floor for a couple of months. Though she had been coming up to my bedroom at night to sleep on her special shelf in front of the furnace vent she stopped in January, only coming upstairs a few times but not staying, but staying close to Mr. Sunshine in the kitchen.

Lately she’s been staying very close with me, and I’m happy she’s chosen that. She seemed very lost for a while, and I’m sure I would too. She’s been sleeping on my lap all day until she gets annoyed with how much I move around in my chair when I’m working.

But that’s because I’ve been doing all my work downstairs at my computer, sometimes at the kitchen table. Now it’s time for me to get back to my studio. You can read more about that just below, but when I finished at my desk and headed upstairs earlier this week—after all these years Mimi is very accustomed to what my actions mean for what I intend to do—she followed me upstairs. She really wants to come into the studio with me and has followed me in there. Much to the consternation of Morty and confusion of Mr. Max, she likes to taste their foods. But she can’t stay for now, at least until Morty quits growling.

I could see Hamlet and Mariposa were settling down for their afternoon naps on my bed in the next room, and Sienna was basking in the sun on the cat tree by the window, a new addition when the work was done at the end of last summer. I picked up Mimi and set her on the open top level and she liked that, curled around, curled up and purred. Then Sienna hopped over onto the bed to get ready for her nap and Mimi moved down to the next level, a bigger shelf, and a little warmer because of the shelf above and the things behind. She purringly drifted off to sleep. I went into the studio and got to work on the the next book cover illustration. She stayed there until the sun went below the hill and it was dusk. I would still work for a few hours in the studio so she went back downstairs to sleep on the bed under the desk by the furnace vent.

I could watch this because I managed the doorway on my studio as you’ll read below.

And while they were napping…

two black cats on cat tree
Morty and Max in the top bunk

Apparently I am very boring when I’m working at my easel. Also, all the surfaces around me are covered with boxes of pastels so they’re a little miffed.

I’m finally back up in my studio after almost a year. Because these two are in there, I have to keep the door closed. I don’t really have the space for a screen door on this doorway and I haven’t found anything else that I could leave in place while the door is open that keeps everybody where they’re supposed to be so I can get some work done.

Last spring when Mewsette needed support and supervision, then Jelly Bean, and ongoing Mr Sunshine, and later Giuseppe, I didn’t want to be closed away from them for any length of time. So I was trying to work all over the house, complicated and difficult needing space and lighting and so on, so I didn’t do too much artwork last year.

I use a magnetic screen and a baby gate while I’m in there though it wouldn’t work long term. A couple of book cover illustrations in progress and the first session went pretty well.

I spent some time over the last 2 months reorganizing the studio space and moving things around from basement to office to studio in preparation for me getting back in there to work. I had moved a few too many things out of the studio to the basement and my office and those two areas were overcrowded, not with the equipment I’d decided to move there but the materials to go with it, all the different paper and card stocks, fabric transfers, vinyls and other cutting materials take up so much space. That meant a good bit of tedious reorganization and lots of walking up and down steps, but it was about what I was able to do in January and February, feeling pretty sad as well as being very aware of Mr. Sunshine’s slowly deteriorating condition, finding it hard to focus on anything.

Mr Max is enjoying his time outs, though he doesn’t really like to be out for too long. Morty still starts with the tail twitching as soon as he’s out the door. I haven’t been able to find anything that calms him enough to just be able to walk around and get used to the space, but I’m going to give it another try so these two don’t have to stay locked up all the time.

Now back to work!

 

From around this date in past years

Cat Silhouettes, 2023

cats at door
Angles and geometry and cat silhouettes.

Bella enjoying the morning sun at the back door, and Mewsette waiting to get out the door with Mimi and me, cat silhouettes on a purrfect sunny morning. Below, both Mewsette and Mimi wait side by side below Bella, but I’m going to keep taking photos and appreciating the geometry of the stool and the door muntins with the organic shapes of the felines.

cats at door
Bella and Mewsette and Mimi.

From around this date in past years

A Very Supurrvised Day, 2022

two black cats in studio
Total Supurrvision

Believe me, this illustration is going to be purrfect or I won’t be able to leave the room! I was very closely supurrvised.

I finally got back into my studio to work on an illustration and back to portrait painting and other art. I felt bad that I spent a little over a week and didn’t have the chance to spend much time with the boys upstairs! Now I’m making up for it, and the boys are taking it very seriously.

For one thing, I had to make up to them before I even got to work, beginning with  some grooming. Someone just had a thorough brushing, and is feeling very special.

two black cats in studio
Simba, brushed.

Midnight Louie is very methodical and must sniff each individual pastel.

two black cats in studio
Louie inspects each pastel.

Then it was time for them to take a nap break.

two black cats in studio
Time out for a nap.

“We are awake and you are now under our supurrvision.”

two black cats in studio
We’re awake!

“You are done painting now.”

I guess I am.

Simba just ran out of patience with me. Here I am, in the room for hours, and all I’m doing is paying attention to my toys, and I’m not playing with him. I’m glad I managed to move my painting before he sat down on it.

black cat in studio
You are done painting now.

These have been some very enjoyable days, and I look forward to more, although Midnight Louie isn’t happy that I sit in “his” chair, and Simba seems to find that supurrvising me for several hours each day cuts into his beauty sleep. These cats and their beauty sleep!

~~~

From Instagram

Someday They Will Sing

This is what happens when I wake up and the snow is enchanting and I hear that a maternity hospital in Ukraine was bombed by Russia and I have to do something with all of it.

First I ran around making photos and videos of the snowfall and processed those into a video and some photos, below, but all the while, this poem and even the graphic were forming.

I drafted the poem on the trail on Saturday, what happens when I come face to face with nature on a trail feeling the earth beneath my feet and the sun and breeze filling my head and my thoughts. I have been singing the song since the invasion began and was singing as I walked along, and every so often wrote another line of my thoughts.

You can read the whole story behind this poem on Paths I Have Walked.

~~~

From the Garden and Beyond

Burrr!

We were unexpectedly back to snow for a beautiful morning.

burrs with snow
Burrs in hats.

And the video…

You can read more about the lovely snowy morning on Today.

From around this date in past years

Enjoying the Sunshine From All Angles, 2021

two cats in the sun
Mewsette and Sienna

Everyone is enjoying the sunshine at the dining room window! Sienna has the hot seat, but even Mewsette on the edge of the table can warm her furs and shine up her whiskers in all this sunshine. We had such heavy snow cover and cold and overcast weather for most of February that it was hard to tell the days were getting longer and the sun moving in for spring. Now it seems like a huge change with these totally sunny days! But I always say about winter that nothing makes us appreciate spring more.

~~~

From Instagram

I was so busy today I didn’t get a chance to Instagram! (did you know that’s now a verb?)

However, I’ve been helping someone trap cats she’s feeding, and they’ve been difficult, they just disappear whenever the traps come out. There’s one mom cat who’s had a few litters of kittens, most of whom seem to just disappear. In October 2019 a friend and his wife who live a few doors away from her heard a kitten outdoors all day and into the night, found it, but waited for this tabby mom to come back, but no sign of her. We took the kitten to the best kitten foster Amy through Pittsburgh CAT.

Andy with the kitten.
Andy with the kitten.

After the polar cold weather moved and the snow began to melt, mom showed up again looking a little too well-rounded. She eluded the trap for about two weeks, though we wanted to trap her for the clinic last weekend. Then tonight, surprise, success! She has a spay appointment tomorrow thanks to HCMT.

Tabby mom.

.

From around this date in past years

A Really Nice Day, 2020

two black cats at window
Giuseppe and Basil at the window.

What a nice day we had! Giuseppe and Basil settled in the late afternoon sun on the studio windowsill, and we even had a window open, birds were singing, breezes were blowing. It was hard for Mimi and me to stay indoors, but so nice for the first time this year to have the basement door open all afternoon, and a window open in just about each room. Each cat found a happy spot, then later when I closed the basement door and then the windows they all sacked out pretty well. Good thing, I had a meeting and so I was out later than their dinner time, when they woke up and were really good and hungry.

 

From Instagram

Today’s PT supurrvisors. They’ve been watching me do my daily PT for 5 months after my hip replacement and they still think it’s pretty weird. It’s a pretty blurry photo, but they were so cute watching me. Basil always looks like that, a little scared, so I have to give him a few pets very few moves. Sienna just wants pets. I’m so glad I have them to keep me company while I’m exercising—I really enjoy my exercises, but with all I need to accomplish some days I sometimes lack patience, and they keep me with it.

black cat and tortoiseshell cat
Basil and Sienna supurrvising me.

And the day’s crocus photo, “Enjoying the sun and warm temps today.”

crocuses
These crocuses.

Photos from around this date in previous years

Mariposa Discovers the Sink, 2019

Should she go for the faucet...
Should she go for the faucet…

For some reason it’s taken this long for Mariposa to discover the green sink and the faucet. I thought she wasn’t a water kitty after spending three full months in the bathroom without noticing the faucet or the water when I turned it on.

But I guess the winter sun angling down into the sink finally made the water sparkle AND the shadows leap around inside the sink, and Mariposa and I had a fun time playing around.

...or the shadow.
…or the shadow.

From Facebook

From over the weekend…

Good morning. Mariposa enjoys the sunrise. (Saturday)

Mariposa enjoys the sunrise.
Mariposa enjoys the sunrise.

Kitties are having a great day while I work in the basement. Birds are singing and breezes are blowing and every once in a while a leaf blows in under the door. (Saturday and Sunday)

Basil, Bella, Giuseppe all sniffing under the door, Mariposa getting a sniff of Giuseppe, Mimi on the steps.
Basil, Bella, Giuseppe all sniffing under the door, Mariposa getting a sniff of Giuseppe, Mimi on the steps.
Bella watching outside, Hamlet getting a good sniff under the door, Mariposa joining them.
Bella watching outside, Hamlet getting a good sniff under the door, Mariposa joining them.

Tortie supurrvisor Sienna watches my outdoor clean up activities from inside. (Sunday)

Sienna watches me working outside. Got to clean those windows.
Sienna watches me working outside. Got to clean those windows.

Basil thinks I look familiar but he’s not sure who I am or why I’m on the front porch. (Sunday)

Basil

 

Photos from years past.

.

The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse, 2018

The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse are waiting for dinner.
The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse are waiting for dinner.

Where is dinner?! (It’s roasting in the oven. They’ve been smelling it for a few hours and they can’t wait to eat. I have to finish it off and add the supplements. They still have to wait.)

Wowza, this photo was a hit on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter!Well, who could resist these talented felines? I took plenty of others leading up to this and someday I’ll feature those as well! But none are this purrfect lineup. And I really was fussing with the meats I was roasting for them and it was indeed difficult to photograph with my phone while stirring and chopping. Well worth it though.

Saturday was a very busy day, more photos below!

~~~

YAY! I think. I went over The Creative Cat’s layout and I think I have the errors fixed, or at least patched over, that were making it run slowly and causing the home page not to compose. I had to remove a few of the categories on the home page just to reduce the number, and that operation showed that two of them may have been the cause of the whole thing. I’m not sure because I still occasionally get an error when the page composes, and I still occasionally get an error in the dashboard too. But for the most part I think I can carry on now until I decide to go for one of the new templates I tried out.

I’m not really sure why this happened. I’ve been using this template for four years with no problems, but now this. Everything is up to date and the code geek in me wants to keep poking at it. But the rest of me wants to get back to posting regularly because I don’t even know what day it is, really, without my editorial schedule on The Creative Cat!

All photos in the current portion of this post were from Saturday and posted initially on Instagram.

~~~

Suddenly, it was snowing catnip.

I went to purchase cat food and decided to get fresh catnip for Sienna since she likes it, and made the mistake of putting my bags inside while I moved my car to the driveway. When I came in the plastic bag was perforated all over and catnip sifted down when I picked it up, so…

Snowing catnip.
Snowing catnip.

Hamlet meets Sienna–for the second time. The first time, she turned fast and startled him and he started a hissing fest. This time Sienna quietly received him on her fleecy bed, sniffs, no hisses. Hamlet checked to make sure everything was in the bathroom as he remembered it. This is the first time Hamlet is welcoming a rescued foster cat. So far all the meetings have gone well, and Sienna has been investigating the second floor, but she still doesn’t play with toys.

Hamlet meets Sienna.
Hamlet meets Sienna.

Mimi couldn’t resist a roll in a sunpuddle on the front porch. Even though it was fairly cold we were acting as if it was spring.

Mimi rolling on the porch.
Mimi rolling on the porch.

They let me out of the studio today, can you tell? Have some fresh green stuff from the garden: bittercress, chickweed, dead nettle and garlic mustard, bless them all for their courage in emerging in this challenging spring, even the garlic mustard, which I removed.

 

Greens in the garden.
Greens in the garden.

 

Bella chillin.

Bella chillin.
Bella chillin.

 

Don’t worry, I got dis.

Bella says, "I got dis."
Bella says, “I got dis.”

~~~

Mentoring, 2017

Hamlet really looks up to Basil.
Hamlet really looks up to Basil.

Basil was trained as a ninja foster by the best sensei a kitten ever had, Giuseppe. Now Basil returns the favor of showing Hamlet how to do important cat things around the house, like intently watching the blue jay on the deck roof. Hamlet simply looks up to Basil and does his best.

Maybe a little sniff.
Maybe a little sniff.

. . . . . . .

Shared on Facebook and Instagram

Blue Morning Bella

In three lovely variations. I just couldn’t decide.

Original Blue Morning Bella
Original Blue Morning Bella
Instagram Blue Morning Bella
Instagram Blue Morning Bella
Color version Blue Morning Bella
Color version Blue Morning Bella

. . . . . . .

Shared in Previous Years

. . . . . . .

Daily Photo: Menu Planning With Sunshine and Bella
Sunshine and Bella help with this week's menu.
Sunshine and Bella help with this week’s menu.

Saturday meal planning with Mr. Sunshine and Bella who are helping me sort and organize recipes.

. . . . . . .

From Facebook and Instagram

Look, I’m famous! I’m on Facebook!

Hamlet is excited at seeing yesterday’s photo on my computer. He seems to like technology.

Hamlet sees himslef on Facebook.
Hamlet sees himself on Facebook.

68 degrees, bare feet and capris in mid-February. Mimi and I took a little time to clean up outdoors and now we are listening to robins singing the good night song.

Mimi and me outside.
Mimi and me outside.

And a special edition—I was so excited this crocus bloomed this morning. I really thought it needed another day!

Ahhhhh

Ahhhhh. This poor crocus has been trying to bloom for months, a little frostbitten on the tips, but still fresh and vibrant, and very welcome.

Ahhhhh
Ahhhhh

. . . . . . .

Other daily photos shared on this date

.

Bath Sequence, 2015
two black cats bathing
The beginning of the bath, washing their own faces.

Jelly Bean found the good bath spot on the roll of paper towels and Mr. Sunshine soon joined him. But no two of the Four can be bathing near each other without going rounds to catch each others’ hard to reach spots. They begin and end with their own faces but do a pretty thorough cleaning behind the other brother’s ears before they are done.

Working behind the ears and on the neck two black cats bating
Working behind the ears and on the neck.
Now working down to the shoulder blades, yes! two black cats
Now working down to the shoulder blades, yes!
Back to the faces two black cats bathing.
Back to the faces.

. . . . . . .

On the Prowl, 2012
black cat in tub with toy
Stalking the wild crackle ball.

Mewsette is just waiting for that sparkly crackle ball to make one false move and it’s curtains! You can tell by the curl in her tail that it’s a tense moment.

Nearly everyone took some time to play a little tub hockey with the crackle ball which suddenly showed up out of nowhere after being AWOL for a few months. They like just about any ball, especially in the tub, but the crackle ball makes a really satisfying noise whenever it moves and even when they pick it up.

It also fits perfectly in the tub drain with just enough protruding to pull it back out and start all over again. Mewsette’s game of tub hockey turned into miniature golf as she scored several holes in one, and holes in several.


Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy

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handmade votive lamp
Studio Morning Shift votive lamp

 I actually had a different image planned for today but Mimi, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine were totally enchanting getting organized in the best cuddle pile on my drafting table by the window, the light was wonderful, and, well, here you are. Read more and purchase.



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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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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: These Four Daffodils, and Happy Kitties

  • 15andmeowing

    Mimi is in my prayers. Thank you for the kind words you left on my blog for the passing of Lucy. XO

    Reply
  • Brian's Home ~ Forever

    Those pretty flowers sure invoke a lot of beautiful memories.

    Reply
    • They also go way back to when I first moved in here and established that garden area at the end of the yard, so, all the other garden cats too. Thanks for visiting! I wish I could figure out why your comments need to be approved each time–I have them on one-time moderation for automatic approval. But you know you’re allowed in :).

      Reply

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