It was a busy spring afternoon on the landing upstairs, and most of the cats in the house at that time came through and hung out there as I came upstairs and worked in my studio. Cookie and Namir sit and nap in the sun as I come to the top of the stairs, always an opportunity to capture my cats at eye level while standing on the steps.
Then C00kie and Namir enjoy the sun as Lucy alerts to someone coming up the steps.
Seeing the legs in the upper right of the photo, it was Mr. Peach who arrived. Lucy settled back into her spot as Namir watched and Cookie just kept basking.
Mr. Peach settled and looked back down the steps. Was someone else on the way? Purrhaps a meeting had been called because of the sun on the landing. Namir moved off; I think he came into the studio with me.
Then we have a little girl talk—it almost looks as if Cookie is communicating something and Lucy is intently listening. Not sure where the boys went, but they likely aren’t far.
At some point Kelly came upstairs too; there’s a photo of her looking sculptural on the windowsill.
As I watch them today, I remember them from days past. This was just before Lucy was spayed, just before she showed symptoms that turned out to be FIP. After all four losses of senior cats just before, from Moses in February 2006 to Cream and Sophie and finally Stanley just two months prior in January 2007 at age 25, I had finally emerged from some grief to enjoy little Lucy and the warm spring sunshine.
Always take the time for those moments. They are important memories in themselves, and they strengthen you for what may come tomorrow.
From the Archives in Previous Years
The Garden Party, April 2009
Over a decade ago five-year-old Mimi and 17-year-old Cookie enjoyed the warm spring sun as they sat in our indoor garden, wordlessly conversing as cats do. Cookie told Mimi how she, too, had kept a distance, feeling sure she was going to end up back outside, the same as Mimi felt. That wasn’t at all what happened, and, in fact, Cookie could see Mimi’s destiny as the lead feline in the household and keeper of the human.
I have no idea what the conversation was about that I interrupted, but I noticed them deep in some communication, facing each other and slowly blinking their eyes and shifting a bit now and then. I tried to photograph them in the act, but they turned to look at me and the spell was broken. They looked lovely nonetheless, two lady friends enjoying a pleasant afternoon, and I treasure this photo, Cookie at 17 and Mimi a mere 5 years old. At that time, Mimi was still a little distant, as if she expected to be put back outside at some point, deferring to the cuteness of her young adult children. I like to think that Cookie was not only giving Mimi some reassurance that she was not going anywhere, but that Cookie herself was passing along sage advice to Mimi about being the lead feline in the household.
Cookie and Mimi were probably just enjoying the sun on this day in 2009, but I also appreciated them keeping others’ prying paws from my precious tomato seedlings reaching for the sun on the table by this window.
Cookie always liked my little indoor “garden” on this table and regularly sat sunning herself, nibbling grass and just hanging out all the years she was here. Mimi began hanging with Cookie as soon as she entered the house, but in the spring of 2009, Mimi’s job of raising the Four pretty well done, she apparently wanted some adult company. What a wonderful friendship these two had, and I think of it each time Mimi sits on my lap and looks up at me and know that this was the plan from the beginning.
Read more about Cookie, and why she’d be the one to pass the wand along to Mimi.
From the Archives: Tortie Camouflage, 2010
Tortoiseshell cats can be camouflaged against many backgrounds with all their irregular speckles and dots. This photo of Cookie taken in the spring of 2010 truly shows her ability to blend into her background as her orange and tan blend with last year’s leaves and her green eyes blend with the spring’s new growth. I could not love her more.
I didn’t find the photo of Cookie, above, until 2013—I guess I found it when I needed to. Truly she is camouflaged! The photo is actually from March 22, 2010, and here’s what I had to say that day, interestingly very much like the day Mimi and I had out in the yard on Saturday:
And it’s also been unusually cold in the past few weeks, and where I usually have peas, lettuce and potatoes planted—and I’ve often been eating meals outdoors—my soil is still frozen. Heading out in the yard in the spring has always been a celebration with whichever kitties were headed out there with me, and I’ve also included some photos from the same day outdoors.
Cookie inspects my lettuce planting. Apparently it was done properly because for once she did not see the need to walk over the soil.
“Don’t tell me I’m too old to be walking on the deck railing!” Cookie gives me a little sass—a lot of sass—about whether or not she should be walking on a narrow piece of wood about ten feet above the ground. She always had good sense, and when she became a little steady in her last year she quit prancing on the catwalk.
Just a nice photo of Cookie looking out into the yard with the daffodils just about to bloom in the background. Yes, daffodils are among plants toxic to cats, and I always worked to lure Cookie away from them lest she bite their fronds.
“Put the camera down and come and eat lunch.” Cookie waits on the picnic table next to my soup and salad while I’m still wandering around the yard photographing…things. It was an overcast day, but there was so much to see out there. Yet Cookie was always looking out for what was best for me, and trying to keep me in line.
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Photos pulled “From the Archives” were taken by one or another digital camera of mine between 2002 and, well, yesterday, but usually they are older than that, and I had never had the chance to feature them. Vintage Photos are from my film archives back to 1983 when I purchased my Pentax K-1000 camera. They’re a fun way to “introduce” other members of my feline family who came and went before I began blogging, and to illustrate my feline family in general from days gone by.
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I think this photo of Cookie would be a wonderful greeting card or print, so I’ve added Tortie Camouflage to my website. Did you know that many of the favorite photos you see here each day are available as prints and note cards on Portraits of Animals? I add to the gallery all the time too, as images gain popularity. If you see one here that you think would make a good photo print or greeting card, please let me know! In the meantime browse the gallery of Feline Photos.
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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Weekly schedule of features:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!