Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Vintage Photo: Sally of the Brussels Sprouts, 1996

Sally of the Brussels Sprouts
Sally of the Brussels Sprouts

How did Sally know that Brussels sprouts would become a superfood nearly twenty years after she regularly napped under the plants? What better place for a white kitty to be on a hot summer day than sleeping under the big round leaves of Brussels sprouts plants?

These were the days when Kublai and Sally were my main garden sprites, though sometimes Stanley or Moses or Cookie joined us. Sally adored the vegetable garden, not even visiting other areas of the yard. She delighted in wandering between the tomato plants and crouching behind a row of beans to leap out and surprise a cluster of mourning doves who were quietly gathering in the corner of the garden. Brussels sprouts grow tall with many leaves growing in descending size up the stem; the sprouts grow at these intersections, and the leaves provide deep shade for the roots of the plant to conserve moisture, and for a sleepy white kitty to have a nice cool nap after prowling every inch of the sunny garden.

Despite her elegant pure white tresses Sally was totally unconcerned about dirt of any sort and was regularly found with leaves or soil clinging to her fur, kind of like her human can be sometimes, or, when I first moved into this house, decades of cobwebs and soot as she explored the ductwork in the basement. At least she was relatively easy to see among all the green and earth tones.

Sally was deaf and I kept a close eye on her, of course, following her around, getting work done only when she settled in one spot for a nap, but at least she was easy to see. I’ve always wondered if the pull of her other senses kept her in this lively place, smelling other things more acutely, possibly even feeling activities under the soil in her extra-sensitive paws—my means of signaling her by stomping my heel on the floor in the house even worked in some areas of the garden.

Being a white cat I had to be careful of her coloring in the sunshine, and couldn’t always depend on her sensibilities to creep under a Brussels sprout plant when the sun was the strongest. Her ears were a little pink one time, and after that it was early morning or late afternoon only. If you have a white cat who spends time in the sun, even in a sun puddle, check your kitty’s ears to make sure they aren’t turning too bright of a pink.

As Mimi and I walk the garden, as did Cookie and Namir and me, I feel the memories of others who spent time with me out there, and I’m so glad to share this photo today. Last year my garden was growing jewel weed, poke berries and goldenrod and I hoped all the roots on those tall plants are breaking up and nourishing the fallow soil. This year I planted a garden in midsummer, remembering all those souls whose memories are held in a place sacred to all of us. Perhaps I envisioned a white cat under the Brussels sprouts as I looked at my tiny plants this morning and remembered Sally.

Read more about Sally, pure white with pea green eyes, totally deaf and unforgettable.

Also see more photos of Garden Kitties.

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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Feline Photos from Portraits of Animals!

Sally in profile.
Sally in profile.Digital Camera

This photo was taken with black and white film in 1984, just a year after I’d bought my Pentax K-1000 fully manual camera. Sally was an Angora-mix cat who was deaf. I’d taken her in from a friend who had a hard time handling a spirited and unpredictable deaf cat, and she did eventually calm down somewhat but was always a bit of a wild child. Sally’s deafness may have added to her mystique as a model since she was often so deeply focused on something without the distraction of sound that she could hold perfectly still and I could capture an immense amount of detail, even as a total amateur. 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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