Kitty Pictures i.e. The Family Album

How would you like lots of kitty pictures today?  I hope I am hearing a wildly excited YES!  If so, you are in luck!  MUSICA! This would be a good time to bring your kidlets in for a little kitty tale. 

This morning they did something they just don’t do; they calmly allowed each other to be, not only in the same room, but on the same level. Usually Girl likes to be physically above Jack.  But there he is and she’s fine! She has him pretty well trained not to jump joyfully on her now.  It was so nice, I grabbed the camera for a little photo shoot in peaceable kingdom.

Even he seemed surprised.  Like, Do you see this? There she is, do you see it?  You might notice how much room Jack leaves me to do my work.

Whenever she’s around, he can barely take his eyes off her. She might be getting a persecution complex.

But mostly this is how we roll.  I try to eek out two square inches to work, while Jack makes himself comfortable.

I move him, but he comes back.  This all seems very normal to him.  I think I have painted at least one kitty hair into every page of the new book.

 I will not be charging extra for the good ju-ju DNA of kitty fur that will come with every book. It will simply be an unseen part of the overall package. And I promise, just in case, to render it allergy-free before it goes to the printer.

 And this is where Girl lives when she is in my studio.

Never very far away, but she mostly sticks to the pillow.

Although this is exactly the kind of face she gets just before she walks across my art table, and climbs up on my shoulder to get in the same position as burping a baby, for a back, neck and ear rub.

And very often,  I go to her, first for rubbing, then for a kitty kiss.

This was a hard photo to take; it was kind of a guess.  Because I had to put the camera behind me without seeing through the viewfinder, and just push the button. I am sitting in my chair and Jack has wedged himself between me and the back of it!

Of course, I had to paint these two into the new book. Even though they didn’t come to England with us, what would a book be without them, my little talismen!

I’ve been painting my kitties for a long time, this is my first Man Cat; this painting was called “Immortalizing Man Cat.” He was a living doll (too).

This is Jack, ready to play.  That’s his very own scratching post in the foreground.  His property and he knows it.  He brings me the rubber band and then he rustles me back to the scratching post to play there.

I put the rubber band on the top of the post, he climbs it, gets the rubber band, and brings it down to my feet so I can do it again.

He LOVES this game.

He is maniacal … where the heck is that rubber band?  I saw you put it here, where is it??  (shhhh don’t tell him!)

Aha . . . yes.  Got it. Bite it.

After we do this about a thousand times, I shoot it across the room so he can chase it and bring it back. He tells me if we shoot it, or if we put it on the top of the post.

He’s not quite done here yet … he moves fast!

This is Kitty Motto Number One. The light comes on in his eyes the moment I start to make the noises associated with taking Joe his tea in the morning.  He knows water-boiling noise signifies playtime.

Sometimes he likes me to throw the rubber band to him in the drawer . . . see those eyes?  That’s because I’m holding the rubber band just below the camera.

He is always ready to play, with the sweetest most trusting face in the world.

And once in a while, he will actually sleep.  He prefers warm laundry for his bed.

OK, Girlfriends and Kidlets, I must go now.  I have a book to finish!  I hope your days are going well, and all your dreams are coming true!  We, here in kitty heaven, love reading your wonderful comments!  Thank you so much! Have a wonderful day! xoxo

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644 Responses to Kitty Pictures i.e. The Family Album

  1. Love your kitty “kids”! They are adorable & I’m sure bring you much joy & amusement! So nice they were able to peacefully be in each others company. They really have their own unique personalities & little quarks about them!
    Hope your week is grand~

  2. LindaSonia says:

    Ohmygosh you have got two of the sweetest kitties ever!!! Love the photos of them!! – Jack looks like the wild cat of Borneo and Girl always looks so sweet and placid…toooo cute.

    Have a happy day!

  3. Kerry Anita says:

    Aren’t kitties such good helpers? Mine loves to sit ON my keyboard and help me type:) Your cats are so adorable and seem like lots of fun:)!

  4. Marianne in Hidden Meadows, SoCal says:

    Love the photo of Jack standing on top of the chair looking very mountain lionesque — and Girl in the last photo with those beautiful green eyes-serene green! And the little glimpses of THE BOOK, love it already!!!

  5. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    What a wonderful mid-week surprise! Thank you for sharing the pictures! I love the paintings that you did of Man Cat! What was/were the names of the gold tabbies that you’ve also painted? You may have told us before. . .sorry! One of my favorites is the one of the gold tabby on the stack of quilts in the basket! That’s because we have two “blond boys” who are just the best natured cats we’ve had!
    In fact I’m off to meditate and one of them now keeps me company during that time!
    Thank you again for the cat photos and narrative! Smiles all around today! 😉

    • sbranch says:

      The first yellow kitty, was my first kitty ever, and her name was Pooh — that was her on the quilts. My second one was William T. Aristocat, the third. I didn’t name him obviously, we called him Bill or Billy. His photo was in my Girlfriend’s Book, drinking hot chocolate out of Joe’s cup. Happy Meditation! Hope you go flying! 🙂

  6. Kati says:

    Your kitties are too funny! I so enjoy looking at the lovely kitties and that Jack is too funny while playing with his rubber band. 🙂 Our kitties aren’t nearly as playful.

  7. Michele says:

    Susan thanks so much for posting pictures of the kitties. They are so sweet and soooo beautiful!!

    At home, with my fur-baby, Myra Anne (short-haired border collie/pound puppy :0) She’s feeling a bit under~the~weather :0(

    Can’t wait to see the book! :0)

  8. Sherry Winchester says:

    Hello Susan! I have a houseful of my own kitty kids, so I appreciated every single word you wrote….and understood from whence each word came…Well, I would write more, but I have a 20+ year old yowling at me for attention right now, and the others are saying, “Why does she have to make so much racket all the time?” I’d better go and do what I can to once again get things on an even keel around here again….One never knows what to expect next…but then, you know exactly what I’m talking about!…..Cheers, Susan!

  9. Susan in SC says:

    I’m sure there must be hectic moments with two kitties, but the pictures look oh so serene.

  10. Barb says:

    How adorable are they?!! While I’m not a “kitty person” (we have an 8 pound silkie terrier) I could be won over by those two!! You (and they) made me smile — thanks!!!

  11. Angie S says:

    I don’t know how you ever get ANYTHING DONE!!! They are so WONDERFULLY distracting. My 2 darling kitties’ favorite place is on top of my computer keyboard (only when I am trying to use it), and on my lap between me and my desk. I got my hand bitten just this morning for having it on my computer mouse and NOT on her head rubbing her ears. PARDON ME!!!
    They are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Linda Wattier says:

    My goodness, they are like a couple of kids. So smart. How do you get any work done? My house is so quiet after Christmas and everything in it’s place maybe I need a cat. ha! ha!

  13. Kathryn from CA says:

    So sweet! Thank you for sharing!! Jack is growing up to be such a handsome boy and Girl looks so sweet and peaceful.

  14. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    I totally understand how much you love your two little fur persons! I too have two kitties and they are so precious to me. I had never had a boy kitty until my Max. He does the exact same thing when I’m sitting in my office chair, he just has to squish behind, my behind, so I’m sitting on the edge of the chair. It make me laugh at myself, because I don’t want to bother him while he’s napping, so I sit that way until my behind is asleep. Now that’s love! My girl kitty, Princess, is 22 years old this year and still playing like a kitten. I feel so blessed to have them both in my life. Thank you Susan for sharing such fun and wonderful pictures of Girl and Jack! I’ve enjoyed every moment, so entertaining! And another “you go girl” on the road to getting y(our) book finished! Wishing you a productive and fun day! ♥

  15. Fran says:

    There’s nothing sweeter than having cats to love. They warm your heart and make you laugh. My tuxedo cat, Tut, is funny and curious, just like Jack. I named him Tut because he thinks he’s king of the house (and of course he is!). Thanks for the great blog today – I always enjoy seeing what Jack and Girl are up to.
    P.S. – Can’t wait for the book to be out!

  16. Diane Harris says:

    Thank you so much! I’m waiting for a client to call and stumbled upon your tweet! Just the kid of time filler I need. Now I’ve got our kitten Tinkerbelle on my desk wondering what I’m doing. She thinks the Norfolk Island Pine branches on the small one on my desk make great playthings. To a kitten, everything is a toy! Where would my soul be without a kitty or three in the house?

    Love to you and the kids!

    Diane Marie

  17. Rosanna Shaw says:

    Good Morning Susan,
    Thank you for sharing Girl and Jack. We just love
    their cute faces and seeing them in action. It warmed
    our hearts. Have a wonderful day and thank you for being you 🙂

  18. Teresa G., Lafayette, CA. says:

    Oh for Pete’s sake…..I think I need to go get a cat! My home looks bare without one now. What a fun post! Thanks, Susan. Okay, breaks over. Everybody back to work (with a happy heart!)

  19. Heidi says:

    Kept checking for a new post and finally – surprise! They are precious kitties -Girl with that loving, peaceful expression and your Jack reminds me of my Nicky. He had surgery last week for a bump on his hip, but all is OK – very grateful. He was not about to let stitches keep him from from leaping, jumping and playing. Happy Day to all!

  20. Georgie says:

    Susan! Such sweet, sweet faces on your darling kitties! I was laughing at Jack as he played, and just taking in the beauty of Girl. She is Regal… pure Royalty!

    I am enjoying tagging along, cheering you on as you near the finish line. Right now, your dreams are mine too (in a sense…) My dreams right now, are consumed with parents and doctor appointments, cooking dinners and making everything nice and cozy for the folks. The rewards are tremendous 🙂

    But, my outside dream is watching your journey of a Fine Romance… You Go Girl!!!


  21. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Yes! Thank you very much, I liked kitty pictures today! I love the pictures, paintings & descriptions of your kitties – I feel like I’m right there! That’s why you’re such a wonderful authoress (?), I’m transported out of this chair to right there! You go girl! xoxo

  22. Sweet way to start my day…..thanks. Must be hard to concentrate with all those cuties around. Looks like you’ve been busy though, and what’s a few cat hairs in the mix of things. 🙂

  23. Debbie Johnson says:

    Oh what fun that was! Loved seeing the kitties and so happy Girl kitty is warming up a wee bit to Jack.
    I ordered the brown bird teacup from your shop and am using it the first time this morning. I LOVE IT!! Thank you for having it in your shop!
    Kitty hugs,

  24. Lynda Vancina says:

    I,too,got a cute kitty a few months ago to be a “friend” for my older cat who was getting a bit lazy and overweight. The idea was that the kitty and the cat would bond and play together. It has worked out about as well as the situation with your kitties! But we love them both,anyway.

    • sbranch says:

      Yeah, that’s not the reason to do it, I discovered. Now I want to get Jack a “friend.” Haven’t I learned my lesson?

  25. sue ziff says:

    Thank you form making me smile again with a great loving post. I this my eyes teared a little reading your post too because I know how much joy our fur babies add to our lives. What would we do without them ? They are family and make a house a home !
    Hugs, sue

  26. Carlie (Mission Viejo, CA) says:

    Thank you for this wonderful feel-good message. Those two are just two precious and I love hearing what they’re up to. As I write this my cat is tucked between me and the chair back so of course I laughed when I saw Jack was there too! At one time I worked from home and my small desk wouldn’t accommodate my work and both my cats…so I bought a bigger desk. I hope you’re laughing becasue you know exactly what happened, don’t you? Yip, now I had a big desk with my paperwork and two kitters right in the middle of it.

    Thanks for bringing back that fun memory.

  27. Deb says:

    Such gorgeous models for your artwork ♥
    Love Jack’s moustache & is Girl sipping tea 🙂 I have a Lab that does that if I put my mug of tea down!
    When my son was a little boy, his favourite show was Postman Pat. Postman Pat had a black and white cat named Jess who never left his side ~ your sweet b&w kitties remind me of Jess.
    Have a wonderful day Susan.

  28. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    hello, and good morning susan and girlfriends. oh what cute kitty photos, gotta love kitties. sounds like the activity around my home in the mornings, get up, start the fire, start the kettle for tea for me and start the coffee for ed, and find Midnight’s feather toy with the jingle bell on it and throw it to him and away we go for game time and play time. right now Midnight, Tabby and Tabitha are sitting in the window biry watching and chattering to them. the are so silly. Miss Kitty is enjoying the fire in the basket, she is curled up for a nap. they get so silly when i bundle up to go outside to let the birds out for the day and go feed the critters around the place, the squirrels, the lil birds, the deer and the neighbor’s cat across the road. they are already fed and happy but they want more play time. time for that when i finish caring for the critters. well off to get me some breakfast and get busy sweeping out the barn, and the henhouse. then i have the porches to do and run the broom around the floors and the dustmop. you all have a wonderful day today everyone. hugs…… 🙂

    • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

      oops meant birdy watching….hehehe!!! they have a birdy right next to the window and you should see the tails twitching and swishing. 🙂

  29. Holly says:

    Awwwww! Such sweet kitty faces! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who stays home all day, working, with kitties on the desk. Mine are also on my sewing table, and even wedged behind my quilting chair like Jack was… they just follow me where ever I work and take turns trying to get closest to where I’m working. My husband also works from home, and sometimes they do it to him too and I just laugh. My newest baby is now four months old, her name is Pippa Jane, but often it is “Princess Pippa”. It’s been so much fun to watch her playing with the older two.

    I know you will be glad to have the book finished, and I’m not the only one waiting anxiously to read it!

  30. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh my gosh those two are adorable! If only I could reach through this screen and hug them! I must give you kudo’s for being able to work around Jack…lol He looks like quite the curious little boy!

  31. Lori says:

    Gee, I was having a blah sort of day and your kitties just perked me up! How can you not smile when you see their sweet faces and Jack’s antics. I know they must bring you great joy. <3 Thanks for sharing!

    "I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul." A great quote from Jean Cocteau.

  32. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh my gosh those two are adorable! If only I could reach through this screen and hug them! I must give you kudo’s for being able to work around Jack…lol He looks like quite the curious little boy! Then there is sweet..lovable Kitty! Ahhhh…she is beautiful!

    Have a very blessed day!

  33. Heartsdesire says:

    Isn’t it wonderful to have cats in the house, and especially in ones studio? Girl looks very peaceful, and Jack looks his regular rambunctious self. Lovely to see your book coming along so well, and it wouldn’t be a Susan Branch project if there weren’t any kitty pictures. Please include a cat hair or two when I order my

  34. Julie Marie says:

    Hi Susan… I love this kitty post this morning!… and I can’t wait for your new book with “Juju” kitty DNA fur in it!… I would pay extra even!… my nieces have called me Juju since they were little girls, they are 28 and 30 years old now!… LOVE that closeup of Girl Kitty’s sweet little pink paw… and I have never heard of a kitty that played fetch before like Jack does!… so happy they are both going to be in your book!… will there be recipes in this book too?… mmmm… I can just smell those English pot pies now!… it was fun seeing some little “sneak peeks” in your post!… much love and kitty kisses to all, xoxo meow meow meow… Julie Marie

  35. Brenda from Saskatchewan, Canada says:

    You’re doing a very good job of turning this dog person into a cat lover.

  36. laurie says:

    Jack has the best mustache in the cat world, both beauties,

  37. Christine says:

    Oh you make me want to have a kitty!
    (but I can’t)
    They both have such cute personalities.
    If I can’t have a kitty, this is the next best thing.
    Thank You!

  38. Karen Connor says:

    It must be so comfy and cozy to have your two little kitties keeping you both company. I just love hearing about their antics and gazing at those sweet little faces.
    P.S. I was so happy to see Petey. What a treat. Give him a big hug from me.
    Keep up the great work on your book. We are all anxiously awaiting your newest present to us!

  39. Hi Susan! The book looks AMAZING! I adore Girl Kitty and Jack and love seeing their antics 🙂 Hope you have a lovely creative week!! xoxo

  40. Mary E Osborne says:

    Love those Kitties! Our tux kittah Buster drops his orange mousie 1)at your feet 2) on your stomach 3) in the bed when he wants to play. He’s sooooooo adorable when he’s dragging it around like a “kill”! You kitties are most gorgeous !! Thanks for sharing these special photos. luv.MaryO

  41. Janet Hundley - Grafton, WI says:

    Loved all the kitty photos…and glimpses of the book. Is Girl Kitty testing the water for your brushes to be sure it’s pure enough and the right temperature? Teehee!!!

  42. Susan says:

    Loved the pictures and descriptions of your kitties! They are truly your children!!! Thanks for sharing all the photos and another peak into your life:-)

  43. Linda P. says:

    I always enjoy reading your blog – but the last four have been special. Sitting here at the computer, drinking a cup of hot coffee (believe it or not we have been in the 20’s here in Bakersfield, CA – so the coffee taste really good) reading your blog is the perfect way to start my day. Thank you.

  44. Cyndee says:

    Oh, Susan! I wanted this to be Facebook so I could “like every photo and comment! Such sweet kitties. My two have a love-hate relationship. Mr. Darcy is passive, but, it the truth were known, Elizabeth Bennett has a liquor problem. Oh, so sorry: licker problem! She always seems to think Mr. D needs a good cleaning and this always ends in a tussle. But sometimes it ends with the two curled up sleeping in an embrace. Hoping yours come to such a place. As always, love your photos, art, sweet comments, and musica!

  45. Mary Pat says:

    Oh my goodness! Such fun! I had a lovely black kitty when I was in my 20s, and she made our whole family happier because of her antics. Also, my father loved that she became a champion mouser! We lived in the country, and she kept the house mouse less! Brings back such good memories! Who knew 40+ years could melt away so fast? Thanks!

  46. Rita Baker says:

    I used to have 2 kitties like yours – black and whites. They were the friendliest, sweetest cats I ever had. Spotty and Jessica – such sweethearts! I now have a black and white horse – Miss Nicky – but I miss the kitties and wish I could have one again, but with the horse and my sheltie Andy, I have reached my pet limit for now. Bless you and your kitties – it’s always a pleasure to see them in your photos.

  47. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan,

    Just finished making potato soup for dinner and thought I would check your blog for a new post and I wasn’t disappointed. Wonderful pictures of Girl and Jack. I did a whole scrapbooking album of our cat, Patches, and a relative commented that I had more pictures of my cat than she did of her child. But you can never have too many. Each one captures a different nuance. Don’t know how you get any work done when you have such cute distractions. I have to say they are cuter than Darwin, the IKEA monkey, in his little shearling coat and that’s pretty darn

  48. Your kitties are so darn cute, Susan! I love them both and how they seem to be total opposities! Girl Kitty is the sweetest thing, but definitely in charge, and Jack is just playful and adorable! The photo of Jack wedged between you and the back of the chair is priceless! I loved them all! Your studio looks like such a fun place to work. Thanks for sharing!

  49. jeannine leonard Germansville, Pa says:

    Thanks for the update of Girl Kitty and Jack. This is going to make Emily’s day when she sees this after she comes home from school. I am sure you are going to be hearing from her too. I just love looking at your pictures of your house, so comfy and warm. It makes me happy inside.

  50. Elaine says:

    Such pretty and cute Kitties ! My Harley loves to take off and play with my hair ties . Wonderful post and photos ! Have a glorious day !

  51. Rosanne (Oregon) says:

    Your kitties are adorable and obviously adored, as kitties should be. When I brought our Bella home from the shelter in Oct, she found a hiding hole in our fireplace and we didn’t see her for 3 weeks! I was so distraught I wrote about it on your blog! Just about the time I was about ready to scream Uncle, she emerged one quiet morning, climbed into my lap, and we have been loving each other ever since. She is my shadow and constant companion, and such a comfort. Love your photos, and love me some kitties! My girlfriend gave me something that says, “How we behave toward cats in this life determines our status in heaven.” 😉

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve always been told they need time when they first get “Home” — I kept Jack in the Peter Rabbit room for almost a month before he joined the rest of the family (we especially needed time for his smell to permeate everything and acceptance began to dawn on the unsuspecting Girl Kitty!).

  52. Letitia Dain says:

    ove the kitties. We have 3 very spoiled kitties and 1 very spoiled Border Collie that thinks they are his responsibility to herd. What joy they bring to us.

  53. Sue says:

    I love your kitty stories and pictures….our outside kitty, Hennie sends head rubs to all…!

    By the way I made the groundhog pudding the other day….oh my goodness, to good to be rice….this is a keeper for sure.

  54. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Hi! I was having one of those depressing days and then I saw the kitties! They are so cute. I love how you say Girl climbs on your shoulder. My Midge will let me throw her over my shoulder so I can get up and get another cup of coffee etc. Then we go back to her on my lap. When in the kitchen, she sits either on me or right by me in the next chair. They are just such sweet little beings. It’s a wonder you get any writing done at all with all the company LOL. I would be happy to receive kitty hair in my book! Thanks for bringing us in on the fun, I feel like I just dropped in to your house for a bit. Give the kitties hugs for me….have a great afternoon! Love hearing all about getting the book done. I can’t wait! 🙂

  55. Sara NW Georgia says:

    They are darling 🙂 I wish I had half of Jacks energy!

  56. Connie Michael says:

    This just made my day…..! Jack’s “jiggly eyes” made me erupt in giggles.,, and Girl Kitty is sooooo beautiful. Thank you so much for the “kitty fix”…couldn’t have been timed better! 🙂

  57. janie says:

    I just lost my cat and miss those little paw feet, thanks for posting!!

    I just ran across your site/blog yesterday and so glad I happened along.

    Have a good one!!

  58. Laura says:

    Goodness!! Love a kitty update. I have three doggies here at my house, all napping in different patches of sunlight. They’ll be up soon as it’s almost time for lunch! Hugs!!! Keep warm


  59. Ruthanne says:

    I grew up with cats….Tuffy and Fluffy….but have become a dog lover and owner…but your wonderful posts and photos of your sweet kitties are making me wonder if I shouldn’t add to our brood! Have a wonderful day! Did you get snow on MV? We got a few inches in Lexington and I’m LOVING it! Makes the day very cozy!

    • sbranch says:

      Nope, not us. We are practically tropical out here for some reason. But then it makes it really easy to go out on our walks, so I’m not complaining. I just hope it doesn’t become the norm!

  60. Sharon from Alberta, Canada says:

    I think my heart did a little leap of joy when I read the title of the post, knowing that we were going to see pictures of the kitties. Cute, Cute!! Have a wonderful day. Thanks for the smiles these photos bring.

  61. Sandra R says:

    You know, I am envious of much of your life. You have this lovely “groundhog” profession! You get to write, and make art, and your handwriting is cool! But I am sorry for you because of one thing.
    You probably never click on your blog and go “Wow, she’s posted another one, and this one has the KITTIES!!!” At least if you do, it probably isn’t a surprise! Thank you for the many nice surprises I find here. Happy Goundhogging!

    • sbranch says:

      You are so sweet. I get to do the thing where I say, Oh they are going to love this one! That’s pretty good too! xoxo

  62. Jane says:

    Your kitties are darling…I know it’s hard to choose a favorite picture! Are you ever afraid they will smear your paint? I do love your studio, it’s very homey and YOU!

    Keep up the good work and dedication to the book, we are all so looking forward to it coming out!

    Jane From Chicago

  63. Pat Stansel says:

    What an adorable blog!!! I particularly love the Jack in the drawer—-those eyes
    Are hilarious

  64. Mary Kathryn says:

    Your adorable kitties. I long for a kitty or three to decorate my home. I’m allergic, sorry to say. But I love enjoying yours! We must be happy with our dog. And that quote about the pudding — I had to go look that up! So funny 🙂 Down here in coastal NC we are warm and sunny, despite its being January. Thank you so much for all the beauty and joy you create!

  65. nina sznurman from Maryland says:

    Your home is warm and cozy for you and your family,friends, cats —that’s beautiful–its the little routines that we love every day that make a beautiful life.
    Enjoy your day !!!! Thanks for sharing it with us. Cant wait for the book. Nina

  66. Barbara (WA) says:

    Smiling, laughing, happy ~ thank you, Jack, Girl and Susan!

  67. "Auntie" says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmm… Did you notice? In those first pics… Girl is still technically above Jack? Just by an inch or two. But…. Her perch piece of furniture IS technically above your drawing table… Where Jack is.


    • sbranch says:

      Good eye, I think you’re right, and maybe that’s all she needs. But she does need to be above him, or so it seems!

  68. Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

    Hi, Sue
    Just by sheer coincidence at storytime today, one of the children picked out the book by James Herriot, “Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb”. I have owned it for years and cycle it onto our bookshelf every year after the holidays are over. It’s an adorable story about a little Swaledale lamb (apparently these are the ones with the black faces) who needs to see what the world is like on the other side of the fence. The illustrations are wonderful, with the rolliing hills, stone walls and even castle ruins!
    I must have read this book at least 30 times before but never with the connection I felt today! As soon as we finished reading, I invited my kiddies to sit with me @ the computer and I showed them all the lamb pictures from your last posting and told them about my friend, Susan, who went to England, where Smudge lived. It was the perfect story-extender…Thank you!
    But there’s more…..
    I noticed, then, that you had a new post of Girl and Jack. Well, ofcourse we had to all look at that together, too! When we were finished and getting settled down for a nap, one of my 4 yr. old girls said, “I love Susan’s house and her kitties.” “Me, too!” said another 4 yr. old…and I liked the cupcake rug!” We spent a few more minutes talking about Girl and Jack and my friend, Susan.
    So, you just never know who’s life you may affect each day….you just gained 5 new little friends, Sue!
    Happy Wednesday!

  69. MarySue says:

    Thank you dearly for adding to my already happy day. What cheer and inspiration you always share. Blessing to you 🙂

  70. Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

    I can tell your photo albumns must resemble ours–lots and lots of kitty-child photos (though ours have lots and lots of schnauzer-child ones). 🙂 They look like good company for you. I am always amazed how Jack’s eyes, in all of your photos, have a round pupil instead of the slit-eye look…Fun to see the kitty antics…

  71. Barb from Norristown says:

    Absolutely loved, loved, loved all of the pictures. What a character that Jack is and Girl is too sweet for words!

  72. Courtney says:

    I love your kitty pictures! Ive been wanting to adopt a kitty for awhile now, but Ive been apprehensive because i already have my hands delightfully full with a 2 year old and a dog…Then, I opened your 2013 wall calender. And there, on your January page, it says “Get a kitten-just do it.” How could I NOT take that as a sign!
    I absolutely love your blog. You have become my favorite inspiration! Thank you 🙂

  73. Pat Beckman says:

    We have a calico named Pansy she knows what time it is, every night when the news comes on at 11 that we will soon be going to bed…we have always put her down stairs and close the door because my hubby will not tolerate her in our bed. sooo when the news comes on she hides .she knows that shortly she will be put to bed too and gets under the table or hides upstairs under the beds so you can’t reach her…every night we go this same routine

  74. Sarah says:

    Such fun pictures. How nice to have helpers while you work! It is fun too seeing sneak peeks of your book.

  75. Cheryl says:

    As a two cat family, I totally enjoyed this post! Even tho’ my “Jack” cat, (same colors, same personality but add 10 years), named “Percy” is an old boy, he still has some of the spunk of your Jack. Your capturing that spunk and sharing it always brings a smile to my heart! Thank you, Susan Branch!

  76. Joan says:

    What a lucky day for you when you went to look at kitties and came home with Jack! (lucky for him too being brought into such a loving and fun home). He is absolutely adorable – don’t see how you get ANYTHING done when he’s awake and wants to play. I think the word “ELEGANT” aptly describes Girl Kitty and she seems so tolerant of the “wild one”.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t see how I get anything done either! They really do run things around here!

      • Victoria Miller says:

        That’s why I love these posts. I wouldn’t dare have a pet (not a good idea in my small apartment anyhow.) But oh, they keep you busy. I don’t know how you do it!

      • Jan from Northern CA says:

        Isn’t that the truth. You know what they say…..Dogs have owners…..Cats have staff. I have three inside/outside kitties, and 3 outside only kitties. 6 total. Every morning, sometimes even before I even get my teeth brushed….they all get fed. It’s been down into the low 30’s this last week, so they get fed dinner….and then before bed, the outside kitties have been getting a bit to help them keep warm. But don’t worry, they have warm dry beds outside…. I love your two kitties….Jack looks like my Mister….he loves to sleep upside down also. What characters they are! Thank you so much for sharing. I also don’t know how you get anything done on that table with Jack “helping”. lol. Too much fun.
        Hang in there, we patiently await your book….sigh.
        Jan from Northern CA

  77. Kelley S says:

    Love this posting. Can’t get enough of your adorable kitty children. Girl actually looks like she is smiling on her pillow. Why not? Life is good in the studio! Dear Jack is such a comedian. His intensity at the rubber band is terrific. He’s like a big cat on the tundra, chasing down his prey. Thank you for such a day-brightening post. Now I have kitten fever!!!

  78. Bonnie Crawford says:

    Hi Sue!~~~
    I loved seeing Girl Kitty and Jack getting along so well!
    Sue, my huge Maine Coon cat, Caleb disappeared on Jan. 2nd, and he never came home… =( Our neighbor next door, saw a HUGE coyote that same day, just one house away. UGH!~~ I don’t even want to think about it, but he is gone…. I have been searching, and looking everywhere…. He was so regular in his schedule, and was ALWAYS home at 5 for his dinner. I had a false alarm yesterday, because the SLO shelter posted a picture of a kitty just found in South County on their website. He looked like a twin of Caleb, so I hustled up there, but it was NOT him… I was so sad… I need to let him go, and not have my hopes up so high.
    I am looking forward to ‘kitty season’, and finding a new kitty pal to play with our little Punkin, our orange tabby. He misses Caleb so much, and keeps peering out every window, seeing if he is out there somewhere…
    So, with all of that, have fun playing with your sweet kitties! We cat lovers know what it is like, to love on them so much, that they have a special place in our heart. When we lose one, that part of us has such a hard time letting go…..
    I think Girl Kitty and Jack need to autograph their pictures with their paw prints in your new book! =) I am so happy to see them in close proximity! So cute!~~
    Have a fun day in every way! Love you! xoxo Bon Bon

    • sbranch says:

      Those nasty coyotes. How awful Bonnie. I’m so sorry. Don’t let Punkin out! She is just too sweet.

      • Bonnie Crawford says:

        I sure won’t! We learned a hard lesson…..
        He is now an inside cat….for good!!

        • sbranch says:

          That’s how I feel about Jack and we don’t have coyotes here. But we have cars! I weighed how much it would kill me if something happened to him, against my perceived idea of his need to go outside, and my worry won! I think I have saved the life of a thousand birds and probably even some squirrels, from Jack’s reaction to looking at them through the window!

          • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

            bonnie that is why all my cats are forever housecats..too many varmints out there and i know my cats would not be safe and we live too close to the highway and drivers don’t slow down or even look around here. so sorry for your loss, and punkin’s. please give punkin a big hug from me and my cats.

          • Laura says:

            Maybe you could try a little harness and long leash when it gets nice outside? Not sure…we have never had a kitty…we’re a corgi family! So love your babies…they are precious….Girl is absolutely saintly with beautiful and soulful eyes.

          • sbranch says:

            Love those darling Corgis!

          • Belinda Chesser says:

            I think Girl and Jack adding their autograph (Paw print) to their page in the book is a wonderful idea!! What do you think Susan? Not sure Jack would stay still long enough though.

          • sbranch says:

            In my book Vineyard Seasons, on almost the last page, there are kitty prints . . . not planned, but I left them. After that I would HOPE they would walk in wet paint and cross my deck or porch, just because, I love those kitty prints!

  79. Gini Gould says:

    Hi Susan! Can’t let your post go by today, for I am a cat person; enough said. Your cats are adorable, and we girlfriends always enjoy your sharing them with us. Girl looks amazingly like one of our cats- Monty Toton. He is wonderful and happy, having come from a prior destructive home situation. He has two bullets in him but vet tells us they are not located near strategic parts of his body. We got him from the SPCA in Yosemite, CA. Lucky us; he’s so loyal, so loving and totally healthy now!. Monty is a Turkish Van Cat; might Girl be also? Whereas Jack looks much like Tucker Babycakes who is a Tuxedo cat. Could Jack be also? Tucker has once again turned my computer screen upside down. Through much research, my husband has learned that many cats do this, and that there are clubs you can join should you qualify. What? A club? Then there’s Kizzwater. He is a Maine Coon brown tabby. He is so lovable; follows me everywhere and wants to give and receive kisses all day long, talking constantly. I’ve had to give him “time out” sometimes because of his overbearing behavior in this regard. (What a hoot!) Very aggressive in promoting the “best friend” relationship. Kizzy keeps us laughing whatever he does. So there we are; they are indoor cats; our kitties share themselves in a way no other animal could, and I think it is the same for you, Susan! 🙂

  80. Lynndee says:

    Thank you Susan for the kitty love fix today! I always get a chuckle out of Jack. He reminds me of my two boy kitties when they were younger. Crazy cats the both of them. And Girl is so lovely and calm and she looks always ready for a cuddle. That reminds me I need to get some purring therapy in today.
    xo -L

  81. Diane says:

    My goodness gracious!!!! How fun it must be to have those two around all the time. You are such a good mother to them, indulging their every whim. I always enjoy your kitty pictures so much.

    I know what you mean about their taking up what should be your space. You should see how Callie (our little calico girl cat) spreads herself out on my side of the bed at night, forcing me to wedge myself between her and Jimmie (husband). She is so spoiled that I’ve been known to wake Jimmie up so that he could let me out on his side of the bed to go to the bathroom. I do that so as not to disturb Callie, LOL. People who aren’t in love with pets would never understand such a thing, but I know you do!

    Diane in North Carolina

    • sbranch says:

      LOL. I’m the oldest of eight children; when we were young, the rule was, if you got up, out of your “spot” on the couch or chair, you had to say, “I get my place back” or when you came back, someone would be in it. If you said that, you were safe. So when Nipper (our dog) would get up, someone always sang out “Nipper gets her place back!” In love with our pets!

      • Diane says:

        My daughter has five children and I hear them say the same thing to one another. I had only a brother, so losing one’s place was not usually a big deal, but I can understand how it could be if there were a lot of family members.

        Hilarious about Nipper. I can’t figure out if our pets think we are animals or if they are human!

        • sbranch says:

          Oh yes, losing our place was just the worst! And just as bad for Nipper to lose hers!

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            I’m the oldest of six and we did the same thing! “I call this spot!” Every once in a while one of the boys would feel like living dangerously and “take” a spot, but when you returned you were perfectly within your rights to “pound” the culprit. :>)

          • sbranch says:

            Ah yes, a good pounding! 🙂

    • Diane, that is so funny! I usually pull myself up on my pillow and swing my legs out to avoid disturbing our Sammy that we adopted last summer, and all other cats that we have had! Heavens to betsy, wouldn’t want to disturb their sleep!

      • Diane says:

        Jeannie, that’s a good idea. I’ll try it…Jimmie will be happy not to have to get up just so the cat can rest without interruption. Good to know others cater to their pets and we’re not really crazy after all!

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        what do you do when they are sleeping right on top of you????

        • sbranch says:

          I usually just say THANK YOU!

          • Lynn McMahon says:

            Too funny Janet!
            We had ” poundings” in my family too~ especially when the cousins came! ~ furniture seating was limited~ Sometimes it was just better to sit on the floor then to
            “go there!”

  82. CindyK says:

    Oh what a wonderful treat! I just adore seeing Jack and Girl! What an exciting breakthrough that they can be so close and so “level”! I have 3 awesome kitty cats and I know how finicky they can be. One time we had a very smart tabby who loved to find her own ways to get outside. Mostly thru the screens! We had a newer kitty at the time, Mia, who adored the tabby cat, (she looked just like Girl!) Once the tabby poked her way thru the screen window, and Mia came running into where we were sitting to alarm us to the event! She was tattling I guess! They can be soooo funny! Jack seems to be very smart! and I just love how his eyes get that excited look in them! Thanks for a fun post! (Now get back to work, we want that book! LOL)

  83. Soooo sweet…I loved all the pics! You just made my sitting/waiting in the DMV to renew my driver’s license so much more pleasant…thank goodness for iPads and Susan Branch! ♥
    Susan, you have the best assistants! 🙂 Everything is better with just a little bit of kitty fur. So glad that will be designed into the new book. 😉

  84. Melissa Leathley says:

    Oh, those little faces are so precious. I’m a kitty person too and I love seeing expressions. At every photo I was saying “Ahh, look at that face!”. It made me want to go find my kitty, Bitsy, to hug and give kisses to. That’s where I’m going right now!
    Thank you for the cuteness for my day.

  85. Joann says:

    Oh my goodness Susan….. I’m teary-eyed looking at these. Rod is allergic to kitties, but I have kitties in the family. Our three that I had before I met my sweetie are now all gone—one lived to be almost 18 years old….when my youngest daughter was in the 5th grade, we found her in our yard, a kitten lost in a great big world….she became ours and there it was….kitty world at our house!

    They are so precious, with their own personalities and I love how they’ve made you fit into their world….

    “They say you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. I guess I didn’t know how much I missed you until you were in my life every day.” by Haley James Scott

    I guess that’s how it is with Jack….. you just didn’t know until now….

    Love and Best of Days from far away in Colorado,


  86. christine says:

    Love, love, love the Kitties! We have one named “Latte.” She is a light in my life and my boon companion! Thank you for sharing the joy!

  87. Laura B Jenkins says:

    Heehee…we think we have them trained, but I fear it is the other way around…Cats are so entertaining and curious, aren’t they? We are always recording the antics of ours…joyful creatures! xo

  88. Jo in Western Springs says:

    This was a real treat! Do you know we can see you in Jack’s and Girl Kitty’s eyes? How cool is that?

  89. susie says:

    Susan, I love those cats. Aren’t they funny?? Is the cat drinking your paint water or your tea? :):) xoxo,Susie

  90. Karen V (Connecticut) says:

    Oh my goodness, what a cute post today! I’m home on a snow day and this was the perfect thing to read and enjoy! I especially love how girl cat has her own little bowl on your work table (or is that for your watercolors?)…so sweet. Jack has you well trained, haha, we have some furry friends at my house as well, and we know just what they like and we do what we are told! Thanks for this fun break in my day, great photos!

  91. Gala says:

    I love pet pictures! My kids are far away and I assume they miss the mutts, not just me, so I send them pics and captions throughout the day. They tolerate me very well (kids and mutts).

  92. Susan, your two kitties are just precious and it is always fun to see Jack in action while Girl just watches from afar. We are house/dog sitting this week and going between two homes is quite a busy time. We spend the night with the 112# Saint Bernard (Duchess Diane) who is the sweetest “BIG BABY” on earth and will come up to my chair and turn around and proceed to sit on the edge of the chair so I can give her a back massage. Now, this morning she actually climbed in the chair and was totally in my lap giving me a hug!! with lots of slobbers of course…..Yikes… Now, when she sat on my lap the blood completely drained from my legs so she couldn’t stay up there long and Jim thinks she is “in love” with me because I spoil her rotten!!! We have 3 more days til her Mom/Dad return and I will be happy to get back to my own bed; but, have to admit I will miss that dear sweet LARGE creature who thinks she is a child and who is going to tell her any differently?? Thanks for the pics of your babies and Smokee lays by me when I am online and puts his paw across the keyboard so I understand your 2″ of workspace!!! Got to love our furbabies (of all sizes)!!!

    • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

      From some of the stories Deborah has shared with me, I’m thinking if Norm and I ever HAVE to take a trip that we can’t take the schnauzers along, they would be the PERFECT “dog-baby sitters”!!! 🙂

  93. Girl Kitty “suffers” the antics of the Child Kitty very well. Jack is a riot.

  94. ginger says:

    Almost thou persuadest me to adopt a cat.

    In Seattle now and still painting up a storm. I painted 2 little pot of yellow tulip cards to send to dear ones with real live letters inside. The day before two grandchildren were sent birthday cards illustrated with purple kangaroos, which were cute as a button. Thanks for your time and inspiration.

  95. Maria says:

    I have actually been awakened from a deep sleep by one of our three cats(one of which looks just like your two. We call her Cookie because her coloring reminded me of an Oreo cookie)trying to bite off the hair band wrapped around my ponytail. If I leave one on the nightstand, it’s gone in the morning without me having heard a peep. They will toss it up in the air, run after it for hours. Cats are so amazing! Question though: do your cats scratch only the scratching post? If so, what’s your secret!? :o)

    • sbranch says:

      Jack does. Because for the first time ever, we started him when he was young. Joe made him that scratching post when he was a baby, and he just loves it. Girl on the other hand, is single handedly destroying the furniture. Just the way it is. I try not to look.

      • Karen Saunders says:

        try your hand with a squirt gun.

        • sbranch says:

          I should!

          • Belinda Chesser says:

            Good luck….squirt gun did not work for us…ugh!!

          • sbranch says:

            They do have to do it! I bet I would just get the furniture all wet.

          • Jacquie says:

            In our house, the backs of two living room chairs are completely shredded, as well as the bottom and legs of an upholstered dining room chair. It’s embarrassing, but our kitty-loving friends understand, and probably have their own shredded furniture to hide.
            I love the scratching post that Joe made, and want one just like it, although it’s probably too late to train our two kitties to use it.
            We have Pocket, a very vocal, very smart little guy, who was brought to us by our daughter when she moved home after college. She then moved to Korea to teach elementary ESL in Seoul. One day on her way home from work she heard screechy meowing in an alley. Upon investigation she found a 7 week old calico kitten tied to a fence with no food, no water and no shelter. There was a hand written cardboard sign next to the kitten . My daughter took the cardboard to a near-by grocery store where the proprietor spoke English, who told her the sign said “take cat”. So she did. She brought “Suji” (named after the neighborhood where she was found) home to the good ol’ USA. Our daughter no longer lives with us, but we’ve adopted her foundlings and love ’em with all our hearts.

          • sbranch says:

            Now that is one LUCKY cat!! What a great story!

          • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

            Susan, question: Do you clip their nails? (don’t know as we’ve always had dogs…)

          • sbranch says:

            No, I never have.

          • Maria says:

            Squirting was does not work. Putting strips of packing tape on areas where they like to scratch worked, but then, which looks worse, right? I like the idea of just pretending the furniture isn’t shredded. :o) P.S. My husband does clip their nails. I’m too afraid to.

  96. KarenP (Wisconsin) says:

    Sweet little kitty family photo album! They are as lucky to have YOU as you are to have them! xo

  97. Chris says:

    Awwwwwwww…….thanks so much for the sweet kitty love. It was much needed today. A little kitty hair in a new book? I’m thinking Maui may take special notice and wonder just who those other felines are that Mom seems to know. Nothing really compares to a soft, warm, purring kitty nearby.

  98. Darci says:

    I love your blog and your pics. Your cat-kids are beautiful and amusing. Thank you for sharing them with us. Enjoy the rest of your day, Susan.

  99. Lisa G. says:

    Oh, I do so love that Girl kitty! A serene face, like a cat madonna, if that’s not a sacrilegious thing to say. 😀

  100. Martha says:

    Your fur kids are too cute!!! Love these shots and knowing that they, and Joe, are keeping you company as you work away on the book. The updates and care you put into your blog makes me feel like a relative!
    When I get home for school in the afternoons, like many of the cyber girlfriends, I make a cup of tea (in my Emma Bridgewater ) sit for a few minutes and enjoy your emails and comments from fellow SB devotees! They inspire me to pick up my knitting, make an even better cozy dinner for the fam, bake some cookies…well, you know…
    Thank you for all that you do ❤

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