Sunday, June 23, 2024
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From the Archives: Mewsette, Jelly Bean, Giuseppe in the Cat Book Library, 2010

three black cats with books
Mewsette, Giuseppe and Jelly Bean spend the afternoon in the cat book library.

That’s September 1, 2010, to be exact, but that made the headline too long and I had to get all their names in there. They are three years old and look like they did up until this past year. Giuseppe with his head tilt, Mewsette with her inscrutable expression, Jelly Bean in his cuteness, all three looking at me as they did—when they didn’t just ignore me. And look—no white whiskers! Of course, Giuseppe had to upstage everyone. Some things never change.

Below, apparently Giuseppe left and Mewsette joined Bean. She was famous for pushing her head into their faces for a few licks, and Bean obliged, then probably just wanted to get back to his nap so gave her a shove. I didn’t take any more photos so this probably developed into a shoving match and one or both left. If they had stayed there being cute I would have kept photographing!

I have sooooo many photos of cats being cute and beautiful and dignified and silly in singles and couples and groups, more than I could share in daily photos on my blog at that time. In fact you’ll find more in the past from a previous year, below.

And at least one of the paintings I’d planned for this year was at least one cat in the cat book library, though I knew I’d have to paint at least two because there are so many it’s hard to decide. Maybe next year when looking at Mewsette and Bean for very long doesn’t make me deeply sad. Right now I like to look at them and smile.

They are sweet memories; all but a few of them are now only with us in spirit, so I love to remember those days of fun and inspiration.

I believe I had set up this “cat book library” a few weeks earlier in August; prior to that the books had just been stacked by size in front of the mirror. I loved the way it looked and also the cats interacting with it as they immediately did, but I knew in time the books would suffer from cats sitting on them so I added a shelf over them. This stayed in place until 2017 when I moved the books to the entertainment center and set up the shelves I’d been using at vendor shows for the merchandise I had been making, which are still there today.


Photos from the archives in previous years

Caturday in the Cat Book Library, September 4, 2010

three cats library
Kelly, Mimi and Dickie in the cat book library.

Long before I used the cherry mahogany triple dresser in my office downstairs as part of my merchandise display, I used it to store papers and camera equipment, with my cat book library on the top. All the cats were immediately drawn to it, and I was immediately drawn to them with my camera. I took sooooo many photos of them that there was no way I could use all of them at the time, so even though they are more recent, after the time I began blogging, they are ones I didn’t have the chance to share before.

I have always had a cat book library, most of the books informational and the ever-popular picture books, and a few fiction and non-fiction books. I have long been a library user and tend to borrow books that I can, and only purchase a copy of a book if for some reason I need to have it with me. But after I joined the Cat Writers’ Association in 2007 I found myself with a number of books to read for reviews, and my local library also gave me donated books about cats when they didn’t sell in the book sales, and when they had to clear their shelves of multiple copies of older books to make room for newer books. I ended up with a lot of cat books, and what’s here isn’t all of them. I had intended to build shelves in front of the mirror, although I loved it so much for opening up the room with a reflection and reflecting the light from the front window. I never found a shelf that I didn’t feel would topple at some point because, you know, cats.

I took this just as the final group of nappers was decided and they began to relax and doze.

Kelly loved the books most of all, and spent more time here than any other feline resident. I did eventually get a shelf to go over the books, and she spent her time on that. I have shared a few photos of Kelly in her amazing sleeping positions, draped over the books as well as her reflected in the mirror, but she is the one I remember best up there.

Mimi wasn’t a regular user of the library, but she’s always liked several different napping spots around the house, and had napped here before the books, and so napped there again now and then, as she did on this particular Saturday.

They are joined by Dickie, a big and very friendly tabby who I fostered for a relative for a year as she moved. Even with a slow introduction it can be difficult for one cat to suddenly meet eight other cats. But he was the same age as the Big 4, and they were very welcoming to him, so he was soon napping and birdwatching and running around the house with them. Mimi, Cookie, Kelly and Peaches were fine with him as he treated them with the courtly respect the elder girls and the mom cat deserved. So even though he was larger than everyone, he tucked himself in wherever he saw other cats doing something enjoyable, like napping in the library. I still miss Kelly and her little habits, and Dickie was irresistible in purrsonality and stripes, but I have a lot of memories, and possibly a painting at some point.

August 31, 2007, the Little Four

It's a free for all!
It’s a free for all!

Twelve years ago today this is what the Curious Quartet looked like, just about one month old, and they’ve totally trashed their playroom once again. I’ve been intending to share photos of them from their first months every few days and totally failed in that, but I can still share the cuteness of a day with black kittens and their mom now and then.

You’re not going to show that one where they’re nursing while I eat, are you?

Well, Mimi, I felt really bad for you not ever being able to get a bite to eat without kittens nursing from you.

That’s all well and good, but I look horrible. And that one where I look like a beached whale and I’m showing every nipple on my belly?

Mimi, you are one cat who no one could ever describe as a beached whale. You’re just having a rest while your kittens admire you.

Do you have to?

In the interests of total disclosure, yes.

I’m so embarrassed.

Mimi, everyone knows that’s not what you look like now. Everyone will be glad you’re not having babies anymore! And you are beautiful!

Fearsome Bean.
Fearsome Bean.
 The Curious Quartet in their bed with their signature colors.
The Curious Quartet in their bed with their signature colors.
 Mewsette and Bean have a hug.
Mewsette and Bean have a hug.
 Mimi takes a break and airs out her belly.
Mimi takes a break and airs out her belly.
 The kittens nurse while Mimi eats.
The kittens nurse while Mimi eats.
 Four kittens are under my skirt.
Four kittens are under my skirt.

Ready for Work? 2011, and A Day in the Lives, 2005

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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Feline Photos from Portraits of Animals!

ink and watercolor sketch of two cats with books
“Evening in the Cat Book Library”, ink and watercolor © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Only one of several paintings and sketches I’ve intended from this setup! 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

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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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