From the Archives: Drama in the Kitchen, March 16, 2005

tortoiseshell cat under table
Drama in the Kitchen

“Do you see what’s happening? No one cat get to the water bowl. Sometimes I don’t understand my BFF Sophie and how she feels about Namir. Like, he’s okay most of the time, but sometimes she just gets irritated he’s near her. All she has to do is look at him and he freezes and sometimes he runs! But she’s the nicest kitty. She’s never explained it to me, and I’m her BFF too. Such drama!”

Yes, here the drama starts. Back in the day I only had one water bowl. One water bowl in the whole house! It was soon after this that I began setting up water bowls all over the house because Peaches and Cream would arrive in June, Stanley was getting older and needed a water bowl near, Moses was having a little more mobility issues than she’d had all her life, and there were these little conflicts around the bowl, especially when I was in the kitchen so everyone was in the kitchen.

three cats in kitchen
Really, Moses just wants to get a drink.

Namir just kind of hung out, but he kept an eye on Sophie. We never knew when she might decide to glare at him. Namir was a nice cat and didn’t go around starting little tiffs or anything. Maybe he reminded her of a cat she didn’t like from her life before I rescued her. Namir wasn’t a scaredy-cat, though I’m glad he decided just to go along with Sophie whenever this came up!

two cats in kitchen
Namir keeps an eye on Sophie.

So there was a little face-off, and this is just before Namir decided to go and visit the basement.

two cats in kitchen
A little face-off.

“I just keep out of it.” Good idea, Cookie. But you’re also a tattle-kitty.

tortoiseshell cat under table
Cookie settling in.

Photos from the archives in previous years

Quizzical Tabby, 2010

tabby cat on windowsill
He always had the cutest head tilt.

I find cats who use their natural ability to tilt their head to fullest manipulative effect irresistible. Dickie always knew when to turn that on, and exactly what it did to me, so he pulled it all the time.

I fostered him for one of my nieces for a year, and after some initial timidity, surprising because he is a really big cat, he fell right in with The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse. He was about their age, at that time about three years old, and he was so good-natured everyone got along fine. “Everyone” included Mimi as well as Peaches, Cookie, Kelly and Namir, so it was quite a full house.

tabby cat on windowsill
Dickie straightens it up.

It’s funny, because just before she asked me if I could foster him, I had been thinking how nice it would be if a big tabby cat came along as a foster. I was missing Stanley, and Moses was a tabby too though she was gray, but I loved the patterns and the way the stripes and darks and lights outlined their features. And here came this big friendly guy. How did his head tilt affect me? I took about 20 photos of him on this windowsill, just looking at me, looking around, being a really sweet cat.

He was feeling a little giddy because there was snow outside the window!

tabby cat on windowsill
Snow!

 

Photos from the archives in previous years

Kelly in Garden Corner, March 15, 2003

tortoiseshell cat on windowsill
Kelly peeking at me around the corner.

Kelly enjoyed this windowsill from the very beginning of her time outside the foster room. I featured a vintage photo of her birdwatching at this window from around that time earlier this year, and have many others as well, including one from another year below.

tortoiseshell cat on windowsill
How about a little relaxed cheek rub?

She was pretty confident by this time and I love her relaxed expression peeking around the corner at me, creating the purrfect composition of shape and colors.

tortoiseshell cat on windowsill
Look at those ears!

Kelly played along with me as I walked around her on the landing, taking yet more photos!

tortoiseshell cat on windowsill
Little Kelly in the corner.

I loved having my garden of houseplants on top of the wardrobe, and they could still sleep among them. They loved the garden too.

tortoiseshell cat on windowsill
Peeking around the philodendron.

 

. . . . . . .

Cookie, Namir, Lucy, Peaches, 2007

Namir, Cookie and Lucy enjoying the window while I enjoy them.
Namir, Cookie and Lucy enjoying the window while I enjoy them.

It’s not the clearest photo because that Olympus digital was ready to give it up, but I know I loved the color and the atmosphere of these three on the table by the window. My jade and begonias and croton added color along with the bird feeder outside the window, and it looks so warm and pretty.

When I scrolled past it on the way to something else recently I decided I had to feature it, along with a number of other photos from the same day, March 13, 2007, and another day is below. I do this now, just carry the camera around and take photos, then when I go back to look at them it’s like a time capsule. At this time in 2007, we had just lost Stanley at age 25, and before him Sophie, Cream and Moses; with Mr. Peach (below), there were six cats in the house. A very rough time was about to come, and these beautiful days were like magic.

Cookie camouflaged between the deck rails, or so she thinks.

Cookie camouflaged.
Cookie camouflaged.

Peaches and Namir looking out the door at us. Peaches wanted me to come back in and give her a snack, then sit down so she could curl up on my lap. Namir may have been outdoors with us earlier, I’m not sure why he was indoors, but he looks okay with that.

When are you coming in so I can nap on your lap?
When are you coming in so I can nap on your lap?

Mr. Peach, who I fostered for a friend for several months so her husband could see if his sinus issues were a cat allergy—they would take Mr. Peach back one way or the other, and they did, but his absence didn’t have any impact on the sinus issues. It was nice to have a big orange boy in the house for a while.

Mr. Peach, who I fostered for a friend.
Mr. Peach, who I fostered for a friend.

Namir having a bath on the table. I think I’d wanted to get a bigger shot of this, possibly for a painting, but the zoom would sometimes get stuck on that camera. It resulted in an interesting shot, though.

Namir having a bath on the table.
Namir having a bath on the table.

And a bonus shot of Namir’s nose. He had to sniff the camera lens as often as possible. I have a lot of Namir noses.

Namir's nose.
Namir’s nose.

Below is another time capsule from the same year…

From the Archives: A Sunny Morning, March 25, 2007

Lucy, Peaches and Namir on the table, another view.
Lucy, Peaches and Namir on the table, another view.

Lucy, Namir and Peaches had their sites staked out on the kitchen table on this bright and sunny March morning, but the fun continued upstairs on the landing. Here, aside from me standing in front of her, Lucy is watching birds out the dining room window. Namir is facing out the front door which is in the next room. Peaches is sitting near the stove and counter from whence the food arrives. Breakfast is over, but she also knows she might get an extra little serving because she’s a little old lady, and I love her to pieces.

A little later Namir and Lucy follow me upstairs, or probably Namir follows me and Lucy follows Namir, but in any case we join Cookie upstairs on the sunny landing. They are nearly camouflaged in the way the sunlight falls and then breaks up in random patterns and I know that’s why I took this photo, because they are there, and not there. Cookie is on the left, Namir is in the top center looking at Lucy in the bottom right.

Cookie, Lucy and Namir on the landing.
Cookie, Lucy and Namir on the landing.

And on the windowsill a moment later was Kelly, to round out the full complement of cats in my house at that time.

Kelly on the windowsill
Kelly on the windowsill

Most of the time I’ve lived with cats I’ve had nine cats, which always seemed to be my magic number, but really I rarely had fewer than seven. The previous year at this time I’d had eight, but then I’d lost Moses and Cream and Sophie and Stanley, and gained Lucy, who joined Cookie and Kelly and Namir and Peaches. After all the losses in the previous year I was getting used to the smaller size of my household, resting after all that had happened, knowing the universe would bring me more cats if I was meant to have them, as I always said. And we were simply enjoying a sunny morning in March, they enjoying the sun, and I enjoying capturing their images.

The old Olympus point and shoot digital was good for its day but never my favorite, not handling color well and especially not contrasts, a think a totally loved in my photos, so shadows are filled with no detail and highlights are overexposed with no detail, but the essence is there. I took a number of close up photos and caught Namir and Cookie, dozing in the warm sunshine through the tall casement at the top of the stairs, warming the wood boards of the floor, possibly the coziest spot in the entire house.

Namir
Namir

I adore Cookie’s little nose and all her freckles.

Cookie's profile.
Cookie’s profile.

And a sweet photo of Lucy with a very mature feline expression, “Yes?” Such a little girl, she was just about to turn one year old. Our time had gone so fast and much was taken by all our recent losses, but a sunny morning was a sunny morning to enjoy.

Yes?
Yes?

Of course, less than a month later, Lucy would be diagnosed with FIP, and while it took me completely by surprise, having seen no symptoms of anything until she began showing lethargy after her surgery, I can see in photos like this one and others from this time that she wasn’t quite the same energetic kitten she had been, for instance, in January in the photo “Lucy’s Garden” just two months before. She wasn’t as active, her eyes weren’t as round, she didn’t look as robust as she had. All my other cats at the time were old, and all the caretaking had make me forget what kittens were like and that at the great age of one they should still be flying about with toys and annoying their elder brothers. I thought Lucy was just maturing.

Noticing wouldn’t have made any difference anyway, so I could just love her as the new life of my household. We had our time together to work and bond even after her diagnosis, and she and the universe did bring me the cats I needed later that year, in late July.

. . . . . . .

Photos From the Archives are digital photos taken before I began blogging, and Vintage Photos are from my film archives back to 1983 when I purchased my Pentax K-1000 camera.


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graphite and colored pencil sketch of tortoiseshell cat drinking
“Cookie Has a Drink”, graphite pencil and colored pencil, 6″ x 4″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

 

Here’s a sweet memory, and another one I’m glad I caught in one of my first daily sketches from 2011, Cookie, having a drink in her favorite water bowl in my studio, in 2011. Read more and order.



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Bernadette

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.

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