Sunday, July 21, 2024
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From the Archives: Ready for Work?

Tortie Girls reporting for work.
Tortie Girls reporting for work.

Yes, before my studio was filled with housepanthers, it was managed by two tortie girls. I “reclaimed” it in 2011 as my studio since it had become a repository for boxes of paperwork and things I had no space for. I cleaned out everything that had been in there, some since I’d moved in here, covered the random wood floor with heavier flooring, painted the walls, and moved in the tables and shelves and storage cabinets that got me started in there, and it’s been my studio ever since.

That was the last summer for both Cookie and Kelly, and both were feeling their ages, 19 and 18, respectively, to a certain extent. Because the rest of the house had gotten so crowded with boxes of paperwork (medical, insurance and legal for both my mother and my brother along with my own business papers), they needed a quiet place to spend a part of each day so I encouraged them to join me in there, and fed them their “senior lunch special” of raw food in the room. Both of them seemed to appreciate the time away from the “kids”, at that time just Mimi and the Four. I loved being able to spend that quiet time with them too. We had no idea what the future would bring, but we enjoyed all we could and kept them as healthy as possible.

Here is what I said in 2011:

My studio supervisors arrive at work before me! I’m working on starting the day in my studio when my eyes are rested and I have daylight to work with instead of ending it there and working too late into the night.

My tortie girls agree! They’ve been staying up all night with me for more years than they want to remember—after all, they have to supervise me or how could I get any artwork done? The most important role they serve is sleeping on my lap or next to my feet so that I need to stay put and therefore get work done. One would never get up or move while a cat is sleeping.

The younger ones have something to learn from keeping me under control, perhaps someday one of them will show some potential.

Cookie has had a lifelong role in what I do, and this will clarify what she does: I Will Never Get to Retire.

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


My Tortie Girls Block Prints from Portraits of Animals!

The Tortie Girls!
The Tortie Girls!

These two tortoiseshell cats are Cookie and Kelly, both rescued and fostered, but who ended up staying with me for most of their long lives. They were both inspirations for many works through the years, but this set of linoleum block prints is actually my favorite depiction of them. 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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© 2022 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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!




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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