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Vintage Photo: An Old Memory, Perfect in Its Imperfections, 1983

sepia photo of a cat with snowflakes
“An Old Memory”

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.

I remember looking at this photo through the years and being disappointed in it, wishing I’d gotten more of Kublai, maybe, I’m not really sure. Then years later in 2009 I had to find it, and I loved it for all the things I’d thought were failures. I just needed to age a bit to realize how perfectly it captured that moment, and that time. Kublai was two years old, I lost him in 1996, and yet the memory was fresh. I wrote the poem below, and it became my holiday card for that year.

An Old Memory

Cut-paper snowflakes taped
to a wavy glass window reflecting
the big front porch from an apartment I lived in long ago,
and a cat I will always remember from when he and I were very young,
just beginning,
me just getting to know my camera, and my art;
how did I capture a perfectly blended image to reflect those times?

Poem © 2009 Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The holidays are a time for celebration as well as a time for reflection and remembering.

Even though it was black and white film, it was processed in a one-hour development machine intended for color and the black and white ended up sepia, which I really liked better than when I had it printed in black and white. It always looked like an older image and the sepia really reinforces that; it’s from the same era as “A Sunny Room”, and incidentally, the same cat, Kublai.

. . . . . . .

Where to find this image

This was my holiday card from 2009, and I published it for sale in 2010. The message inside reads, “Wishing you wonderful memories this holiday season and new year.” The poem is printed on the back. You can find it on Portraits of Animals singly or in a box of a dozen.

We hope all of you had a wonderful holiday, however you celebrate, whether with a big meal and family, or quiet time with a favorite activity.

As the inside of the card reads…


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 | | 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!






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.

2 thoughts on “Vintage Photo: An Old Memory, Perfect in Its Imperfections, 1983

  • 15andmeowing

    Beautiful. I hope you had a nice Christmas. And I wish you a Happy New Year! XO


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