Sunday, July 21, 2024
catsdaily photoformerly feralMariposamewsette

Daily Photo: Winding Down

Winding down from the week.
Winding down from the week.

Today went from cold and overcast to bright and sunny, and then it stayed that way with a completely blue sky through sunset. It was still cold but the sun was warm and when it came around to the kitchen window it was like a cat magnet. Everyone was winding down from a long and busy week. Mariposa gives us a cute yawn and Mewsette can’t stay awake.

And I was busy all day long but I managed not to post anything anywhere to share here! We hope you had a sunny day, and if not that you were safe and warm and happy.

From around this date in past years

Why Are You Even Out There?, 2022

two cats at door
Since you like it so much you can stay there for a while longer.

“Why are you even out there?”

Mariposa can’t figure out why Mewsette wants to be outside in the first place. She always comes to the door to look at Mewsette and Mimi when they are outside. I can’t blame Mariposa for wondering when she lived in an abandoned house that had no heat or electricity, and she had to go outside to eat, no matter the weather.

I can figure out why Mimi wants to go outside when my back yard was her hangout before I took her in. I’m not sure why Mewsette decided she wanted to go out, and I’m not sure Mewsette knows for sure either. But she does enjoy it, except when she wants back in.

“She won’t let me in.”

two cats at door
She won’t let me in.

Neither of you has thumbs, so you can’t turn the door handle.

Mariposa always skedaddles when I come to the door to open it, but I wait until she’s far enough away not to run out when I open it. Mewsette prances right inside.

Now, if you haven’t seen the Newfoundland dog already, scroll back up to the top photo and look in the upper left corner. Do you see a Newfie? I sure did when I was editing the photo! The black dots are nail holes in the siding from a railing that was once nailed into that spot, and it’s just the way the light falls on the battered old metal siding, and a little bit of green paint from someone who was a little sloppy painting the railing a long time ago.

I opened the basement door for the first time since the first freeze so we actually went out the basement door. But Mewsette still runs up on the deck to go back inside.

two black cats at door
They cautiously walk out the basement door for the first time in months.

The soil around my house is full of water, and I believe there is an underground seep or stream that goes past the corner of the house, under the deck and out into the yard. My neighbor’s yard has a swampy are directly in line with this, and the downhill slope between my yard and theirs seeps water in most seasons.

So, of course, it’s shallow enough for the water to freeze underground, and when it does, it heaves the concrete up just enough that I can’t open the screen door. I get really tired of carrying bags of used litter upstairs to take it to the trash, carrying bags of wood stove pellets in the front door and down the stairs. The door scraped the concrete when I pushed it open, but it was enough to have a working door again.

Of course, Mariposa showed up at the open basement door too.


From Instagram

All my IG photos were shares from posts here, so you’ve already seen them!


From the Garden and Beyond

Uncertain Skies

Stay on course, even in the face of uncertain skies.

Uncertain Skies

The geese fly by in this area of the sky at least once a day, following the creek up the valley. I can see it from my house and from my back yard, but still it’s a difficult focus from wherever I am because of the speed of the geese, the trees, the glare of the sky. On this variably overcast late morning, I finally captured one single shot, and to my surprise, I captured the geese, that lovely uncertain sky as a cold front began to move in, and just a bit of lacy silhouetted tree branches. I just turned and hit the shutter button, no focusing or even composing the shot. Sometimes the shot makes itself.


From around this date in past years

Mimi and Sunshine in a Basket Nap, 2021

two black cats in a basket
Mimi and Sunshine in the basket

Little Mimi curls up with big warm Mr. Sunshine, as his name suggests. This basket was given to us by a friend along with the deluxe tufted pillow inside. It took them a couple of days to try it out, but when the first set of paws hit that pillow, it was all over. It has been the popular nap spot since then. Mimi generally didn’t nap by this window, preferring to bask by a furnace vent instead, but it’s close to me at my desk and she left my lap for a trial run on the pillow, and she was hooked.

We have been having an awful lot of basket naps in the extreme cold weather lately. You can be sure you’ll see some more from my DSLR and my cell phone because I am helpless when they do things like this!

Judging by previous year photos, below, not much has changed.


From Instagram

We attended a couple of feline behavior webinars over the weekend, so no Instagram photos!


From around this date in past years

Rainy Day Basket Naps, 2020

four black cats in baskets
Time for a basket nap-a-thon.

A basket for everyone, and everyone in their basket. Or at least four of them settled into a nap-a-thon on a dark and dreary day.

I shared this on Instagram on that rainy day.

Would have been nice if I had remembered to share the posts below on Valentine’s Day! But they are still great photos through the years.

. . . . . . .

Photos from around this date in previous years

A Valentine Proposal, 2019

Is Jelly Bean proposing to Mariposa?
Is Jelly Bean proposing to Mariposa?

Is Jelly Bean proposing to Mariposa on Valentine’s Day? No, it’s just the usual pre-breakfast boxing match in which Mariposa thinks no one can see her inside the legs of the stool. Jelly Bean is ALWAYS up for a play boxing match. That’s just one of the many ways kitties show love! Happy Valentine’s Day!

If so, she's not taking him seriously.
If so, she’s not taking him seriously.
Maybe that's not what he meant.
Maybe that’s not what he meant.
Nope, sure doesn't look like it.
Nope, sure doesn’t look like it.

Photos from years past.


Happy Valentine’s Day, 2018

Mimi's Valentine
Mimi’s Valentine

Mimi’s red collar is just the right touch of Valentine’s Day. While I still gather myself after the cat show, I’ll also start getting back to posting.

Below are other Valentine’s Day posts, and some many are repeated, but that’s okay because Valentine’s Day is eternal, right?


Daily Photo to Illustration: Heart Cats, 2009

 Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette hug each other in a hart-shaped embrace.
Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette hug each other in a heart-shaped embrace.

This is the original photo I used as the foundation image for my Valentine, “Heart Cats” and one of the very first series of “Compositions in Black and Green” photos too. Everything has a start somewhere, and this is where several inspirations began.

After all five black cats plus Namir and Cookie made a real mess of the bathroom, pulling down all the towels, the bath mat and anything else not attached and too high to reach, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine cuddled on the pile of stuff. I just had a single bulb in the ceiling at the time, and I had all the fixtures in place but I’m not even sure the door was in place yet, much less all the towel bars or anything. The light was not good but as I walked past the doorway and saw these two hugging each other I snapped a quick image just to capture it, not caring how it came out, then squatted down to capture a few more. The lighting was still poor enough that all the photos were grainy. Their pose was so dear, and I was afraid I’d never see them do this again! Little did I know

But I pulled the image out a little later and both posterized and applied a “poster edges” filter to it…

The first iteration of this image, posterized and with poster
The first iteration of this image, posterized and with poster

Then decided to work out a more dramatic image…

valentine greeting card with cats
“Heart Cats” Valentine Card


A Valentine’s Day Message to Mademoiselle Daisy Emerald Marguerite, 2016

Giuseppe ponders his Valentine message.
Giuseppe ponders his Valentine message.

My fairest lady, as I dozed in the dark and cold night I felt your presence. Then, as if by some divine command, out of the darkness came a magic message from you on the magic message machine.


To my Valentine, love from Mlle Daisy Emerald.





I read your message repeatedly, listening to the sweetness of each word, and imagined your precious and lovely visage…

black cat on rug
Giuseppe’s favorite photo of his love.

Though your message was simple, I looked deeply into it, and began a response to you, my most brilliant gem. I felt the presence of my wise mama Mimi near, and knew she could explain.

“She still loves you, my son,” she told me, “and you must send her a message at this moment while your thoughts are connected.”

My mother is so wise, but I had no idea how to go about this sending messages. My brother Mr. Sunshine had always sent them for me, and he was nowhere to be found, and I was afraid to leave for fear you’d think…oh, I don’t even want to imagine what you might think!

So I turned again and looked into your precious face, my flower, my Marguerite, my Daisy, my emerald-eyed princesse and knew that I didn’t need any keyboard or or mousie or magic connection to get my message to you. We are connected across the miles, and we always will be.

After I’d had my time to drink in your essence through your words, I went to the big north window and sang for you, and over the cold and under the stars, I know you heard my song, my lady. All my love flows to you, all my thoughts are of you this day to celebrate the promise of St. Valentine, all 24 hours of this precious day for lovers near and far.

Please my most precious flower of the day, look out your window on the balcony and look to the south. You will see a soft red glow on the horizon and you will know it is my heart aflame for you.

You have my heart forever, my most constant love, as you have since that amazing day in June four years ago when you pledged your devotion to me.

Until we may be together,

All my love,




Read about Mlle. Daisy Emerald and the long-distance affaire between the mature French-Canadian feline lady and the young American opera star.

They so enjoy writing florid Victorian-style letters to each other, sometimes the poets, sometimes the artists, sometimes the bonneted Mlle. Daisy Emerald and the beplumed Giuseppe Verdi in their Revolutionary roles as we prepare for our Fetes Nationales.


Sweet Mlle., how we miss her.


Happy Valentine’s Day! 2014

valentine wish with five cats
Happy Valentine with the original photo

What’s cuter than a basket of kittens?

valentine with five cats
Happy Valentine in all red.

A basket of adult black cats who all love each other—and everyone else!

Couldn’t decide which one to use, so you get two Valentines!


Happy Valentine’s Day! 2013

Happy Valentine in all red.
Happy Valentine in all red.

What’s cuter than a basket of kittens?

Happy Valentine with the original photo
Happy Valentine with the original photo

A basket of adult black cats who all love each other—and everyone else!

Couldn’t decide which one to use, so you get two Valentines!

And here’s how it happened!

Watch as the scene developed over the course of the day. Above, Mewsette and Giuseppe swirl together in the basket I’d set on my desk chair to get it out of my way.

Then Mr. Sunshine joined them.

They couldn’t be cuter, putting their heads together.

Until Jelly Bean decided he might be able to fit in there too.

And he did.

Four sweet faces.

Then their mom came along. Well, she’s tiny, and she often sits on them.

A frenzy of bathing their mom ensues as she walks on the edge of the basket to her chosen place.

“This is why you have a bunch of kittens,” Mimi says, cushioned on her warm and purring children. “That’s all I have to say about the matter.”

I did manage to get work done despite the cuteness, but needless to say I did not get to sit down again today. I could also be heard to say, “You guys, stop it! Stop being so cute! I have work to do today and I have to stop taking photos!” They were without mercy.

I did have one photo with all five in the basket, but, being black, it was difficult for my camera to focus, so I did a little Photoshopping and put together that photo using a clear image of Mewsette’s ears, in the back.

(Mimi had a reaction to the fleas that came in the house from a groundhog nesting right next to the basement door, so her fur is really scruffy, poor girl! We quickly took care of that and you can see how lovely she is today in many more recent photos of her.)


Heart-Shaped Cats, 2012

heart-shaped cats on afghan
Heart Shaped Cats on the Afghan

My Fantastic Four are famous for their heart-shaped hugs and cuddles, but the two most famous are Mr. Sunshine and his sister Mewsette, featured here in just a few everyday cuddles.

This is only a portion of my personal heart-shaped cat collection. Mr. Sunshine and Miss Mewsette have always been cuddle buddies, and they’ve always had this habit of curling up together cheek to cheek and chest to chest and wrapping their little arms around each other, even crossing tails in the front. They are a somewhat elongated heart here on the afghan with the heart right-side up, but looking at them below they are a more typical heart shape only with the heart upside down!

heart-shaped black cats
Heart-shaped cats the other way!

Mewsette is clearly posing, but Mr. Sunshine isn’t as concerned, he just wants to cuddle. Unfortunately, they don’t always cuddle together in the best light or against a contrasting background, and they are black, absorbing all of what’s available and not giving much back, making photos a challenge. Look closely, though, Mewsette has her arm right under Mr. Sunshine’s chin and he has his below hers, then he has his hind leg tucked into her belly and she has hers wrapped around his hip, then they have their tails layered on top of each others’, completely interwoven.

Here they are one night in my studio as I was moving furniture and cleaning, supervising what I was doing.

two heart-shaped black cats
Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette curled again.

And then the view from the top shows them heart-shaped again, but Mimi is sleeping behind them so they look a little misshapen.

two heart-shaped black cats
Heart-shaped again!

I found one very early photo of them as they were apparently developing this wonderful way to cuddle, though Giuseppe in the background looks a little miffed at the attention they are getting. I can assure you that I only got one shot because Giuseppe got up and sauntered between me and them.

black cats curled together
Early stages of the heart-shaped cat.

And finally, the photo of them I took on the night before Valentine’s Day in 2009 where they have their technique fully developed. Too bad that old camera wasn’t so good in low light conditions! Still, I couldn’t believe how sweet they were.

two black cats curled together
The original Heart Cats

Sometimes when I get a good photo composition that’s blurry or otherwise unclear, and not in a way that I can use for effect, I play around with it in PhotoShop. I never get enough time playing in PhotoShop so I’ll take any excuse. I liked the way this series of filters and adjustments clarified the image, even though it’s no longer photographic. The black outlines and areas of color remind me of the illustrations from some of the books I looked at and read as a child.

illustration of two black cats curled together
The original Heart Cats illustration.

I liked this so much I used it to print on a tote bag for sale.

And, of course, this very photo went on to become a Valentine note card, available all year round as a greeting card for when you need to send a note to that special heart cat.

two black cats with one heart
Heart Cats note card © B.E. Kazmarski


Happy Valentine’s Day, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Happy Valentines Day from My Creative Cats!, 2010

digitized photo of two cats embracing
Heart Cats

Animals know all about love. Brother and sister Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette cuddle themselves into a heart shape, and they look like they couldn’t want anything more than each other.

I had a little fun in PhotoShop with a photo that wasn’t quite as clear as it could have been. Sometimes they strike these wonderful poses when the light isn’t the best—like in the dark in the bathroom so I can see them when I’ve just turned on the light! I only got one shot. It’s fun to go beyond the everyday photo editing and play around with filters and colors and techniques.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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ink and watercolor sketch of cat
Mimi’s Sunbath, ink marker and watercolor pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

I really liked this as an ink sketch and almost left it with just Mimi, but when I had looked at Mimi in this very spot I envisioned an ink drawing with watercolor washes. Read more and purchase.


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

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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.

2 thoughts on “Daily Photo: Winding Down

  • Such lovely pictures and artwork!
    It took a bit but I did see the “dog”
    As always I loved all the images of this wonderful cat family 🙂
    On this cold day I an looking forward to Spring!!
    Purrs, Julie and “mum”

    • Now I see that dog before anything else when I look at that photo! Thanks for visiting and sharing my memories and memories-to-be.


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