Vintage Photos: On the Railing, 1983

Patterns and Cat
Patterns and Cat

Is Bootsie looking at her shadow, or is she only looking for a good spot to jump down?

I’ve always loved shadows and patterns especially with an anomaly to break the pattern, so of course I’m going to adore shadows and patterns and a cat. And wow, I had a camera to capture it all. If only I’d been able to isolate the railing a little better from the background it would be really stunning, but I like it nonetheless. But I know I was barely doing more than framing the shot since Bootsie was ready to jump down and the moment would be gone. I’m glad I caught it.


My cats were indoor-outdoor then, including Bootsie, but she had spent most of her life as an indoor-outdoor cat at my parents’ house. Unlike Kublai and Puck, who were young, Bootsie was 14 and just liked to sit in the sun. And she still liked to balance on things like the railing, nonchalantly walking around the porch that way.

Just sitting on the railing.
Just sitting on the railing.

I’d given my mother this print after I had Bootsie put to sleep, and I found it in her house in a small frame when I cleaned out the house to sell it. I guess hung around for a bit on a bulletin board and that’s how it got so wrinkled. But Bootsie was so at home on that railing. Below, she decided to take a nap in about the same spot where she’s sitting. Very early on I did a sketch of this photo. It’s framed and on the wall in my studio—I never even thought to scan it to add to this post! I will someday take it down and take it out of the frame to scan, though.

A nap on the railing.
A nap on the railing.

I’m not sure if these photos were from the same day, but I know they’re all from October 1983 because I’d moved from there by the following year.

My skin crawls now when I think of my cats outside. Still, it wasn’t too long after that I decided to keep them all inside.

This photo is from the same “vintage” as Girl and Cat Meet Camera and the same cat as Some Artsy Shots of Bootsie. It’s a roll or so later, but leaves are still on the trees so it’s not November yet.

I was still learning in black and white film only, and I’m glad I did this for the sake of composition. I love these photos for how they focus on Bootsie, and with color they would have just looked like typical photos of my cat, but in black and white they have a mystery. I’m also just glad I have these photos of Bootsie. These were among the ones I collected after I’d had to have her put to sleep unexpectedly a few years later, and they meant so much to me.

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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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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