Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Vintage Photo: Curtain Call, 1985

black and white photo of black cat and curtain
Curtain Call

I’m keeping with the roll of black and white film from early in 1985, like January and February. I believe this is actually my roommate’s cat Puck—those would be his ears, and Kublai had a rounder face. It was obvious to me even then, with only two black cats, that all black cats are not identical. He looks pretty cool there on the windowsill with the bit of curtain brushing past him, in sihouette. I guess I was trying to be a little avant garde inspired by a kitty who knew how to pose and was taking a curtain call. What would I have done without these inspirations! I just like the composition too, and I can tell you it was not entirely intentional. By this time with my camera I was beginning to have some better control over composition and framing, and while I know I wanted to capture his face, especially his eyes, I like the way this photo turned out without the details.


Other Vintage Photos from Previous Years

A Snowy Day for the Cat Tree, 1994

three cats on cat tree
Sophie, Stanley and Fawn being vigilant.

We had a huge snow in late winter 1994, and the cats had a lot of cuddling and napping to do while I dug out from at least 18 inches of snow. All day long when I’d come in they were napping in the cozy corner of the kitchen inside the carpeted cat tree, or on it, where both a furnace vent and the old refrigerator warmed the air along with the sun when it came around to that side of the house. The photo above is the last in the series and includes Sophie on the shelf, a very sleepy Stanley who’d occupied that level all day, and a vigilant but warm Fawn who watched all the non-action in the house from the upper level cubby.

Below, earlier in the day, Stanley is napping on the same level while Cookie is the vigilant one in the cubby.

two cats on cat tree
Stanley is sacked out while Cookie is vigilant.

In the middle of the afternoon Cookie owns the shelf and was likely watching me shovel out the front window.

tortoiseshell cat
Cookie on her shelf

This is the cat tree we’ve had since the early 90s, in the corner of the kitchen where it was just as busy as this just about every day. I mentioned a few months ago that I had a new use cat tree in that corner because I’d had to move the original blue one when I got a new refrigerator and it didn’t fit back into that space because the new refrigerator was a little wider. I had nothing in that spot for months while I looked for a cabinet to replace the one on the other side of the refrigerator and move everything down a bit. No luck yet on the cabinet, but Denise found a cat tree that fits the space purrfectly, although they don’t make them like this anymore, with nice big shelves and real dense carpeting. Having a cat tree in that corner for days like this, and they don’t need snow to hang out there, is really important for the cats. But someday I’ll get the blue one back in there.


Other Vintage Photos from Previous Years

What? 1994

torbie cat on bed
Fawn wants me to go away.

Some kitties haven’t been as welcoming of my photography attention as others. Actually, Fawn loved to have her photo taken, but at this moment she was just settling into a nice afternoon nap on the bed and really just wanted to focus on that. She was a sassy girl, and I loved her for it. This time she gave me a good long look, then just closed her eyes. As usual, even on film, I took more than one photo to make sure I captured the scene just in case I might want to paint it someday, but Fawn with her eyes closed wasn’t as interesting as Fawn with her eyes open.

I’m not sure when in 1994 I took this, but there was snow outside, and looking at some photos on the same roll it seems to be January or February. It’s on the same roll as Dinnertime for Nine, below, just before that.

Other Vintage Photos from Previous Years

Dinnertime for Nine, 1994

My household of nine cats enjoying dinner.
My household of nine cats enjoying dinner.

My entire household of nine resident cats—and one is just out of range of this photo but you’ll see her below—enjoying dinner on the kitchen floor in February 1994.

From the top right, the tabby cat with white paws is Stanley, 12.

To the left of him the gray tabby is Moses, 7.

Directly below Moses the long-haired tabby and white is Sophie, 4.

To the right of Sophie the orange and white cat is Allegro, 8.

To the left of Sophie the long-haired white cat is Sally, 11.

Directly below Sally the black cat is Kublai, 13.

To the left of Kublai’s tail the tortie is Cookie, 2 (2!).

To the right of Kublai’s tail the torbie is Fawn, 6.

In the photo below, the dilute tortie at the very top of the photo, on top of the half-wall, is Nikka, 6. Fawn and Nikka were sisters, but Nikka had been adopted and had just come back to my household the previous year.

nine cats eating dinner
The group with Nikka, up on the divider.

We all photograph our cats while they’re eating don’t we? I have always loved to feed my cats, plan their meals, hand out their food and watch them eat, it makes me happy that they are happy. I wanted to record that moment and that memory. They chose their spots and stood waiting for me to put the dish down, just as they do today. My kitchen had once been two small rooms, a kitchen and dining room. When I moved in here in 1990 someone had removed the upper part of the walls leaving half walls on either side of what had been the doorway. Nine cats were just too crowded in that small space and I could not convince anyone to move on the other side of the wall.

This group of nine cats, my first rescues, were my treasures. They were who I came home to after some work days at my day job that were 16 to 18 hours long, and kept me going through my part-time weekend jobs at the same time. We rarely had a chance to sleep in until I started seriously freelancing, and then they were there to stay up all night with me while I got design jobs done and worked on paintings—paintings of them, at this point in time, and just beginning to seriously photograph them and look around for art exhibits. We fostered plenty of homeless adult cats and socialized a lot of kittens too.

Below, Sally wonders what the heck I’m doing creeping around with that big black thing. Some things never change.

cats eating food
Sally looks at me as I’m creeping around with my camera.

. . . . . . .

See other Vintage Photos of my household of cats from days gone by, and taken on film with my Pentax K-1000.

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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Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

Silhouette at the Window White Votive Lamp
Silhouette at the Window White Votive Lamp

I created the ink drawing that is the basis of this design way back in 1988, called Puck at the Window from a photo I’d taken in 1984. 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

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Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

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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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