Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Stories for the Season

holiday design with four kittens and star
Star of Kittens, starring four amazing kittens.

They started early, inspiring me, reawakening the creative senses I’d largely put aside for other things. This was one direct inspiration from this amazing litter of kittens, photos I took way back on December 5, 2007 when they were only five months old. Giuseppe, Mewsette, Mr. Sunshine and Jelly Bean were milling around, coming and going, watching birds at the feeder, an activity they indulged in regularly in that snowy autumn and winter, but for me there was something about those silhouettes…and I knew even then that I couldn’t let go of that bond, those moments of visualizing and imagining, and not only for images but for writing as well, enhancing even then the commercial work I did each day, and later becoming a font of new artwork featuring them and all else around me.

It was things like this that helped make them permanent members of my household as my creative senses held onto the potential of those silhouettes. Five years later, in 2012, those photos became a design I love and led to yet another.

"Star of Kittens", and how it came to be.
“Star of Kittens”, and how it came to be.

And then from that inspiration…

"Star of Wonder"
“Star of Wonder”

All I can do is continue on the path they made for me.

Stories of the Season, Feline and Otherwise

Normally I’d spread these stories over the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this year I’m collecting the links all in one post to give you some reading materials for your holiday, and afterward. Thank you again for following us, supporting us, your messages of love and sympathy, and reading when we have the chance to post. We hope you have the best holiday possible, and I hope you and yours are safe and warm and loved.

~~~

Feline Stories

Witness to a Rescue

The actions in this story occurred in late November, right around Thanksgiving, so I always share it some time during Thanksgiving week. It’s a sweet story I’d carried with me for nearly 20 years and I’m not sure of the exact year, probably 1993 or 1994, that it actually happened.

illustration of cat on railing outside door
The little girl cat waits for her chosen person to appear.

A Christmas Eve Rescue

Though dramatized, the basis of this story is true, and it involves cats and people I’ve written about on The Creative Cat.

marker sketch of two black cats at the window
Two black cats at the window.

The Unintended Gift: My first cat, and how cats became my muse

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.

Bootsie on a ceramic tile from tenth-grade ceramics.
Bootsie on a ceramic tile from tenth-grade ceramics.

~~~

Other Stories

The Light in the Darkness

In these darkening days it’s easy to curse the darkness and miss the delicate beauty only found at this time. In 2014 I took my walk to Main Street for errands and found a wonderland one heavy, dark, overcast day in a place I had thought so familiar. I called it my “gray day walk” as a shorthand for those moments of exploration when time stood still for me, unexpected on a busy afternoon. Along with the inspirations of my felines you see each day here on The Creative Cat are these inspirations of nature and people in the world around me, with lessons to be learned in each one.


The Faded Napkin

For more than a decade I cared for my mother and brother, both in personal care for medical reasons, including cooking complete holiday dinners so they could feast and take home leftovers. The gathering became a new tradition for the three of us.

The Faded Napkin

The Faded Napkin

I have a white cotton napkin with a woven pattern of broken stripes like dotted lines in pink, blue, green, yellow and violet. The colors are faded now and it’s spotted with stains I can’t remove, but each of those stains is a memory as bright and clear as the colors once were of a series of special Christmas dinners. Read more…


 

Let There Be Peace on Earth

This story actually happened, and it’s one of my best memories of the pre-Christmas season.

On a dark, misty, not-quite-raining Sunday afternoon just before Christmas, I walked across an uneven, wet parking lot toward Dollar Tree, my mission: three or four pairs of 2.75 or 3.0 reading glasses that I could leave around the house or carry with me as need be since I was recently finding myself unable to read smaller text. I’d probably also pick up some other one-dollar-doodads that I really didn’t need. Read more…

 


The Christmas Moon

This story happened as well, though it’s based on my perceptions in the dim light of the moonlit woods along a back road. Sometimes we see what is there, and sometimes we build what we want from what we see.

christmas moon

Several years ago I was driving home on a Christmas night, traveling along a dark two-lane road in a somewhat rural area that was familiar and fairly close to home. As dusk fell the light dusting of snow around me was tending to violet and the perfectly clear blue sky above me was also shading to violet in the east. As I turned a bend in the road I met with surprise a big bright and creamy full moon that had risen above the uneven line of pine and deciduous trees nearly silhouetted against the sky on the horizon. I smiled at the pure beauty of the scene and as I drove along, the moon seemed to follow me on my left. Read more…

 


Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals

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Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

cat christmas cards
“Star of Wonder” and “Can We Get That Thing?”

You’ll find both greeting cards on Portraits of Animals. Read more and order.



Copyright

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 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | 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!

 
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Bernadette

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.

6 thoughts on “Stories for the Season

  • That really is fantastic! You must be so proud. It’s beautiful. #AwwMondays

    Reply
  • What a beautiful Christmas post. We just took in two kitties that pick us. It’s such a blessing.

    Thank you for joining the Awww Mondays Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Awww Monday and week. ♥

    Reply
  • theresaanspaugh1

    Beautiful. Merry Christmas!

    Reply
    • Thanks for visiting, and Merry Christmas to you too!

      Reply
  • Sally Ann Fleming

    Love the kitty and the star.
    But I also love the 4 kitties looking up at star. Beautiful

    Reply
    • Thanks, Sally, I really miss them. Time to catch up with you! Merry Christmas!

      Reply

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