Celebrations, July 31, 2015

Today’s post is part of Lexa Cain‘s blog hop celebrating the small things.  Visit our fearless leader and her two wonderful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom.

Today I am celebrating nothing in particular (the best kind of celebration) that ended up as an exercise in creativity (the best kind of exercise, since you aren’t likely to fall and break an ankle as you are if you are doing strenuous physical exercise).

I am doing a beta-read for a friend from a writing board.  She has a collection of short stories with a Sci-Fi bent that will be coming out in the next few months.  I’ll ask her if I can feature it here.  I haven’t done more than skim, since I just got it yesterday, but one of the stories, featuring a cat, got me thinking about designs, cats, night, the stars, and the moon.

I started thinking how I might express a ‘Night Cat’ (not her term), and spent a happy hour or two doing it.

First you need a cat.  There’s this beautiful photo that I’ve loved for a long time:

This is a Maine Coon cat, arguably America’s original longhair.  DNA tends to show that they came over with the Vikings.  They are formidable mousers, very laid back, smart and almost dog-like.  Mine, now dead at a grand age and sorely missed, certainly loved the dog, but tended to thwack him with a paw.
I needed a night sky, which was a fairly easy assignment.  There are plenty of images available.  In my case, I wanted darkness and stars as a nice background.  I went to an old favorite:

I generally like a sky with a very dark blue tint, but in this case, I thought, black would be fine.  So I used it.

The cat would be a shadow against the sky, invisible unless you knew where to look, the embodiment of midnight (very amusing, if you happen to be acquainted with Maine Coons, but still…

I fiddled with things, adjusted shadows and highlights, frowned, tweaked, and came up with an image that isn’t a bad first effort.  I’ll fiddle more later:

I’m off to visit family this weekend.  One of them has learned that she will need a hip replacement operation.  This is not a bad development: the rest of the family has known it for a long time.  Now I must get her to understand that it will ultimately help her.  The fact that she is in my life (she’s my mother) is a very good reason to celebrate.

What are you celebrating?