Tag Archives: Cats

Blues Cat

Blues Cat by Karen Gadient, 2014

Blues Cat. Cat in a cool mood.
For a larger version and print, please click the image.

I’ve been surrounded by cats since I shared a playpen with one and I couldn’t imagine my house without a cat or two. One of my favorite childhood poems:

Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair.
Top of piano, window-ledge, in the middle, on the edge.
Open drawer, empty shoe, anybody’s lap will do.
Fitted in a cardboard box, in the cupboard with your frocks.
Anywhere! They don’t care! Cats sleep anywhere.
― Eleanor Farjeon

10 Comments

Filed under Art, Cats, Childhood, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Graphic Design, Pets, Poetry, Portrait

Cats in the House

Calico Cat Watercolor

I’ve been away from blogging for a little while, as we’ve been busy with the integration of a new adult cat to our household. Glad to say it’s gone smoothly!

I’d show you a picture of her, but she was very badly matted when we found her and now she’s got quite a ridiculous haircut. Punk lion-kitty. With the online world always hungry for silly cat photos, I figure it’s better for her dignity to allow the fur some time to grow back before we post snapshots.

She’s sweet lady calico and we’re glad to have her in our family.

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul. — Jean Cocteau

17 Comments

Filed under Cats, Family, Grooming, Journal, Life, Love, Pets, Quotes

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Irish Jones by Karen Gadient, 2014

Our handsome ginger fellow, Mr. Jones, says:
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from our family to yours.

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.
— Irish Blessing

18 Comments

Filed under Cats, Color, Holiday, Pets, Photography

Queen of Her Castle

Gerlcat by Karen Gadient

Our elder lady and most dignified kitty, who always photographs radiantly.

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods.
Cats have never forgotten this. — Anonymous

13 Comments

Filed under Cats, Family, Pets, Photography, Portrait, Quotes

KarPaiTwenMo: Week Two

KarPaiTwenMo: Week Two: Sanctum - Digital Artwork by Karen Gadient

I didn’t realize how I’d feel once the holiday season started creeping in. The mall is already playing Christmas music and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. It’s actually bad enough it’s Thanksgiving when you’ve lost someone close to you.

Anyway, I’m not making more posts about how sad I am. I’m sad. No surprise. Grief sucks. Also no surprise. I’m not fishing for sympathy comments.

However, if you want to comment a funny joke, I’m all ears. Sillier the better!

Speaking of jokes… let me share one straight from my dentist’s office—my dentist, by the way, is amazing and will cure your fear of dentistry if you have any—so if you’re the Phoenix area, check them out—they may also have kittens. Yes, kittens. Well, cats. Our two little kitty boys were fostered by my dentist, no joke. She still has their momma. My dentist is awesome.

Wait. The joke!

A mushroom walks into a bar.
Bartender: We don’t serve your kind here.
Mushroom: Why not? I’m a FUN-GUY.

You may have groaned, but I’ll bet you’ll pass that one along. ;)

Oh, artwork. Yeah, it’s been like pulling teeth (OMG ANOTHER DENTIST REFERENCE) but I made five more pieces of art. Once again, I hate three of them. I’m glad I have more time to pull together a show of twenty.

However, I did love two of them. This time, so that you can actually see the detail, I’m sharing just one of them. I’ll probably post another soon. This is my second favorite (hey, gotta save something to show you later) and created entirely in Adobe Photoshop, which isn’t common for me, but go figure.

I call it ‘Sanctum‘. It’s an alien gateway/throne/dunno. I created it for a wonderful friend of mine (who has no blog to link to) who adores all things alien. Someday, the mothership may return for us. I hope they bring cookies.

22 Comments

Filed under Arizona, Art, Blogging, Cats, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Holiday, Inspiration, KarPaiTwenMo, Life, NaNoWriMo, Painting, Pets

Ten Things Our Cats Have Taught Me

I published this just over a year ago when I first started blogging. Only I didn’t have much of a reader base at the time. Recently, I’ve been thinking about this post and how true it really is—at least for me. Cats still keep me grounded.

Mister Jones

Our cats are always by my side as I work. It’s one of the benefits of having a home office. My office window has a ledge specifically for them, and it’s just an arm’s length away from my desk. They keep me grounded. Having cats has taught me a few things, and I’d like to share them with you.

Live in the present. — It’s really all that matters. At least until you hear a can of food being opened. Or in my case, smell the coffee brewing.

Good things happen when you purr, not when you hiss. — That’s when you get treats. This applies to the online world just as much as when you step out the door. People like you better when you’re positive, and that reaps rewards.

Don’t skip a meal. — Keep your tummy happy and it won’t distract you while you’re trying to focus on other things. Our cat Jonesy (photo above), who really appreciates his food dish, taught me this one.

Meow often. — Taught to me by Nimbus, who is not even Siamese. Toot your own horn. I mean, try not to be obnoxious about it—and combine it with purrs while trying to look cute—but be proud of yourself and share with the world.

Cuddle with those you love. — Even if they’re busy, they’ll appreciate it within minutes. Plus, you’ll feel better too.

Be playful. — Have fun with daily things. Everything can be a game if you make it one.

Be curious. — That’s how you find stuff out, and some of that stuff could be the coolest thing you’ve found so far. Seriously: life-changing stuff.

Schedule time to do nothing at all. — Including naps, which are awesome. Meditate. Take a bath. Let life slow down for a bit. Take a look outside and watch the birds. Just chill.

Enjoy some inexpensive fun. — Our cats love cardboard boxes, paper bags, and rings from the milk bottle. Some of the best fun costs the least. Write in a journal, window shop at the thrift store, go to the park, check out the bargain movies, play a game of cribbage, or read a pile of library books.

Find the sunny spot and bask in it. — Stretch out. Breathe. Soak in the rays and let them warm your soul.

I’ll add another one, because there are plenty of cats and dogs (and other critters) yearning to be adopted out there: find yourself a pet—whichever kind suits you, however big or small. I’ve read that people with animal companions are less stressed and that they live longer. I’m willing to bet that it’s true.

14 Comments

Filed under Cats, Inspiration, Journal, Life, Pets, Psychology

Pet grooming is a lot like freelancing

Groomer, grooming a dog. Vintage photo.
I have the unique experience of having been a pet groomer for a good part of my life. Not too many writer-artists can say that, so it was a clear choice for the letter ‘g’ in my alphabetical posting.

I started in grooming during high school as an summer job. I bathed dogs. It was awesome. Later, after my first attempt at college and a few more degrees I never did anything with (including beauty school), I went to pet grooming school. Not just any school, but a well-respected one in the industry: Nash Academy.

Nash are the people you see judging competitions. Nash are the people who take the craft seriously. And, as much as I managed to screw up my 20s in lots of other ways, I’ll never regret my time at Nash. I loved the place. As a student there, you’re family. Covered in dog hair—but family.

In the years to follow, I groomed on and off. Even after getting my degree in graphic design, I groomed part-time. Poodle sculpting is an art. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. But grooming is tough on a body-there’s a lot of standing and arm strength involved, plus a good dose of carpal tunnel inducing scissor work—and my aging body now prefers a desk or an easel.

Which is fine. I come from a family of artists and writers and I was the black sheep who resisted the siren call the longest. Design and words are in my blood and it’s what I do now full-time, just like the rest of them.

In the last decade, my grooming speciality was cats. That’s not too common in the grooming world, as groomers are often very much dog people and cats kind of like to rip dog people to shreds, especially in shops filled with barking dogs. I had a special hand with cats and miss grooming them the most. I also miss telling the “I shave pussy for money” jokes. ;)

Onward before this gets too long!

Grooming is a lot like being a freelance graphic designer.

You can have some seriously hairy projects. You can get bitten or have your arm humped (okay, maybe not literally in freelancing). You have to know a lot of formatting and design rules, whether it be for dog breed or publication. You’re always updating your equipment and sharpening your tools (good shears are expensive, no joke; so is a MacBook).

There are time crunches and deadlines and usually more work to get done in a day than minutes on your watch. Long hours are expected, but the money can be good (especially for a cage-bank of Persian cats or an e-commerce web site). Ridiculousness abounds, but there are tearful moments of job pride too.

What’s really cool and amazing about both being a groomer and being a graphic designer is that ooh factor you get when people ask you what you do for a living. And the chance to look forward to work every day, because no matter how weird things get at the shop/office—they’re always fun.

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Career, Cats, Dogs, Freelance, Grooming, Journal, Life, Writing