Friday, December 8, 2023
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Vintage Photo: The Messy Playroom, 2007

The Sleepy Siblings pack into the box for a nap.

This is one of my favorites of The Curious Quartet, after they’d destroyed their playroom, the bathroom, had their first exams and shots, and settled down for a nap.

There they are, the littles sleeping in a heap in a box, just like they do today. The event happens to be the day they had their first set of shots, and after tearing around the bathroom with the general excitement of visitors and each of them disappearing and reappearing one by one…well, they managed to get the bathroom like that several times a day, but this day was extra exciting—and I was never more grateful for the paint on their ears to tell them apart! But they were all model kittens, no yowls or bites or scratches during their first exams and their first acquaintance with a needle.

I have several photos of this because this first is a little unclear—these are on film, the prints aren’t the best, and I have no means of scanning from the negatives at the moment.

The pattern you see in front of them all is really a window screen. The bathroom has a bifold door but I didn’t want to cut the kittens off from the rest of the house by leaving the door closed, and I wanted Mimi to have the freedom she seemed to need to come and go. It was also August, and very hot, and with the door closed, that little room still cooks.

I used two tall narrow screens from my old casement windows hinged to the doorframe and opening like shutters so that during the day the kittens could see onto the landing and interact with the rest of the house, and also be cooler since it was August and September.  Mimi could easily jump the screens to get in and out so she had her breaks too.

Mr. Sunshine is hanging out of the box, here at the corner, and you can just see a light spot on his ear which is his yellow paint. Giuseppe is behind him with a tiny bit of green paint visible, then Mewsette facing upward, then Jelly Bean. They are seven old here. In photos further down you’ll be able to see them better.

four kittens in a box
Their faces are a little more clear.

They were sleeping off the excitement and their shots, so I opened the screen to see them more clearly. Lessons about photographing a bunch of black cats were just beginning as they are almost indistinguishable in the box. The little cardboard toilet paper roll and tissue box are full of toothmarks—I had forgotten how kitten chewed on everything! They had about a dozen toilet paper and paper towel rolls in there, and they and the tissue box were reduced to shreds after a while in there.

four black kittens in a box
The view from above, too sweet.

This print wasn’t very well-printed, and when I lightened it it began to fall apart, but you can see their little faces in the box, Sunshine, Giuseppe, Mewsette and Jelly Bean, and you can see a bit of the white spot on his chest, and the white hairs in his ears that looked like big brushes until he grew into them.

I had always thought about one of the top two as a painting, just a silly colorful kittens’ playroom.

Reference this little heap with all the photos you’ve seen of them here as adults and I don’t think more than one of them would fit into this box!

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


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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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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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