As If One Bean Isn’t Cute Enough

black cat reflected in mirror

Goodness, I'm gorgeous.

Jelly Bean acts cute and silly, but he is fully aware of his cuteness. None of his siblings has knowingly struck a pose in front of a mirror!

I have a bi-fold door on the bathroom with a mirror so that I can look at my own self (why would I do that with all these cats to look at?) and so the bathroom seems a little bigger. The angle of this shot was difficult but I think I got the good part! That’s one shot of many, and I’ve included a slideshow of the entire photo shoot below.

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And he’s not new to admiring himself in mirrors! Here’s one photo of him that’s good for a laugh, a really lucky shot of him admiring himself in the hand mirror in the bathroom while it was being remodeled. I actually offer this one as a print and on a tote bag; check my Etsy shop for details.

photo of cat looking in mirror

God, I'm Cute

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To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

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.


Donate to WPHS in Honor of Penny the Angel

sample feline art card

Sample Feline Greeting Card.

I’m so excited Penny was adopted from WPHS, and the whole story of her rescue and the people who adopted her just warms my heart.

calico cat in carrier

Here's Penny.

I used to be angry with people who “dumped” pets at shelters, but you can’t generalize reasons why pets end up there nor the people who surrender them, and you do much more good helping the shelter that has taken them in. Instead of getting angry I put my energy into helping people keep their pets, helping people adopt pets and creating things that help people love animals all the more, helping shelters find good and loving permanent homes for the animals in their care.

box of cards

Feline Art Cards set of 12

Please make a donation to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society to help support what they do for other cats and dogs all year round. I’ll give you a gift if you do: Visit my Friendraiser page for WPHS and order a dozen Feline Greetings cards in honor of Penny, and $10 of every purchase will be donated to WPHS. Use the link on the Friendraiser page to go to my Etsy shop, and make sure you enter the code WPHSPENNY in the notes section when you order!

You can read about the inspiration for the cards here.

western pennsylvania humane society logo

WPHS logo

About the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society

While Penny was at WPHS, they spayed her and treated her for an upper respiratory infection, and of course they fed her and supplied litter for her personal use. This is not free, and the medical care can get expensive. WPHS is an open-door shelter, charged with accepting any animal brought to their door—a little over 14,000 cats and dogs last year.

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!

If not WPHS, please support your local shelter in any way you can. And if you are looking for an angel kitty, there are many more kitties who have stories as well. Adopt if you can, foster if not, or donate to your local shelter in time, goods or money this coming year.

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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.


Bad Kitty—Maybe Not!

Jackson Galaxy, photo courtesy Catster.

One of the most frequent reasons cats are surrendered to shelters is behavior, either the litterbox variety or the violent personality variety. Helping people puzzle out what the heck is on their cats’ minds would definitely save a lot of space in shelters and a lot of feline lives.

I get a lot of eye rolls when I try to explain that the litterbox is in a bad area and that’s why they won’t use it, or that cats need to be “introduced” at their own pace, or you can’t play with a kitten using your hand as a toy and expect it not to attack your hand when it’s a full-grown cat on the prowl for some action. Yet understanding a cat’s behavior is often the last thing on the list, sometimes never even attempted, and why not? Well, sometimes it’s because no one ever suggested it and explained why your cat might be acting like it’s possessed.

Cats in general get less attention, less care, fewer veterinary visits and less treatment than dogs do, even though there are more cats as pets.

But feline health care has been changing, and what better to promote puzzling out a cat’s behavior than a TV show on a national network? Tune in today, Saturday, January 7, for the first program in the second season of My Cat from Hell to see Jackson Galaxy meet some really bad cats.

I have to admit that I don’t own a television—electively—so I didn’t see any of last year’s episodes, though as it progressed I read the reviews and watched the videos about some pretty frightening cats as I could on the Animal Planet site for the program.

And a bunch of authors who have seen the show have also interviewed Jackson Galaxy, and links to all their articles are included in It’s the Week of the Cat Daddy on Catster.

30 years of pissing contests

Right now I jokingly say I’m semi-retired from 30 years of feline rescue and fostering with two geriatric tortie girls who have never done anything bad in their entire long lives and five perfect black cats, all of whom get along wonderfully except for Kelly who’s a little scared of the big black cats. It’s like being in dreamland, like my reward for nearly 30 years of literal pissing contests on everything I owned, litterboxes in every room, scratched corneas, ripped ears and lacerated toes from in-house fights—and that’s not just the cats’ corneas, ears and toes—my own trips to the emergency room when I inadequately broke up altercations or tried to calm a frightened cat, and kitties with chronic urinary issues due to the stress of living with too many cats or one or two cats in the household who were aggressive. And sometimes they weren’t even violent, as little Peaches, as sweet as her name, who never, ever used a litterbox unless I put her in one at just the right moment. I’m still replacing sections of my floor.

The effects of continued abuse

And my Stanley who, for at least half his 25 years, had what veterinarians and I thought were real psychotic episodes, growling, backing himself into a corner, extreme violent behavior toward the other cats and he even bit me once, narrowly missing the artery in my wrist. I usually had to confine him for a period of days when this happened and he would eventually settle down. I knew from the beginning he’d been physically abused by the way he acted when you moved toward him in some ways, and I learned he had a severe urinary tract issue and would block if you looked at him funny. After years of observation the psychotic episodes and urinary issues came together and I realized that when he felt the first tweaks of pain from cystitis he would immediately go on the defensive, expecting to be kicked and slapped and who knew what else because he’d done what most cats with the condition did—he peed whenever and wherever he could.

Could I have used a Jackson Galaxy in those years! I may have even gotten a television so I could watch it.

Keeping problem cats in their home

But I also know of two cats last year who were surrendered to shelters and were no doubt euthanized for behavior issues, one urinary, one aggressive; the shelters even warned them what might happen and spent a considerable amount of time with the people making suggestions and helping them with treatment. I tried desperately to help the owners, referred them to a number of people and veterinarians, anything short of taking them in myself, and if they’d had the chance to see worse cases than their own and other examples it may have made all the difference to them. On the other hand I know of four cats where were in perilous condition for their behavior and I and others helped their people learn what the cats needed.

Support this understanding of feline behavior

With the support of a program like My Cat From Hell more cats could be saved from being abused, dumped somewhere to fend for themselves, or euthanized, either by their owner or in a shelter where their behavior kept potential adopters at a distance. Even if you don’t have a bad cat or don’t even know of one, tune in to support the show being on the air. And you never know, there may come a day when a cat will enter your life and you’ll be able to use what you’ve learned.