Mother and Child Reunion

two black cats

Mother and Child

Giuseppe lowers his head, Mimi lifts herself up on one paw to wash Giuseppe’s forehead. Just a tender moment between the two; of all, Giuseppe likes it best when his mom washes his face.

What makes this work for me isn’t just the loving interaction between the two, but the big splash of sunshine that luckily shone down in the little space between them, highlighting Mimi’s torso and outlining Giuseppe’s profile. Of all the photos I took of the two of them this is the only one where anyone but me could tell what was going on.

I also tried it in black and white. I often prefer these types of images in black and white because the distraction of color is missing, leaving only the composition of shapes and shadow and highlight which tends to emphasize the main subject, Mimi and Giuseppe. Not sure, see below.

two black cats in black and white

Mother and Child in black and white.

But this particular black and white looked too stark, so after playing around with all the filters and other ways of adding tonal color I added a slight color filter, using yellow to subliminally carry the idea of the bright sunlight and the warm tones in their fur. I like this the best.

two black cats bathing

Mother and Child, yellow tint

What do you think? Don’t forget, if you want a constant source of creative inspiration share your life with a cat, especially now during Adopt a Cat month. Any color and pattern of cat is beautiful, but I have always been inspired by the silhouette nature of black cats, as if I’m watching their actions from a distance and seeing only the graceful feline outline. Even if you don’t paint or photograph, they are just so lovely to look at.

And I’m going to have to break my habit of quoting these old pop songs when I title my photographs.


Four Ferals

four cats outdoors

Liam, Ceili, Julia and Amy

I know this photo is marginally clear because of the reflections on the glass, but there are four tabby cats here among the wonderful cats I’ve met in the past weeks. They are cared for by a couple who live in a neighborhood backed by woods, and while they’ve always kept a few cats in the house, both breed cats and rescues, they’ve also always fed cats in the outdoors.

Nearly lost in the reflections at the bottom are two tabbies, one who was feral, Julia, and gave birth to the two lovely pale gray tabbies lounging on the concrete, Liam and Ceili. She has calmed down enough to be comfortable around humans, probably with the help of Amy, the other tabby, who was a stray and also had a few kittens.

All cats were trapped and spayed or neutered as soon as possible with the help of the Homeless Cat Management Team in Pittsburgh—if you look closely at Liam and Ceili you can see on each that one of their ears has been tipped, the universal sign of a cat cared for through TNR. Homes were found for a few, and these live outdoors and regularly receive veterinary care, given fresh food and water daily (note the blue water bowl with the “cord” that keeps it heated through the winter—they had a line installed just for that), and they even have toys. In winter they are given shelter but they still head to another place to sleep.

tabby cat

Amy

Outdoors with the exception of Amy, who comes into the house every afternoon to pick at the food that Scruffy and Christie, the two lucky rescued indoor cats, eat, and to enjoy the indoors until she wants to go back outside.

There are deer and turkeys in the yard along with the usual possums, raccoons and groundhogs, and they feed birds at several stations year round as well, but all seem to get along with no injuries or predation.

One of these days, perhaps, I’ll get better photos of them. They are cautious but friendly, and I hope to meet them outdoors!