I started this blog several years after we lost Sophie, and by that time Cookie was my solo girl. But for most of the time they were here the two were a pair. You would rarely see one without the other either right next to each other or very near, often cuddled together. In this case, it was a hot July afternoon, but they still had to sleep as close to each other as possible, on the refrigerator, and on the cat tree.
Sophie joined us a week after I moved in in 1990—she was our housewarming cat. She went off to live with my mother for a year or so, and when she came back a little tortie had joined our household. Cookie was still up for adoption, but a calico named Murphy was adopted at that time, which I came to think was the universe permanently adding Cookie to our household. At that time we still waited until cats went into heat to spay if we didn’t know their age, and then adoptions took so much longer with the telephone, snail mail, and getting film developed. Cookie was a silly little potato when she was a kitten, but she she became an adult Sophie found her more than tolerable, and soon the two were pals.
The photo below is a little more clear, but you can’t see as much of Cookie. But you can still see how cute they are, big soft Sophie with those big soft paws, and rounded little Cookie who liked to drape herself off the edges of things. Cookie followed me around from the beginning, while Sophie had the habit of napping in quiet places. Once the two became friends Sophie began follow Cookie following me, and soon I had my two chariot cats often settled on either side of me on my desk or curled on the floor at my feet when I was at the easel.
But it’s good to look back through photos to see them together again. Here’s another two from even earlier years.
Vintage Photos: Looking Out the Basement Door, 1997 and 2002
Cookie and Sophie sit side by side at the basement door, these two BFFs and my guardian kitties. No doubt Cookie was unhappy at not being outside with me but I was likely doing something like cutting the grass and she was much better off inside. Sophie didn’t mind either way, and only came outdoors now and then.
The two would often sit here, together, in the summer when I had the interior door open. They are watching me in this photo from 1997, but they also enjoyed watching all that happened in our little garden and out into the yard from the ground level of this door. They did this so often that when I replaced the concrete step at this basement door, I wrote their names in the concrete—more on that below. I treasure this photo, and until I began reviewing my boxes of photos last year I didn’t even realize I had it.
More memories than I can share are wrapped up in this photo and the ones with it on the same roll of film from 1997-1998, but I will add that this was my first summer in the garden without Kublai as he had died the previous September 1996; Kelly and Namir joined me in October 1997 and later in this roll of prints are the photos of the first time Kelly and Namir came down the stairs to join us, in spring 1998. Still later are photos of Moses rolling around on my bed, finally looking confident and playful at about age 10. Apparently, losing Kublai and Allegro, I wasn’t taking as many photos, which I think was correct, but I did capture the essentials.
Below is another photo I’d found, of the two side by side in summer 2002, in their appointed positions.
Another familiar sight, side by side on the concrete step I mentioned above, and a new door, a solid oak screen door I’d salvaged from an old home that I could cut down to fit this odd-sized opening. It’s the door you see today.
And another view of this couple, of Cookie turned to look at me, as she always did, to periodically check on me—and perhaps also Namir, by that time fully integrated into the household, who might sneak silently over on his long legs and pull her tail as he appears in the lower right of the photo.
And finally, here is the concrete step, with the two names, in the positions where they always sat, Sophie on the left, Cookie on the right. The concrete hardened faster than I anticipated and I barely had time to scratch their names into the surface with a nail, so they are hard to see, but I look at them every time I walk down the basement steps and pass this door.
I’m accustomed to being supervised by attentive and often critical felines, including inside and outside the house which, of course, includes anywhere in the yard. I love these memories, and I hope you have memories like these too. Don’t forget to take photos of them at the windows, watching you and greeting you as you come home. Someday you’ll cherish them too.
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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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Tortoishell 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. 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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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!
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