Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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From the Archives: Kelly at the Basement Door, September 2002

Kelly enjoys the sun.
Kelly at the basement door.

Watching Bella enjoy the sun by the basement door reminds me of Kelly who used to spend afternoons basking in the sunlight, casting lovely shadows. Quite the meowdel she was!

Here is the full version of that photo.

The uncropped version.

I took about 10 photos of her, though Namir and Cookie and Sophie were around her too. She kept looking up at me, and I preferred the photos where she wasn’t because Kelly could be such a quiet and contemplative kitty. But I’m glad I have those too.

Looking up at me.

Something about the peeling gray paint that created just the right texture on the floor. I even used one from this series in the design for one of my sympathy cards.

This was the second year I had the little digital and only had my film camera aside from that. I didn’t start saving the photos by date until 2004 and tended to only keep the ones I wanted to use or that I liked a lot, so I don’t have all the photos from this day.



Photos from the Archives from around this date in previous years

Kelly in Silhouette, 2008

Kelly was an amazing silhouette study on any windowsill. Petite and slender, her silhouette always had so much detail, and then her wiry little movements in her bath and even just in observing outside the window. Well, as much as could be seen through the patterned glass and plastic panels in the old bathroom window. But that overused old casement was the perfect foil to Kelly’s smooth and limber shape. I was going to say young, but in these photos she was 15 years old, though she hardly looked a day over five.

I’ve left some in color, enjoying the random fill each window has of blue sky or possibly white or gray clouds, and converted some to black and white, the more to enjoy Kelly’s silhouette and the myriad details of pattern and shape. I wasn’t fond of the skewed windows from the lens I’d used, and I straightened out two really extreme photos, but the way some of them inclined inward as they rose above Kelly emphasized her little shape.

Cookie in the Pasta Bowl, and in the Soup Pot, and in the Baking Pan…

tortoiseshell cat in pasta bowl
Cookie in the pasta bowl!

This was the first one of all!

Good thing I checked the bowl before I filled it with the mellowed fresh tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette!

I warmed my big round pasta bowl in the oven, then set it on the counter while I ran outside to get a couple branches of basil to finish off my dinner, maybe ten seconds, and when I returned Cookie was just settling into the bowl as if she’d been in it all day. What else is a cat to do with a nicely warmed, round ceramic cat bed that you might notice purrfectly fit her? I tossed the basil in with her and grabbed my camera for a straight-on shot (below) then stepped up Cookie’s footstool for the above shot.

Amazing how cats can fit themselves comfortably into just about anything, but this is a natural.

Here’s another view. I couldn’t decide which view I liked best—I love the above view because of the composition, but I also like to see the expression on Cookie’s face.

tortoiseshell cat in pasta bowl
“But it’s so nice and warm in here!”

I didn’t move her, but as soon as I started mixing the tomatoes with the pasta curiosity got the better of her and naptime was over.

This was the first photo I posted in a series I named “In the Kitchen With Cookie”. Cookie had always been intent on exploring everything in her world and curling up in anything that would fit her, even at age 17 as she was here and even with her lifelong disabilities in climbing and jumping and anything requiring strength and agility in her hind legs. She got herself anywhere she wanted to go and was very proud of herself for the outcome. With this photo I began documenting her interactions with my pots and pans and bowls in her last two years.

I also made a calendar of her photos, as described below. I took this photo in September 2010, but I used it for the August calendar layout.

. . . . . . .

August In the Kitchen With Cookie



You can add more or less of any ingredient to your taste; I always have more of each than this. Core and cut two pounds of tomatoes into one-inch chunks or halve cherry tomatoes, thinly slice two or more cloves of fresh garlic and chiffonade a quarter to a half cup of basil leaves. Place in bowl, toss with two tablespoons of sea salt or one tablespoon or regular salt, let sit while you cook a pound of linguini or fettucini, toss together while warm, top with fresh grated parmesan or very coarse seasoned bread crumbs.

Guess what I’m having for dinner tonight? This photo was actually originally posted in September, but my tomatoes are tomato-ing and my basil is basil-ing and it’s time for this meal—Mimi and I went out to get them this morning. No one else ever curls up in my pots and pans and pasta bowls…Cookie was one in a million. Remembering Cookie with a big smile.

. . . . . . .

Here’s the two-page spread for August:

In the Kitchen With Cookie for August 2014
In the Kitchen With Cookie for August 2014

. . . . . . .

In the Kitchen with Cookie 2014 Calendar

Desk and journal calendars for 2014, "In the Kitchen with Cookie" 2014 calendar
Desk and journal calendars for 2014, “In the Kitchen with Cookie” 2014 calendar

If you’ve followed my daily photos on The Creative Cat you may be familiar with my photos of Cookie interacting with properly-warmed pasta bowls, enamel pots and glass salad bowls in the series called “In the Kitchen With Cookie”. I was lucky enough to catch her in the act through the years photographing a dozen amusing images of Cookie exploring alternate uses for these items.

A number of readers requested a calendar which sounds like a wonderful idea to me, especially as a tribute to a part of Cookie’s unforgettable curiosity that still makes me laugh. The calendar is a 5.5″ x 8.5″ spiral-bound calendar printed on 100# matte-finish text paper so it’s easy to write on but the art still looks bright and crisp.

Each month includes one main photo of Cookie caught in the act which was either taken during that particular month or is themed for that month food-wise, plus a bit of the text from the original post on The Creative Cat—and Kelly even makes an appearance with Cookie in two of the photos! I’ve also included a simple recipe of my own that corresponds.

On the right a monthly calendar includes basic holidays, moon phases and room for notes at the bottom, and other photos of Cookie from the same and related explorations decorate open areas on the calendar page.

The recipes celebrate winter days in my kitchen and the seasons of my garden, long enjoyed with Cookie’s supervision, including my special “Cheesecake”, “Healthy Multi-fruit Crisp”, “Easy Lemon Vinaigrette” and my best advice for cooking fresh sweet corn.

Maybe someday I’ll publish that cookbook too. In the meantime, here’s a gallery of the images in this calendar.

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.

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Kelly's Morning Bath new member sample.
Kelly’s Morning Bath new member sample.

Kelly gives herself a complete bath every morning after breakfast on the table in front of the window in my studio, her every move full of purpose and industry. 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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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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