Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Vintage Photo: Of White Cats and Thistle Down

white cat in sun on floor
Speckle Sally Sitting, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

As I walked back from a second errand this afternoon, I looked across the street where I walked  to see a calming assortment of early autumn wildflowers, some in bloom like the tall stems of goldenrod and some holding tight round buds like the many-flowered asters, but at least one was in seed and ready to be on its way. Just as I saw the thistle with shreds of white down clustered on the plant it suddenly tossed dozens of thistle poufs into the air which hurried across the street directly toward me. As they spun and swirled and spread apart from each other they surrounded me standing on the sidewalk, the soft down brushing against my skin like big snowflakes…or like the long silky fur of a white cat.

thistle seeds
thistle seeds

I must still have been in a special space from the pet memorial ceremony yesterday. I remember describing to someone after the ceremony how a downy thistle seed had joyfully flown into and out of my car just a few days after Sally died and I knew it was her spirit telling me she was just fine. Being often outdoors I see thistle seeds floating on their downy parachute, and now and then one will fly into me or circle me, or if I’m inside will bump into the window next to me—even on the second floor of the house as one did over the summer. I know who that is.

And what a show! Like soap bubbles borne about by breezes I’m not sure how many little thistle downs came flying toward me but I laughed out loud at the spectacle. No doubt if Sally had intended to say hello today she would have done so one way or another, but I had taken a different street when the one I normally walk which was blocked by a cement truck. Just a short while later it rained, which likely soaked all those bouyant little wisps.

card with white cat
Sympathy Card featuring Sally.

Sally was so much fun to live with, not caring a thing for being deaf she would race around the house at top speed just for the joy of running, literally running over any other cat in her path, then reporting back to me, landing like thistle down on a table or shelf near me and mumbling happily to herself and purring, her nose and ears brilliant pink and eyes bright pea green, wanting love and kisses.

In this photo from 1993 she naps in the late-day spring sunshine, fully illuminated, sitting in the middle of the floor. She lived in a very happy little world entirely of her own making.

white cat walking
Sally, when she entered the room, before the nap.

That’s why I used this image when I chose to design a sympathy card featuring her, and that’s what makes her visitation all the more remarkable. She was the inspiration for the “beautiful moments” card. I’d been looking through them just last night, organizing them into sets and doing an inventory, and here she visits today.

You can read more about Sally as a thistle seed in Taking Sally Home and Little Visits, and you can read more about Sally in My First “Less Adoptable” Kitty. See plenty more photos and read other articles about Sally here. Read about my sympathy cards here.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile 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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© 2013 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski



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.

4 thoughts on “Vintage Photo: Of White Cats and Thistle Down

  • da tabbies o trout towne

    it bee veree nice ta meet ewe sally 🙂

    XOXOX ~~~~~~~

    • Sally was quite the character, Tabbies! I can never show too many photos of her.

  • Nancy Blue Moon

    That is a beautiful story Bernadette..and what a beauty Miss Sally was..Hugs

    • Thanks, Nancy, Sally was quite the unusual cat. Such joy.


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