I know that one of my daughters lived here because I saw her at the window and talked to her at the basement door too…I didn’t really understand what happened with her, but one day I felt that daughter calling me, telling me to come over here, to get this lady’s attention. I did know this human was very sad about something, I could feel it coming from her whenever I was near—all of us animals could, even the senseless chipmunks…
In the afternoon I saw Lucy’s mother in my garden, her petite black body laden with another litter of kittens in her belly. I watched her drinking from the water bowl under the pink phlox and the thought came to me, as if someone had said it out loud to me, that I needed to take her in…
On July 10, 2007 a small group of lives quietly changed forever.
Lucy was one of Mimi’s kittens from a litter the previous year, as I tried to work with the owners of Mimi and a bunch of other cats. Lucy’s siblings had been adopted, but Lucy was not. Her curious and lively kitten presence through the last months of Sophie’s and Stanley’s lives enlivened us all as my house, after four losses in one year, dwindled down to four senior cats: Peaches, Cookie, Namir and Kelly. But after her spay in April Lucy was diagnosed with FIP. She lived three fairly healthy months, then seizures began the night of July 9 and I called my veterinarian the next morning. That afternoon I took her to be cremated then came home and, standing at the basement door with the four who were left, we saw Mimi, and it all came together. A few weeks later Mimi and her newborns joined us, and the rest is history.
About the photo
I had to recreate the photo above. I watched Mimi drinking from the water bowl then sniffing around the patio. I suddenly realized the import of the moment and ran upstairs to get my little digital camera. Racing out on the deck, but trying to be quiet so I wouldn’t frighten her off, I saw Mimi sitting at the end of the brick path. By the time my camera woke up and got ready to photograph she had gotten up and walked off into the greenery. I took several photographs and waited to see if she’d come back out, but the memory of her sitting there stayed with me. Later, after she’d come inside, I took a photo of Mimi and photoshopped her to be much wider than she is and added her to the photo I’d taken that day. I know it’s not authentic, but looking at it brings it all back for me.
About the litters of kittens
They had several unspayed females and found it nearly impossible to catch them between litters, nor to find a vet at the time who would spay a pregnant cat. Poor Mimi, with six litters, I’m so glad she came in when she did. I’m not sure she would have survived many more.
From Mimi’s point of view in Mimi Mewsing.
For my first annual presentation at Pet Memorial Sunday I told the story of My Loss and Redemption.
And how They Rescued Me.
Read more of my stories from decades of rescuing and fostering cats, with a few from other rescuers mixed in: Rescue Stories.
Art and Gifts Featuring Cats You Know!
Feline Images from Portraits of Animals!
It was a scene I loved for my love of my garden, my appreciation of Mimi relaxing in a place she’d once hunted for food to feed her kittens, and the memory of the generations of cats before her who enjoyed that very spot, this little patio and the verdance of my garden. Read more and purchase.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!