Thursday, February 22, 2024
cat artworkdaily photofawnnikkatortoiseshell catsvintage photo

Vintage Photo: Fawn and Nikka, 1997

torbie and dilute tortoiseshell cats
Fawn and Nikka, actually touching!

Fawn and Nikka were mentioned in my rescue story “Cast Away” as two cats who shared the house with me at the time I’d rescued Sasha. This photo of the two was in the folder of photos of Sasha, and I thought I’d share this one-time happening.

These two were sisters, born in My First Litter. Fawn, at the top, is the subject of “my first painting”, “the portrait that started it all”, “Waiting for Mom”. Nikka, at the bottom, is the subject of my rescue story, “Coming Back Home”.

Fawn, a “torbie” or tortoiseshell tabby stayed with me when all the rest of the litter had been adopted, including their mom. She had very clear stripes all over, but some were orange and some were black. Her paws were marbled, and she had two orange stripes at the end of her tail that were always signaling something, waving for happiness or twitching like a rattlesnake for tortitude. You can also read more about her in “The Balloon”. Fawn did have some tortitude, but she was all talk. She was the little sister of everyone and loved it until I moved here and Sophie and Cookie came along.

Below, her dilute tortoiseshell sister Nikka was not to be taken for less than her sister Fawn. Nikka was adopted, then I took her back at age 5. Nikka was friendly and playful and silly, but she was also a bully; the cat who she’d lived with suffered from urinary issues and was constantly ill and underweight until the two moved apart and he was like a totally, totally new cat. Unfortunately, Nikka chose Fawn as her target and literally stalked her and terrorized her often enough to keep Fawn worried. Then at other times they slept near each other like this, actually touching! This is the only photo I have of this event.

Both of them were absolutely beautiful and helped give me my lifelong love of tri-color cats; Nikka was the original diluted kitty who made me love them all.


Other Vintage Photos and photos From the Archive around this date


From the Archives: Mewsette and Jelly Bean Are “In”, 2008

two black cats in sorting bin
Mewsette and Jelly Bean are “in”.

They learned very early on that my desk was the place to be. Here are five-month-old Mewsette and Jelly Bean hanging together in my inbox, which is holding just about its maximum capacity in kittens.

Mewsette looks cool and confident, but Bean looks as he often does, a little confused. Good thing he has siblings to take care of him.

Mewsette: “It’s okay, he’s harmless.”

Jelly Bean: “She tried to kill me!”

Below is what they looked like just before this photo. Note that Mewsette is pretty much sitting on Bean’s head. Perhaps he has the dazed and confused expression because he was oxygen deprived thanks to his sister. Some things never change.

From January 11, 2008, 5 months old.

two black kittens in sorting bin
Attempted fratricide? You decide.

Photos “From the Archives” are those taken with my digital camera prior to the time I began blogging, or one which I did not share from years I was blogging.

“Vintage Photos” are ones taken on film, back to 1983 when I bought my Pentax K1000.


Daily Photo Reprise: Big and Little Sisters, 2011

Big and little sisters.
Big and little sisters.

Taken when Cookie was 18 and Mewsette 3, it was a big sister who was little, and a little sister who was big. At times Mewsette had to sneak up on Cookie when she was sleeping and protectively curl around her as Cookie was accustomed to being the caretaker, but sometimes Cookie willingly accepted Mewsette’s warm vigilance and an afternoon cuddle on the bed was hard to resist. Just as the younger cats took care of Peaches, so they keep after Cookie, though Mewsette was the most persistent.

Cookie got her due, as she was the one who was a patient guide for the Fantastic Four when they were kittens as she was happily vigilant with her senior brothers and sisters long before any kittens were here. Good karma really should pay back right away instead of waiting for another lifetime to enjoy it. It certainly did for Cookie.


Cookie Up to a Few Tricks

tortoiseshell cat on cookie tin
Cookie really prefers a three-quarter view.

Not quite curling up in mixing bowls but no small feat in her condition, Cookie got herself onto the table by the window with a walk up three steps and a little leap, then stepped up onto the—what else—cookie tin! Must have been meant for her to sit on since it had her name on it!

She still doesn’t like her photo taken so she often manages to blur it a little when she looks right at me.

But often she gives me a real sourpuss face!

But often she gives me a real sourpuss face!

tortoiseshell cat on cookie tin
Cookie sourpuss face!

And from my Facebook update from earlier today: “Cookie may still be a little wobbly (we’re working on that) but I hear her in the kitchen pawing through the little container for cleaned cat food cans headed for the recycling bin. Okay, it’s time for the Senior Lunch Special!”

Here she is…busted!

tortoiseshell cat digging in container

Remind you of Cookie’s Kitchen Escapades?


Cookie Has a Snow Cone

tortie cat eating snow
Cookie has a snow cone!

Cookie enjoys a bit of snow from the top of the round pot at the foot of our deck steps. A snow cone!

The temperature finally rose above freezing so Cookie and I went outside in the sun. In her condition, she can’t regulate her body temperature so well and I’m always a little concerned for her little paws, and the rest of her as well.

She’s still a little shaky but she can make it up and down steps, slowly. I’m impressed that her tongue is nice and pink! But we had a nice visit to the yard and it really energized her.


A Loyal Sister, 2012

tortie cat and black cat
“She is my sister.”

Every so often, Mewsette won Cookie over, especially on a day last year when Cookie wasn’t feeling so well.

Mewsette let herself into the bathroom this afternoon and cuddled with Cookie, who can use some big little sister warmth and energy!

On these cold days Cookie stays in the bathroom where it’s warmer and she has the litterbox and water within a few steps. Kelly stays in there with her for company and has been giving Cookie her own brand of love and healing.

Perhaps Mewsette just wanted to see what special food and treats the tortie girls had in there, but if so she would have checked and left; and the funniest thing is that it’s Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine who open doors if necessary, Mewsette has never shown the least interest or ability. When it was the girls’ lunch, I couldn’t coax her away with anything and didn’t have the heart to make her leave. So the girls ate a little later than usual.

Cookie still has some healing to do; her blood test results were truly frightening. However, if it hadn’t been 17 degrees this morning we would have gone outside. I had her with me at my desk and she is wobbly but was back to looking out the window with the boys and wandering from door to door wanting to visit the outside even if it was obviously frigid.

But with a tortie sister like Kelly who cares for her and a big little sister like Mewsette who gives her warmth and energy, she’s on her way. Here’s another photo of Mewsette guarding Cookie.


Pensive Kelly, 2012 and Hello, Little Friend, 2011

tortoiseshell cat at window
Kelly ponders things by her favorite window.

Thinking of little green-eyed Kelly with a few January photos of her.

Kelly’s tiny little face rests in deep thought as she sits in front of her favorite window on a winter afternoon, those vivid green eyes full of mystery.

I always associate this window with Kelly, even though she also spends time on the bathroom windowsill and the casement at the top of the stairs, and this year decided to visit my studio as I was working in there.

But since she began mingling with the house she’s been devoted to this side window with the bird feeders right outside and the lilacs where the birds perch and the butterflies visit, not far from the corner where I’ve been sitting to work for 15 years. She was such an inspiration at this side window that I’ve done two pieces of artwork featuring her at her post.

There’s Kelly at her morning bath, a linoleum block print I designed and first printed in 1998.

block print of cat at window
Kelly’s Morning Bath, block print on handmade paper, 12″ x 4″, 1998 © B.E. Kazmarski.

Kelly gives herself a complete bath every morning after breakfast on the table in front of the window in my studio, her every move full of purpose and industry. I always found Kelly’s Morning Bath very inspiring.

And you’re familiar with Winter Window.

pastel painting of cat looking out window
Winter Window, pastel, 8″ x 8″, 2002 © B.E. Kazmarski


Hello, Little Friend

cat at window with stinkbug
Kelly give a stinkbug a close inspection.

Kelly discovers a stink bug on the window while viewing the afternoon on the sunny bathroom windowsill.

Don’t let her fool you, the bug is not her friend, it’s her toy. I’ve always had a few around the house, even before they became an issue invading peoples’ homes; I have about the same number now. Kelly and my torbie Fawn from long ago both loved to chase and eat insects, and aside from the occasional wasp that would swing down from the attic I was never too concerned.

Kelly spared this one, however. She was much more interested in having her after-lunch bath and nap.


Kelly Really Sleeping, 2011

tortoiseshell cat curled sleeping
Kelly Really Sleeping

Unlike some other cats who tend to stretch and go limp the deeper they fall into sleep, Kelly curls tighter and tighter, finishing with turning her head and wrapping her paws around whatever she can.

With a tortoiseshell’s coat markings all speckled and mixed up as they are you can’t always tell what’s going on when you look at her, but she’s pretty much got her hind legs under her head and her tail wrapped around under her back, sleeping on my lap.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

Waiting for Mom, pastel, 16″ x 23″, 1988 © B.E. Kazmarski

This was my first full-color portrait of one of my cats, and she led the way to all the other commissioned portraits of animal companions I’ve done in the past 20 years. 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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