Daily Photo: Too Bad About the Parsley

black cat smelling parsley
Too bad about the parsley.

Uh, we’ll skip the fresh parsley. Mimi’s smelling some peemail on it…well, it was just a matter of time, especially after our visitor became a regular.

I’ve been keeping an eye on one of our intact males who I’ve seen down here pretty regularly, especially since the snow fell. He was a regular visitor to the catnip, but he’s apparently adopted our yard as his territory and even shows up in an ice storm to mark his territory. I don’t like the smells and the loss of my parsley, which I still use even through frost and snow, but not with male cat pee. However, this guy has been impossible to trap because we can never isolate him from the group and end up trapping everyone else but him. I don’t feed cats or any other animals around my house because I’ve always had at least one cat who was ready for battle even seeing a cat cross our yard, and with my old roof and mice invasions I don’t invite animals that close. We had major incidents of displaced aggression with the four siblings and a few others in the house, led by Mr. Sunshine, when one of the community cats has shown up when he’s been on duty, so little visits are okay, hanging around is not. But I’m tracking where Sterle goes and start feeding him somewhere the cats can’t see from the house and get him trapped and snipped.

Mimi and Mewsette are on smelling duty each day, so I’ll be sure to find this guy.

two black cats on deck
The morning smelling ritual.


Note about posting…now that I have a bunch of posts lined up and carved out time to post them, I apparently have a plugin that’s not playing well with others. As I’m working, the dashboard moves more and more slowly, starts to break up on the screen, then freezes, and sometimes my browser shuts down and I lose the post I was working on. I think I’ve got it figured out with two plugins providing the same proofreading service and working at odds with each other. So I’ve been removing one, then the other, and testing things out. I think we’re good now, but I still want to share the posts I had ready to go, especially the one about Valentine’s Day, which was yesterday, that I’m posting next! I had the post about cat-safe Valentine flowers queued up for last Friday, but never got it up there. The other Valentine’s post has information that’s still valid, even after Valentine’s Day.


From Instagram

Another improvised #boxpawty, this week it’s a #drawerpawty, and there seems to be a waiting line. Giuseppe got their first, as soon as I opened the drawer and took something out of it, Mewette hurried over and got in line, Mr. Sunshine is not happy that he is third in line.

“He’s right behind me, isn’t he?”

Oh, no, Hamlet wouldn’t reach down and pull Mariposa’s hair, would he?

Happy #caturday !


From the Garden and Beyond

Homeward Bound

prints in snow
Homeward Bound

A favorite photo from another ice storm, captured near the end of the day with glistening branches and long shadows on the ice-covered snow, and a line of pawprints leading somewhere, hopefully to a warm and cozy home. There’s a quiet about it that I love, as the sun sets and the night draws near, all living things look for cover and safety before the icy darkness. A few years later I created a set of holiday cards called “Winter Walks” from the photos I’d taken during this ice storm, and Homeward Bound was and still is the favorite.

I’ll always wonder, though, the pattern of those pawprints is distinctly feline, but a small feline for certain. Cats step forward placing their hind paw in the spot their front paw had been, so the track is two prints alternating side to side. The prints had been snowed over and then iced, so there was no detecting the details of the actual print. I hope the kitty made it to whatever home it had on that clear and icy night.

We had a February ice storm 15 years ago too, and apparently I ran around when the sun came out photographing icy branches. Scrolling through digital photos during the same February week in 2007, I also dug through my boxes of prints to find the photos I’d taken with my film camera. No luck this time, it’s difficult to tell the date on them because I would hold rolls and then get a half dozen or more developed at once that could span months of time. But at least I get a chance to organize a little bit more of them each time I go digging.



From around this date in past years

Morning Meditation, 2021

black cat at door
Mewsette’s morning meditation.

Morning meditation with Mewsette. Available only on sunny mornings.

Mewsette has that big, quiet energy, and unlike many other cats has the ability to hold purrfectly still for long periods of time. Yesterday morning she sat, unfocused, soaking in the sun at the back door. How beautiful.

I shared this first on Instagram because I’d taken the photo with my phone, and then ran to get my DSLR but someone disturbed her in the few seconds that took. Instagram crops the height of photos and I wanted a more dramatic angle so for today I downloaded it and cropped it the way I wanted, then slightly blurred out the distant things, the door and the view outside, as I would have with my DSLR, more or less. I like it much better.


From Instagram

Today, however, Mewsette had something to say about the snow!

Guess I’ll be busy for a while. This was measured in an area where I had completely cleared the snow before. It’s even deeper where the snow hadn’t melted in the yard.

ruler in snow
Five inches of snow.

Mimi curled up in her basket right after breakfast, and has no intention of going outside today.

two black cats sleeping in basket
Mimi is not moving.

Mariposa really wants to like apples, because I’m eating one, and she wants it.

tabby cat
Mariposa and the apple.

Just a few more and then I’m caught up! And a few multiple photo posts from January.

From the back yard and beyond.

Round and Round

Vintage green depression glass. I arranged it for a mid-century abstract circles effect just to mix up the decades.

Round and Round

Duck Race

She took off after him and both of them looked as if they were trying to run on the surface of the water. We had a sunny day to enjoy.

Duck Race


From around this date in past years

Serious Snuggles, 2020

five black cats cuddling
Happy Family

So Tuesday’s weather started out nice, then the bottom dropped out. Serious group naps followed. I called it the Happy Family, like the dish on the Chinese menu of all different ingredients in harmony. Above is Mimi and her kids, all in a heap. They’ve all been sleeping in different places lately. Often Mimi stays in the cat tree in the kitchen, or cuddles on my lap in the studio, the boys in various places downstairs, Mewsette behind the door in the studio. But somehow the falling rain and cold found them all together. By some of the photos from previous years it looks as if this is a good time of year for cuddling.

Below, Hamlet was on the bed too. For years he’s been sleeping on the cedar chest at the foot of the bed, even after I moved the room around. But he’s experienced new openness lately and has been enjoying his afternoon nap tucked up against the pillows, and he’s been there pretty regularly.

five black cats cuddling
Happy Family plus Hamlet

And a photo I forgot in Monday’s post—Mimi and me in the sun on Sunday!

“Yesterday… 65 degrees as Mimi and I lounged in the sun on the wicker loveseat. Today, raining, dropping temperatures, snow overnight, it’s winter in Pennsylvania.”

I’ll be using Instagram photos for my next few photo posts, though, because it was a great few days for photos!

. . . . . . .

Photos from around this date in previous years

Mimi on the Catwalk, 2019

Mimi on the catwalk.
Mimi on the catwalk.

The weather on Monday OMG! Mimi loves to walk on the top of the neighbor’s wall. She considers it her purrsonal “cat walk”. She’s telling me all about it.

Once she discovered there was more sun in the next door neighbor’s yard, Mimi now cuts through next to her favorite scratching post tree and is immediately on a level area next to the driveway. Then she rolls all over the driveway and steps up a few steps to walk along the walk to their front door. Finally she runs down the little slope from the walk, all the way down by the house, and walks along the top of the wall. She’s purring hard when she gets to me. It’s always really fun.


Photos from years past.


Bean in a Basket, 2018
Bean in a Basket
Bean in a Basket

The toy basket makes a good bed after a good play session sometimes, especially when I’m cleaning up and put it on top of a stack of boxes. Now it’s a lookout post and Bean can see all around the room.

Just go away.
Just go away.


From Facebook

Everyone had a great day today.

Trying to get a beauty shot of the two formerly feral long-haired black cats, Hamlet wonders why Basil has to try to open that door.

Hamlet and Basil.
Hamlet and Basil.

Hard to tell but there are four black cats in this pile up, Bella, Hamlet, Jelly Bean and Sunshine. Right now Jelly Bean and Sunshine are washing Hamlet’s face. Guess the boys are taking care of the kids this afternoon.

Four on the bed.
Four on the bed.

. . . . . . .

What other photos have I shared on or around this date?


Mimi’s Tiny Paws are Frozen, 2017
Mimi attempts to balance on one of my shoes.
Mimi attempts to balance on one of my shoes.

If you’re familiar with the opera which gave Mimi her name, you may also recognize the title of this post. If not, that’s okay. Mimi doesn’t really care for arias either.

She also doesn’t care for cold paws, and Monday we had a dusting of snow. I stepped out to fill the feeder later in the afternoon so the birds would have food in the morning—some of them begin eating before dawn—and Mimi came out with me. The cold concrete porch was bad enough, but snow? No way.

First she tried balancing all four paws on one of my wool clogs. I admit I have larger feet but that didn’t work out so well for Mimi. So she decided to straddle both of my feet, meowing at me to hold still. So I was stuck standing there with Mimi on my feet.

Mimi balances on both shoes.
Mimi balances on both shoes.

The neighbor across the street pulled up in front of their house and was thoroughly scrutinized by Mimi outside and Giuseppe inside. I don’t typically have Mimi out front without her collar and leash, but she was in no mood to walk in even a light coating of snow, and we were outside for only a few minutes.

Mimi and Giuseppe both keep an eye on the neighbor.
Mimi and Giuseppe both keep an eye on the neighbor.

Don’t Mimi and Giuseppe look alike?

. . . . . . .

What other photos have I shared on or around this date?


Tweetie Practicing Her Cuteness
Tweetie practicing her cuteness.
Tweetie practicing her cuteness.

Tweetie, aka Ophelia, is practicing her cuteness this morning. She is well aware of her feline powers.

Here Comes the Sun
Here comes the sun.
Here comes the sun.

Hamlet enjoys his morning sunbath.

Together, Hamlet and Ophelia.
Together, Hamlet and Ophelia.

Hamlet and Ophelia/Tweetie are doing well in their explorations of the upstairs, but always glad to be back together in their room for a break. I love their crossed tails as they enjoy watching the birds and the snow flurries.

. . . . . . .

Five Black Cat Veterinary Supervision Squad, 2013
five black cats looking in doorway
Five Black Cat Veterinary Supervision Squad

“Have to keep an eye on those veterinarians—we know what they like to do to cats!”

They felt the need to protect their senior fur sister, Emeraude, who was being examined in the bathroom by the hospice veterinarian. The veterinarian, however, felt the need to see what she was doing so I tossed each of them up on the wardrobe outside the bathroom door, where they could kind of watch around the corner and in the mirror on the door. They stayed there. They are such good cats, I can never say that often enough.

Emeraude had been diagnosed with lymphatic leukemia the previous November so everyone took good care keeping her warm and comfortable and loved. We kept her feeling well though the disease would slowly progress, and she was happy as a member of our fur family until early February. Read more about Emeraude.

. . . . . . .

Daily Photo: The Big Sister and the Violet Mousie, 2015
two black cats with basket and mousie
Bella says “it’s my mousie!”

Bella spent some time with her fur sister instead of lolling about flirting with her fur brothers, and Mewsette doesn’t fall for any such charm. The lesson was “sharing”, something most cats have a little difficulty with.

And the violet mousie has become a regular theme around the house. It’s Bella’s favorite, but I sometimes see that Smokie has stolen it. I also find it in interesting places, on my desk, on my pillow in the morning, at the top of the stairs, and sometimes Bella drifts by and sets it down where I’m working, as she did on my keyboard the other day. We now have a game, of course, “where’s the violet mousie?” It eventually shows up.

Below Mewsette decides to take action when Bella doesn’t offer her mousie to Mewsette.

two black cats with basket and mousie
“But I want to play with it!” says Mewsette.

And because I have several dozen photos I made up a couple of animated GIF files to show what happens when the girls get into it! Really, they kind of share it back and forth.

two black cats with basket and mousie
A little tussle with the mousie.

But then Mewsette gets the mousie all on her own and sneaks some playtime with it, and Bella doesn’t mind at all.

two black cats with basket and mousie
But eventually Mewsette gets her way.

. . . . . . .

Lady Emeraude and Her Court of Jesters, 2014
four black cats
Lady Emeraude and her court of jesters.

Well, when they’re holding court in in the bathroom and Lady Emeraude is on the throne, what do you expect of three black cats who think I’ll mistake them for her and feed them her food?

This is actually from a few days ago. Emmie hasn’t been feeling well and it seems the lymphatic leukemia is finally getting the better of her. Her eyes have been weepy for a while, then I began to hear a sniffle. This developed into an upper respiratory infection that at first we weren’t sure wasn’t just the dry air irritating her eyes and now. But it’s part of her compromised immune system through the leukemia, the excess of white blood cells, the lack of red blood cells. Where she used to eat just about anything I put in front of her I’ve had to coax her to eat, and sometimes she just doesn’t. It’s not unexpected. She’s come a long way from the summer, and November when she was diagnosed.

Yesterday she sat on my lap for the first time as I sat on the floor in my studio. I’ve spent plenty of time sitting next to her on her bed in the bathroom, but she never got to my lap or stayed there if I placed her there. I think, like most of the cats who’ve spent time in this house, she likes my studio. She is welcome here.

. . . . . . .

Wordless Wednesday: The Blob, Black Cat Version, 2013
pile of black cats
I’ve been stepping over one of these every day or sometimes I find it on my bed, and it has finally engulfed them all. It even absorbs the light…

. . . . . . .

Package Inspection and Approval, 2013
Black cat looking at cards.
“Make certain the cards are lined up properly prior to running the scoring blade.”

I have a house full of working cats who are happy to wake from their naps to help me with my daily tasks and offer their opinions in no uncertain terms. Mimi supervises the scoring and folding of greeting cards, above, and below she inspects the interior of a box prior to packing it with a customer’s order.

black cat in box
Mimi inspects the interior of a box prior to packing “This box is the proper size and correctly assembled.”

And no box is ready to be sealed shut and sent on its way without the “stamp” of approval from Mewsette, my feline cardboard interpretation artist, who daylights as a parcel approval manager.

bit marks in cardboard box
Mewsette’s mark of approval.

. . . . . . .

Possibility of Lunch, 2012
two black cats looking at squirrel
Could be lunch.


“No, too tough. Roasted, in his own juices.”

“We’ll make mom really happy.”

“I know, he stole her little nut grinder from the deck, and he broke two bird feeders.”

“Wait a minute, there’s a better way.”


“Yes, raw.”

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pastel sketch of black cat in sunshine
“Mewsette in Sun”, pastel on Fabriano Tiziani paper, 7″ x 9″ © B.E. Kazmarski

Mewsette lets the warm sun wash her back while she sits and simply looks lovely. Read more and purchase.


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4 thoughts on “Daily Photo: Too Bad About the Parsley

  • February 15, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    Of the cats who randomly pass through our yard, there is only one that I’ve witnessed peeing on the insulated cat shelter that we’ve got out back.
    Trying to establish a routine with him hasn’t worked…yet…but I’m determined!
    Think he’s got a few stops up and down the block where he gets food.

    • February 16, 2022 at 5:50 pm

      It is a problem when there are other feeders, and Sterle eats up at Denise’s house, but he’ll eat anywhere he finds food. I’m banking on that.

  • February 15, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    well, when ya gotta peez ya gotta peez …rite !!! 🙂

    dude used to go ballistic when he saw a cat. he was an ONLY cat for
    a reason. I still have the scar on my right leg from his displaced aggression, when an intruder
    approached the patio door and I yelled out for him to move on~~~~

    • February 16, 2022 at 5:52 pm

      But ya don’t gotta spray unless ya choose to. I have a scar right next to the artery in my wrist where Stanley could have ended my life…


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