Stories, Art and Photos, and Articles
Normally I’d spread these stories and images out over the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but since we were otherwise occupied this year I’m collecting the links all in one post to give you some reading materials for your holiday, and afterward. All the work I spent time on in the past months will help me to write and create even more, and I’m looking forward to the new year with many ideas. Thank you again for following us and reading when we have the chance to post. We hope you have the best holiday possible, and as I look at the frozen world outside my windows I hope you and yours are safe and warm and loved, including all the kitties, inside and out.
Yes, I really did get a kitten in a box under the Christmas tree when I was a child. The story is not glowingly happy and, in fact, comes with a tissue alert, but led me to the cat who eventually became my “first” kitty, and the rest is history. Because the story kind of begins on Christmas morning 1970 it’s my pleasure to share it just before Christmas, the day it all came together for me, my love of cats, learning to care for them and finding in their grace and beauty the muse that would lead me to painting, writing, photography and my life as an artist.
Though dramatized, the basis of this story is true, and it involves cats and people I’ve written about on The Creative Cat.
Art and Photos
“Waiting on Christmas Night” features Mewsette waiting for me in the window as I returned home from Christmas night festivities years ago, painted from reference photos and memories. It’s the first holiday art I’ve had the time to create in years, a 10″ x 12″ pastel, painted at the beginning of December, 2021, and won an award in the CWA 2021 communications contest.
Sophie was a little goofy, and spent a good bit of time in obvious contemplation of an object that might be in front of her, or of nothing at all, that I could see, at least. She did at one time look at herself in a glass ornament on the tree…waaaayyy back when I had a tree, once, in this house.
I designed this linoleum block print for my holiday card in 1996. Back in the day, if you were a graphic designer using clip art, the “wood cut” look was really popular, and it also helped to really revive my need to create block prints.
I designed this linoleum block print for my holiday card in 2001. The design is based on the actual scene that met me many snowy nights when I came home from my day job and seeing one of my kitties in silhouette, Sally for many years, then Sophie, sitting on the windowsill at the big casement window facing north, the light falling across the snow on the ground below.
For my holiday card in 1997, I was puzzling out yet another way to say “Peace on Earth”. I saw an illustration that had each hemisphere of a globe on either side of a Christmas tree ornament, and thought the idea of using the globe was clever. Creating portraits of spotted dogs and spotted cats at the time, something in my brain put it all together for me. While I regularly create linoleum block prints, I decided to draw this one out instead of cutting it!
December is an anniversary—December 5 to be exact! This is how those housepanthers inspire me—ten years ago (2007) I took photos of five-month-old Giuseppe, Mewsette, Mr. Sunshine and Jelly Bean watching birds at the feeder, and this was one of the photos that helped make them permanent members of my household, and it became a design I love and led to yet another. What more could I ask of a bunch of kittens?
And then from that inspiration…
It all started when I set the silver sparkle ball on Cookie’s head, and she gave me the tortie look, but stayed put. Cookie isn’t really wild about modeling for her mom’s stupid pictures. But you don’t see her running away. Too bad for Cookie.
I took the photo in 1983, just a few months after I got my first camera and I was only shooting black and white so I could learn how to use the camera. Some cat’s paw had taken down one of my cut paper snowflakes as he sat to look out the window. That profile. What a memory. Another in that “girl and cat meet camera” era.
This year, you’ve decided it’s time your child had a pet. Or perhaps you and your friend, spouse, partner or other family member have been discussing adopting a cat or a dog, bunny or bird. A holiday celebration seems like the most exciting time to present the new kitten under the Christmas tree, the best gift of all, a memory to last a lifetime.
Thanskgiving, Easter and Passover have the same advice for foods and house guests and doors opening to the night as well as plants and flowers, but the December holidays—Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Solstice—all have decorations and traditions that we want to preserve but which can be very dangerous to our pets.
Holiday foods from Thanksgiving and all around the year.
My cats will eat anything green I bring into the house, whether it’s cut flowers or a house plant. Most cats aren’t terribly particular about what greens they’ll nibble on; generally they’ll try anything green and fresh, and some cats will completely chew down a plant that can’t have tasted very good and wasn’t very easy to chew. They don’t stop with leaves, either, but will eat the petals off of a flower, the stems, it’s all a potential snack.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Treat yourself or a loved one to a custom commissioned portrait. Enjoy my video, then click the link for more information.
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:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!