My black kitty Mimi greets her shadow cast in a pool of sunlight The light shining through old wavy glass creates a subtle pattern of shadow and light that resembles water mingled with the gentle striations of pale wood grain. Is it water, or is it light? Or is it an illusion? Does Mimi look at her darker self, or just the self she has become at age 11 after six early litters of kittens, life on the streets, rescue and life in a safe and comfortable home? I think I feel a poem coming on.
It’s challenging enough to photograph black cats, let alone in high-contrasting sun and shadow, and when there are as many as five if the whole family is together, but this is one I love.
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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.
That’s just what it is, drums and a cat.
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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.
All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.
The world alight in
shades more than
and glows in
showers on all
A little abstract ode to spring to accompany a little sort of abstract photo of Mewsette pondering the green plate, showers on her nose, and it does glow with the life-giving sun of late afternoon.
Happy spring everyone!
Poem ©2012 Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Read other poems inspired by my cats and listen to those I’ve recorded, and read about my poetry on The Creative Cat.
I took the photo in 1983, just a few months after I got my first camera and I was only shooting black and white so I could learn how to use the camera. Even though it was black and white film, it was processed in a one-hour development machine intended for color and the black and white ended up sepia, which I really liked better than when I had it printed in black and white. It always looked like an older image and the sepia really reinforces that; it’s from the same era as “A Sunny Room”, and incidentally, the same cat, Kublai.
The holidays are a time for celebration as well as a time for reflection and remembering.
An Old Memory
Cut-paper snowflakes taped
to a wavy glass window reflecting
the big front porch from an apartment I lived in long ago,
and a cat I will always remember from when he and I were very young,
me just getting to know my camera, and my art;
how did I capture a perfectly blended image to reflect those times?
Poem © 2009 Bernadette E. Kazmarski
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Where to find this image
This was my holiday card from 2009, and I published it for sale in 2010. The message inside reads, “Wishing you wonderful memories this holiday season and new year.” The poem is printed on the back. You can find it in my Etsy shop singly or in a box of a dozen.
What a lovely sunny morning to spend on a nap in the sun.
Not only does this photo contain Mimi, who has apparently been my photo muse lately (you haven’t seen the half of it, whatever that phrase means), it also has all the other elements I like in a black and white photo as listed above—clear patterns, varied textures, bright highlights and intense though not heavy shadows. All the direct and reflected light catches all those textures and patterns, and in turn the light is refracted and reflected into all the dark areas. The floor on the landing has always been an interesting subject for me with its old mixed woods, some hard, some soft, some with finish still on them, and that piece of rolled corrugated has more than earned its keep as a cat toy and lounging spot as well as photo and art backdrop, something the cats and I can share while using it for our own very different purposes. And of course, the princess herself adds an organic softness to all those lines. I just wish I’d moved the vertical stack of matboard in its segregated plastic bags, it’s not so pretty, but does add its own texture and some nice reflected light.
The one thing that’s been a little difficult to decide with these photos on the landing is whether I use them in black and white or color because the colors are almost monochromatic, certainly a limited palette, very warm and inviting.
I post daily photos of my cats past and present. Browse the archive of all daily photos, just photos from the archive or vintage photos or Wordless Wednesday, or choose a cat’s name from the category list on the home page to browse an archive of photos featuring and including that cat.
This was an interesting sight to see this morning when I turned to follow where Mr. Sunshine was looking. Glowing orange feet! They were lovely, but neither irradiated nor magic, only subject to the magic of morning sun. Mr. Sunshine was entranced.
Mewsette has been spending time with me in the mornings in the basement, and is a perfect subject, just being herself, and holding positions for whole seconds at a time.
After all the photos I’ve taken by this basement door, do I need to say I love the light that comes in at this angle, the shadows and patterns? Add a cat, and nothing could be better.
This was my daily photo on The Creative Cat but I thought I’d like to share it here too. For more feline photos, visit The Creative Cat.
It’s been a week since I posted this on The Creative Cat. If anyone noticed I haven’t posted since then, this is why, but I’ll be back to posting photos and sketches soon.
Another star watches over me tonight. Cookie is with the rest of my feline family in the heavens, but her love is with me forever.
I saw this begin late Wednesday night, Thursday morning she could not walk, could barely hold her head up, had no appetite, even after a few palliative treatments including curled and purring on my lap outside on the deck. I put everything aside just to be with her and held her on my lap the rest of Thursday, carrying her with me, for as long as her needs determined, accompanied by one or more of the Fantastic Four at all times.
Around midnight being held and handled was too uncomfortable and she began slipping in and out of consciousness, breathing irregularly. I worked in my studio, the room where it all began for us, while she laid on the floor watching me as I added the color to block printed t-shirts and prints of her as “The Goddess” and Kelly with “The Roundest Eyes”. Each of The Four took their turn curled next to her, purring.
I laid down on the floor next to her at about 3:00 a.m. Her eyes moved around, focused on my face, opened fully as her green eyes looked directly into mine; we held each others’ gaze for a minute or more as she lifted her petite paw and laid it on the back of my hand, comforting me, saying goodbye. Then she shifted her position and her gaze and drifted from consciousness. Her breathing and heart finally stopped just before 4:00 a.m.
This hasn’t fully hit me yet, what my home and my life will be like without Cookie after 19 years of her cheerful personality, finding her with me at every moment in the house and out in the back yard, pleasantly vigilant, purring and gazing lovingly at me, simply happy to be near me and watch over me. There will be enough time to discover that.
I may have been posting about her and featuring photos and sketches of her here more often than usual lately; I’ve wanted to be sure she got as much attention as possible, and surely we appreciate all the love and energy everyone has sent our way. I have also been spending more and more time on her care as her needs have demanded and I’ve neglected to reply to blog comments and thank each of you, but I knew there would be time for that and it would be a healing thing for me.
For now I am rather exhausted and will take a few days off to rest and get my thoughts together, follow up on other things I’ve neglected and begin to get accustomed to the change. I think I saw the torch being passed to the next generation and already they are vigilant, but it will take all four to fill Cookie’s little pawprints in the time ahead.
But here is a little reading and image list about Cookie while I’m away.
Cookie and Me, Our 18th Anniversary Cookie’s rescue and her life with me, in her own words.
Cookie Goes to Work, three articles about Cookie’s job as my shop cat.
The Goddess Truly Inspires, a collection of stories inspired by people who have seen or purchased a print of “The Goddess”, Cookie’s true portrait.
Cookie Love, her progression into renal failure, with some of the nicest photos I’ve ever gotten of her outside.
In the Kitchen with Cookie, a link to all the photos of her interacting with pots and pans and mixing bowls in the kitchen.
See you in a few days when I can talk about her again.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.
The sun keeps teasing us with colorful sunrises and shines into the east windows so brightly for just long enough for us to get accustomed to it, then the clouds roll over once again, blanketing us in uniform gray.
Here, Giuseppe, sitting in the narrow casement at the top of the stairs, absorbs the full force of winter sun through old wavy glass, studying the geranium leaves as if he’s never seen so much detail. Giuseppe can be a little melodramatic now and then.
I featured this on The Creative Cat today too, and while I usually have two different photos today I was so glad for the little bit of sun we got that I wanted to share it all. I think I’ll share another photo of my cats that I posted yesterday, actually from last year, which is also a nice composition.
Aside from handsome Giuseppe being melodramatic, I really liked the simple, colorful composition of this photo.
No living creature sleeps better than a cat. Out of my cats, Mr. Sunshine seems to sink deepest into dreamland, rolling on his back and simply collapsing into whatever heap of plushy black fur his limbs go to, toes curled, mouth open, all afternoon. I often wonder what sweet dreams his feline imagination composes for his unconscious enjoyment; he is motionless, not running or nursing or doing anything in his sleep, just slowly breathing. I imagine him imagining himself sleeping in some quiet field in the sunshine with a light breeze and birds singing.
He usually does this on top of the file cabinets in front of the window where I can turn to watch him in repose, a little tingle of jealousy in my belly; but I like what I do, I enjoy spending my days in pursuit of truth and beauty and, I’ll admit, enough almighty dollars to pay the bills, I really wouldn’t want to sleep my life away. No, I wouldn’t, and I’m happy Mr. Sunshine is here, sleeping his life away on my filing cabinets instead of some less desirable alternative.
(I meant to post this yesterday!)