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. Elizabeth in Montana says:

    P.S. Don’t bother removing the cat hair from my copy of your new book…it will just absorb more a few seconds after I get it in the house! 🙂

  2. Judy in Oregon says:

    Love the Kitty pictures!

  3. Eileen Engel says:

    Love to see those cat pictures. Cute as a button!!! We have two cats also that follow me from room to room and sleep next to me at night. Our one cat “Buddy” is 22years old and is still going strong. He was a kitten to our children and now our grandchildren are playing with him. It is so hard to believe that a cat can live that long and go through grade school, high school, college, and weddings for our 4 children, and now also play along with the grandchildren. We have been truly blessed. Eileen

  4. Linda says:

    Just finished watching a little 6-7 minute video called “The Gift of an Ordinary Day” and it brought home the fact that it is indeed the ordinary day like you were having in the photos that are the “gift” and the ones maybe best treasured and remembered. My 2 dogs are my life and noticed my little dog seemed bored. I know how much he loves mornings and evenings downstairs sitting in “his” overstuffed chair by the living room window looking out to the comings and goings of the cul de sac. We are upstairs all day and I never thought to have a spot in front of a window so he could see out so I rearranged some furniture and moved a chaise in front of the long window in my sewing room overlooking the street!! He was so surprised and happy!! Now we both cuddle up in a pile of blankets on the chaise and he is bored no more!! It is supposed to be 0 here tonight (at 5Pm it was a high of 12) in beautiful Idaho. We don’t mind as the snow is still white and a hoary frost covers all the tree branches making them glisten like diamonds in the sunshine. Loved your post as always…….you are such a good Mommy!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve noticed that Jack needs engagement. He loves it when I show him out the window, and just like you, I’ve set up some perches for him!

    • Janet K. says:

      Linda, your comments remind of the Jane Kenyon poem, “Otherwise”

      “I got out of bed
      on two strong legs.
      It might have been
      otherwise. I ate
      cereal, sweet
      milk, ripe, flawless
      peach. It might
      have been otherwise.
      I took the dog uphill
      to the birch wood.
      All morning I did
      the work I love.

      At noon I lay down
      with my mate. It might
      have been otherwise.
      We ate dinner together
      at a table with silver
      candlesticks. It might
      have been otherwise.
      I slept in a bed
      in a room with paintings
      on the walls, and
      planned another day
      just like this day.
      But one day, I know,
      it will be otherwise.”

      If we could only appreciate the miraculousness of an ordinary day when we’re living it!

      • sbranch says:

        We are so blessed! Thank you Janet!

      • Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

        I’ve never seen this poem, Janet…it’s beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing it! Actually, I don’t know of Jane Kenyon…I’ll be looking her up to learn more.

      • Sara D NW Georgia says:

        That is a beautiful poem! Thank you for sharing 🙂

      • Martha Ellen of VA says:

        Janet, thank you so much for sharing this poem. It is lovely! ♥

      • Linda San Diego says:

        such a beautiful reminder….thanks for sharing

        • Wendy Louise says:

          Oh my that is so beautiful, Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful poem. I feel so blessed to be here with so many thoughtful kindred spirits! 🙂

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            This poem does touch the heart so…”thank you” for sharing it Janet! And Wendy, I agree, that Susan attracts “so many thoughtful kindred spirits!” Such PEARLS of wisdom shared and collected….can you just imagine if strung together….how long her necklace would be? It would always be beautiful….even if the day was otherwise….

      • Sandy Richmond says:


      • Sherry Palla says:

        Oh thanks Janet for sharing this poem. We are indeed blessed people! Every day…God loves us and shares this beautiful world with us!

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      Dear Linda, I googled”The gift of an Ordinary Day” and watched it. It made me cry. I hope everyone of the girlfriends will watch it too. My son just turned “40” and it’s hard to believe where it all went. It seems as though I remember just turning 40! how can that be? I have wished away days; “boy I’ll be glad when this day is over”, or “I can’t wait until Friday”! And here I am decades later wondering where did it all go? I hope to be more appreciative of each day. The rainy ones, the windy ones, the gray ones and the hot ones, the hectic ones, the boring ones. And try to live each one and cherish the ordinary moments. Thanks Linda I’m so happy you mentioned that video. Chris

      • sbranch says:

        So right, every day is a holiday!

        • Hello Chris, you are so right about wishing our lives away I am doing it right now with the weather we are about to experience here in IN this week!!! We are always wishing for something we cannot have such as SPRING on the 20th of January…..I agree with you about enjoying each day like we are not guaranteed the next and then maybe we will learn to appreciate what we have vs what we always want. Ok, I guess -1 on Tuesday will only last a day and I will celebrate that frigid morning wearing earmuffs (indoors) and sipping hot cocoa!!! YAY!

      • Sherry Palla says:

        Dear Chris & Susan, you are so right on! xoxo

  5. sondra fox says:

    Oh how I love your kitties! Jack has so many different expressions! The wild look he has in his eyes when he’s in the drawer seeking a playmate, is so funny. I sat here laughing at his antics. And that Girl. What a regal, sweet cat she is. She’s finally accepted Jack full time now. Wonderful. It took awhile, eh? Thank you for the wonderful cat pictures. I love seeing & hearing what your cats are up to. It is my wish that all domestic animals could have the wonderful homes that your cats (& mine) have. Animals are to be cherished, just as children are to be cherished. I wish they all were well cared for & loved to the fullest. That would be a perfect world, wouldn’t it? (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  6. sondra fox says:

    While reading all the blogs the girlfriends sent, I recalled how sensitive our family really is to the needs of just about any sort of living “thing.” When our daughter was about six years old, we were on an auto trip through an area rich with orange groves. We happened to hit a bee who got stuck to our windshield. Our daughter began crying, feeling bad for the bee. She wanted my husband to stop & help the bee, which he did. After shooing the bee off the windshield (the bee was dead), we continued on our trip, with our daughter happy in the knowledge that the bee had flown away (even though it didn’t). Our daughter is still sensitive to the needs of any living thing that is in need. (Sandy in Chihuahua Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      There can’t be too much compassion! This is why children should run the world!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Amen! The older I get [and longer I’m a teacher of little ones] the more I think – what a shame it is we all had to grow up. What a vastly different world it would be if we ran it and lived in it with the views and values we had as children… Sniff. :>)

        Happy day Sue and everyone!

        • sbranch says:

          Funny, I was just thinking about that … I think we can hold on to at least some of it, if we let ourselves. If we choose it over cynicism.

          • Martha Ellen of VA says:

            Amen! ♥

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            We absolutely can! If we remember our own childhoods and try to see the present day world through those eyes. It’s not as easy as it sounds though. It’s got to be a conscious choice every day. And unfortunately there are too many people who – through no fault or their own – had difficult or unhappy childhoods. The world already seems like a colder, harder place for many of them. What we experience in childhood determines what we become as adults. I know all SB Girlfriends share my hope that someday every child will be receive all the health, happiness and love needed to create strong, happy and loving adults. :>)

  7. Mary S. says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the kitty pictures and stories!!! Awesome!
    I have my Lily May in my lap right now. She’s my calico kitty 🙂 I have seven cats and she is the most affectionate – her favorite place is in someone’s lap!

    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  8. Betty Marie,Pennsylvania says:

    What a treat this morning. AWWWWW!! I am a cat lover 🙂
    Just loved your cat in the basket. That is where you would find my Chelsea,up on
    the top of my pie safe in a basket,she loved baskets. Thomas J, was my reading buddy. Jack helping to write your book is preish! I can feel how it feels to have a cat so close as one is working on something.
    This is what I always say: “A cat touches your heart in places you never knew you had.” Thanks for sharing your wonderful “Blessings” with us. Miss Girl Kitty is a Beautiful, Sweet, Lovely Girl. Jack touches our hearts with such JOY!
    Your right a book for grown ups that lets us feel the inner child. Doesn’t get any better then this!

  9. Terry says:

    Hi, Susan!

    My cat Dory looks so much like Jack. I have always had cats. I love cats! We had a cat named Summer. (I always wanted a little girl named Summer. Then I married a man with the last name of Lummer. So, since I couldn’t do that to a little girl I named my cat Summer Lummer.) Summer used to jump up on the table and steal my pen anytime I was trying to work. Reading about your cats bring back wonderful memories. Since I have two cats right now, Dory and Bernie, I am still making wonderful cat memories.

    Happy writing!


  10. Brenda says:

    Oh, how I love your kitties!

  11. Suzanne says:

    Thankyou for such a wonderful glimpse into your kitty world, what wonderful companions to keep you company while you paint and go about your day. Girl has such a sweet face, I could just hug her. Jack the little rascal looks like he’s always ready to play and get into trouble. What a wonderful family!!!

  12. Gail Buss says:

    Hi Susan, Thanks for the great pictures. I actually miss Girl Kitty since many times I see Jack in your photos. Very happy to see both of them together which I’m sure is rare. My sister is here visiting from CO and she has a cat named Pollyanna. She is retired but likes to animal sit and calls her business, “Who let the dogs out”! I enjoy seeing your studio and know before long you will have your book completed. Well today we are off to a tea room in Wildwood, Fl about an hour from here called, “Polly’s Pantry”. It is an English couple who run it and a friend of mine will meet us there. Can’t wait. Tomorrow we are going to a winery which is like going from one extreme to the other! Have fun with your book today……………you are almost near the end. Hugs, Gail Buss, Bev. Hills, Fl XXOO

  13. Georgie says:


    How WONDERFUL that you’ve numbered the pages in A Fine Romance!!! Especially since… they are All done by HAND! There’s no turning back! No adding page #101a… LOL!

    It’s REALLY happening! You must be THRILLED! We are CELEBRATING with You!

    Happy “the Pages are Numbered” Day!

    • sbranch says:

      I am so happy. Thank you! Today I get to write about one of my favorite subjects on earth: Charm! In the book! Yay!

  14. Sherry Palla says:

    My husband won’t have any pets, nor precious kitties….so I love, love to look at yours and they bring me joy. Hey Susan, I didn’t notice any White Out on your work table…do you not have to use it at all? Anyway, happy Thursday!

  15. Jackie says:

    They are so beautiful, precious, and wonderful!!!! I love seeing and reading about your sweet treasures!!!!! Thank you for starting my day off purrfectly!

  16. Ann from VA. says:

    Don’t you just love when a rescued kitty brings such happiness to your home? I know you’re partial to those sweet black and whites…. I tend to bring home the brown tabbys- I think it’s because they look pretty with my decor 🙂
    Getting so excited about your new book, kitty fur and all!!!

  17. Nora Egan says:

    Good morning from Indiana. First-time commenter, months-long viewer of your blog. I love, love, love your kitties and your photography is delightful. I’ve been a fan since you began with your first book, and you’re also an Anglophile! A creative person with a love of cats and England, I’ve hit the jackpot. (I’ve also begun a collection of Johnson Brothers’ Rose Chintz, all because of you.) So many creative ideas, and two precious fuzzy faces. Let me not forget Joe. What a husband! Your life in that cozy house is certainly enviable. The daily walks, the birds, the vistas, ahhh. AND because of you, I began plans in May to have my bungalow’s upstairs prepared to be a studio so I may surround myself with pretties on shelves, English dog art, cat pictures, friendly potted plants, garden and decorating books, and all sorts of articles of inspiration. You have inspired me more than you know, and I thank you a thousand times. Never stop. And never stop being such a kind and gentle — and funny — human being. Bring on the fur-infused book!

  18. Christine DeGraves says:

    Love the Kitty pictures as I was reading the blog my own Kitty wedged herself between. My face and the kindle screen it’s s now sitting on top of her lol had to laugh! There’s nothing like a Kitty or 2 to brighten your life! People who don’t like cats miss so much. When someone tells me they don’t like cat I tell them they haven’t met the right one yet lol.

    • sbranch says:

      I know that’s true, at one time, when I was a young and inexperienced human, I didn’t like them! What was I thinking!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Christine, you are so right! No one in my family – on either side – had cats and we have a BIG family. I was raised solely with dogs and loved them all to bits. When I was little, I thought people who had cats just couldn’t get a dog for some reason and “had to settle” for some puny cat. But gradually, for various reasons over the years, my mom and then my siblings ended up with cats as pets [all shelter rescues I’m happy to say]. And I know NOW the only reason I liked dogs better was that I just didn’t know any cats! PS – I keep a bag of chicken liver kitty treats in my tote at all times so my feline nieces & nephews will “love” me best when I visit. I’m their favorite aunt! And I love ’em right back!

        • Christine DeGraves says:

          Awe such. A cute story Janet.I’m so happy you found some kitty’s to love and save from the shelter! I have one sweet Kitty from the shelter and she is everyones favorite
          and my other Kitty he just has eyes only for me how lucky! Oh and I do have a wonderfully sweet black lab .
          THE Kitty treat trick I ‘ve thought. Of doing that to great idea! You must be very popular lol.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Hi, Christine! Currently all the pets in our family [except one] is a rescue & they ARE the sweetest animals. We even have a few adopted farm animals [goats]. Maybe I’m projecting – but I can’t help thinking they’re grateful they don’t have to scrounge around for food or for some place safe and warm to sleep. :>)

  19. Angie(Tink!) says:

    ♥♫ Good Morning Sweet Sue & Joe & Girl~Kitty & Jack! 🙂 I L♥ve The ♫Musica! ♫ & This Blog ♥ with All These Wonderful Kitty~Photos is Purrrrrrrrrrrfection! Thank~You Sweet Sue…Looks Like the Next Few Days it’s Gonna Get COLD Everywhere! Yay! so Time to Get Warm & Cozy…Put another Log on The Fire… Yay! Twirling into all The Joys of WINTER 🙂 L♥ve & Lots of Snowflakes! xoxo Poof! ♥♫♥♫♥♫ 😉

  20. Di Word says:

    Here in Waco, Texas I have “Corgi Land” at my house. Both boys are enjoying cuddling and napping during the cold snap.

  21. patti says:

    I love your kitty’s. I too have a kitty. His name is Mr. Jinx. He lives in our basement. They say something wonderful happens when your mother dies. My husband’s mother died in October, 2006. She lived a good life and it was her time to move on. On a cold Sunday morning in January of 2007 someone rang our doorbell and ran. The dogs were barking and going crazy. My husband went downstairs to see what was going on. He came back upstairs and told me someone had left a cat in a carrier on our porch. The cat had freed himself and was just walking around our porch. We went out to introduce ourselves to Miss Kitty (we just called her that). We were not cat people as we had 2 dogs and 2 boys who were allergic to everything. Well long story short, we called animal control who said they would take the cat and unfortunately the cat would have to be destroyed. Well no way, now we owned a cat. Miss kitty had to live in the basement as the dogs were not happy about the new addition to the family. So at night we put the dogs to bed at around 8pm and it’s kitty time. It works and we all co-habitate quite nicely. Oh we took Miss Kitty to the vet a couple of months later and found out Miss Kitty is really a Mr. Jinx 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      What a wonderful story, lucky Mr. Jinx!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        I’m just lovin’ all these wonderful pet stories! What a terrific book they’d make. I guess I say that about everything, don’t I? Someone told me that once. PS Sue – that is [seriously] NOT a hint for you. I think you already have enough ideas [and suggestions from us] to keep you busy for the next several decades… :>)

  22. PAT says:

    oh, again, this made my morning! how totally sweet and adorable! i had saved one of the lamb pictures on my desktop, and now need to decide which of these adorable kittie pics to use today! I so wish i could have kitties, but like i’ve said before, my Cody (boxer) just goes NUTS when he even SEES one! haaa! i wouldn’t want to traumatize the kittie! have a wonderful day on the Cape! what am i saying? i imaging ALL days on the Cape are fabulous!

  23. Marie M. says:

    Those Kitties are quite blessed to be around such love and the creating of such wonderful work.

    Makes me want to be a kitty for a day. =O=

  24. Sharon Byars says:

    Just want to say each new post just brightens my day. I always wait until early morning to check to see if there is something new from you. Love your kitty photos AND so glad to know you kiss your kitty as I kiss my labradoodle several times a day! Our pets are the “cheapest” mental health therapy.

  25. I don’t know how you get anything done with those cute distractions!

    I was sharing with my husband this morning how I was stretched out on our sofa yesterday trying to read but I kept getting distracted by our Maine Coon, Victoria. She was sitting on the back of the sofa, looking out upon her Queendom through the window.

    Just the look on her face, the tweaking of her ears, and the way her shoulder muscles tightened when she saw the neighbor’s cat (I peaked to see what was interesting her) was even more fun to watch than the book was to read!

  26. Kathleen O'Connor says:

    Thank you Susan!! It is necessary to start with my gratitude for all that you bring into my home with your books & now, on a regular basis, in your blogs!! I loved your pics of your babes – Girl looks sweet & Jack …if he isn’t a typical boy!! Love their green eyes & the pink paw pic is a Fav!!

  27. Janice says:

    Wonderful kitty pics!

  28. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Good Morning~
    My sister had a tuxedo kitty named Judas~ he was the bestest kitty ever! ~ I found it funny when you said ~Kitty Juju ~ because that was his nickname!
    ~Happy Thursday~

  29. Kathy Phenix says:

    Love, love, love the kitty album. And I’m so looking forward to the new book, with an added bonus of kitty DNA. I’m sure there aren’t many dishes prepared in my kitchen that don’t have the delightful added spice of a kitty hair. Oops, now none of my finicky friends will want to come to dinner!!
    Can’t wait for your England book. Yesterday, I received a copy of Britain, the magazine. It had a tour of a beautiful Edwardian estate and an article about Harrods and the “tube”, which celebrates 150yr of existence. I long to return for another tour of the beautiful British Isles. Kiss the kitties for me and keep on writing! Love, Kathy from Melbourne, FL
    PS Chuck, the cat is feeling almost like his old self. It’s been a week since his extensive oral surgery and he has mended quite well.

  30. Rae Ann from northern in Minnesota... says:

    I’m so excited to find out there will be kitty hair on the pages of your new book…it will be like “Where’s Waldo” only with kitty hair…ever since I was a young girl going to the dr.’s office was always a treat…I got to find all the hidden pictures in Highlights magazine!!!…still one of my favorite things to do~searching for things!!!…xoxo…

    • sbranch says:

      How about all those little drawings where you have to find the seven hidden things. Don’t you just love those!? Me too!

      • Rae Ann from northern in Minnesota... says:

        I always loved reading Mercer Mayer books to my children…and now my grand grandchildren…he puts a hidden spider on each page!!!…funfunfun…xoxo…

  31. shortie says:

    Those two are so adorable, they need their own reality show “Kitty Branch”.

  32. Dana Burton says:

    Good Morning Girlfriends~
    I have loved reading the post and all of the comments about Cats, Kittens, Companionship…etc. The truth is, I would love to get a Cat for our home but, I don’t know where to begin. Growing up, we never had a pet of any kind except a Hamster “Romeo” that one of my older sisters was given as a gift from her boyfriend. Poor little fellow ended up getted poked in the eye with a piece of Cedar shaving and it was all down hill from there.:( Anyway, I have three daughters, 6, 10, and 12 years old. I know we could convince Mr. B but, I want to have all the details laid out before the presentation…Ha! Sooo, is it a good idea to start at our local Humane Society? Kitten or Older Cat? What is the best kind for the least amount of shedding? I just want it to be a great experience for all. Thanks!
    Love and Light~
    Dana B

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, you go and pick one out at the animal shelter, get a short hair for less shedding, although mine barely shed at all. But, before you go, get a cat box, some litter, and a scooper and put it in your house. Then you get kitten food, a food bowl and a water bowl. Take a cat carrier with you (with a towel in it) to the shelter to bring him/her home in. All cats are wonderful. Kittens are funnier usually, because they are so young. So that part is up to you, although since you have perfect kitten-age children, that’s what I would get if I were you. If you get a kitten, right away get a scratching post so they don’t learn any bad habits. The need to sharpen their claws, so they might use your furniture if you don’t have a scratching post. When you bring the kitty home, if there are no other animals in the house, just put it in a room with the carrier, the cat box, the food and water, and let it live and explore in there for a week or so, and then gradually open up the rest of your home. It’s so easy. I actually set the kitten in the cat box and draw his foot across the litter, and that’s it, they know what it’s for — kitties always use the litter box unless something is wrong — mine have never gone anywhere else. We have two kitties, so every day we scoop out the poop and throw it away (because it clumps together in the litter, so it’s easy). You don’t bathe them. The shelter will tell you what to do as far as the kitty’s health is concerned. Honestly they are so easy. I know how you feel, because I would like to have a lamb, and I’m sure my neighborhood wouldn’t allow it, but besides that, I wouldn’t know where to start! You can always Google: how to raise a kitten. Or, How to introduce an older cat into the household. PS, one last thing, kitties love to sleep with you. The trick with Mr B. You have the numbers behind you, you all go and surprise him! 🙂

      • Dana Burton says:

        Thanks so much Susan.:) I am printing off all your tips and information now… I can have a check list. I’m excited! The girls and I can go get supplies this weekend and then head over to the Humane Society. I will e-mail you a picture of the new addition as soon as we decide. Have a great evening! XO

        • sbranch says:

          Have fun! I’m excited for you!

          • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

            Hmmm…I think I will print out your “kitty instructions” in case we ever decide the schnauzers need a kitty. (They came from a home that had a kitty so I think they would be good to one…) 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Oh Pat, I like the way you’re thinking! As long as it’s OK with the schnauzers! 🙂

          • GASP!!! Did you hear that all the way from IN Susan!!! did I truly just read my buddy Pat saying “IF” they decide that her “girls” need a kitty???? I have been away for a week babysitting a lovely sweet dog the size of a minature pony and thought for a second maybe the World had ended and I missed it!!! Pat, bless your dear heart all this kitty talk on this blog has made your “fear of the felines” fade and I am so proud that you even felt this even if it was for a nanosecond!!!! I must tell you that kitties like to yawn and this would look like a roar to you because it entails showing their sharp teeth, not to discourage your thought process of someday getting your doggies a kitty?? Susan, if you can sell Pat on bringing a kitty to her home your work for placing cats in loving homes is done my friend….I have found normally there are two types of people in this World…Dog Lovers and Cat Lovers and in about half of them there are both Dog/Cat Lovers and that is normally people who love animals in general. I think Sandy would be the one to weigh in on this because she has known Pat longer than we have!!! Sandy, what do you think is Pat ready for a kitty or should she just be happy with her “stuffed” one that looks like a real one?? hmmmm Proud of you Pat for giving the kitties a thought without running out of the room screaming like a little girl!!! LOL

          • sbranch says:

            Secretly I am gasping too, but I was afraid I would scare her! 🙂

          • Sandy Richmond in Attleboro, MA says:

            Deborah, Pat really surprised me too! She has lived most of her life telling people she is allergic to cats so she doesn’t have to be in the same room with them! 🙂
            This has been a huge step, but I think she needs a little more time before she gets one. You are correct that she would think a yawn was a roar, lol.. I do think the day could come when a kitty joins the Mofjelds… Stay tuned..

          • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

            Well…”just saying” I don’t want any of you to hold your breath…and after looking at the kitty on page 69 of the January issue of the Country Living British Edition, hmmmm…those teeth really look a LOT sharper than a dog’s! I’m not sure but what my nose is stuffing and my eyes are starting to itch… LOL! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Kitties really usually don’t bite. Unless you ask for it of course! 🙂

      • Deborah Norling says:

        Dana…one thing I’ve learned..when I took in a whole’s best for all if you keep them in one room…and slowly introduce them to the rest of the house as they grow…because my little guys would hide in the most unlikely places..and if they hadnt been contained in one room ..I don’t think I’d ever have found them !.. They get into the back of your dresser drawers or down in they could sort of have their “own room” at 1st ? and not with alot of hiding spots…and then slowly introduce them to the rest of the hosue for their own safety…because…its a m a z i n g the place they will hide..that never occured to you !

        • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

          Big girls run out of rooms screaming, too, Miss Deborah!!! (louder and faster, may I add, than little girls!) I’m just waiting to see what Sandy comes up with… LOL! 🙂

          • Pat, you are among friends and honestly we are all thinking of you with admiration and are cautiously optimistic with your revelation of someday having a kitty is all!!! I must admit when I first read your comment I put it in this perspective to a fear of mine by thinking, someday I will have a “pet spider” and promise never ever to squeal and shriek when I come across one in our home!!! Same difference?? I admit it has involved me screaming and running out of a room several times!! This is never going to happen for me I’m afraid whereas your fear of cats has a better chance of happening for you. Good Luck and Sandy was very optimistic so now WE (Susan/Myself) will stifle our gasps without holding our breath if that is ok!!! Deal….

          • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

            Deborah, look for my comment after Sandy’s. I’m not sure I got it in the right place but it addresses your “holding your breath”… LOL!

          • Pat, we have teased you enough on this subject and you know how I truly feel about you getting a kitty so let’s agree to put this to rest and you just carry on with your lovely schnauzers and have a lovely time!!

      • Faith rose says:

        You are so right Susan, kitties are the easiest! And they give you lots of laughs too ! I am sure you know that!

        • Sandy Richmond says:

          Faith Rose, I second what you and Susan say! We got 2 kittens just a few months ago, and we have laughed every day since then. And you are right, they are so easy to care for. I must admit, getting two at once makes for double the mischief, but also double the laughs!

          • sbranch says:

            To me, kitties are like M & M’s — you can’t have just one!

          • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

            How about “Double the trouble?” And, Susan, we have a note on the front of our refrigerator that shows two schnauzers and says, “Schnauzers are like potato chips, you can’t have just one!” M & M’s, potato chips, etc. Same thought…they are good company for each other though if you asked either Fannie or Betti, they would probably say they could be an “only one” just fine! 🙂

  33. Susan Roubal says:

    Simply put, Thank You for “Kitty Day”. Love their paws.

  34. Laurie Q says:

    Oh, how I miss my kitty! She died in 2001 and I am STILL finding pieces of her fur whenever I pull out something that I haven’t used in a while. I do so enjoy reading about and seeing photos of your sweet “babies”. I love Jack’s expressive face! Whenever I read your posts it makes me want to get another one. But, alas, we travel way too much to be able to. Maybe some day. In the meantime, I can enjoy yours. Thanks for you blog, Susan. It really brightens my day! (And I can’t wait until your book is finished.)

  35. Dorothy says:

    Good Morning Susan….love Love LOVE your pictures of Jack and Girl Kitty, your studio and your beautiful work in progress book. I have kitties, love them!! I call them my “katznjammer kids”. Question: How do you keep Jack from knocking over all your pretty knick-knacks? I had to “cat proof” my house from little prying paws, much like you would baby-proof your house for toddlers. He sure is a cutie, Girl Kitty too!!! xox…Dorothy

    • sbranch says:

      He’s pretty good around things, the only real danger seems to be for the little Beatrix Potter figurines on the shelf over my kitchen sink. If another cat happens by the window, Jack will try to go through it. Which has, only once so far, resulted in the BP People crashing around. Nothing broke, but it didn’t sound good! I took them down for a few weeks, but they’re back up, so we’ll see!

      • Dorothy says:

        You are very lucky they didn’t break.

        I forgot to mention, I use windowsill bird feeders, as well as other hanging bird feeders, at two of my windows. The kitties just love sitting and watching the birds eat, and they will often sit all day just waiting and watching. xoxo

  36. Heather H. says:

    Oh, Susan, this was just the perfect post for me to read today. We had to put one of our three cats to sleep right after Christmas this year, and it’s been a very hard time for us. Spooky was a black and white tuxedo cat too, 14 years old, and will be dearly missed. Thankfully we still have his sister, Winnie, and my son’s cat Lewi to keep us company. I so enjoyed seeing how your cats share your day (and your workspace!), they are truly like our children, aren’t they? Thanks, Susan.

  37. Pat says:

    I really enjoyed your post today! It was so much fun to see your kitties and how they claim their spots while you work! I love that you have included paintings of the two of them in your upcoming book. And, a little cat fur will just make the book that much more special!!!

  38. Susan, I so enjoyed your post today, because I am a cat lover. Last year I lost 2 of my 3 rescued seniors, but they had the best lives they could possibly have had and I felt very satisfied. My buddy Homer is my very best friend and is attached to my right leg! He eats and sleeps with me and even follows me to the bathroom! He’s a Maine Coon and just wonderful. I just love to look at Jack and Girl Kitty; such celebrities in their own rights, and full of personality! What a sad world it would be without them! Thanks again, Susan, for your generous spirit and keeping us entertained! Hugs from Arizona, Judy

  39. kathy g says:

    Susan, I so wish I could attach pictures of our two cats; Mr. Boo is all black, Jingle Belle is mostly black but with 4 white paws….our two are just as loving and mischievious as yours; love them. And love yours.
    P.S. Mr. Boo came to us on a Halloween. Jingle Belle came to us a year ago Christmas!

  40. Julie Cavrich says:

    Thank you for the Family Album! Jack is so funny, and Girl is pure LOVE! Just loved the kitty paws. Can not wait for my little DNA in the book. My two will love to sniff it. Your studio is really cozy, like the rest of your house. Happy Thursday! Kisses to the Kitties!

  41. Tisa at Seattle Retro says:

    Ah… cat-ly love… looks so pure & sweet, but there’s ulterior motives behind those kitty eyes 🙂 (like “mom, shoot me that rubber band…NOW! Yow!”) Am currently relistening to all Lillian Jackson Braun’s “The Cat Who….” series & love it when the reader (heavenly voiced George Guidall) does Koko’s “Ye-ow”‘s when he’s trying to communicate admonitions to the man he owns. (Yes, y ou know cats ‘own’ us, not the other way around!) All the best to you today as you work on your art… I’m chained to the computer to sell on eBay once again….sigh….(at least also staying warm & dry inside with my English Breakfast tea!)

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      My SIL [mother of a huge orange boy with the biggest sweet paws] always say “Dogs have masters. Cats have staffs!” :>)

  42. Jessica says:

    You’ve given us so many truly wonderful posts Susan, but I thin this one is my all time favorite….from seeing your fabulous studio, your creative process in the works, and most of all, your precious Girl Kitty and Jack. You perfectly conveyed the pure joys and comforts of having kitties around, something I have missed dearly as my two sweets, Sierra & Malibu, passed away at 19 & 21 a few years ago…they brought such an atmosphere of bliss to our home, and I can see that same bliss in your home, it’s wonderful.
    Thank you so much for sharing your two sweeties with us…and also your amazing talent…’it’ and you always bring the best of smiles.
    xo J~

  43. Karen Longo says:

    Isn’t it funny how, if kitties see even the smallest scrap of paper, they have to go and sit on it?! Your workroom must seem like heaven to them! Keep those kitty pictures coming!

  44. Sarah Nunnelly says:

    Hi Susan!
    Guess what? I STILL HAVE THAT 2000 CALENDAR! I didn’t realize I had been saving your calendars that long until I discovered a stack of them in a drawer in my pantry. They’re too beautiful to throw away…
    Enjoyed the kitty stories, of course. Our Bailey looks just like Jack, sans the French moustache!
    We’ve had 2 beautiful snows so far this winter here in Little Rock AR. We’re lovin’ it!

  45. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    I adore kitty kisses; they are the best. I love how round Jack eyes were looking at his precious rubber band atop the scratching post. How sweet. Those are two pretty lucky kitty kats!
    Thanks, for making our day brighter.

  46. Rebecca Walsh says:

    My favorite end of the work day activity is to check and see if there is a new Blog and today I was rewarded. Loved all the kitty-tales and wish my Scotties, would not love a kitty to death, so I will just enjoy your’s long distance.

    By the way, do you know when we can pre-order your next book? No pressure of course. LOL


  47. Deborah Norling says:

    Getting so excited about the book…it’s like having Christmas flutters as a kid all over again..and I’m hoping my copy comes with e x t r a k i t t y fu r !

  48. NANCY BYERS says:

    Hello Susan, Have you read the book DEWEY ? Dewey was library cat. I do not have the authors name on hand. I am sure you will enjoy the story. nancy

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve heard of it, haven’t read it though, will have to look for it!

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        Hi Nancy and Susan, it makes you wish every library had a DEWEY. What fun that would be. I worked in a library for 11 years part time after I retired. A resident kittie would have been icing on the cake of a perfect part-time job.

        • sbranch says:

          Isn’t it fun to go into a store that has a cat! I love it, especially when I’m on vacation and away from home and my own kitties.

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Susan, do look for it as you would really enjoy the story–and it is a TRUE story! There is a sequel, too, I just read about…

  49. Mary S. says:

    I just received my little sheep bank and you’re right – I absolutely love it!!! And it came so quickly!!! Yay!

    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  50. Marilyn says:

    Oh what kitty JOY!
    There are two cats that live in my house. The old grumpy grey and the young orange marmalade cat. I know just as you speak, the younger one just loves to jump over the old one and gets so excited when he comes around, he can hardly contain his excitement. Then he will let the old one eat his food just so he can play with him. Aren’t they fun!

  51. Aggie says:

    How nice to have your kitties around while working – that would make my day… I could just see my two hanging with me in cubical city :-). Really enjoyed the pics of both Girl & Jack – so adorable!

  52. Faith rose says:

    Dear Susan I love this post , I love kitties! I think they give you so much joy! I wish Saphira could come inside. But she can’t my[ sisters allergic]. So i go outside a lot on the patio and pet her! Now matter how cold it is i know i cant let my kitty down.She likes to sit in one of the squares of the french doors and watch us. I like to joke that she is my Brady Bunch kitty because of the square she sits in!Once i tried to give her a bath and it didn’t go well! In the end all that i got clean [eh] was he but and that was only because i grabbed her and quickly dipped her in the water before she wiggled her way out of my hands! I don’t know what i was thinking ! Kitties ,they are truely a blessing from God! Faith

  53. waldy mitchell says:

    Love the kitty photos! My friend sent me your blog and I am very grateful. The mustache on Jack is SO cute!

  54. Susie (NY) says:

    Great pictures Susan! I loved seeing and reading about your sweet furbabies. Seeing Jack play with is rubber band is a hoot! That would be great on video sent in to America’s Funniest Videos or in to Ellen. How did you come to get your cats? Were they rescues? I always love to hear cat stories, just like ‘how did you meet your significant other’ stories….always warms a heart. Thanks for sharing these great photos with us. I’m glad you put them in your book too as they are so part of your creative process, don’t you think? I also loved seeing them all over the place, as that is what mine do too. That’s cats for you!

  55. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    Just thought you might like to hear some of the comments overheard during our Jack & Girl slide show this morning. I was scribbling like a fiend to get them all down – and they are verbatim – just not in the order they were heard:

    “He looks strong!” [Jack on top of wing chair]
    “I love my kitty’s paws…”
    “My kitty sticks his paws in my eyes but it doesn’t hurt. My mom told me that how he says I love you. I like that.”
    “We have a Frisbee to play with our cat. He likes it. He plays it a million times.”
    “I want to get a kitty.”
    “That cat sure is shiny…”
    “I love my kitty…”
    “That kitty is drinking paint water!”
    “That kitty is having breakfast.”
    “Which room are they in?”
    “Is this their mommy and daddy’s house?”
    “Do these kitties do shows? Can we go?”
    “Cats are baby kitties. No, kitties are baby cats.”
    “The pictures are blurry because this cat is rocket-fast!”
    “My kitty sits on Daddy’s computer – he doesn’t make him move though…”
    “Our kitty walks around in the kitchen by the toaster. His tail went in the toaster once but it wasn’t on. It was OK.”
    “That kitty better pull his tail in if the drawer gets closed!”
    “I wish I could get a kitty…”
    “Do kitties cost a lot?”
    “Nope, you can get free kitties at Lollypop Farm! You can! For free! But you gotta buy some cat stuff for them. But the cats are free.”
    “I like it when our kitty sleeps in my room. He goes in everybody’s rooms.”
    “He looks fat when he’s sleeping like that… He has a big tummy.”
    “This room is messy but it looks nice… the kitties like it.”
    “We have that scratching thing at our house…”
    “He is NOT FAT! See him on that chair?? He’s skinny because he keeps jumping up on top of the scratching thing.”
    “I like the lady cat – she looks like Queenie…”
    “Yeah, she looks like my Grandma’s cat except she’s a different color.”
    “She’s pretty…”
    “Is that lady cat the other one’s Mommy?”
    “I’m gonna ask Mommy if I can put my kitty in the drawer…”
    “Couldn’t WE get a cat in school? Please???”

    Thanks again for what was a huge hit and a real treat. Everyone in K-2 says “Thank You Very Much for the Great Pictures and Please Tell Jack and Girl Hello.” We would send thank you cards but I don’t want the kitties’ “Dad” to pull Post Office duty for them. So please consider yourself thoroughly, gratefully [and virtually] thanked! :>)

    • sbranch says:

      I DO — that was so wonderful, I can’t begin to tell you! What a darling bunch of children. Tell them I’m sending X’s and O’s! Thank you so much Janet, that was very thoughtful!

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        I loved those comments! Thanks! xo

        • Janet [in Rochester] says:

          Oops, I posted a quick comment at the wrong place – it was meant for here. Guess this definitely shows how I comment way too much. It’s just so hard not to – I wanna talk with everyone! Officially shutting-up for now after I say, have a great weekend, everyone! :>)

        • Dawn from Minnesota says:

          I wish I could go to the Lollypop farm to get a free and shiny kitty to put in my drawer! How sweet of You! Enjoy those kids, Janet….they will remember you and the “cat shows” forever! 🙂

          • Dawn, I lived on a farm for 50 yrs. and every Spring here came all the stray kitties, and for years my Dad kept them from us and then he moved to Florida!!! My sister now loves and cares for 5 strays that we had spayed/neutered so hopefully the cycle of feral kitties may someday end!!! It breaks my heart to see a stray roaming around and if I am ever fortunate enough to win the Lottery I will set up a fully staffed “retreat” so every animal can feel loved and secure. Our farm didn’t have a cute name like Lollypop; but, it sure was fun to grow up there and see all the splendor of nature and just being able to smell the fresh air everyday was a blessing!!!

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            “A free, shiny kitty to put in a drawer…” LOL at this, Deb! :>)

    • Mary S. says:

      How cute!!!

    • Elizabeth in Montana says:

      Lollypop Farm…that brings back memories! My brother’s dog came from Lollypop Farm.

  56. Jocelyn says:

    It must feel wonderful to be loved so much 🙂

  57. Hi Susan,
    Our new kitten, Little B, he loves to sleep in my boys Legos. He is so funny. We love him so. He brings so much joy to us.
    Thank you for the wonderful post.

  58. irene talaasen says:

    Hi Susan,
    Those are the darlingest pictures of your kitties!!! Love the stories you are telling about them. We don’t have any cats now but have had them in the past and they are fun and funny!! We do have “grandcats” I am a retired Kindergarten teacher and I always called my children “kidlets” so was fun to hear you say gather the kidlets to watch the kitty photos!! Your Blog is always pure delight; thank for sharing in your busy days!

  59. Vivian Keh says:

    I love your kitty pix, peeks of your studio and your beautiful pages. Tfs.

  60. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Thank you for the great pictures of your adorable kitties! How do you get them to pose? If I point the camera at my cat Samantha, she moves every time. She likes to sit with both paws in each of my shoes as if she’s wearing them! I have managed to get a photo of her doing that. Perhaps Girl Kitty and Jack can put their “pawprints” in your book. Can’t wait to buy it and read it!!

  61. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Good Morning Susan *

    Darling new post with darling pictures of your darlings! There…I can’t believe I wrote that! But, it’s true!

    There’s something special about all of your posts…well, we girlfriends always agree about that. There’s Magic…Wonder…Surprises…Lovely Art…Recipes and everything else that you share with us, from your “Heart of the Home”.

    But this post is just what I needed for the middle of January. It’s a cold, frosty winter night here and I’ve got the “after-Christmas-I’m-not-quite- ready-for-the-new year-blues”.

    Along comes your new post…”Kitty Pictures”…and here I am, smiling, even lol, as I view the adorable pics of Girl Kitty and the ever-dashing handsome Jack.
    You captured their daily adventures just perfectly. Best pictures?…have to be Jack…full page photo, with the caption underneath, “Natural Beauty” and Girl Kitty, so wise and sweet,with the caption…”there is a garden in her face…”

    This new post was pure fun!

    Thank you for taking the time from your very busy writing/painting schedule for “A Tale of Two Kitties” (not to be confused with “A Tale of Two Cities”.
    * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

    • sbranch says:

      Happy to do it Dorothy, have a wonderful day up on that mountain!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Dorothy-Ann, you found the spot-on perfect word for Jack. DASHING. That’s him in a nutshell. If Jack was human, to me he’d be Cary Grant! :>)

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, in To Catch a Thief his nickname was “The Cat!”

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            OMG, it was! Love all the Cary/Hitchcock movies. I don’t have “To Catch a Thief” on DVD yet but I do have “Suspicion!” The perfect thriller and so veddy English… :>)

          • sbranch says:

            Oh I loved that one too!

        • Dorothy Ann says:

          * Hello Janet in Rochester *

          It is so nice…actually very nice…to see your personal post tonight. Cary Grant! Yes, you’re right. So clever of you to associate “Dashing Jack” with “Dashing Cary”.

          Do you like to view classic movies, as Susan does? I do too…and if you like “To Catch A Thief” then I suggest you watch “Notorious”. Perhaps you have seen it. It’s fabulous and Cary is at his most handsome and dashing best. He stars with Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains. If you have trouble renting, locating it on cable TV, or buying it, let me know. I’ll send you my video copy to borrow & view.

          I love to reply “post-to-post” with all the girlfriends, so I hope you scan back to your 1/18 post to me and find this little note.

          Happy New Year, Janet…to you and yours.
          * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Hey back, Dorothy-Ann! Yep, I admit it – I’m a MAJOR fan of “old” movies – though I prefer your term “classic” too. Sounds better and is true anyway! And thanks, I have seen “Notorious” and loved it. Cary, Ingrid, Claude and Hitch – what’s NOT to love, right? The Golden Age of Hollywood. They just will never make ’em like that again… Have a great week & stay warm up there on the mountain! :>) xoxo.

  62. Pam says:

    Have been catching up with your blog and I love the kitties’ photos 🙂 We’ve just got back from a couple of days away in a ‘posh’ hotel (anniversary treat) anyway we left for home as the snow started, you would have loved seeing the sheep in the fields Susan, they looked like cotton wool balls with the snow on them!

  63. Sandy Richmond says:

    Hi Susan, Your pictures are wonderful, and how great to see Girl Kitty and Jack sharing a space! Trying to get good pictures of my kittens is like trying to get pictures of whirlwinds! Mine (Boo and Bowie) got “fixed” last week, and are bouncing around the house and back to normal. They are brother and sister, and spend all of their time together. So many good laughs with them in the house. Thanks for the Branch kitty photos, and I too am looking forward to “A Fine Romance”. I like these January days, and being content in the house. (Well, when I’m not at work. 🙂 )

  64. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Me and Mr. Bump, sharing the same chair(ahem), so enjoyed a glimpse of Kitty world at your home! What would life be, for those of us with these gifts of Kitties in out lives?? Bump wanted Jack to know that “mouse” is another great game to cajole us into playing. I get the stuffed mouse and hide it around corners on the sofa or chair, wiggle it about, and he ATTACKS! He loves a good game of mouse just about any time of the day. Don’t you just love those faces when they are having the most fun?? Jack and Girl are indeed just the cutest. I , for one, will be hoping there is some “gift” from these two in the new book. After all, they were instrumental in providing the necessary “office materials” for a successful day at the work bench writing and painting. Oh, and tossing balls and big rubber bands!

  65. Your blog brought back a childhood memory . I was about 5 yrs old and was on a trip to Wisconsin Dells with my family. At an amusement park there was a girl dressed like a fairy Princess and asked my brother and I what our wishes were. He wanted a million dollars and I wanted a kitten. The fairy princess promised if i was good i would get it. My mom what with four kids and a dog did not want another pet. However I would then pray at night for a kitten she said , so she gave in. Picked ” Jingles” out of a litter the runt ,everyone wondered why her? The scrawniest one. Gray with white socks . She was with us after I was married.
    Cats are cool!

  66. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Girl Kitty and Jack are true stars!!! The photo of Jack standing on your pretty winged back chair looks like he is a “smiling ” panther ready to pounce into the air!!! He’s so focused!!!! My son Steven (college student) loves to see your two kitties……a breath of fresh air to his grinding schedule of studies!! Thank you for brightening up these cold winter days with your two Martha Vineyard four-legged celebrities!!!! Thank you and have a terrific Friday and weekend!!!!!!

  67. Ruth Thomas says:

    How can anyone live without a cat!!! They are so intelligent and loving; don’t require a lot from us but love us unconditionally. My Zoe is 12 1/2 years old; she loves to sit in my husband’s lap. She was get up on the couch, near his chair, and slowly sidle over to him and gets in his life after looking at him lovingly for a minute or two. Then she settles in and he pets her and scratches her head – she is in pure heaven. You are lucky to have two! It’s a wonder you get anything done! The book looks heavenly. Thanks for sharing with us.

  68. Nancy G. says:

    You can feel the love shine between you and your cats.

  69. Mady says:

    Absolutely delightful all around! Jack is so funny. Your head shot is amazing. You should enlarge it to a 12″ square and frame it. It’s perfection. While reading, before you mentioned the cat hair in the paintings, I was wondering if we’d be able to find any faint traces when reading. It’s a lovely touch! It will be fun to try to spot. “I’ve Told Every Little Star” brought back such memories of being 12 years old and envying the “maturity” of the teenage girls. Oh, my! I see there’s a 1933 version — who knew? My mother was so upset over the Marcels’ “Blue Moon,” which I loved!

  70. Wanda Robinson says:

    Good morning and HAPPY ARBOR DAY. None of my calendars mentioned it. Arbor Day is the 3rd Friday of January so this is IT. Since I live in Florida, all the schools had kids out planting trees which made me happy to see that they were celebrating an old fashioned “holiday” that we should all love. Think I’ll go out and buy a tree today. Loved the pictures of your kitties. What a nice way to start the day. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      I always thought arbor day was in April — oh well, there is no tree planting going on here today, we have snow! Happy Arbor Day to you Wanda!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        As a card-carrying member of the National Arbor Day Foundation, I am reporting in to tell everyone the last Friday in April is the “National” day, but that each state has its own and of course these differ. To find out when Arbor Day is celebrated in your state, visit

        And please plant a tree! They make wonderful, green sustainable gifts! Some families plant a tree for each wedding and new baby – and then those babies have THEIR wedding pictures taken underneath “their” trees years later. :>)

        • Hello Janet, thank you for your very helpful PR announcement about Arbor Day!!! I think the suggestion about planting a tree for a new baby and then someday they come there to have their wedding pictures taken is just adorable!!! I knew a family that planted a tree every year on their anniversary and I thought that was a wonderful idea. I want to tell you how precious your comment earlier was with all the cute sayings from “your children” about kitties!!! I wasn’t lucky enough to be a teacher; but, the next best thing for me was to be my daughter’s classroom “room parent” K-5, and I did that until she went to Middle School and when they no longer needed a room parent then I decided to be a Coach for her “Odyssey of the Mind” Problem Solving Group for 3 years. Once she moved onto H.S. and became a member of the Show Choir we followed her group around to competitions/performances and I was able to stay around the kids from K-12 and what a joy that was for us!!! Thank You for all you do for children and have a great weekend!! Blessings

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Deb, thank you for your very kind comment & please let me say on behalf of all teachers everywhere – thank you so much for being involved in your children’s education. Most parents don’t know how important their involvement is [at every level]. Not only are you of immense help to teachers – and THANK YOU for that because we don’t know what we’d do without you – but by being involved you are showing your kids that you value education. I teach at a university “laboratory” school & was once asked by a student teacher: “What was the most important thing they DIDN’T teach you in college about being a teacher?” My answer: how important parental interest, involvement & support is. I had to learn that one from experience. No matter how hard the teacher works, if the family doesn’t care, the child won’t care – and the game is basically over. Nothing is more heart-breaking to see it with very young children too.

            PS – isn’t that weddings-&-new-baby-tree-planting idea a great one? I read it in the first literature I received from the Arbor Day Foundation and thought it was just inspired! Just trying to spread the word! :>)

  71. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Happy snowy day, Susan!! Your yard does look like a frosted wedding cake! Enjoy your snowy walk!

  72. That Jack is just adorable. I keep thinking about how you had to think whether you would take him or not because of his mustache.. and that is his cutest feature. Good choice in taking him. He is the perfect compliment to Girl. 🙂 We have had a cat in the house since we got married 40 some years ago. Now we have a dog to go with her and that makes it purrrrrfect. We have a lovely large sunroom with tons of windows and birds outside, we feed, to keep Daisy feeling like she is right outside with them even tho she never goes out.

  73. Dinahsoar says:

    I love them both! Girl kitty with her sweet sweet face and wisdom– knowing that a comfy pillow is a wonderful resting place in the studio. And Jack– with his vim and vigor, ready to play, until he drops over, choosing to sleep on warm laundry. Just like a ‘man’-HA! Jack also behaves a little bit like a dog doesn’t he, loving to play fetch….from the hills of Tn.

  74. Toni M. says:

    Hi Susan…loved all your kitty pictures and stories. We had cats for many years, indoor and out, but….since I have such BAD cat, horse AND dog allergies(but do have an angel Golden, Molly, 10y.o. rescued,) I take daily meds and always have my inhaler handy. The cat dander now for me is a death-warrent, even tho I would LOVE to have my sweet kitties again, my lungs couldn’t handle it, so I just LOVE to gaze at your little beauties. Thank God the dander doesn’t come thru my computer. Keep the pictures coming…I can never get enough of them:-)))
    Blessings on your beautiful kid-lets, Toni

    • sbranch says:

      Sometimes I wish we had a scratch and sniff feature on the computer, but not for kitties in your case! Glad you can be here Toni!

  75. Mary Lou says:

    I have a question that I’ve been researching online…but I was hoping you would give me your opinion..Is May 5-12 a good time to visit MV? Are most stores and restaurants open and would we get a good feel for the island. Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a little early but I would like it because the crowds would not be here yet; the season officially begins Memorial Day. The roses aren’t usually in bloom until middle of June, the middle of May will be fairly leafless, but lots of daffodils. Driving around will be wonderfully quiet, and I would think there would be enough open to make you happy. Most of the stores in Vineyard Haven, where there is darling shopping, are open year round.

  76. Pink Rose Cottage says:

    Good morning, Susan. What a joy our dear animals are! I love love love watching the antics of your dear Jack. Don’t you wish you could get inside a cat’s head to see what they are thinking? They are so fascinating to me…and so darned cute! I especially liked seeing your work room. Thank heavens you have a room that isn’t neat as a pin. (I was getting a complex) So many lovely Susan Branch things on your shelves, walls, etc. Speaking of, I know you’re up to your eyebrows with the new book, but could you tuck in the back of your mind a plain journal? It needn’t be ‘new stuff’ just a journal for us to write in with your dear little pictures tucked into the pages here and there. Just a suggestion. Can’t wait for your next post. They light up my day. Blessings, Carol

    • Michaelene says:

      Oh yes, a journal. I vote for that too. Who else??? 🙂

    • Anna , Camano Island, WA says:

      I second that idea, a plain journal decorated with quotes and small pics would be ideal, I have The book of Days from Susan, but it is best for appointments and to do reminders, etc., I tried writing journal style in it but there just isn’t enough space for each day to keep a journal. I know you have a lot on your plate now Susan, but maybe one day?

  77. Deb from Dixie says:

    Paws Up…..Furry High Fives!
    Oh, just loved this post seeing Jack and Girl…..and reading all the girlfriends comments about their furry friends. What a part of our hearts these little blessings hold!
    I miss my BK ( aka The Bean)…..she hitched a ride with family and came down for Christmas and New Years but rode back to my home after the holidays….as I am still in Florida caregiving.
    Thank goodness…..for Skype…..I get to see her every now and then…..LOL!
    But every night I send her head rubs, pets, and kitty kisses….. through the phone to be given out by family at home!
    The Bean, such a snuggler……and so funny…..ah they are so cute!
    Please give Jack and Girl a big thank you…..for giving us a glimpse of the two of them together….maybe an extra kitty treat too!
    Have a happy weekend Susan and girlfriends…..I have a heart plaque that says….
    “Kitties leave paw Prints on your Heart!” … true!

  78. Amy Sheffield-Gonzalez says:

    Fuzz therapy is the best!! <3
    Just a thought – have you ever listened to Whisperings? I love it and thought, if you haven't tried it out yet, you might really enjoy it! It's absolutely beautiful. Go to Enjoy!!

  79. Kitties. Perfect. I’ve had four in my life, and today I miss their antics. Such a lovely post, Susan. I have a favorite saying: Dogs have owners, but cats have staffs. I was surely a willing staff member for Buckwheat Elizabeth, Ginger Victoria, Spanky Hilliard, and Trubble. Pet and hug and kiss your furry babies for me, will you please?

  80. Lovely to see your working space. Other artists’ studios are so fun to visit, with or without cats.

  81. Kirsten of So. Calif. says:

    Oh how I love seeing photos of your kitties! I think they could be a book all by themselves…….with your help of course. It’s also nice to see your studio. All the ones you see in magazines and books are just too picture perfect. I can see that you really use yours! If mine ever looks good, it’s because I’m not creating. And then what’s the point of it all? Not that yours doesn’t look good, I love it. Lots of inspiration!

  82. Linda Hurst says:

    Sadly, my husband is allergic to cats! I love kitties everyone else has! Cute, cute pictures!

  83. Michaelene says:

    Oh my goodness!!! Your kitty pictures have absolutely made my day. Someone farther up wondered how anyone can live without cats. I wonder the same thing. That light in their eyes, the comfort of their purring and my all-time favorite thing, a cat licking their paw to wash their face right before falling sound asleep. When we had two cats, I especially loved when they would chase each other and wrestle. They were always quiet about it and it was like two balls of fur rolling and rolling around the house.
    Thank you again Susan. Pure pleasure!!!

  84. Lynn Cooper says:

    It is easy to see that your cats are truly beautiful, and that Jack is a character.

  85. Josie A (Valencia, PA) says:

    A very wise, older lady told me many, many years ago, you are guaranteed a place in heaven if you love cats. I’m counting on it. : )

  86. Deborah Norling says:

    Susan, as I’ve mentioned prior, I normally can’t enjoy the Musica, unless I’m at home reading your blog….I just listened to it a few minutes ago..and loved the Linda Scott song , I don’t recall hearing it before, so I googled her and saw she used to be on “Where The Action Is ” that brought back such memories..I was about 10 or 11 years old, I couldn’t wait for it to come on after school…I used to ask my Mom to please leave me alone in the living room when the theme song came on so I could G0-G0 dance to it …” it’s so neat to meet your baby where the action is” !!

  87. maggie ann says:

    Dear Susan, I love your blog. When I don’t read it for a few days, I come looking. for it in my sidebar. I just watched ‘Miss Potter’ and your wonderful art reminds me of her. I wish I had a pinch of your talent as an artist. You make everything special…ordinary things turn into heart-warming things. I love that. Thank you! God has blessed you and you bless us….I know a lot of effort goes into your posts. And they are keepsakes, all. Have a wonderful day…..Maggie Ann

  88. Anne says:

    Girl Kitty has the sweetest little face! What an angel 🙂 My dog loves warm laundry too! Our little petty pets are so smart aren’t they? Have a great day and thanks for the pics 🙂

  89. Valerie Johnson from Ft. Worth Texas says:

    Sadly, Susan, I thought we were only getting started when I suddenly realized that I was at the end of the “hail to the kitties” post. Loved it. Our little kitty boy is 9 month old Harley– I thought Jack was a great name for him, but I was out-voted. Have you and our girlfriends read this analysis of cats:

    Cats do what they want.
    They rarely listen to you.
    They’re totally unpredictable.
    Everyone knows it when they are unhappy.
    When you want to play, they want to be left alone.
    When you want to be left alone, they want to play.
    They expect you to cater to their every whim.
    They’re moody.
    They leave hair everywhere.
    They drive you nuts and cost an arm and a leg.

    Conclusion: cats are tiny women in fur coats!!

    I don’t know who wrote this. Hope you enjoyed it! Thanks for the post.
    WAS Girl drinking paint water? 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Not paint water … I have two water pots, because they did try to get my paint water, so I gave them their own!

  90. nancy jo says:

    Hi Susan,
    I have hair bands if Jack wants to come and play. Posted a picture of myself on my blog if you really need to know what I look like. thought it was only fair since I know what you look like. Which of course is cute.
    Nancy Jo

  91. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    hi Susan! I LOVE your family! How fun! Girl always looks so soft and feminine, just a true Girlie Girl …those soulful eyes! And Jack… had such a proud Lion King moment on top of the chair! He will always be my secret crush! And…. 🙂 ……..”dum da dum da da da da da da da da da dum da dum……been humming and humming and humming and humming …. I don’t even roll into da doo ron ron ron da doo ron ron anymore!!!! I hope you are in a good spot this weekend!!! England? Queen Mary? Martha’s Vineyard? Laundry Room? Love to your BEAUTIFUL family! …dum da dum da da da da da doo ron ron ron 😉 x0x0x

    • sbranch says:

      I just painted a cute little map of the Lake District, and did a “Music to take along” list! Yes, having fun, dum do widdy widdy dum diddie doo!

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        “Music to take along!” how fun is that!!! Do I know “dum do widdy widdy dum diddie doo?” It sounds so familiar!!! My oh my… is it ever freezing outside….and the wind!!! We were driving home from Taylor Falls/St.Croix Falls this afternoon and the temperature went from 34 degrees to 17 degrees in an hour! We just got home from Larissa’s dance competion and it is now 5 degrees! The wind is So strong!!! It must have blown a car or something into Bret’s back tail light….for when we got to the parking lot…found it busted. Well, home now and we are going South for the night….he is making Margarita’s and then I guess we will be heading East to Downton Abbey….We are almost up to date! Just recovered from the Spanish Flu…whew! I hope you and Joe avoid the flu that is going around!!! It hit here on New Years Eve and I call it the Little House on the Prairie FEVER…..Larissa 🙁 We know two lovely people who have died from it! And today’s paper say’s 60 Minnesotan’s have died already. Yesterday was Mary Jane’s funeral…Beautiful! She was a nurse in the Korean war and when she was back stateside to interview for a job…..she was asked why she went by just Jane, when Mary Jane was such a lovely name? She said, “only my Mother calls me Mary Jane.” The boss (interviewer) asked if he could call her Mary Jane, and she answered, “Yes…..and I will call you Mother!” oH…..Mary Jane!!!! 🙂 Susan, I really am so excited to see YOUR book!!! I remember the Lake District! The girlfriends and I surprised you with THE BOOK…. 🙂 !!! Well, Bret is starting without me! But, I wanted to say, “HI!” Take Care Susan and I will be thinking of you tomorrow when I make some of your soup and gingersnap chocolate chip cookies!!!! It may be windy and cold outside….but how lucky for us in Minnnesota that we don’t live in sod houses anymore!!! I’ve seen the one in Bret’s family….and uh…….well…..we would be freezing!!!! Oh….one last thing…I just got the book Mayflower! 🙂 “dum do widdy widdy dum diddie doo”…..YoU do seriously Hum……as cute as you paint!!! xoxoxoxox

  92. Deborah Norling says:

    Oh, I meant to add..regarding Wanda kindly wishing you Happy Arbor Day in January….of course I had to google Arbor Day…..I never knew..there is National Arbor Day in April as you stated, but…many states have their own celebration as well in the various months suited for tree planting in that particular state…

    • Jack says:

      Wouldn’t a January National Arbor Day pose a problem in getting through the snow and to put a hole in frozen ground — planting an unsuspecting tree in a frozen hole — watering it with something that immediately turns to ice …….are these Penguin Trees?

      • sbranch says:

        I think that may be why they started Earth Day, to give us northerners a better time of year for planting our penguins!

        • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

          We had 45 degrees Fri. and 38 degrees today. But a cold front from Canada came through this afternoon on 35 mph winds with gusts to 45-50 mph and temps are dropping sub-zero tonight. The next 4 days are supposed to have HIGHS in the sub-zeros–first time since 2009…sweaters and boots for the dogs when they go outside!

  93. Kathy says:

    YES!!! Love this kitty tail…er…tale! You are such a fantastic photographer as well! Love the pics of those cute pink jelly bean paws!! Cats are one of the BEST things in life and so are YOU! Cheers!!

  94. Farmergal says:

    That was so much fun! Thanks, Susan.

  95. Fabienne says:

    Love the kitty photos! Today I am making your Apple/Cranberry Crisp to take to son’s home for dessert. They have a 2 year old son and 1 month old daughter! I will just squeeze, cuddle and kiss. Taking vanilla ice cream too of course. Can’t wait to try it! Thank you for your amazing blog, photos, thoughts and inspirations. Was very cold last week in So Cal – 45 degrees! We are not use to that at all. Today more like it – about 72. Yeah.

  96. Janice says:

    Oh my gosh – I was dying reading your blog. Your cats are a riot!
    This morning my cat Sassy followed me up into the attic. It’s a
    great attic. Big and tall and like a little house all of its own. Sassy
    was in heaven – and from that point on I couldn’t get her out of it.
    Finally – hours later, by clinging my spoon to a bowl she came out – thinking
    it was breakfast – of which she gets to finish the last of the milk in
    the bowl. I just love her to pieces. She brings me great joy, as I see
    yours do too. To cats forever! hip hip hooray!!

  97. Linda says:

    Such sweet kitty pics. But my fave by far is the one of Girl Kitty’s paw, where just her pink underside is showing. LOVE!

  98. Sue says:

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this post before, but have been so pre-occupied this past week!
    I have to say, Susan, you have out-done yourself! This post is the best of the best!!! 🙂 My how I love to see your kitties! I love Jack’s eyes while he is in the drawer — almost cross-eyed — and mischievous, ready to pounce! So cute!
    And Girl, how sweet and adorable. Such a little darling! I’m so glad they made it into your book. After-all, they said Good-bye when you left for England and were there to greet you when you came home, which makes them very much a part of your trip. 🙂
    Have a great weekend, Susan. And thanks for the joy you give on your blog!

  99. wendy says:

    Late Hello!
    I was wildly excited by this post! I have a cat personality and have had cats all my life except for brief moments in time, at which point I usually still see them out of the corner of my eye. After this post I decided to try my hand at shooting hair bands for my cat but he has yet to run after them. He does chase wads of paper and foil but not the bands. I must keep at it though. He likes to knock items sitting out from the bathroom vanity into the sink, I call it the ‘slam dunk’ game. He is the first cat that I know of to have very little voice! As a child we had several Siamese which of course were very vocal. Was Jack coaxed into retrieving the bands or did he immediately chase them? His mustache is so adorable!! Girl is so patient. Love the cats pix and peeks at the book!! Thank you!

  100. gennette says:

    Thanks so much for sharing… in the middle of a rough day your brought lots of sunshine…….:)

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