Outdoor Adventures: 2009

Namir and Cookie are not happy about having to go inside.

Namir and Cookie are not happy about having to go inside.

On this day three years ago I had some company out in the back yard, inspecting my work and making the decisions about who was inside and outside and when. I’ve often had one cat outdoors with me and could keep a close watch on their activities—as they usually did in watching mine.

Two cats was not so much of a challenge during the years when Moses was one of the kitties because she spread herself out on the warm bricks and napped the entire time.

But I still marvel that both Namir and Cookie actually stayed with me though they didn’t always hang together, and when I told them it was time to go in, they made faces at me, as you see, but in they went.

tortoiseshell cat with daffodil greens

Cookie pauses to let me see how well the daffodil greens match her eyes.

Yes, I watch them around the daffodils and other plants that may be toxic. No one has ever shown any interest in eating them outdoors. Cookie was famous for posing, and she knew she’d look lovely with the greens.

You can see the cluster of lettuce sprouts far behind Namir, below; that part of this cold frame simply got more sun so I began planting at that end every year. You can also see that his right front leg is shaved. He had very recently been in the emergency hospital for a bout of congestive heart failure. His neck would also have a shaved patch. I got so accustomed to seeing the shaved areas I didn’t even notice them. The April visit to the emergency clinic was one of his last though; he never completely recovered from that, and even with medication changes he only lived to July, though he had lived four full years after an initial prognosis of about six months.

cat walking on bricks

Namir stays carefully on the brick edge after inspecting the new lettuce sprouts.

But I’ve always noticed that a trip to the great outdoors of the back yard is an antidote to a lot of ills for them and me, even just a few minutes will do. My yard is a Backyard Wildlife Habitat so it’s full of smells and noises and movement and the noses get to work and ears swivel around and eyes focus on tiny movements, and soon discomfort and infirmities are forgotten in the important business of being a cat.

I had some artwork to photograph as well as working in the yard, and my two photo assistants are right on the job. I can only guess they liked to be with me, why else would they hang around that dirty old blanket I used to cushion the framed art from the bricks and to reflect extra light up onto the art?

two cats with photo bag

Namir and Cookie assist with some outdoor photography.

So as I watched Namir chase leaves and harass Cookie for fun, and Cookie cruise around and nap in the leaf litter, and had them both supervise my gardening progress while enjoying their time outdoors, I thoroughly enjoyed their presences.

two cats in spring garden

My two seniors join me outdoors to supervise my gardening.

It was a joy to watch Namir sprint across the yard just for the joy of running and Cookie patrol the garden paths, even in the late winter when strewn with weeds and debris.

Mimi is getting accustomed to this. We’ll see what she thinks tomorrow.

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4 Comments on “Outdoor Adventures: 2009”

  1. lemniscate47 says:

    I got not them, but their names muddled, didn’t I?! I am Sorry.
    It is beautiful tortoiseshell Cookie who blends with the winter garden’s colours.. n it’s Namir, who IS the one with CHF, who has the look of my Lucy. With bony, failing haunches n gently determined face. Thank You, Bernadette. It has been a great comfort to me to wander around amongst your photos, sketches n memories of your beloved felines. I am reminded as I do of past loves of mine. Mothers, sons, daughters n pals. Thank you for getting back to me, too, as you’ve done. xxx Annie

  2. lemniscate47 says:

    It’s lovely to see a couple of your dear oldies out n about, as you say savouring all their cat senses in the winter garden. Namir’s colours blend so beautifully with the winter debris, don’t they?? n Cookie has the same look to him as my Lucy had.. especially around his dear old creaky haunches. My guess is they both had that same determination to soldier on n make the best of things. Lovely outing, Bernadette, Thank You.

    • animalartist says:

      It’s funny to think they were old, even now. They loved being out there and with me. I miss them most in the spring, but did you know I just lost Cookie on February 3? These are the first few months of being out there without her, and sometimes I need a little encouragement.


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