Friday, July 19, 2024
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Vintage Photo: A Collection of Cats, 2003

cat collection
Sophie amid the cat collection.

First of all, you are right, this photo is very dark and grainy. I have no idea why it came out that way because the room was bright enough. I’m sure if I could scan the negative I could do better with retouching, but this was as far as I could go and still have it clear enough to see many of the little kitties.

It was a disappointment because I loved Sophie’s posture in it, I liked the composition, and I know I was considering using it as a reference for a painting. In the background is a section of my cat collection, and couldn’t you just see a painting of Sophie snoozing in the midst of all those kitties? As soon as I saw her there I visualized it as a watercolor, and it would have to be pretty realistic for all the little kitties on the shelves and such. Couldn’t you picture all those little kitties?

But I’m happy to share the photo and Sophie, nonetheless. I took the photo in mid to late May in 2003, judging by other photos on the same roll.

Vintage Photos From Other Years

Moses A Little Wild, 2002

Moses in the woodland garden.
Moses in the woodland garden.

Moses takes a little tour of the woodland garden, having a little bit of a wild time…for Moses.

I’ve often called Moses my “little garden sprite” because she loved to be out in the sun and the vegetable garden with its brick paths and courtyard has always been the sunniest area of the yard. But mostly, she’s having a good nap or a rollabout on warm bricks. A nearly starved feral kitten we discovered later that her hind legs were hobbled by incomplete joints in her knees and hips. When she was young she played when no one was looking and moved around the house to sleep with me at night and find sunny spots during the day. As she aged she moved less and more slowly, but always in pursuit of the next good sunny spot, or next to me on the bed at night.

Tail in the air, she is happy!
Tail in the air, she is happy!

She liked her natural sunshine best, so a daily trip to the outdoors, even just onto the deck, was mandatory, even if only for 10 minutes or so to warm her hips and back. A nap on sunwarmed bricks was best, though. She could really toast herself that way.

Walking among the plants.
Walking among the plants.

But now and then she wanted to go exploring around the yard. On this day in 2002 I had my film camera with me and followed her around the woodland garden, the spring plants finished and the summer plants not yet begun blooming. It was not surprising that she chose the woodland garden. At this time of the year it’s more developed than the vegetable garden with evergreen groundcovers and other plants that stand all year round. Moses always felt safest when something “had her back”, like a big rhododendron or some tall phlox stems getting ready to bloom.

Around the rhododendron.
Around the rhododendron.

I’ve moved a large portion of my photo prints on film to a place that’s more accessible than before, and recently I took some time to sit and look through a portion of the envelopes of prints to refresh my memory of that’s there. I found these, and had no idea I had taken them. I knew I’d taken some photos of Moses outdoors, but had no memory of this little sojourn of hers at age 15, wandering among the woodland plants where Mimi does today, and Cookie and Namir and Kublai and Sally, and even a few others once or twice.

Hiding behind the bluebells.
Hiding behind the bluebells.

At the time I rescued her, and even at the time I took these photos, I knew little of feral cats compared to today, even though I’d rescued several in addition to her. I remember her quiet nature, never a meow, and gentle personality no matter how frightened she was, and this moment of trust when she followed an unfamiliar path in the yard without fear and came to me with love in her eyes and confidence in her step. For all the times socialized cats slather affection all over me and I love it, these moments of quiet trust with a former feral kitten give me just the same reaction.

Moses looks at me.
Moses looks at me.

You can read Moses’ rescue story in “My First Feral, and My Enlightenment”.

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.

Gifts Featuring Cats You Know!

Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals!

Originals and Prints from Portraits of Animals!

“The Perfect Camouflage”, pastel on Canson Mi Tientes, 11″ x 16″, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski

Sophie really thought I couldn’t see her because she thought she blended right in with the flowers. She almost had me fooled until I saw one of the flowers looking back at me and I knew I had to investigate. Her ulterior motive was to eat the flowers, something I hate to clean up after. 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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