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.


Heart-Shaped Cats

heart-shaped cats on afghan

Heart Shaped Cats on the Afghan

Here’s 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!

Do you think Mewsette likes to get her photo taken? Mr. Sunshine isn’t as concerned, he just wants to cuddle. I’ve only caught a few photos of them because 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.

So there they are, all my Heart Cats to date, though I’ve no doubt that I’ll have more to show next Valentine’s Day, now that I’m on to them!

*(This isn’t the same afghan you see so often in photos of them, as in “Muted Colors” and “Cozy”. That was the wool afghan my mother made which was damaged in a flood so all the colors blended. This is the afghan I made years ago because I liked hers so much and I wanted one just like it, though mine is made of acrylic yarn. It’s made of all the scraps from other afghans I’d made, plus odds and ends of yarn I’d bought because I liked the color. Each square, and therefore the pattern, is bigger than the wool afghan, and the colors are brighter; those yarn colors from the 70s were downright garish, but the afghan is welcoming nonetheless, and as with all crocheted things the kitties LOVE it, though they prefer the wool one.)


Happy Valentine’s Day

HEART CATS

Happy Valentine's Day!


New Photo Galleries

God, I'm Cute.

God, I'm Cute.

Welcome to “In the Bathroom” and “The Stinkbug: A Feline Drama in Eleven Acts“, just two of the fun activities we share in this exciting household!

The photos of Mimi’s Children (and Mimi) in the bathroom were so popular that I’ve posted a gallery of the black cats and their antics in the new mint-and-white bathroom—hanging out in the tub, wrestling on the floor, rolled up in the rug, sitting in the sink waiting for the faucet to drip (the new one doesn’t drip any more, to their great disappointment…).

In an effort to have all the photos be consistent in color and lighting and style, I’ve been washing and using the same towels and bath rug for the past month, and have delayed finishing the bathroom decorating so that other items wouldn’t be distracting in the background. I’ll be glad to put up my new towels and put away all my stuff! It’s always worth it to capture that moment, though, and the opportunity to find images of two or three or four or even five cats as a matched set all engaged in the same activity is really a beautiful thing that needs to be shared. Visit “In the Bathroom“.

The Stinkbug: A Drama in Eleven Acts” was just a lucky moment catching the fab four in a group effort, along with a clear wash of winter sunlight on the landing at the top of the stairs. Stinkbugs are harmless vegetarian plant plant pests that emit a foul smell when threatened or injured, and end up in my house when I take plants in for the winter; confused, they move around sluggishly looking for their natural habitat which does often include predators…it took all four of Mimi’s Children all thinking together to figure out what to do about the bug, which emitted its smell and played dead, and eventually they left it alone. Visit “The Stinkbug“.

Observing the Stinkbug

Observing the Stinkbug

I hope you enjoy the photos! I’ll also be publishing greeting cards featuring some of these images, and any of them is available as a print in various sizes.


My Valentines

Heart-shaped Cats

Heart-shaped Cats

Brother and sister Mr. Sunshine and Ms. Mewsette cuddle on the crumpled bathroom rug, arms about each other and tails entwined. Honestly, I couldn’t have posed this, but it will certainly be a piece of artwork in the future!

Cookie’s nose making a cold, wet dot on my wrist as she exudes happiness. Namir swatting my elbow so I’ll come close enough for him to tuck his paw in my hand while he gazes up at me. Jelly Bean sitting next to me loudly purring and blinking his eyes in bliss. Kelly talking her way through her upward-downward cat postures when I enter the room. These are my valentines, and then some. How could I miss that I am adored?And they don’t need a special day to let me know about  it.

I didn’t take this photo on Valentine’s Day, but close enough; I just wish the light had been a little better. However, the greatest Valentine’s gift my cats give me is the constant inspiration of their activities and personalities.

Thanks, everyone! It was a great Valentine’s Day!