Thursday, February 22, 2024
cat photographscatscookiedaily photoMariposaSiennasophievintage photo

Vintage Photo: Tabby and White and Tortie, 1994 and 2021

tabby and white and tortie
Cookie and Sophie, tabby and white and tortie, 1994.

The onlookers at the basement door have evolved as my family of felines has evolved. Very soon after I moved in here I put a screen door on the outside and opened the basement door whenever possible. Initially it was for me because, aside from the glass block window, there were no windows in the basement, and I don’t like rooms without windows. I knew when I opened it for myself that my cats would gather there, but I didn’t anticipate what an important gathering place that would become for them. Soon I was leaving the basement door open in good weather whenever I was home, and it’s been that way ever since.

When I’m in the kitchen I’ve always loved to look down the steps and watch them enjoying this special space, then and today. Mariposa loves it and she’s there first thing when I open it. And just the other day when I looked down the steps I saw this scene, which reminded me of the photo above.

tabby and white and tortie
Mariposa and Sienna, tabby and white and tortie, 2021

I had a photo where they were in the same positions as Cookie and Sophie, but the camera couldn’t focus in time. I’ll keep working on that though, just because!

In 1994, Cookie and Sophie were inseparable, and if one was at the door, the other one was there too; I have photos of them supurrvising me while outside in the garden from 1997 and later. A year or two after the photo of Cookie and Sophie above I replaced that gray five-panel door with my back door which had a window, and which I painted bright blue, the one you see now, another window for me and for the kitties. I replaced the back door with the 15-lite door you see today, and that also became another favorite of felines for morning birdwatching. Of course, I liked it too, and still do, but with the parade of fosters and my larger feline household, feline enrichment in a small house like this is a serious matter.

While I saw other cats at the door back in the day no one really paired off or grouped together. Kublai was often there and learned how to cut through the screen, which resulted in the hardware cloth I have always used to keep that from happening again. Later, after we lost Sophie in 2006, Namir joined Cookie at the door and we’d all go out in the back yard together. Kelly loved the door and would often nap on the steps between trips to the door; I have photos of her there because I wanted to remember. Moses slept in the square of sunshine made by the window in the door every day when we weren’t outside already, especially in winter. And Lucy loved to sun herself there, even up to her last day.

Today, Bella and Hamlet are close behind Mariposa, and sometimes I’ll see the three of them gathered at the door intent on something they see outside, as you’ve seen in many photos.

Vintage photos from previous years

Vintage Photo and Today: Must Be a Tabby and White Thing, 1994 and Last Week

caption id=”attachment_76803″ align=”aligncenter” width=”1000″]Sophie looking at me. Sophie looking at me.[/caption]

Sophie had a lot of totally endearing habits, and combined with her totally unselfconscious nature you knew she had no idea how cute she was. And she was cute all the time.

One of her habits that was totally unique at that time was to sit on my desk and rest her arms on the windowsill to look outside, kind of an upright meatloaf position. I am always happy when my cats choose to be near me while I’m working because I’d get awfully lonely without company, and what would I do without supurrvision? Sophie would settle here even when the window was closed because of the bird feeders and bird bath and trees and so much to see, and it was also cooler in the summer. Friends remarked on it, so I knew it was sufficiently unique, although Sophie took that position in other places too. I think she just liked it. Mimi sleeps there regularly, and it’s kind of been her spot off and on, but she stretches out from the upper shelf that holds the monitor to the windowsill and reclines.

So who do I see sitting in that upright meatloaf position now?

Mariposa looking at me.
Mariposa looking at me.

Mariposa! She is much, much smaller than Sophie, and I really think Mariposa is fully aware of her cuteness, but she is nonetheless totally cute when she settles into the spot and rests her rolled up arms on the windowsill to watch the bird feeder and bird bath and all the wildlife (in fact, that’s what she was doing the other day when we saw the baby groundhog). I got these photos of her just a week ago today, when I knew I’d want to dig out those photos of Sophie in the same position and do a comparison.

The side by side comparison.
The side by side comparison.

And not only that position, but this one too!

The two of them are really quite different, but it’s still funny to see them both, at the same window, with their butts on the same desk, and even the same tape dispenser, 25 years later. And it’s just coincidence that they are both long-haired tabby and white cats! What a collection of office cats to remember.

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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The Perfect Camouflage Tile
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This was something I thought all cat companions could relate to, human and feline. Sophie really thought I couldn’t see her because she thought she blended right in with the flowers. She almost had me fooled until I saw one of the flowers looking back at me and I knew I had to investigate. Her ulterior motive was to eat the flowers, something I hate to clean up after. Read more and purchase.


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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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