Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Vintage Photo: Belly Up in the Sun, 1985

black and white photo of black cat on back
Kublai belly up!

Kublai is evenly roasting himself in the sunbeam coming in through the door. He wasn’t a back sleeper, but when he was having a good sunbath all bets were off and he would go belly up and lots of other interesting positions. I want to pet that belly. He liked that too. I worked a day job then so this would have been a weekend day, especially in January-February as I know these photos were taken then (from the same roll as I featured Sally last week).

This is a black and white photo on black and white film, so no Photoshop magic, filters or apps. I love the way black and white film captures crisp details, even when I’m scanning the prints I have and not the negatives.

Below, he did start to roll around and faced me. One of these days I’ll scan those negatives and maybe I’ll be able to get some detail in his face. I’d love to see his expression! He was three years old here (and I was 23).

black and white photo of black cat on back
He rolls over to look at me.




Vintage Photos from Previous Years

Walking in the Sun, 1989

room with two cats
Stanley and Fawn are in this photo!

From the same roll as last week’s photo of Stanley and Moses on the bed, here is Stanley with another of his girls—Fawn. They are down in the lower right if you didn’t see them yet, or wondered why I posted a photo of a perfect 1980s thrift shop chic plant-filled country dining room. I was photographing the room because I thought it looked so nice on this sunny day, and I remember something about trying to catch Stanley and Fawn, who were walking along together, before they walked out of the bottom of the frame. There is a blurred photo too, probably when I tried to focus on them and it all fell apart.

They look so young, and they were. I would guess Stanley was about seven or eight then, and Fawn was about nine months old. They are walking next to the vertical slice of our old elm tree with lots of bark that I used as a flat scratcher, lying on the floor. Fawn use to run and jump on it, then scratch the heck out of it, wood chips flying. Stanley probably went over to see what she was doing and maybe wrestle a little, instead he nuzzled her when she stepped off it and headed for the living room, another room just as sunny. I still have that slice of the elm tree, but it stands upright now, next to the entertainment center in my office/shop. Mariposa loves it.

You can see off about mid-photo a box on the floor in front of the white cabinet on the left of the table, and in front of the “china cabinet” on the right. Those are boxes from a case of tall cans of Science Diet that I fed to the entire house because of Stanley and his urinary issues. It worked for him! I thought I might as well get my money’s worth out of the deal and get some free cat enrichment toys.

I think someone is sitting under the table, and likely it’s Moses. She always slept on the chairs where she felt safe. The other cats in the house at the time were white, black and orange, and that’s not one of them.

The “cabinet” on the right, actually a dresser and the top from an old Hoosier cabinet I found in the basement of that house and painted them antique white with country blue trim, are here in this house. The low cabinet near the doorway on the left moved here with me too, and it was water damaged here; I just pulled it out of the basement and salvaged as much as I could last summer. All the plants moved here with me too, and some, like the arboricola in front of the window on the left, just lost its last leaves a couple of years ago. I still have babies from that spider plant. Above the doorway in the dining room I added a wide shelf for plants and some baskets and such, and I have wandering jew hanging on either side of the doorway. I loved all those plants, but this house was nowhere near as sunny as that one. And that house was so much bigger—that room was about 12 x 14, this house is 15 x 22. I had six “permanent” cats, aside from the fosters who came and went, and I loved that each one could have a whole room, with rooms to spare.

What a sunny movement to remember, 31 years ago.

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.

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portrait of black cat on floor
Are You Looking At Me? pastel, 17″ x 22″, 2005 © B.E. Kazmarski

This is the guy who started it all–and nearly the last one to have his portrait done! Read more and see detail images of the painting.


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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4 thoughts on “Vintage Photo: Belly Up in the Sun, 1985

  • Such a nice memory 🙂
    A good reason to remember to take pictures all the time!

    • Absolutely, even back in those film days when you didn’t have unlimited space on a roll of film!

  • Fond memories, and so full of life and cats. That’s what it’s all about, in my book. I think cats, felines, do the whole ‘belly upper most’ thing better than any other species. So elegant with it. And black and white is a marvelous form for capturing detail, we love them, often in preference to colour.

    • Cats are so flexible that they can stretch out completely flat on their backs unlike a lot of other animals. For capturing contrast and patterns and details, black and white it is! Even when I sketch, sometimes I don’t want the distraction of color.


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