Sunday, June 23, 2024
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From the Archives: Cookie Waiting on Me, 2007

tortoiseshell cat on chair
Cookie is ready for her closeup.

I’ve been feeling a little Cookie energy around me this Memorial Day weekend. I think I associate Cookie with these summer/summery holidays because I had more time to be outside and often took my work out on the deck, where, of course, Cookie supurrvised me. On these temperate holiday weekends we both had more time to do something we both enjoyed, together.

In fact, I was picturing this photo and I’m not sure how I even remember it from almost 20 years ago, or if maybe there’s a similar one somewhere, but I found this right away when I started looking through old digital photos from 2004 to 2008 when I got my DSLR. It was like she was waiting for me. I found these photos from May 28, 2007, which was Memorial Day that year.

Below, Cookie shows off my blue clematis because of course she was somehow responsible for it blooming that nicely. Actually, I’m pretty sure I went down into the yard to photograph the clematis and Cookie needed to somehow be involved in this because, you know, attention.

tortoiseshell cat on deck with clematis
Cookie shows off my clematis.

I see some raindrops on the clematis flowers and leaves, and I’m pretty sure Cookie doesn’t want to get her paws wet, so she’s not going to join me in the yard, she’s going to get me to come back up on the deck by being cute. Safely back in the picture, literally, she knows she has my attention again.

tortoiseshell cat on chair
Cookie loved the attention.

She’s waiting for me to come back up so we can hang out together. Now it’s time for a nap until I come to my senses. She has worked hard.

tortoiseshell cat on chair
Okay, it’s naptime now.

And when I finally get back up there…

tortoiseshell cat on chair
Cookie already has her place.

Me? Sleeping? Not me! I had my eye on you the whole time you were down there!

But it’s clear she’s pretty pleased with herself. Now we can get down to the business of being together for the afternoon.

And since it is Memorial Day, here’s a link to my latest written and recorded “Poem for Saturday” on Substack:

Poem for Saturday: Memorial Day Parade by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A poem about my small town’s Memorial Day Parade, my mother and brother, and my Memorial Days through the decades.

Read on Substack

I hope everyone is having a safe and fun Memorial Day. Some of you may have lost a loved one in a conflict at any point in the past century, and if so you have all my sympathy today for the loss of a person who gave themselves to fight for all of us back here at home.

If you don’t, visit a cemetery and find the veterans’ section today or soon. It’s easy to find on Memorial Day, it’s the place with all the flags on the graves. Find a few stones and read the inscriptions. Get to know these people through what’s there, think about their age, their place and those they left behind.

From the Archives in Previous Years

A Series of Forget-me-nots, May, 2012

Kelly nips the grass.
Kelly nips the grass.

I was out there this past week photographing the girls in the last of the forget-me-nots, and also trying to photograph a few different flowers speckled with raindrops when the sun came out after a shower. I wasn’t happy with what I’d captured, but I knew I’d photographed these same flowers many times before. Each year I try to find something new about them, but possibly I’ve run out of ideas after a couple decades.

And I also wanted to resume my weekend photos of felines in memory, especially on this Memorial Day weekend, and I have the strongest memories of cats out in the back yard with me in spring. I knew there were a few photos of Kelly that I hadn’t used, from 2012 when we’d lost Cookie in February and for the first time in many years I had no feline companions out in the back yard. That made me miss Cookie all the more, and I found it difficult to focus on the creative activities I enjoyed and which fed my daily creative work.

Kelly felt just as lost as I did, and was no doubt experiencing some amount of grief. She was the last of the main group of rescues from the 90s, the youngest, the baby despite all the other fosters who came and went, and now she was 19 years old. When I had lost that whole part of my long life with the passing of that big feline family, Kelly had lost all the friends she’d had in her whole life. She had less and less appetite, and was less active, as if she was losing her will.

So one day I picked her up and carried her outside onto the deck. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was ready for her to dart, and she could also be very timid. But something told me she needed that physical freedom from the indoors where all her memories stayed close around her.

I set her down on the deck and she embraced the concept immediately. The sun was warm on her fur and she had a whole deck to scratch on. And then she could visit the yard at the foot of the steps. That was enough, just a brief respite from the house full of memories of all the cats she and I had known. We didn’t go out each day, but she let me know when she needed it. It certainly helped my heart continue to heal. I’m grateful I could provide this for Kelly.

You can also visit Kelly Greets the Day and Kelly in Forget-me-nots.

And here are the flowers I was photographing that day, that I was also photographing last week. The pink columbines are from seeds from my mother’s columbines, more memories.



From the Archives in Previous Years

The Old Man in the Garden, 2006

 "My old man", Stanley, dozing in my garden while I work.
“My old man”, Stanley, dozing in my garden while I work.

My “old man”, Stanley, at the age of about 24, enjoying the warm bricks and sun in the garden on April 30, 2006.

Spending more and more time in my garden in spring, a bright and warm day much like the one you see here and my garden pretty much the same as well, I’ve been remembering the parade of my garden sprites. I love my garden nearly as much as I love my cats, and putting the two together made the whole experience a joy for me.

Stanley is supervising my planting of tomatoes while much of the garden is still filled with clumps of forget-me-nots between the beds and around the edges, his nose to the spring breeze. He was with me for 21 years, passing in January 2007. He was not at all a juvenile when he came to me so he was at least three years old, likely a little older. In his last year he was still vital though relatively thin, and I had given him occasional therapeutic doses of subcutaneous fluids for his chronic renal failure since his diagnosis in February 2004, but he had no problems walking or getting around. His eyes were cloudy with cataracts and his hearing wasn’t the best, but his sense of smell was unparalleled as he had made his way around the yard downloading his pee-mail and uploading responses, then decided to settle on the bricks, warm from a long sunny afternoon, to doze and watch me. His best buddy, and my other long-time garden sprite, Moses, had passed earlier that year, in February, and I know his backyard sojourns were never as enjoyable as when quiet gray Moses was there to share them with him. I know my place, I am not as good as another cat, but I will do in a pinch.

The image below shows more of the whole scene, looking very much like recent days except that Mimi was strolling down the brick path while I was turning soil in that spot; in the background you can see a little strip of salad greens and beyond that some tulips and lunaria blooming. Some things never change. Read more about Stanley.

tabby cat in garden
The whole picture, looking very much like yesterday except that Mimi was strolling down the brick path.

Photos “From the Archives” and “Vintage Photos”

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.

Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals



Feline Images from Portraits of Animals!

Tortoiseshell Camouflage
Tortoiseshell Camouflage

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. You can read more and purchase.


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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4 thoughts on “From the Archives: Cookie Waiting on Me, 2007

  • Brian's Home ~ Forever

    That is some pretty peek-a-boo kitty.

  • 15andmeowing

    Cookie is beautiful and your clematis is really nice too. XO

    • My little Cookie-roo loved flowers because I paid so much attention to them. I lost that clematis the year after she died. I could see it wasn’t thriving that autumn and I think it was because the spot was getting less sun each year with the neighbors’ trees growing, and we also had an ice storm that weakened it, but it didn’t come back the following spring. I always associate that clematis with her.


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