Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Daily Photo: Two in the Tree

two black cats in tree
Two in the tree, Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe.

From October 26, I added Giuseppe to Mr. Sunshine in the recumbent mulberry tree! I had shown it to Mr. Sunshine almost two weeks earlier when he wanted to roughhouse Giuseppe, who wasn’t in the mood. After that Sunshine visited nearly every day, but Giuseppe had not joined him. It was time to have two in the tree! And I could just imagine the pictures.

Mr. Sunshine had some other things to explore so he got down and began spying on the neighbor through the fence, while Giuseppe navigated the trunk of the mulberry. About two weeks later I would take him to Rivers Veterinary Urgent Care because of his odd gait and circling a room and we would determine he’d lost most of the vision in his right eye.

two black cats in tree
Sunshine leaves Giuseppe to explore the tree alone.

At this point it was no doubt an issue with trying to balance on a round tree trunk! He was typically very balanced and agile, but I thought he was just being careful on a new surface with a foreign texture, and most cats’ eyesight isn’t terribly clear for distances. So considering what was up with him, he did really well!

He looks so natural in the tree. His claws are normal, he’s not gripping, and he walked several feet along that trunk (remember the tree is nearly lying on its side). Mr. Sunshine is keeping present and keeping an eye on things while still spying on the neighbors.

two black cats in tree
How far down is that?

Can I get around this thing? Looks like he’s getting used to it!

two black cats in tree
Wow, look over there.

Ah, the one photo that’s a little blurry and I know it was because I was trying to catch this view of his face. It’s good to see his eyes, symmetrical and normal pupils. I can just imagine what he would have done if I’d gotten him up there just a month before when he was still exploring the back yard.

two black cats in tree
I can see my house from here!

I’m not sure what he was watching, but he was intent on it.

two black cats in tree
Now how do I get down?

Just getting a good view of things. There’s Mr. Sunshine back there still spying through the fence. I know he’s sticking around to keep an ear on Giuseppe.

two black cats in tree
A perspective on things.

I’m not sure how Giuseppe got down from the tree. I think when I walked over Mr. Sunshine came to me and I picked up Giuseppe and put him on the ground because the next photos are Mr. Sunshine showing Giuseppe another neat place and leading him off into the weeds, which, oddly enough, was one of the places Giuseppe had loved to explore just a month before.

The cat you can see is Giuseppe, the black you see between the leaves in front of him are Mr. Sunshine.

two black cats in weeds
Off they go, Giuseppe following Sunshine.

Same here, Sunshine ahead. It’s like when we were kids and would go on hikes.

two black cats in weeds
Let’s hope Sunshine knows where he’s going.

Mr. Sunshine had taken to the tree right away when I put him in it, running up and down the trunk and stopping to claw the bark, posing for photos and walking all the way to the ends of branches. I remember thinking Giuseppe would be a little more comfortable the next time. Even as it turns out that Giuseppe’s vision and possibly his balance were impaired, I know heenjoyed it because I remember the purr. We never did have another chance with him in the tree. As I saw the change in him I let him move at will and did my best to photo and video his movements.

Still, like all else, at least he had that experience once and enjoyed it. His brother was there to keep an eye on things!


From Instagram

It’s 60° guys! Check my post from 5 days ago, same cats, same door , when I said, “It’s 12° guys.” Not that I love 12°, but I do miss my winter. But it was nice to go barefoot this morning.

We’ll just look at it today.


“I didn’t know you were up there.”

“I didn’t know you were down there.”

They couldn’t decide what to do about it so they just went back to their naps.


Not sure what to expect here.

Don’t do it! Earlier every spring, but always unexpected cold, snow and ice. They never listen to me.


From the Back Yard and Beyond

En Garde


From Portraits of Animals

Morning Snow 1 and 2, a Backyard View


From around this date in past years

On the Catwalk, 2023

black cat on deck rail
Mimi on the catwalk.

The back yard is icky so Mimi surveys her domain from the deck rail. Of course, she can look down on me when I’m out in the yard and she’s strolling along the rail. I’m down there in the mud and leftover snow and frozen grass, and aren’t humans strange?

And not only can Mimi survey her domain, she can also parade as if she’s on the catwalk, little meowdel that she is.

The deck rail splits in the middle for the steps that go down to the yard. She starts on one side (I love the silhouette), then jumps down and goes over to the other side and gives a few takes over there too.


From Instagram

Our human says it has nothing to do with Friday the 13th, it’s because Mercury is in retrograde.

And it has nothing to do with black cats or she would have disappeared in a poof of dust by now, but we’re still here waiting for Godot, as she just told us.

No #triskaidekaphobia here!

Oh, nothing, just hoping you’ll notice us.

Apparently, I’ve been intolerably dull all weekend because I’ve been working on intolerably dull things.


From the Back Yard and Beyond

Burrs Undercover

They just want to hide so they can get in my hair.


From Paths I Have Walked

I Don’t Want to Be Colorblind

I Don’t Want to be Colorblind


From Portraits of Animals

Compositions in Black and Green Greeting Card Set

Compositions in Black and Green Greeting Cards
Compositions in Black and Green Greeting Cards


From around this date in past years

Disbelief, 2022

black cat on deck

Saturday morning was COLD but the sun was shining and the girls wanted fresh air, except…snow.

You can see one tentative pawprint in the edge of the snow. Mimi was running around on the deck, having a good scratch on her chair and smelling things, but going nowhere near the snow.

Of course, I was wildly happy. Such that I still haven’t culled through my other photos from that morning.

That was Saturday. Sunday was—what? Warm and rainy? Well, relatively warm. But definitely rainy. I was at my sewing machine all day, see below. I don’t think they even looked outside. Today was brighter encouraging a brief visit outdoors, but very cold, so we came back in. That’s about it for the weekend.


From Instagram

Trying to set up to do some sewing tonight. Not sure if I’ll have a chair to sit on.

Looks like they want to complain about something, but they can’t figure out how to use the equipment. Either that or they just want some of my oatmeal.

When Midnight Louie gets bored, he folds the cat beds in quarters. Kitties have some very strange habits, but they are endearing.

I’m not sure if he waited for Simba to get out of his bed before he started folding it.

My sewing supurrvisor for the weekend. Mariposa is under the folding table top, on the shelf where my sewing machine rests when it’s put away. Sunday was such a miserable weather day she was probably glad to be tucked in there and cozy, and I was glad to have an all-day project and have them in the room with me. Most of the others were sleeping on my bed.

So when Midnight Louie folds his bed in quarters, Simba just makes the best of it and lounges against it like it’s a fainting couch and he is Caesar reclining after a big meal. Look at that belly. We’re both working on that, but for opposite reasons.

The kids are watching a particularly gripping episode of MOUSEWATCH.

What #formerlyferal cats do on a 12 degree night.

Yes, there really is a real life mouse somewhere in the cabinet under the sink. Or underneath it, or behind it. I guess mice will take their chances on a 12 degree night.

The three longhairs have to stick together.

From the Garden and Beyond

Click each photo to read more.


The Light Will Find the Truth

The Light Will Find the Truth
The Light Will Find the Truth




From around this date in past years

Handsome Hamlet, 2020

black cat on windowsill
Such a handsome Hamlet.

We had a little more sun today, what a surprise after a very overcast morning. Hamlet took advantage of it on his favorite windowsill. What a wondrous tail he has!

From Instagram

Giuseppe isn’t sure my lunch is actually food. What interest does an obligate carnivore have in roasted spicy Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes?

black cat and plate of food
Giuseppe and my lunch

. . . . . . .

Photos from around this date in previous years

And a Side of Cats in Traps, 2019

Rosie, the little dilute tortie.
Rosie, the little dilute tortie.

I really have been trying to get back to posting regularly, but little things come up, like this little dilute “tortilla” kitty and her siblings who needed to be trapped. I follow local groups on Facebook and joined Nextdoor several years ago specifically to follow cat issues and help where I could. Usually I offer advice or coach people and I help network with others who can help, but sometimes it’s either in my own neighborhood or close enough and I’m happy to run out and help cats and people, because I can, because others don’t have the skills or the traps or the time, but I do, and I’m glad to help both cats and people.

Last summer and fall I had some big ones: the abandoned house on Dunbar Street, the eleven Cherrydell cats and kittens, the Greenbriar cats, and in between some smaller ones like the gray kitten in Scott Township Park and a few other situations where I helped others. A few came up in December and trying to keep it together through the holiday season with making things and filling orders and minding my shop here along with regular work kept me way too busy to do much else. But there is some time now.

On Wednesday this week a person posted on Nextdoor Carnegie that she’d found a kitten. I asked where she was and she turned out to be on “the other side” of my street, which goes up to the top of a hill and stops, there’s a steep drop, then the street begins again at the bottom of that hill. I advised her it was unusual to find one kitten and to look for others, then two others showed up. I connected with neighbor a cat rescuer Peg who lived one street away and knew the woman, and said we needed to trap these kittens while we could. Michele and her daughter Emma, who was thrilled with the cats, had managed to grab and hold onto the little dilute tortie but lost track of the other kittens.

I presumed the kittens were those of the feral female Ink who’d appeared pregnant then disappeared and was not looking pregnant anymore. She showed up again at a feeding station looking plump. We needed to trap her to have her spayed, and we needed to trap those kittens to bring them in and socialize them. Peg agreed, and would foster the kittens and their mom.

I went over with one of my traps (the other is borrowed) and Peg’s trap. No kittens were seen, but to my surprise after about two hours of sitting in my car and watching I saw two adults come along who just happened to be their parents, Ink and LeRoi. The male went into one trap and I moved him off to my car.

The time was 11:00 p.m. and I attempted to run home to feed my poor cats, find more traps and a place to hold the intact male since Peg nor I could not, then come back to stay the night, knowing I’d get the female and the kittens if I did, but my car battery was dead, no doubt the result of using the cell phone charger in my cigarette lighter. Then it seemed I had no oil in my car. Yikes! Michele and her husband gave me a jump and I came home and fed and messaged a bunch of people but my battery had stalled again in my driveway. I would have to take it out and completely recharge it or this would continue.

I checked my messages and Michele said the female had gone into the trap! Romeo and Juliet’s gig was over, they were no longer spreading their DNA all over the neighborhood. I had no more traps and a car I basically couldn’t drive. I couldn’t get them to Margo’s house where she’d offered to hold them, so they spent the night in the back of my car, just about as warm and protected as if they’d spent the night in a cat shelter.

Okay, we caught Romeo and Juliet, otherwise known as Ink and LeRoi, who’ve been busy spreading their DNA all over the neighborhood. They are being spayed and neutered right now and after a few days will be returned and fed and cared for and possibly even taken indoors if their temperament allows it. We didn’t catch any other kittens last night, but at least there won’t be any new ones from these two. We’ll be trapping again tonight and in the next few days.

Thursday was like a puzzle fitting trips to clinics together with no car, but it all worked out. Peg drove me and the two cats to the low-cost clinic that takes walk-in ferals for surgery until noon. I met with my retired friend when I got home to work on my car, and he drove me back up to the clinic to pick them up. My battery was charged when we got back, but I wasn’t sure if I should drive through the dark to a place where they could spend a couple days recovering from surgery. A friend who’d come to pick up an order and who is also a foster ended up driving me and the cats to the foster space. I am always happy I can rely on the support from HCMT, Pittsburgh CAT and other rescuers when I need to find a person to foster a rescued cat in the middle of the night, to borrow more traps, even to get medical care if needed.

Michele hadn’t seen the kittens on Thursday and was a little upset thinking she’d done the wrong thing and scared them off. I told her just to keep putting food out and have faith they were still out there. On Friday she reported that some of the food had been eaten but she still hadn’t seen them. Keep the faith!

On Friday I also had a date with another cat, “the CVS cat”, a gray cat many of us had been following on Nextdoor in a community next to mine. He was an adult and seemed more like a displaced cat than a feral cat, though he wasn’t social with people, more timid than unsocialized. Through December I gave lost of information about how to help him and how to rescue him, from checking for a chip to finding a home if he turned out to be feral. A woman named Shannon began visiting him and feeding him daily, and she and I private messaged about him and what to do. We couldn’t do a thing until another woman, Nancy, offered to foster or at least hold him if we trapped him—if you trap a cat they have to go somewhere safe. But there were the holidays, then other people were feeding him, then we didn’t see him for most of a week, and New Year’s Eve was in there.

But Shannon saw him later in the day Wednesday and I said we should try to trap him as soon as possible. We decided Friday was the day. Nancy had a trap and I borrowed a trap and we set it up where he had been staying. I was sure he was off schedule and we’d never see him, there were two bowls of dry food there already, if we saw him he probably wouldn’t eat, but all we could do was try. I demonstrated for Shannon how to set the traps, we put them in place and picked up the food, then looked around to see if he was in the bushes. I turned to talk to Shannon and he was right there in front of the dumpster, behind her—he must have heard her voice. So we slowly backed out of the area and let him explore the traps. He looked into the traps, started to walk into one, then stopped. We crept back across the drive through to the parking lot and watched. He came out of the bushes, settled on the berm of the road leading into the dumpster area and looked right at us. Cats always have to do that, stare at you and let you know they know what you’re up to, and let you know they aren’t that stupid.

See those flashlight eyes over there? That’s the infamous gray CVS cat. We’ve been after him for weeks. There are two traps baited with tuna in the bushes behind him. Go in guy, better things await.

Flashlight Eyes, the CVS cat.
Flashlight Eyes, the CVS cat.

Despite the fact he’d shown up I felt we had a long night front of us. We couldn’t see him and couldn’t see the traps in the dark under the bushes. I just hoped we’d hear it if it shut, but I missed having my flashlight and I really felt I needed one in case he left or I felt we could make an adjustment. Shannon offered to go into CVS and buy on and I was glad.

But while she was inside I heard a trap close! I ran over with my sheet to cover it and he really was in one! She came out and looked for me and I told her we had him, and we just couldn’t believe it happened that fast. We tucked him into the car and packed up all our things and took him to the foster’s house.

He’s a nice big cat, but after flailing around for quite a while he calmed down, and he’s been quiet. He’s still in his trap, inside a large cage, in the foster’s house. From the beginning he acted like a displaced cat, not a feral cat, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. But he definitely smells like a boy I’m so glad we finally trapped him, and I’m totally shocked it happened so fast!

The CVS cat in the trap.
The CVS cat in the trap.

Nancy had a huge crate all set up for him and was ready with food and treats. I wasn’t sure how he felt about people, but I felt he needed to stay in the trap overnight. We slid the trap into the crate and kept the sheet over it, then gave him food in the trap. Then we covered the crate with light fleece to help him feel even more protected.

Shannon and I will go back tomorrow to see how he is. If he seems to be inching toward socialized, which I really think he is, then we’ll let him relax until he can leave the trap. If not, I’ll find a place to take him where he can live a nice life as a feral. To be continued, of course!

I will be picking up and releasing Ink and LeRoi, and that may bring the kittens back out. If they’ve been around, I will try trapping them over the weekend. The little tortilla was named Rosie by Emma, and in two days has gone from small hisses and some hiding to greeting Peg with tail up and a purr. Hopefully the other two, a tux and a creamsicle, will be just as sweet.

I will update again when I can! I love being able to help cats this way. My goal is not just to go out and trap the cats, but also to be a good example to others who are following, the give lots of information so that others learn how to do this too, and if they find a cat in a similar circumstance they have an idea what’s entailed. Even more than fostering, bringing a cat in from a perilous life outdoors is so rewarding. Of course, it’s also time-consuming and has its expenses, and I’m on a tight budget. If any of my readers would like to help me with expenses like a feral spay ($45) or neuter ($35), extra food and materials for trapping, or gas money, no small amount when running back and forth to clinics and trapping sites, I would really appreciate it. Not only is there a potential car repair, but also this is the time to register for several vendor events during the year, including the Steel City Kitties Cat Show next month. My Paypal address is bernadette (at) bernadette-k (dot) com, you can go to Portraits of Animals and purchase a gift certificate in amounts of $5.00 or more and let me know it’s for me, or whatever else you’d like to do. Or buy something from my website .

Thanks for following me, and thanks for reading!

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“Rolling Around” framed.

Giuseppe was having a really good roll around on the floor, for no apparent reason except that it made him happy. I think we should all do that each day! Read more and order.


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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.

4 thoughts on “Daily Photo: Two in the Tree

  • Great shots and I love black kitties.

    Thank you for joining the Happy Tuesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

    • Thanks for hosting Sandee! I have a little bit of trouble with the blog hop scripts, probably because my daily photo posts are so long, but I’m trying to figure out a way to share the link that readers will find.

  • Brian's Home ~ Forever

    Those were all fun tree photos!

    • So good to see Giuseppe looking healthy and well! I wish I could bring that tree inside too.


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