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From The Archives: Stanley Has it All Wrapped Up, 2005

tabby cat closeup
Stanley has it all wrapped up.

Don’t know if Stanley was trying to tell me it was cold in here, but he curled up on my desk and wrapped his paws around himself, and watched me work in between naps. The kitty keep-warm lamp, my task lamp with the warm halogen bulb, was overhead, so that was probably the draw for him. He was unbelievably cute no matter what he did because of those white paws. I was apparently very inspired by this and took a number of photos, including the closeup below where I thought he looked like a landscape in abstract.

tabby cat closeup black and white
Stanley as a landscape.

He was 23 years old here, for one more day. The date was actually December 30, 2005. His birthday was nominally January 1 so he was just about to turn 24. But when you get that old, who’s counting?

I always pull my “From the Archives” photos from the week prior to the date I’m posting, so several photos included in this post are from December 30.

From the Archives in Previous Years

Grown So Much Alike, December 30, 2004

two cats sleeping
Moses and Stanley sleeping in remarkably similar positions.

Having grown old together, Moses and Stanley even began sleeping like each other, paws over noses, curled like commas. Here they are 18 and 22, respectively.

When former feral Moses finally ventured out into the household, she discovered big fur brother Stanley and attached himself to his side for months. Stanley looked a little alarmed, not knowing exactly what to do. His generous demeanor gave Moses the confidence she needed, and in time she quietly introduced herself to each of the other cats in the house.

She had lost her room when Fawn and her mom and siblings came along, and by the time Fawn was permitted to roam the house Moses was integrated and ready for a buddy closer to her age. Many years and many cats later, Stanley and Moses were the two oldest cats in the house. They were constant companions in Moses’ last five years, and Stanley missed her comfort when he spent his last year alone. Such sweetness in both of them.


Namir and Cookie and Me, December 30, 2006

Namir and Cookie on my lap after being outside.
Namir and Cookie on my lap after being outside.

Namir and Cookie curled back to back on my lap, breathing deeply, fast asleep, after we’d come back inside from “working” out in the yard and I sat down at my computer to “work” inside. It was hard to break the spell of spending time together, all three of us.

I’m guessing it was work because I’m wearing one of my flannel shirts that I typically wear out into the yard when I’m doing some actual work, at this of year it would be cleanup of some sort. It never mattered, anything was good, especially on the short days at the end of the year. I took the photo in two shots, so that I could get both hands in there, then merged them in Photoshop.

Kind of a follow-up from this essay from last year on this date, a photo of Namir and Cookie and Me from the first year we spent time outside in the yard.

Well, not exactly this date, but close enough.


Lucy’s Garden, January 3, 2007

Lucy's Garden
Lucy’s Garden

It’s hard to believe I took this photo 13 years ago. I remember these photos from January 2007, thinking how this little kitten had grown and time had flown since the previous May when she’d joined us. She was nine months old. The next youngest cat was Kelly at 14. The oldest cat in the house was Stanley at 25. Still, Lucy enjoyed her kittenhood and adored her older fur siblings as if they were her playmates.

You may recognize much of what’s in this photo—aside from all the missing house plants—since it provides the setting for many photos of Lucy’s immediate family, as well as her extended family in the form of the cats who’ve lived with me through the years and who live with me now, but when Lucy was here she spent so much time in it I called it Lucy’s Garden or Lucy’s Jungle, depending on how she was acting.

You may notice there is a faint rainbow to the right of her on the wall; I did have crystals suspended in each window at that time, but in truth rainbows followed her everywhere.

Lucy constantly found ways to play hide and seek with me, and I always obliged. It took some planning and patience to capture this image through the leaves and stems of the Lucy kitten who never stopped moving, as you see below, when this place is Lucy’s Jungle.

Find the kitten in this picture!
Find the kitten in this picture!

At this time we had recently lost Sophie at the end of December, and were caring for Stanley, who was in his last month, and spent much of it in the bathroom, right around the corner. I had lost 15-year old Cream the previous March and my precious formerly feral Moses in February. It was a very sad time for me, and for my household. Seeing young and happy Lucy in her garden when I went to check on Stanley was heartening for me, and I’m sure she understood her role. You can see that somber expression on her kitten face.

Lucy was born to Mimi the year before I managed to rescue her, and is a half-sister to the four siblings. I lost her to FIP just a few months after I took this photo, then I finally rescued Mimi. All the cats who were with me then are gone now. Not one of the cats who are with me now were even known to me on the day I took this photo. Lucy was the bridge between then and now. They are all together.

Read about Lucy.

I think I need to finally take the time to paint this photo.

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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“Stripes”, pencil, 8″ x 5″, 2002 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
“Stripes”, pencil, 8″ x 5″, 2002 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Stanley settled on the pillow on the recamier for his after-breakfast nap and I simply grabbed my pencil and sketchbook and swung around in my desk chair and got it down on paper. I’m so glad, because more than any photo with all its distracting details, this sketch brings Stanley and that moment right back for me as I remember studying him and deciding what was essential about the scene and about what I loved of Stanley. Click here to 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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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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