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From the Archives: Lucy Around the House, Early May, 2007


little black cat
Lucy supurrvising.

Above, Lucy supurrvises my portrait-making as she also enjoys a splendid sunbath on my studio windowsill. And below, a little more supurrvision. Look at all the plants around her, and on the windowsill…she never touched on. Like Lucy’s Garden, she loved them and knew she was a natural for the sun and greenery and rainbows.

little black cat
Lucy in my studio.

Recently, a possible cure for FIP has gone from studies and testing at the University of California to use by cat lovers, albeit from the black market, whose cats have been diagnosed with FIP, and the results are promising. More recently, a version of that anti-viral drug, Remdesivir, has been tested for use against COVID-19, and that too shows promise, at least to shorten the time of illness. The studies that led to what is now a strong anti-viral began with Dr. Neils Pedersen and SOCK FIP at UC Davis as he collected the DNA of cats and their relatives who had lived with and died of FIP, and Lucy has a connection to that. I couldn’t send Lucy’s DNA there because the collection didn’t start until after she died and I’d had her cremated, but of course I collected and sent that of Mimi and the kids, and Lucy’s siblings. A little bit of Lucy went into that.

At this point in May 2007, I’d had Lucy’s diagnosis for about three weeks. She’d recovered from that initial thoracentesis that removed 200cc of sticky straw-colored fluids from her chest, not abdomen, the reason I didn’t see the fluids build up. I had thought I’d lose her in days after her diagnosis, instead, she lost that sickly, frightened expression and looked pretty much like the old Lucy, but with a distinct note of sadness. She went back to eating regularly, playing now and then, and hanging with her buddy Namir, and any place that was sunny. I began feverishly photographing her because I new her time was short. Here is a collection of photos from May 1 through May 15, 2007. There were more that I’ve never shared, and maybe you’ll see those soon. She would live six more weeks.

Here she is below, still in my studio, such a tiny little girl even though she was just over a year old. About the size of her mom right now.

little black cat
She was so tiny.

I couldn’t determine which photo of her to share when I set this up for last Saturday’s post but couldn’t finish it, so I finally decided to start with those two above. Below are more where Lucy is just beautiful, wherever she is.

Lucy in the gallery downstairs, wondering when she’s going to be the subject for my next painting.

little black cat
little black cat

Back upstairs in the studio, watching a rainbow swinging around her from the window crystal in the late afternoon sun.

little black cat
Lucy plays with a rainbow.

Inside the dining room window, watching me and watching the world. Her profile looks so much like Giuseppe, but her face from the front looks like Mr. Sunshine. You can see her mouth is slightly open in the profile. Susceptibility to bacterial infections is one of the side-effects of FIP, and it seemed she had developed a deep and persistent sinus infection. We guessed that occasionally the swelling in her sinuses caused her to breathe through her mouth now and then. But she was still so cute there at the window.

Then, inside the window, she is obviously camouflaged! She wasn’t very active, but I new the spark was still there because she loved to surprise me, and still did by simply looking out at me from behind something.

And below, well, we know who her mom is. Mimi’s face is much rounder, but Lucy is definitely her daughter.

little black cat
Lucy in the kitchen.

Below, you’ll see another photo of her from not long after her diagnosis.

From past years around this date


From the Archives: April 23, 2007, Cookie, Kelly and Lucy

Cookie Looks at Me
Cookie Looks at Me

You may recognize the photo above from my Animal Sympathy Cards—it’s Cookie giving me a very serious look. It’s funny that all this time I’d thought, especially knowing the rest of this series of photos (there is always a series of photos) that I’d taken this photo out in the back yard, specifically with Cookie on the deck and me in my garden below, but that’s not so—she was right here on the shelf on my desk with the red brick porch pillar behind her and the morning sun on her face. Probably her expression is telling me that I am intolerably dull and we really need to go out into the yard. Sometimes Cookie thought she ran the show.

As I gather all my years of digital photos into one place I’ve been spending probably too much time looking through them, but I’ve been enjoying what I’ve found. I am surprised there are days when I have no photos of cats, and days back in this era when I have no photos at all. Then there are days like this where I have several series of photos of different cats at different times of the day. At this point in 2007, I hated this camera, and I don’t use “hate” loosely—it took way too long to focus to photograph cats well, all the photos were a little too red no matter how I adjusted it, I couldn’t control the contrast and lots of little details in each photo that I won’t go into; I can even look at a few and distinctly remember moments of frustration. Still, I took plenty of photos, and I’m glad I have them.

Below, Kelly enjoys a morning roll on the bed. This was always her habit after breakfast, to sit in the sun at the top of the stairs (there’s one of her there, but it’s badly exposed, darn), then hop over into my bedroom roll around on the bed while talking and bathing herself. I tried to catch her in mid-roll, but here I managed to catch and hold her attention for just a moment so I could see those big green eyes. When Kelly was happy, I was happy, but I know she can’t figure out what I’m laughing at.

 Kelly on the Bed
Kelly on the Bed

And then later in the day, Lucy settled on the bed. This is my favorite photo of the series, just Lucy perfectly curled in all that white on the bed. I remember thinking, though, that even though she was cute, something was wrong. Lucy followed me all over, and when she wasn’t with me she was with one of the other cats, especially Namir, who she adored, but she was never alone. Here she was alone on the bed, and not as responsive to her pets and compliments or invitations to play as usual. I’d talked to my veterinarian a few times about vague symptoms I’d noticed since her spay, and on April 25 she was diagnosed with FIP. But she was still my kitten, and I love to see photos of her.

 Lucy on the bed.
Lucy on the bed.

Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Garden Flags from Portraits of Animals

Each flag has a design on both sides, this garden flag is the same on both sides, but mirrored. This art is the only one in my set of garden flags that is not a sketch or painting, but a photograph, and the only design I have left of the original set. You can find it on Portraits of Animals. Click here to read more.

Lucy Most Exceptional Keepsake Box
Lucy Most Exceptional Keepsake Box


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.

One thought on “From the Archives: Lucy Around the House, Early May, 2007

  • Black cats are easier to photograph when they are near plants; the green seems to balance the darkness; may have to put more plants in the house!


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