And then I gave up work for the day…

four black cats on desk

Maybe she’ll notice us now.

The above photo is from 2009, but I like to call it back up each year. Some things never change.

2011: Okay, okay, I admit I’ve been busy, but do you guys like to eat?! Then you’ll keep doing things like this as inspiration.

For now, enjoy somewhat over 50 pounds of black cat on one desk.

2009: They are always doing something unique, that whimsical quartet of siblings, but sometimes they have the right idea. I really was tired, my eyes were strained, I was losing focus at the end of a long day, and one by one the three boys piled up trying to get their point across (we need dinner, you need to stop working), hence the multiple nap. First Giuseppe front and center, paws draped on my keyboard, then Jelly Bean on the left and Mr. Sunshine on the right. Then Mewsette, the big sister, piled on top of all of them and began bathing them all in turn, causing things to start falling off my desk. Still, I could pile papers on top of them and keep working. When the paws and tails expanded onto my keyboard, I decided to take their advice and quit working for the day.

Below is a version from 2012, today in fact, and the only difference is that Mimi is part of the group on the far left so it isn’t quite 50 pounds of black cat, and the other three are Giuseppe, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine, just continuing yesterday’s heat-induced laziness.

four black cats sleeping on desk.

Four cats on my desk.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Wile E. Mouse

three black cats looking under book case

Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine stare under the book case where something is making scratching noises, Jelly Bean is skeptical.

I think the natural selection of capable kitties has been removing less-capable mice from the pool of genetic material that figures out how to get into my house.

We had a mouse invasion, at least one, though I never presume there is only one, and I still don’t know how they get in. With my old and handmade foundation built from spare parts there could be a space between stones or bricks anywhere in the foundation or even in the spot where the house meets the foundation, and they develop all the time. I really don’t want mice in the house, so I really do hope my hapless felines can follow their natural instincts and chase around a real mouse after all that practice with toys.

three black cats with book case

Mr. Sunshine prepares to leap behind the furniture, Giuseppe watches intently, Jelly Bean is still waiting, for something.

The mouse entered some time on Sunday morning, and the five black cats chased it around for the next 24 hours. Kelly used to sit in the basement and wait for mice, and to my dismay enjoyed long and creative torture sessions (Cookie would take the mouse from her and kill it), and a few times Kelly has fearlessly joined in with the black cats and showed them a thing or two, having earned her keep that way in younger days, but she left this one to them.

But this mouse managed to elude five cats bent on its capture. They had it cornered behind every piece of furniture in the house, and while I know they caught up with it here and there it managed to get away from them, only to run behind yet another piece of furniture and chitter at them. I went to bed and while I am accustomed to each of the five black cats taking their places around and on me, not one joined me—no Mewsette nosing under the covers next to me, Mimi’s tiny weight on my hip, the boys wrestling themselves to sleep on my legs. Some time during the night the mouse ended up in my room as they actually awakened me with chasing it, and I heard it chittering at them again.

four black cats looking out the door

Setting the mouse free on a cold rainy morning.

I did not join them in the chase because I am a human and am therefore not a good mouser. I could chase it all day and I’d never get near it. They stood a better chance, so I left it up to them.

I awoke alone, without the Torturous Tag Team of Giuseppe happily stomping all over me and tickling my face with his whiskers and Mr. Sunshine pulling the covers off me and pulling out one of my hands to gnaw on my knuckles, Mimi looking at me disapprovingly. I heard them running around on the stairs and then in my studio next door to my bedroom. I walked in to see at least four of them with a very angry mouse chittering at them from the corner behind my easel; I guess they were trying to hit with with multiple death ray stares or it was making one heck of an impassioned speech about the meaning of its own life that it had them all entranced. No one paid a bit of attention to me.

two black cats at the door

I had to convince Mewsette and Giuseppe to come upstairs to breakfast.

Eventually, the mouse made a break for it and after some chasing Jelly Bean, who had apparently been conserving his energy for the big event, caught it and ran down the stairs with all of us in pursuit, including Kelly. Where was a video camera then? I couldn’t even get any good photos, too many black cats in the dark of the early morning.

All the way to the basement where he let it go, then caught it again and I opened the basement door and held him near it, gave him a shake, he dropped the mouse and off it ran. Don’t know if the poor thing will make it, and I’m not sure I want that particular set of strong and wily genetics to be reproducing with a vengeful eye toward my household, but if it was still alive after 24 hours being chased by five cats, and maybe six if Kelly joined in at some point, it deserved release. Some cats had a hard time letting the situation go, waiting by the door as if they thought the mouse would come back to play some more.

But they spent the rest of the day sleeping off the day of activity. I’ve referred to them below as a “gob pile”, and those from coal country may recognize that term as referring to the heap of overburden and waste material separated from the coal during coal mining. So that’s what they were today, a heap of black waste material. But they’re a lot prettier than real gobs are. And I’m so glad I didn’t have to spend 24 hours chasing a mouse.

pile of black cats sleeping

The Black Cat Gob Pile.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Puzzle Cats

four black cats on bed

Puzzle cats, because they fit together like puzzle pieces even if one is under the bedspread.

All tucked in with each other, Mimi and her children snoozed on the bed in the early afternoon. From the top at 12:00 is Mimi, at about 4:00 is Mewsette, at 6:00 is Mr. Sunshine and at about the 10:00 position is Jelly Bean. The lump under the bedspread at the very bottom is Giuseppe being used as a pillow by Mr. Sunshine.

Below…”What are you looking at? We are going to finish our nap.” The three siblings, four if you count Giuseppe under the bedspread, are never so close in personality as when they awaken from a nap together—they’ll often sit up and look at me in nearly the same position, ears and eyes and heads all angled the same, or very nearly so. Mama Mimi is not in step with her children, and that is okay for the matriarch of the family. But they did get up after this and I finally managed to make the bed.

four black cats on bed

They kind of remind me of meerkats or baby possums all lined up on their mother.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Neatly Folded Cats: 2011

five black cats on the bed

Neatly Folded Cats

The effects of a dark, rainy morning: five black cats neatly organized in two groups to sleep on the bed.

After taking up most of the space on my desk this morning, they all disappeared upstairs and tried to get me to lie down with them when I went upstairs. Later, this is what I found, and they didn’t even open an eye or flick an ear when I got my camera and walked around the room, trying to get the best angle on a shot of them all. I turned on all the lights in the room in an effort not to use my flash.

But they did make me think of folded, sorted laundry ready to be put away.

black cats sleeping on bed

Strewn on the bed.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


The Systematic Destruction of My Bed

three cats on bed

It started out innocently enough with Mimi, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine.

I made my bed today, but what’s the point some days? Every time I went upstairs my bed was a little worse for the wear and had one more cat on it. But who could resist? I made sure I had the camera with me each time.

four black cats on bed

Then JB joined and there were four, though someone had burrowed under the quilt, then left.

four black cats on bed

Then Giuseppe joined, but crawled up under the quilt.

five black cats on bed

I awakened them a little later. Giuseppe crawled out from under the quilt. Look at all those ears!

five black cats on bed

The final arrangement, hard to tell but things are piled up all over.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Here We Are Today, Sort Of

four black cats looking out the door

Three of the four and Mimi.

Here they were this morning, Mewsette, Giuseppe, Mimi and Jelly Bean. I tried to coax them all over to the door for a photo op, but Mr. Sunshine was much more interested in breakdancing in the sun on the floor at my feet. I just love how little Mimi is surrounded by her rather large children.

I know that Mewsette is looking at a chipmunk that always runs back and forth in front of the basement door, Giuseppe at Jelly Bean at birds perching on the clotheslines and Mimi is looking at Hester the Bunny who is, I think, larger than Mimi.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


My How We’ve Grown: 2011

four black cats at basement door

My how we've grown in the past year and a half!

Ah, two famous photos of the Fantastic Four! Above, the Four in March 2011 when they were about 3 years 7 months old, and below the Four and Mimi in September 2009 when they were just past two years. I can only catch these photos early in the day when I open the basement door.

No room for mom anymore! Here are Jelly Bean, Mewsette, Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe lined up to observe the back yard. Compare to the photo below taken in September 2009 when they were just past two years old with Jelly Bean, Mr. Sunshine, Giuseppe, Mewsette and little Mimi, who is actually standing so she looks a little bigger than her regular size. I thought they were pretty big at two, but they are actually taller and more muscled at three-and-a-half. Their birthday is July 26.

five black cats at basement door

We do many things together.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Tortoiseshell Cat Stares Down Inner Demons: 2011

tortoiseshell cat and five black cats

Tortoiseshell Cat Stares Down Inner Demons

I was waiting for this one to come around! It’s a little blurry, but I only had one chance.

Clever pun, huh? Do you see the demons inside, staring out the door? Five—count ’em, five—dark solemn beings with pale eyes all staring directly at Cookie?

They don’t bother Cookie because she has Tortitude. Ask anyone who’s ever lived with a tortoiseshell cat, or any tri-color for that matter. She is 19, the kids are 3, Mimi is about 6. Cookie weighs about 8 pounds, together the black cats weigh over 50. I open the door and she walks right in between them as if they don’t exist.

Cookie has seen many cats come and go, and as far as she is concerned, this group of five is just another bunch of cats with whom she shares me. She is not impressed with the fact that they are all black. After all, she gets to go outside with me every morning and sometimes during the day, and she gets first dibs on my lap and my attention.

But the four siblings, here joined by their mom, are at it again as a group. How sweet it is.

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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.


On St. Patrick’s Day, Drink Straight From the Tap

four black cats drinking from faucet

Have a drink with family and friends.

My traditional St. Patrick’s Day greeting!

Especially if you’re the Parched Puddies having your daily drink in the mint green sink! It’s Giuseppe, Jelly Bean, Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette. They’re not Irish and neither am I, but when you’re getting together with family and drinking from the tap in the presence of something green on St. Patrick’s Day…well, we non-Irish have to improvise.

I ran this last year on St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s still too good not to share again! All four do this every day—including this morning—in fact doing their best to lead me back upstairs after breakfast to turn the faucet on to a drip so they can drink. Just this morning the light was perfect* and all four were drinking at one time, plus you can actually see the faucet (a little) and tell it’s a sink. They’re pretty big and block a lot of the view.

Also enjoy an older gallery of the Fantastic Four plus Mimi and others in the green and white bathroom on my website.

*Photographing black cats in natural light is a trick, and many of the other photos I have of them drinking in the sink—or doing anything as a group, for that matter—often turns out as a black blob with eyes and ears if I’m not careful. It was often difficult to tell what was in the sink, let alone the number of cats.

But the sun was bright that day and reflected off the white walls in the bathroom and I finally captured one of my favorite moments with these four.

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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.


Four-Leaf Kitties, Happy Day Before St. Patrick’s

four black cats

Four-Leaf Kitties

Could I pose them like this? Never! I just follow them around with my camera. Actually, this is another one of those photos that happens while I am unaware and focused working at my computer, and because I am still and quiet while I’m working all the cats settle down. Then I take a break, turn around and there they are. I can’t tell you how many photos happen that way.

Giuseppe is at 12:00 with his head turned upside down and his paws in the air, Mewsette is curled at 3:00, Jelly Bean at 6:00, Mr. Sunshine at 9:00 using Giuseppe as a pillow.

Right now, the time is a little past Mewsette.

And though this is St. Patrick’s Week for photos with green and kitties, this photo fits in the theme even without green for two reasons: first, the kitties are in shape for it, and they certainly are my lucky charm; and, second, there’s a little scrap of an orange bag under them, and I know orange is certainly not the color of St. Patrick, but it is on the Irish flag.

Besides that, it was the orange bag that started it all—I placed it on my chair to pack it with stuff, and when I turned around Giuseppe was in it, then he decided to curl up and take a nap. I moved bag and Giuseppe to the floor and got another bag.

Through the course of that day and the next, all five of the black kitties cycled through the bag in ones and twos and threes, using it as a fort, a bed, and a bath house, then finally in this perfect foursome. And because I used a flash for this photo because there was so much blur without it you can clearly see the difference in fur color—Giuseppe and Jelly Bean have short fur like their mother and are distinctly brown like her, while Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine are a denser black and have longer fur like one of the studs with good genetics chosen carefully by Mimi.

Four lucky kitties!

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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.