Last fall, when I first brought two of the little wild kittens inside that had been living in my side yard, I intended to find homes for them. I had Roxie, and one cat was enough for me at that point! And these little kittens were adorable, and only a few months old, so I figured once they were tamed it would be easy to find them homes. But it took me longer than I expected to tame them, and so I had two wild babies hiding in my house!

Two Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts
Sasha with one of his brothers, at about six weeks old.

Wild Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts
Sasha and Maisie on the left, with two of their siblings, at about seven weeks old.

Orange Kitten // Photo: Cheryl Spelts
Sasha at about eight weeks old.

Wild Kitten // Photo: Cheryl Spelts
Sasha at about three months old.

Finally the little yellow one discovered that it was nice to be touched, and even better to be held. And I started to fall in love…

And then this little yellow kitten – who was about four months old at the time – suddenly grew a little bulge. He was a boy! I love male cats, but a male cat might change the dynamic of the whole house, and how would Roxie adapt to not being the top cat, once he matured? But I couldn’t give him up. So I just had to hope that he would stay as sweet as he was at four-months-old…

Sasha is now a year-old, and a big beautiful male cat. He’s gentle and easy to get along with. Thankfully!

Yellow Cat // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Orange cats love people! // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Father and Daughter Cats // Photo: Cheryl Spelts
Sasha with Vanessa, who is almost four months old.

Regal Cats // Photo: Cheryl Spelts
Sasha with Calista and Raphael

Sasha lived his first few months outside, with no owner, no love, no food dish of his own, and no mother after she disappeared when he was two months old. All he wanted was to get inside! He used to cry under my bedroom window, and try to climb the screen, convinced he could get in, if he just tried hard enough. And now that he’s in? He has zero desire to ever go outside again. He’s a happy house cat!

Samantha’s last day with her siblings…

Kittens doing yoga // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsSammie came to visit for a week, while my Mom was on vacation, and after a little bit of growling and hissing, worked her way back into the family fold. But Mom came home on Tuesday, so these images are the last with Sammie and her cat family. She won’t be back for a long while – and by then the other kittens will have new homes.

They’re three-and-a-half-months old now. Growing up fast!

So what did Sammie do on her last day? Well she started with some yoga with her calico sister, Calista.

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Then grabbed the favorite sleeping spot before Raphael could get to it.

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Oh well, Raphael will just sleep beside it. He’s adaptable like that! Isn’t Sammie’s sleeping position, with one foot out of the bowl, hysterical?

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Can you believe those whiskers? So beautiful!

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Raphael has whiskers too!

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Vanessa wishes it were her turn in the bowl…

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

That’s okay, Vanessa will just knock all the magazines stacked on a chair, onto the floor, and sleep there.

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Roxie in bed.

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Sammie is still queen of the bowl…

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Vanessa gets ready to pounce.

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts
Ah! Calista gets a chance in the bowl!

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

But it’s not as fun if no one else wants it. Where is everybody?

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

And the very last time all four will nurse. Maisie’s babies are growing up!

Kittens // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Goodbye Samantha! We’ll miss you!

The places kittens sleep…


Maisie, in December, when she was just seven months old. Her favorite spot in the whole house was on this table, in a decorative bowl.

Vanessa and Rafael

And now her babies love the same spot. It’s a different bowl, but the same location, and yes they really do squish in two or three at a time to sleep! Here Vanessa and Rafael are trying to share the bowl, but at times three of them crowd in all at once.


Samantha is here while my Mom is on vacation – so she’s getting her turn in the bowl!


It cracks me up that the kittens like to sleep in the cat carrier! Up until the moment when the zipper closes–and they’re locked in–then they don’t like it so much!

But Vanessa? Isn’t that the most precious face ever? She’s such a tough little thing. I love her!

Eleven weeks old and adorable!


Rafael and Sasha! Sasha just turned one year old, so he’s barely out of kittenhood himself, but he’s completely affectionate and loving with the babies. Even when they bite his tail and try to climb him like a tree… He’s a patient cat!


Little Miss Calista, (with Rafael photobombing!) and her very tired mother, Maisie. Raising these babies is making Maisie more than a little tired. She’ll be glad when they find forever homes, and she can get back to napping at will again!


Samantha has the greenest eyes of all the kittens – not as green as her mother, but very pretty!


Sasha gives good baths! And my favorite cat of all, Roxie Pablo, is ready to take a real bath! Roxie is two-years-old now, and still my favorite. She was first, but it’s more than that; she’s just a very special cat.


Calista gives good face. That little orange nose? Just perfection.


Two shots of Vanessa! She’s actually my favorite of the kittens; probably because she loves me the most. It’s hard not to love a baby that looks at you adoringly, and follows you around, and only wants to be near you!


And finally, one more of Calista, because she’s just so darn cute! She wins for best-looking!

The kittens are five weeks old!

five-week-old kittens

The kittens are five weeks old, and sleeping out in the open now. Momma can’t keep them corralled any longer!


Their mother, Maisie, has the most beautiful green eyes. Best eyes I’ve ever seen on a cat!

Baby Kittens! 13 Days Old!

baby kitten yawning

King of the kitten pile? Or just a yawn?

baby kitten sleeping

At this age all they do is sleep and eat, and then sleep and eat some more.

baby kittens

Such a pretty little face…

13-day-old kittens

I’ve gotten a few questions about how these were shot… Was it a “normal” camera? And the answer is yes! Just a normal camera and a 50mm lens at f/1.2. If you’ve studied photography even just a little, you probably know that an aperture of f/1.2 will give you an extremely shallow depth of field – but then when you combine it with shooing this close, it makes the field of focus even more narrow. On some of these only the tiny little whiskers on their noses were in focus. I did crop all of them slightly – but no more that a quarter of the image was trimmed off. But did I do anything to them in PhotoShop? Not really. I color balanced and then sharpened them, but there was no selective blurring, or anything else tricky. These really are the way it looks when you shoot wide open, and really close up.

So why did I choose to shoot this way? There are several reasons. One, I think it’s pretty. Two, I really wanted to focus on the kitten’s tiny little toes and their noses and whiskers. The narrow focus serves to isolate those features from the background, and really showcase how sweet they are. And three, I like to push occasionally, and get something a little different. Shooting the same subject the same way, more than once, gets a little boring. Gotta shake it up!

Kittens! Year Three…

ten-day-old kittens

Kiss, kiss!

baby kitten


baby calico kittens

Little kitten faces

Little faces, ten-days-old…

When do kittens open their eyes?

This is the LAST generation of this particular cat family. The mother of these kittens is one of the kittens from last summer – in other words, she’s only nine-months old herself – but now that she’s letting me touch her, she’ll be on her was to the Vet to get fixed, as soon as these babies are weaned. Her brother has already visited the Vet, and she’s the last hold-out, so definitely the last branch of this particular cat family tree!

Two-week old kittens

Black and White Kitten // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Somebody wants out of the box!

Kitten escaping box // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

And big sister, who is a little over three months old, is always a willing accomplice…

Kitten Bath // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Oh no! Getting out of the box means another bath! They hate baths… Scratchy tongue is no fun.

Two Week Old Kittens

Two Week Old Kitten

The little girl is making a run for it Good thing she learned to walk yesterday!

Two Week Old Kittens

Cuddling up with big sister after the bath isn’t so bad though!

A stray cat in the neighborhood has given birth to two litters this summer, and she was still nursing the older kittens, when these were born, so three of the five in the new litter died the very first day. Luckily a very kind neighbor was willing to scale a barrier and go into a black widow infested shed to save the last two – and I’ve been feeding them ever since. They’re 16-days-old old now, and have tripled in size – thanks to a steady diet of Kitten Milk Replacement every three hours. On the two days a week I go to Los Angeles, my Mom takes over the feeding.

Their big sister is from the Momma Cat’s first litter this summer, and she is the sweetest thing – and she’s ready to find a forever home. I coaxed her indoors the day after we saved the baby kittens, and she’s completely adjusted to being an indoor cat. She sleeps on my chest, purrs constantly, and is as loving as can be. She also bathes the baby kittens and helps them to pee and poop – which I’m forever grateful for! But I can do chore myself, and it’s time for her to find an owner that will love her and care for her forever – and who is willing to keep her indoors and safe. If you know anyone, please contact me!

Cats and Computers

Ashley - May 4, 2006Portia - May 4, 2006

Ashley at 2:42 PM, today. You can see ROCKBAND.COM on the laptop… And Portia at 4:45 PM, today in the exact same spot.

Ashley - 2000

Ashley and his brothers in 2000. I got the pick of the litter!