Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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From the Archives: Tri-color Girls on a Winter Afternoon

They want to know what I want.
They want to know what I want.

Cookie was already settled in and Peaches is falling asleep where she sits, but Kelly is vigilant until her two older fur sisters settle down for a nap. She also wants to know what I want, and why I’m looking at her, but that soon passed.

On a sunny but cold afternoon, February 23, 2007, the tri-color girls arrived in their usual winter afternoon napping spot. Cookie was always very practical and settled in to nap without wasting any time. Peaches had been napping, below, and awoke with some serious bed head when she sensed Kelly giving an alert, even though it was only me, and sat up just in case she needed to do something. In the bottom photo Kelly turns to let her know she can go back to sleep. Good thing because Peaches is just about there already.

Kelly was never frightened of me, but always wanted to be sure she knew what was happening and what to expect. In a few moments, she could expect some pets, and she was vigilant at caring for her elders.

How sweet to see them on this bedspread with my cat pillows to decorate, and remember them snoozing all the long afternoon until dark when it was dinner time. Just another day in the life. I change my bedspread monthly for all the cats sleeping on it and it’s just about time for another change. I think I’ll change to that bedspread in their memory.

Girls getting ready for a nap.
Girls getting ready for a nap.
Kelly and Peaches confer about spots on the bed.
Kelly and Peaches confer about spots on the bed.

Photos from years past.


Wordless Wednesday: Happy Wednesday!, 2017

Happy Wednesday!
Happy Wednesday!


Longhairs, 2017

The longhairs
The longhairs

Basil and Hamlet inhabit my desk. Obviously, I can’t work with all that hair all over my desk and keyboard. Basil is actually medium-haired, though he has a nice ruff and tail in winter. Hamlet, on the other hand, is quite long-haired with a magnificent tail. The two hang out pretty frequently. I was honored by their supervisory visit of my evening work.

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What other photos have I shared on or around this date?

Daily Photo: I Want to Be an Art Cat
Hamlet the art cat.
Hamlet the art cat.

“I want to be an art cat.”

Really, Hamlet presumes he is my next model. He gave me four wonderful poses on the windowsill, this is the nicest.

He is still not comfortable with me unless he is inside the bathroom with the door closed, and even then not all the time. Hamlet jumps up on my drafting table right past my elbow, and ignores me, not making eye contact or responding to anything I say. I see him softening a bit though, as he did today when he moved to that corner, settled himself down facing me, and calmly looked at me. He is trying very hard, and this is not easy for him, but he will do it, he has decided. I will be patient.

Cats have always liked my studio, and I think that’s why it was always a successful foster room. It has a different energy than the rest of the house. It’s my happy room, it’s dynamic and the cats sense my happiness and enjoy it.

Ophelia is more comfortable and welcomes petting, but she too mostly avoids me when she’s out in the upstairs. My second floor is not that big, it’s 15′ x 22′ with a notch taken out for the steps, but it must seem vast to those two. They ran right into the bedroom for the first two weeks, didn’t even look in the studio doorway. Then Hamlet decided to bravely go in there and sit down.

I have been without my flower essences since last fall. They are kind of expensive and I needed to pay for other things instead, and I remembered that I’ve fostered and socialized cats for decades without them. And then I remembered how Bert and Ernie reacted, and Alvina, Simon and Theodore, and even Hamlet and Ophelia at first, and decided tonight to order two. I hope I can help them ease into socialization with more confidence.

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From Facebook and Instagram

So nice. Mimi has a good stretch in warm afternoon sun, on the way out to the yard.

Mimi has a good stretch.
Mimi has a good stretch.


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Caturday Art Photo: Portrait of Bean, 2014
black cat in vignette
Bean looking handsome.

Bean shows his profile. Not always the silly boy.

Bean quietly contemplated the sunny landscape outside the second-story window, looking here and there, looking at me and looking at the ceiling, as I took photos of each move. I decided to try out the photo filters built in to my Smartphone as I did. I usually like to take a photo without any features and play with it in Photoshop so that it’s as flexible as can be, and while most of the filters are pretty bad (oil pastel? really? did the designer of that filter ever see an oil pastel let alone a drawing?) “Vignette” works well, which is what I’ve used on Bean. All of them can be done better in Photoshop, but the other filter I like is “Tint” which adds areas of soft red, yellow and turquoise areas to a photo. I can only use one filter at a time on this phone and I happened to take this photo with Vignette, so I manually brushed in similar colors and then changed the contrast a bit.

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Daily Photo: Bella’s Morning Sunbath

Bella in contemplation.
Bella in contemplation.

Bella sat in the sun by the back door watching all the activity but quickly became drowsy with the sun filling her fur. Black fur absorbs light and heat, and Bella fairly glows with contentment.

There’s a white enamel tray on the other side that is reflecting sunlight onto what would be her shadowed side. Instead it highlights her should and legs and the side of her face with cool light, contrasting with the warm light from the sun.

In black and white.
In black and white.

I initially thought I’d like it in black and white because of the subtleties, but better than that I liked all the tones in her fur, the sable, mocha, sky blue, violet, and all the other tones between.

Then I just wanted to focus on her face.

Just her face.
Just her face.

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From Facebook and Instagram

Undecided, contemplating each direction, front and back, left and right.

Four directions.
Four directions, Mewsette, Bean, Giuseppe, Sunshine.

“I killed this blue fish.” Hamlet then proceeded to eviscerate it as he does with all the toys. This fish was pretty malnourished, but he did find a pinch of catnip.


Tucking into their baskets for a night of work in the studio. Four stages of sleep: Jelly Bean, sitting up considering a pre-nap bath; Basil, reclining, sleepily holding one eye open to see what I’m doing; Sunshine, engaged in early, light sleep; Mimi, fully engaged, featureless black lump in basket.

Four stages of sleep.
Four stages of sleep.

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Other daily photos shared on this date


Le Matin Bleu, 2015
cat silhouette and shadow in blue
Le Matin Bleu

I believe it is Bella looking sculptural as a silhouette and graceful as an elongated shadow among all the geometric shapes and shadows of my kitchen in the morning.

The blue is because I left the incandescent light filter on in my DSLR, and this is what it does to natural daylight. I actually quite like it as a technique. I like monochromatic photos and duotones, which is technically what this is, black in the shadows and with all other colors tending in shades of blue.

Pourquoi Français? Because I already have a post or two entitled “Blue Morning”, and Mimi, Mewsette and I all have French names. Because, why not?

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From Facebook: Five on the Afghan
Five black cats sleeping on the Afghan
Five on the Afghan

Like you don’t already get enough daily photos from me…but I’ve been remiss in this. Occasionally I share a photo on Facebook directly from my smartphone, no blog post or anything, just because I want to share what the house panthers are doing right at that moment. I know that many readers are not on Facebook so I’ve been intending to share them in my daily photo posts on these days, and by the time evening rolls around I’ve forgotten. I’ll catch up on a few I’ve shared already, but I will do my best to remember after this one.

Five of the house panthers were toasty and purring on the afghan on this cold, cold day, sleeping in a semi-circle. They were so relaxed and it looks so cheery I had to share.

“A semi – circle of warm and purring kitties on a wool afghan on a cold and snowy day. That space could be for me. Tempting!”

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Wordless Wednesday: Fresh Air!, 2014
cat looking out window
My neighbor’s cat gets a nose full of fresh air.

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Four Cats on a Cloud, 2014
four black cats on a kitty beanbag
“Four Cats on a Cloud”

Clockwise from about 7:00, Mimi, Sunshine, Mewsette and Bean all crowd themselves on the “cloud bed”, the old fleece kitty beanbag bed that’s filled with snips of upholstery foam. I had put it away when they tired of it a couple of years ago and recently brought it back out and washed and aired it. It is, for now, a cat magnet. There have been no cats on my desk because, well, there they are. I have even been nearly alone in my studio and, strangest of all, in my bed, because of the novelty of this cloud.

Typically three of them share it, Mr. Sunshine, who thinks it belongs to him, Mewsette and Bean. Mimi joined them today, and has ended up at the bottom of the pile. I haven’t yet had all five on this thing, and lest it look as if there is no way they could all fit, there is always room on top. Only Giuseppe is missing—he was posted on Mousewatch in the kitchen, one of the cabinet doors under the sink slightly open so he could peer inside.

I bought this bed at a yard sale in the late 90s just because I couldn’t pass it up, even though my cats have never been big on beds—they tire of them easily and I’m stuck with big foam constructions that take up space and aren’t used, when all I need to do is fold a blanket and set it down and immediately it’s covered in cats, or begin to work at any desk or worktable. Or just sit down and I’m covered in cats. They do tire of this one, but it has a fond memory. The day I brought it in the house and dropped it on the floor until I decided what to do with it Kelly saw it, her eyes grew even larger and rounder than usual, and she began talking about the new bed in the house, cautiously walked over to it, sniffed and circled it, then stepped onto it, and it was hers. Until Moses discovered it, and since we all knew Moses was incredibly special Kelly was honored to let Moses have the bed.

So was I because Moses had taken to sleeping under my desk chair—formerly feral, a little uncertain, she loved me but wanted to feel safe, so under my chair felt good to her but I could not move for fear of running over her. Moses climbed on the bed with Kelly one day and I inched it closer to my desk so it wasn’t in the middle of the floor. Kelly gave up her claim and the cloud bed stayed next to my desk chair downstairs until after Moses died in 2006. I still remember looking down at her and seeing her blink up at me, tap her tail and purr a little harder.

Kelly used it again after that in the winters, but it’s been away since she’s been gone. I have found no photos of either of them using it, but I’m sure they are somewhere. Seeing it there is probably one of the reasons I decided to share Kelly’s story today, since her attachment to the bed was fairly early in her time here. For me, it’s not just the joy of seeing four black cats all tucked together and purring on their section of the cloud, it’s also the memories that are tucked into the cloud itself.

Plus, they inspired today’s sketch, which I’ll post a little later this evening.

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“Really, That’s Very Interesting.”, 2013
black cat with head tilted.
“Really? That’s very interesting.”

I get the idea she’s being polite and just wants to enjoy her sunbath. But she’s awfully cute.

Possibly a photo for the 2014 Compositions in Black and Green calendar? Read more below.

AND…pawprints in the snow on my desk on the deck—and they are not Mimi’s! Who has been visiting?

Pawprints in the snow on the table.
Pawprints in the snow on the table.

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I Could “Daily Sketch” You, 2013
black cat with colore drawing pencils
Mimi looks at my pencils, then at me.

Mimi looks at my pastel pencils, then at me.

“I wonder how you’d look if I sketched you in blue, or purple or pink,” Mimi says. “I just might give it a try.”

Guess I pushed the non-representational colors too far for someone. she didn’t follow through with her threat, and I’m kind of glad. I mean, it would be totally cool to have a kitty who could draw, but I’m not sure I’d like how I look. Perhaps that was her point, too.

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Why Are We Here? 2012
two black cats
Why are we here?

Giuseppe, do you think there’s a reason why we’re here?

You mean, like, on this table? We sit here every morning…

No, stupid, a reason why we’re…like, on this planet, maybe in this country or here, in this house, with Mama Bernadette?

Where else would we be?

Well, there are cats everywhere. We could be somewhere else instead of here.

We’ve never been anywhere else.* What would make you think we could be anywhere else? We’re like a part of here.

No, Mama Mimi was somewhere else before, and she was there, she was a part of that place, until she came here.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

Bean laughs because everyone is laying on him!
Bean laughs because everyone is laying on him!

They have to do everything in groups of three, or four…or five. A friend gave me a new bed for them, and this is the result, four of them in the bed immediately, even if they don’t all fit. Jelly Bean is laughing because everyone is lying on top of him. How can I tell them apart? Well, look at those expressions! 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

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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