O, sole mio!

black cat looking out of window

Giuseppe spent a lot of time looking out the window toward the northwest today.

I had to wait ALL DAY for my valentine to arrive! First, the mail thing was late, then Mama Bernadette was “too busy”—imagine that, TOO BUSY to open my valentine from Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite which I’d waited WEEKS to receive.

I looked out the big window toward the northwest knowing that Mlle. was up there somewhere. Then I curled up on Mama Bernadette’s lap for some time, knowing that I had the best chance of getting my valentine immediately upon its arrival.

black cat on lap

Giuseppe trying to act cool on my lap today.

FINALLY, it came in the mail. I don’t have thumbs. I can’t open the thing. I don’t want to damage it and risk missing a word of Mlle’s message. FINALLY, I just sat on mom’s desk and blocked her view of the computer, and looked pointedly down at my valentine.

black cat sitting with paw on envelope

Giuseppe demands we open his valentine.

Then I rubbed my nose on the corner of the envelope, catching just a trace of Mlle.’s scent.

black cat rubs nose on card

Giuseppe nuzzles the corner of the envelope and looks at all those cool Canadian stamps.

Then she opened it up and I caught a whiff of Mlle. and looked at the lovely photo on the front as I dreamed of what she might have to say to me…

black cat looking at card

Giuseppe studies the image on the front of the card, dreaming of Mlle.

SHE ASKED ME TO BE HER VALENTINE!!!!! My sweet precious sleek black belle femme Mademoiselle Daisy Emerald Marguerite from the Canadian town named for kings next to the great river—and surrounded by eligible black cats who actually enter her home as guests—wants me to be her valentine!

black cat reads inside of card

Giuseppe reads Mlle.'s message, over, and over, and over...

Ah, I fill my body with her scent. I know she placed her paw right here…

black cat sniffs card

Then Giuseppe breathes in Mlle.'s scent from the inside.

Here is what Mlle. had to say…the poor boy swooned.

text inside card

What Mlle.'s card said...

So should I pack my bags now? How long do you think it will take to get to Kingston?

black cat looking up

So when are we leaving for Kingston?

Kitties in love…Giuseppe doesn’t want you to think he is expecting his mature and experienced French Canadian love to do all the work in this relationship. He was a little preoccupied with his elder sister and his Mama Bernadette, and Mlle. understands that was all much more important to her beloved Giuseppe Verdi, and all the more reason for sending a valentine to him.

But our good-hearted G.V. is not without ideas and has decided to send Mlle. a gift for the room which is hers in her apartment. He heard her bed is red brocade and dreams of cuddling with her in that bed someday. But he asked his Mama Bernadette to send one of her prints to Mlle. so that Mlle.’s mama can hang it over the red brocade bed…

matted print

Giuseppe has made a gift to Mlle.

Catch up on the affaire between the young American cat, four-year-old Giuseppe Verdi, and his mature French-Canadian admirer, 12-year-old Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite. It is sure to be a good show when the Valentine arrives.

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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.


Heart-Shaped Cats

heart-shaped cats on afghan

Heart Shaped Cats on the Afghan

My Fantastic Four are famous for their heart-shaped hugs and cuddles, but the two most famous are Mr. Sunshine and his sister Mewsette, featured here in just a few everyday cuddles.

This is only a portion of my personal heart-shaped cat collection. Mr. Sunshine and Miss Mewsette have always been cuddle buddies, and they’ve always had this habit of curling up together cheek to cheek and chest to chest and wrapping their little arms around each other, even crossing tails in the front. They are a somewhat elongated heart here on the afghan with the heart right-side up, but looking at them below they are a more typical heart shape only with the heart upside down!

heart-shaped black cats

Heart-shaped cats the other way!

Mewsette is clearly posing, but Mr. Sunshine isn’t as concerned, he just wants to cuddle. Unfortunately, they don’t always cuddle together in the best light or against a contrasting background, and they are black, absorbing all of what’s available and not giving much back, making photos a challenge. Look closely, though, Mewsette has her arm right under Mr. Sunshine’s chin and he has his below hers, then he has his hind leg tucked into her belly and she has hers wrapped around his hip, then they have their tails layered on top of each others’, completely interwoven.

Here they are one night in my studio as I was moving furniture and cleaning, supervising what I was doing.

two heart-shaped black cats

Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette curled again.

And then the view from the top shows them heart-shaped again, but Mimi is sleeping behind them so they look a little misshapen.

two heart-shaped black cats

Heart-shaped again!

I found one very early photo of them as they were apparently developing this wonderful way to cuddle, though Giuseppe in the background looks a little miffed at the attention they are getting. I can assure you that I only got one shot because Giuseppe got up and sauntered between me and them.

black cats curled together

Early stages of the heart-shaped cat.

And finally, the photo of them I took on the night before Valentine’s Day in 2009 where they have their technique fully developed. Too bad that old camera wasn’t so good in low light conditions! Still, I couldn’t believe how sweet they were.

two black cats curled together

The original Heart Cats

Sometimes when I get a good photo composition that’s blurry or otherwise unclear, and not in a way that I can use for effect, I play around with it in PhotoShop. I never get enough time playing in PhotoShop so I’ll take any excuse. I liked the way this series of filters and adjustments clarified the image, even though it’s no longer photographic. The black outlines and areas of color remind me of the illustrations from some of the books I looked at and read as a child.

illustration of two black cats curled together

The original Heart Cats illustration.

I liked this so much I used it to print on a tote bag for sale.

And, of course, this very photo went on to become a Valentine note card, available all year round as a greeting card for when you need to send a note to that special heart cat.

two black cats with one heart

Heart Cats note card © B.E. Kazmarski

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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.