Feline Memory From Way Back

a photo of Bootsie, the gray and white cat I had growing up

My first cat, Bootsie photo © B.E. Kazmarski

I got together with two childhood friends over the weekend, and we haven’t actually been able to get together since we were in middle school, though we kind of kept track of each other through the years.

“You were always such a cat person,” one of my friends said, “even then, you just loved your cat.”

She reminded me of a sleepover we had had at her house when we were 11 or 12. She lived a few houses away from me on the other side of the street, and we had our slumber party in the basement of her house.

In the morning there was a dead mouse by the door, and my cat Bootsie was around.

“You told me she was thanking us for taking care of you,” my friend told me.

I had completely forgotten it until she recounted it, and I had a good laugh at the incident, both Bootsie’s actions and my own—I had no idea I had that kind of insight into cats at that age!

I knew I loved my cat, though. It still shocks me that Bootsie ran around the neighborhood hunting all night long, always successful. I remember it worried me that she was out and every time I heard a car on our street, which was a pretty quiet suburban street, I worried even more. But that big old farm was across the street from our house, and it was like the kitty happy hunting ground. I would actually see her at the bottom of what had been the pasture, which was about a quarter mile from our house. I played in that pasture too.

It was good to be reminded and have a good laugh!

Oh, Mom, These Colors are Soooo 70s

black cat with paints

Can't we get some more interesting colors?

Mr. Sunshine rolls his eyes at the box of gouaches as I prepare to work on an illustration.

I admit, they are from my college days, but the primaries and secondaries and black, white and gray are just pretty basic colors. I think he preferred the brighter and fluorescent colors I used to paint Lucy’s illustrations. So did I, but most things start with this palette.