Baby, It’s Cold in Here

a pile of five black cats

A pile of five black cats: clockwise from top left, Giuseppe, Jelly Bean, Mimi, Mewsette, Mr. Sunshine.

Ooh, the temperature dropped and we even saw a few snow flurries today! I didn’t have the kitty keep-warm lamps on at my desk, so they had to improvise on the oversized green sh0pping bag that really is underneath them all.

The view above is one from the angle at which you cold see that there were decidedly five black cats in the pile; note Mimi on top of the pile. Well, she is the mom, and this is after she did a little clean-up on each of their faces and ears. The job of a mom cat is never done, but they do keep her warm and make a nice soft bed when they all pile up like that.

The photo below is what I saw when I turned around from my desk. All was quiet but I had a sense of a large gob of cats behind me. Sure enough, there they were. My poor camera, photographing these piles of black cats kind of blows its little electronic cells because it can’t find anything to focus on. It blows my little brain cells too because I can only focus on them.

five cats piled up

What I saw from my chair.

It’s good to see the Bean back in everyone’s good graces. If you can’t get enough of seeing five black cats piled up, or four or three, see this collection of images of Mimi’s Children, and Mimi herself, not always piled up, but always together.

________________________________

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used 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.


Pretty Bean

black cat at door

Jelly Bean looks out the door.

Jelly Bean looks out the door into the rainy day. I love the little brushes in his ears; all of Mimi’s Children have white hairs in their ears with varying quantity, though Mimi does not, but Bean has the most, plus they are short and tend to stand forward. He’s had them since he was tiny, and that was how I told him from the others until the paint on the ears since without that they were all just uncoordinated balls of black fur.

Sometimes I can manage to get an interesting photo that is somewhat abstract; what does the rest of the image matter but Jelly Bean’s little face? And it’s a different view of his face, intimate and detached at the same time. I love to observe them like this.

—————————————

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.


Donate to WPHS With Every Purchase

cat-themed holiday cards

"Star of Wonder" and "Can We Get That Thing?"

For every purchase of one dozen “Star of Wonder” or “Can We Get That Thing?” holiday cards for $20, I will donate $10 to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society so that the dogs, cats, bunnies, ferrets, birds and any other animal can have a brighter holiday season with your help!

For details, visit my Friendraising page for WPHS.

And read about the inspiration for the cards here.

I used to be hard on people who “dumped” pets at shelters, but you can’t generalize reasons why pets end up there nor the people who surrender them, so now instead of getting angry I put my energy into creating things that help people love animals all the more, helping shelters find good and loving permanent homes for the animals in their care.

western pennsylvania humane society logo

WPHS logo

About the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society

The WPHS is an “open-door” shelter helping animals in need in Pittsburgh and Allegheny county since 1874.

I prefer the term “open door” for a shelter which will take in any animal in need at any time because I know the alternative to a shelter is a drop off in a park or isolated woods or some lonely back road for a cat or dog or rabbit—I’ve rescued plenty of them. I have also seen WPHS through the years find every new and ingenious way of getting their animals out in front of the public and into a permanent home, and I know the costs of running a shelter that serves over 13,000 animals per year is huge, only accomplished with the help of donations large and small. And they are apparently wise with their money; Charity Navigator has designated the Western PA Humane Society as a Four-Star charity, its highest ranking for efficient use of donations, five years in a row!

________________________

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used 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.


$5 Felines Nationwide and Locally

$5 felines

$5 felines!

What are $5 Felines?

Local rescue groups and shelters are encouraging cat adoptions this holiday season with a national program supported by Best Friends (www.bestfriends.org). From November 26 thru December 3, hundreds of kittens and cats (5 months and older) across America will be available for adoption for only $5! The goal is to get cats and kittens out of rescues and shelters and into the loving homes they deserve.

Great! So, what’s the catch? No catch at all! Each adoptable cat has already been vaccinated and spayed/neutered. The fee to adopt is simply $5.

Petco in Robinson Township Saturday, December 3

Where is this event taking place near me? There will be a $5 Feline Event taking place at Petco in Robinson Township (6512 Steubenville Pike, Pittsburgh, PA) on Saturday, December 3. Hosted by Animal Care & Welfare, there will be a variety of friendly cats to choose from for only $5. Please stop by and adopt a special holiday cat for you and your family! Download and print the flyer for this event!

Would you like to find a shelter near you?

Visit the Best Friends Animal Society site for more information and a link to a list of participating shelters all over the country!


Girl Talk

two tortoiseshell cats

Girl Talk

What secrets do you suppose my two tortie girls are sharing today? That cute tabby boy who’s been visiting from Midland Avenue? How annoying four young black cats can be to two “geriatric” tortie girls? A plot for Tortoiseshell Cat World Domination?

Cookie, 19, and Kelly, 17, have never been real “buddies”, but I think this relationship is changing in their golden years. Kelly has always been sweet, but shy and timid, while Cookie has always been friendly and congenial and tried to make Kelly feel at home for the past 15 years. Perhaps Kelly is finally getting the idea. Cookie was bathing, Kelly was sleeping facing the other direction, then Cookie and Kelly turned to each other at the same time and shared a moment of deep friendship.

These two have owned my desk lately, which still is not clean. After a few photos of them I was intending to post a few days of photos of the Fantastic Four and their mom in the act of being fantastic, but this photo simply warmed my heart. Then again, Cookie has been at it in the kitchen 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.


You Really Must Clean Your Desk!

two tortoiseshell cats on desk

Clean your desk!

Cookie: Mom, we’re afraid we’ll get lost if we try to sleep on your desk. Sometimes when I walk across it I slip around on the stuff. I know you don’t like me up on this shelf (and you didn’t know I could get up here, either, I’ll bet) but I just can’t see to walk around down there.

Kelly: And it’s not really comfortable anyway, you’ve got little boxes and tablets and all sorts of other things there. Can you please move things? I want to take my bath and have my nap!

Me: It’s like that because there are always cats all over it, and God forbid I should move you when you are relaxed! I’ll go get a box.

By the time I returned with the box the girls were already curled up on the desk. When I set down the box, Mimi jumped into it, followed by a succession of her children. I simply sat down and got to work with the status quo restored.

———————————

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.


JB Sez Yo Dudes

black cat on table

Bean is feelin' gooooood.

Yo dudes and dudettes, I got the news, this Bu-…Burpen-…Bupren-pine…Bu-pren-or-phine…is really good sh…stuff! No pain, I am feeling no pain at all, and there’s little paisley mices running around under all the furniture! Cool! Mom does that silly squeezing my belly thing saying something about my bladder, and ooohh! it tickles! I just roll around and laugh! And when she let me out of the bathroom because I peed in the box (so what, I pee in the box all the time) I flew around the house! I mean, I really flew! I wrestled with my brothers and I beat them up, too bad! Mom called my doctor to see if this was okay and I just don’t see what the problem is, I’ve never felt this good, like, in my whole life! I just have to sit still every once in a while and wait for the room to stop spin…n…n…ning…

This is Jelly Bean on drugs. He’s still having some issues with inflammation and earlier today his urine output dwindled to sitting and waiting in the box, but nothing happened, Jelly Bean looked miserable and I was biting my fingernails; we needed to add a little prednisone back into the mix, so between the two JB is having an out-of-body experience. I’m really watching everything he puts in the box and feeling for the condition of his bladder in that plump little sandbag, and he just falls down and rolls around. His purr is rattling the dishes. I’m also watching so he really doesn’t try to fly.

It’s just funny to see him now and then with totally dilated pupils and a pretty blank expression, and he is playful and active but right now he’s just a little out of control. I noticed this first last night. Buprenorphine has a mild narcotic effect and what I’m seeing is normal, including the presumption of little paisley mices under the cabinet. Then after he does everything he can think of, he suddenly folds up his legs and settles down and looks really stoned and maybe a little paranoid, especially when one of his brothers comes near.

Especially since those two brothers are being total jerks. On Wednesday when I had JB confined for most of the day hoping he’d produce more than a few drops here and there, Giuseppe couldn’t live without him, I had to allow visitation with the three of them in the bathroom. Those two are best buddies—you can look all over this blog and see photos of the two of them together. Wednesday night when we came home from the emergency hospital I thought they’d be glad to see him, but they hissed and hit him and ran away growling, even growling at each other and getting into a pretty noisy wrestling match after I kicked them out of the bathroom. This has improved through the day today until now when there is no growling and just the occasional hiss. Jelly Bean did start a wrestling match with Giuseppe a little bit ago, which is totally normal for those two, and Giuseppe did hiss at him a few times, but they also wrestled and Giuseppe held him down and licked his head a few times, a good sign.

Mewsette cuddled with him late last night and gave him a little bath. I was glad to see that, but it’s not the same as his brothers.

So the Bean gets three more days of this! Wish me luck in keeping up with him.

—————————————

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.


Black Cat Friday

four black cats on table

The Fantastic Four are ready for Black Cat Friday.

We got ’em! Lots of black cats! Five all total! We’re ready for the big day!

And the Fantastic Four this morning were waiting in line for…not sure, but since everyone was waiting in line everywhere else today, we thought we’d line up on the edge of the filing cabinets. Eventually mom got up and we raced her to the bathroom where she turned on the faucet and we had a drink. But that happens every day, so we’re not sure what the big deal is on Black Cat Friday. We’re just glad mom didn’t desert us to go stand in lines with other humans. Unless she was getting something for us.

—————————————

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.


Black Friday, Shop and Donate for Animals

black cat in weeds

Black kitty on his own in the wilderness.

I saw the kitty above when I was on one of my local trails this past weekend.  Judging by where I was when I saw him and the state of his fur I would guess this kitty did not have a home to he thankful for this Thanksgiving. As he moved away and crossed the trail I could see a kink in his tail and ripples through his fur, signs of scars and a life lived outdoors.

I had nothing to  catch him with, I was on my bicycle and rain was threatening, and I decided against any type of pursuit. “You can’t save them all,” I have always had to tell myself.

But I should save the ones I can save, and while I may not have been able to catch this kitty that day or return with a trap and food later, I can always support someone who can or the network of organizations that help all animals.

Therefore, on Black Friday, keep kitties like this guy in mind as you plan your activities.

You can support a local TNR effort with a donation or even volunteer efforts at a clinic. If you know someone who manages a colony, take advantage of Black Friday sales to buy cat food and give it to them.

Likewise, buy a case or two of canned cat or dog food to donate to your local shelter and deliver it on Black Friday—or any Friday!

Visit a shelter and adopt if you can, become a foster family or just pet the cats and walk a dog or two and make a donation.

Many shelters have wish lists published on their websites including things they need or would like to have but can’t quite afford or which will offset operating costs, and on these lists you’ll find the usual stuff such as food and litter, but also items that might surprise you such as office furniture, cleaning supplies, even a car. Check the lists and see if there is anything you can supply.

These are just a few things you can do today to turn the consumer power of Black Friday to the good of animals. Make sure the animals or the people who help them are on your list.

—————————————

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.


Postprandial Tabby Nap

tabby cat sleeping on windowsill

Tabby Nap

I wonder if my neighbor’s kitty had a turkey dinner and is now surrendering to the unavoidable nap as the sun sets, leaving his windowsill in shadow. He just looks so contented and he’s usually very shy and leaves the window when I look at him.

I also like the details of the peeling paint and the nearly monochromatic theme.

I’m thankful he has a happy home, and I’m sure he is too.

I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving, and if it’s not a holiday where you are, I hope you simply had a beautiful day!

—————————————

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.