Daily Photo: The Secret Friend

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Mariposa says hello to the kitty.

Mariposa has a special friend who lives in the breadbox. And the whole thing is so cute I can hardly stand it!

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Nosetap

~~~

From Instagram

Meet Mr. Toes! Look at those mittens! I have no idea what his name is or where he actually lives, but he looks extremely well taken care whenever I see him, and he has the most toes I’ve ever seen on any cat.

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First of all, I’m totally overwhelmed by the number of cat pictures I’ve captured in just the past few days, just walking around my neighborhood.

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And that doesn’t count the number of photos I’ve taken of my own cats in my house and yard, and friends I’ve visited.

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There just aren’t enough hours in the day for all this cat love.

Helping People and Pets in Ukraine

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In every news story I’ve read or heard about refugees escaping the invasion of Ukraine, they are escaping with their cats. One reporter remarked that he was on a train to Poland with refugees and nearly every person had a carrier on their lap with a cat in it, and the cats meowing in the background woke up my cats, so I know it was no exaggeration. The CEO of Basepaws is from Odessa, Ukraine, and lists a number of organizations you can support to help the Ukrainian people and their pets.

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A message from our founder:

My name is Anna Skaya, I am the CEO of Basepaws. I was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and I am watching in disbelief and anger the events unfolding in my homeland.

Today marks exactly one week since the start of this war and Basepaws can not stand idle as hundreds of thousands flee Ukraine, many with their pets. Thousands more cats and dogs are staying behind and need our help right now.

To that end, we support the following groups and encourage you to donate to them. We have vetted these groups & ask that you share this resource with others (all donation links available through our stories & link in bio) 🙏

  • IFAW provides resources for refugees fleeing with their pets for Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Baltics, and more, including vaccination requirements.
  • The Dodo gives a full list of shelters and rescue organizations on the ground in Ukraine and in neighboring countries, including heroic stories like this cat cafe in Lviv.
  • UAnimals is a large local organization that is doing work to help with food delivery, shelter support and even caring for animals at local Ukrainian zoos. They are taking donations via Patreon today.
  • Koto.Xata is a small but active group in Kyiv that’s looking for donations via PayPal to assist with food and delivery costs.
  • Animal ID is another local organization that bridges resources, volunteers, and supplies. They are organizing a warehouse in Poland with easy access to the war zones. Donations via credit cards are accepted.

Animal ID is another local organization that bridges resources, volunteers, and supplies. They are organizing a warehouse in Poland with easy access to the war zones. Donations via credit cards are accepted.

If you have the resources available, we urge you to donate whatever you can to help with food, shelter, and logistics, and to share this information with others. All proceeds should be directly donated to the organizations listed. Basepaws will continue to make donations as well.

Our hearts go out to the Ukrainian people and all our colleagues on the ground in Ukraine with friends, family, and loved ones afflicted by this war.

In Solidarity and Love,

Anna Skaya
CEO Basepaws & Basepaws Team💙💛

Seen on a local telephone pole

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From the Garden and Beyond

From One Pattern Many

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All this wonderful sunshine we’ve been having is touching things that haven’t been illuminated since last year.

 

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From around this date in past years

Life Begins at 60!, 2021

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Getting ready to celebrate 60!

Today, March 4, was my 60th birthday. My time has been so fragmented lately, with lots of little detours to projects and programs, it’s been difficult to settle back down after picking up and ripping my house apart beginning last summer. But after this big event, and seeing the exhibits and vendor shows I’m signing up for, I think I’ll be happy to finally settle into my chair and focus on creative things. Where, a month ago, I still found it difficult to focus on my daily schedule, just lately I’ve been longing for it. I think my cats are ready for it too—enough of these late dinners and all-night art sessions! Can this human just sit still long enough for a cat to have a nap?!

If you follow me on social media, you’ve already seen most of this. Here’s what I had to say on social media:

I’m telling ya, life begins at 60!

I usually don’t pay any attention to my birthday, but some well-meaning friend will always out me on social media so I decided this year to beat them to it. And I’m turning 60, which I still can’t believe, but it’s a big one so I thought I’d share.

Thanks to my friend Jane Sorcan for helping me with my folly of running around in the stream at Kane Woods yesterday to find a good place to photograph me in celebration! I set up my DSLR on a tripod and focused it where I decided to stand, she hobbled on the trail after her fourth joint replacement–a knee–and double-masked for her safety even outdoors, and hit the shutter button as I ran up the stream bed, took off my shoes and mask and danced around on the rocks. And didn’t even think it was weird or silly or tell me to put my shoes back on and wear a coat in a breezy 45 degrees. Really, you don’t get anywhere in this world without your friends who understand!

And happy birthday to all my classmates and friends through the years who reach this milestone this year along with me. No matter what we have or haven’t done in these six decades, we’ve made it this far from 1961, and seen a lot of history along the way. Let’s all enjoy our respective birthdays and have a great year.

Today was cold and overcast, with a biting wind and even some snow showers. Yesterday, when we took the photo, was non-stop sunshine and I’m so glad I took the time, and Jane could help me, to get outside in a place I enjoy, and which she has spent decades preserving and helping develop into a community asset while keeping its natural elements. It’s a place I went to play and explore as a child, when the land had recently been a farm. Walking along the trail from the parking lot to the stream I passed the spot where a little barn had stood more than a half century ago, housing a pony named Pepper who I slipped off to visit regularly with apples and carrots and sugar cubes. I looked at the spot and still remembered the smell of manure, and that particular scent of old, wet wood in springtime, mud, the cold air inside the shaded space and warm sunshine on my hair as I stook outside the half-door.

And then, because life is full of extras now, I came home to make lunch while I listened to a webinar from the Pennsylvania and federal small business associations on the paycheck protection program now open for sole proprietors like me, then continue on with creative activities, starting with a run out front to take photos of the fully open crocuses.

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Crocuses

And then I opened the back door to let Mimi and Mewsette race out onto the deck.

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Mimi and Mewsette on the deck.

And then we headed out into the back yard. I took so many photos I liked that I only processed a few, and you’ll be seeing them over the next week or so.

Mimi made it out to the picnic table and had a good scratch. She loves scratching wood.

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Mimi having a good scratch.

Mewsette followed me out to Mimi, but ran back for the safety of the deck when someone out in the front street got into their car. Mewsette is extra sensitive. Then she dallied around on the steps looking guileless and beautiful.

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Mysterious Mewsette

Mimi explored the garden and found her favorite afternoon napping spot: the wood pile, and let herself doze off a bit in the warm sun.

Then we came inside and I proceeded with the paycheck protection project. At least I’m back at my desk now and then.

See you again tomorrow!

~~~

I Will Not Look At You

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I will not look at you.

Who taught Mariposa not to look at the camera?! She’s always been amazing, even before she was fully socialized, looking right at me and the camera, and she’s so photogenic! But now she’s playing games with me, looking somewhere else.

Finally I annoyed her enough and she looked at me with that long-suffering expression. “What do you want?” Kids!

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What do you want?

From Instagram

Bella is trying to shame me for eating lunch in front of her, without inviting her to share. I’m pretty certain sweet potatoes and green beans are not in her list of approved foods, but that’s my fault too for not choosing a species appropriate meal. Her species, not mine.

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Bella is sending me on a guilt trip.

 

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Photos from around this date in previous years

Near Purrfect Symmetry, 2019

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Mariposa strikes a pose.

Tell me she doesn’t have a natural talent for a pose.

I headed up the stairs just to go up the stairs to actually work, then I saw Mariposa all the way up there on the wardrobe, perfectly centered on the mirror, which made a striking semi-circle above her. I slowly backed down the steps, hoping she wouldn’t follow me, and put the zoom lens on my camera. I managed to get two photos before she decided she needed a bath.

She is purrfectly beautiful.

Shared on Facebook

Monday morning strategy meeting convened.

Sunshine, Bella, Hamlet and Giuseppe.

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Monday meeting

 

I couldn’t find Hamlet this afternoon, then I found his purrfect camouflage, trying to impurrsonate greeting cards.

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Find Hamlet.

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Photos from years past.

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Not Moving, 2018

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Bella is not moving.

“I hear you but I am not moving.”

You know when their ears are turned in your direction that they are listening, but when the rest of them isn’t moving you might as well give up. Bella slept all day.

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What cookbooks are for.

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I wouldn’t have guessed Mimi as a paper towel shredder. I couldn’t get a video, it was all a blur. I keep forgetting 15 is considered senior. Mimi gets a new tag.

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Artsy Foster Kitty, 2019

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Cleetus at the window.

I took photos of Cleetus and Cuddlebug, and I was so excited when Cleetus discovered the windowsill. There’s just something about this photo, looking out, paw raised, cobwebs, old stereo and all, that I just love.

Shared on Facebook

Co-bathing, one of those things these siblings are famous for — reaching each others’ difficult spots. These sunny mornings bring out the best. Looks like Mewsette is trying to wash the shadow off Mr. Sunshine.

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Co-bathing

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Photos from years past.

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I Was Here First, 2017

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“I was here first.”

Sunshine and Jelly Bean have been killing me with extreme cute in this basket. I cleaned up the place a bit and put all the zebra cat beds into the basket, knowing it would be THE BEST CAT BED ever. Every day since then, almost two weeks, Mr. Sunshine and Jelly Bean arrive there after breakfast, one takes the basket, the other invades, they bathe each other, wrestle and throw each other out, then I look over and they are wrapped around each other, fast asleep.

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Tucked into each other.

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Daily Photo: Surely You Remember? 2015
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Surely you remember?

How could I resist those eyes?

Even after months of not having access to their favorite “drinking fountain”, Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe are right back up there each morning, along with Bean. Three or four of them gather at the sink, and it’s just like the good old days.

It’s been a long week, and I had to cut back on posting or I’d be totally sleep-deprived instead of only somewhat, still trying to catch up from my week on the Lincoln Gallery. That has not stopped me from photographing my famous felines, in fact I’ve taken so many photos it’s hard to choose which ones to use each day, and trying to choose only one from a series is especially difficult! We have them “framed”, we have them in the basket, we have them in twos and threes and each one of them had their special moment when I could not stop photographing. And the violet mousie played a very big part in some days. I expect to see some posts with multiple photos very soon.

In the meantime here is a photo I posted on Facebook way back on February 16! I was going to use it as Wordless Wednesday, but it’s just as well here.

Blow Dryer Monster

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Blow Dryer Monster

Other daily photos shared on this date

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For Mademoiselle, 2014
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Giuseppe peeks from the quilt, thinking of his Mademoiselle.

O mio amore, my dearest, most precious jolie Mademoiselle, I would so love to se pelotonner with you under the quilt, faire une sieste under the rocker where no one could see us. I would share my green sparkle ball with only you.

It is so cold, ma chere, just la pensée of you warms mon cour. Che gelida paw, se la lasci riscaldar*, I dream of serenading you and holding your paw in mine. May my love fly on the wind to you in Verona, mingled with the snowflakes, each delicate and unique, just as you.

Always,

G.B.V.

*“This tiny hand is frozen, let me warm it here in mine.” From the famous aria of the opera La Boheme, with apologies to Giacomo Puccini, Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa.

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Read about Mlle. Daisy Emerald and the long-distance affaire between the mature French-Canadian feline lady and the young American opera star.

They so enjoy writing florid Victorian-style letters to each other, sometimes the poets, sometimes the artists, sometimes the bonneted Mlle. Daisy Emerald and the beplumed Giuseppe Verdi in their Revolutionary roles.

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And here are two more photo from this session…

Professional Models
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My three professional models.

Now, do they have a lot of self-awareness or what? They didn’t pose the way I’d hoped they would, and they did many other things, but then they also did this. Mr. Sunshine occupied the chair and would not give it up, Giuseppe settled underneath, and Jelly Bean worked on looking sweet.

They really are modeling. I needed some settings for an illustration so I draped my quilt over my rocker and it was immediately covered in cats, and then they got creative, as they do. Mr. Sunshine in the classic cat modeling pose, reaching for a toy.

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Mr. Sunshine in a lovely pose.

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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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Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

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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!

 

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