Where’er You Walk

Kelly the Studio Cat supervising my work from the studio windowsill.

So I had to say goodbye to another of my companions this morning, a shock, but not unexpected. Kelly went to be with her best friend Cookie, to cuddle with Peaches again and to be with her soul mate Namir, and no doubt to happily touch noses with her mentor, Moses, and rub herself on old friends Stanley and Sophie and Nikka.

I went to bed unusually early last night, and Kelly with me, also a little unusual since she spends part of each night in the bathroom to have some alone time and eat a little more without being bothered by the kids. But she walked all over me, and slept with me all night long.

pastel sketch of cat
Kelly in Warm Colors, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Just before dawn, I awoke to Kelly on my chest looking just like the painting I’d done of her, “Kelly in Warm Colors”, and a lovely piece of music on the radio, Claude Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1, its gentle glissandos like a waterfall of sound on a cool and quiet morning. I never stay in bed once I wake—it’s usually impossible once the cats know I’m awake—but even though the torturing tag team were with me and Kelly they just took other positions and let us have our time. I continued to hear some of my favorite classical pieces (a few linked below) over the next hour that Kelly and I cuddled and she purred and I daydreamed of the day to come in the studio with Kelly as my assistant, playing fake piano on her ribs, humming along with the music and singing vocal syllables so she felt the vibration in my chest much as if I was purring myself, she softly purring in return and gently flexing her paws on my chest. Such a magical morning rarely happens and while a part of me knew something was in process all was fine in that moment.

Kelly usually races down the stairs on her own paw power, even yesterday, but I carried her down to the kitchen for breakfast just because I didn’t want to let her go. She was ready for her dish when I put her on the cabinet, ate a little of her breakfast then raced back upstairs. She’s been finishing her meals in the studio lately, but I found her on my bed, in the spot where we’d been just a little while before. I kissed her and petted her, still humming, she still purring.

We’ve been battling fleas, and Kelly has had a terrible reaction to them this year. I decided not to put a dose of Frontline on her, but instead to bathe and comb her, and it was time for another bath this morning in just plain water with a chamomile tea bag added for comfort, a gentle rub down with oatmeal in a sack to cleanse and ease her skin and a rinse with plain water, no soap or other additives.

Kelly has never put up a big fight with any treatment, not even a bath, but after this bath she was weak and unsteady and didn’t try to dry her self, very unusual for my fastidious Kelly. I wrapped her in a towel and sopped up as much water as I could, but even with that she laid on the towel for a few minutes breathing somewhat rapidly, and I made preparations to call the emergency clinic if she didn’t recover. In a few minutes she took a few licks at herself, then hopped up to the toilet to the sink to the windowsill, though shaky, and looked out the window.

I took her temperature as I’d been doing almost daily for the past week, just to keep track of it. Only 95 degrees, could that be right? It had been 101.7 on Thursday. She was walking, then weak and falling down, and meowing that frightened, fateful meow. Even the kids had their hackles raised, and big round eyes. I ran to call emergency and get a carrier, and off we went.

She made it there though I knew it was touch and go, and after I’d left the safety of our house I knew she likely would not be coming back, but she was yowling as we walked in the door. They did try to stabilize her but her anemia was so severe and her breathing so labored; by the type of anemia, much more severe than fleas would cause, they guessed some sort of cancer like bone or blood, possibly lymphoma, but she also seemed to be having seizures so it could have been even brain cancer, or something that had spread to her brain. Everything happened to her at once and where she’d been compensating for a growing number of conditions, she could no longer hold them off and as we say, she just “crashed”. There was no way I could even take her home. At least I was with her at her last moments, and could bring her back to spend a few hours in our house.

I could feel her little spirit with me on the way home, though, and I actually thought she was hopping curiously around the car and kept looking behind me to make sure she was okay. I’m sure she was glad to be free of her body, and going home.

The five black cats gather to see Kelly (Mewsette already paid her respects).

Mimi knew as soon as I walked in the door. I could tell by the expression on her face, and the others looked puzzled. They visited her in the kitchen, and have monitored me every moment since my return in my bedroom and in the studio as I spent time with her, and have been writing up her story.

While I was at my desk calling the emergency hospital to tell them I’d be bringing Kelly, I also e-mailed Ingrid King for a long-distance reiki session for Kelly. Whatever was about to happen, I knew it would help support Kelly; I’d been contacting Ingrid for occasional distance reiki sessions for Cookie from January 2011 until her death in February 2012, and a few sessions for Kelly since then, as a complement to their regular health care. I found Ingrid’s return e-mail when I arrived home with a report of Kelly’s reaction to the reiki saying that she got a sense of fear and blocked energy in Kelly’s chest, including, “Halfway through the session, I felt what I can best describe as an ‘energetic sigh.’ Her energy seemed to calm down, and she continued to pull a lot of Reiki.” That was just about the moment Kelly transitioned from this world to the next. I let Ingrid know that, and was glad my delicate, frightened little Kelly had that extra support on her way.

The bath had nothing to do with her passing, but sometimes when they are holding on to the last thread of life the slightest trauma can turn into a crisis. Years ago I took Sophie for x-rays of her chest to see where a mass was and plan for any possible treatments, but she went into respiratory arrest and they couldn’t safely take her off oxygen. It’s a shock, even when you know something is underlying their condition, to see them living and active one minute and critically failing the next, but they were close enough to the end that something would have pushed them over. In the end, I’m always glad they were in my hands and not home alone when this happened, or that they didn’t have the chance to wander off and get lost in the house (as I thought Kelly may have done back in June) or hurt themselves falling down steps or missing a leap.

Mysterious Kelly

Losing Kelly is not as surprising as it may seem, though I haven’t said anything, just observed Kelly and watched for symptoms. I’ve discussed her condition with my veterinarian, and for the last few days and weeks, especially, I knew something serious was happening with her, too many little things happening, a spiking fever, uneven appetite, even back to the mild heat stroke in July, but it’s been hard to pin down symptoms but I’ve recorded them to tell my vet. Even through all that, she ate well and enthusiastically, ran up and down the stairs, did her fantastic leaps onto the refrigerator and counters and wherever she wanted to go, until the last two days. I was taking notes on oddities I saw, the little wheeze I felt and sometimes heard in her breathing now and then, the increasing anemia.

I have at times felt such an intense loneliness from Kelly since Cookie died, and while I’ve felt sadness now and then from Kelly through the years, it’s been present constantly since then. In the past five year she’s never grown accustomed to Mimi and the kids, she lost all her friends, and even with me doting on her she is one kitty who loves me but loves other cats better. And that’s always been fine.

I considered looking for a senior buddy for Kelly, but Kelly has shown symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, and possibly lymphoma, for a few years and I didn’t want to stress her with any more changes. Back in the spring, in February following Cookie’s death, Kelly took a big turn for the worse, her bowels spewing some pretty foul stuff, and she pretty much quit eating, even the mainstay, baby food. It was too soon after Cookie to just give in, and because Kelly had always loved the raw meat I’d given her and Cookie and would eat that when she wouldn’t eat anything else, I decided to find what raw diets I could and begin to feed her that. She ate it as if there was no tomorrow, eating about twice what seemed likely for a seven pound cat but I let her eat as much as she wanted.

At about this time thought I’d better get her life story out there and I began writing “A Little Bit About Kelly”, which grew from a one-post rescue story into a five-part series. She sat on my lap through the writing of all five parts, very pleased, I think.

By April the bowel issues cleared up and Kelly was the happy and active Kelly you’ve seen in photos and sketches for the past few months. She’s been a little dehydrated now and then, and I kept sub-q fluids on hand to infuse her about once per week. And except for right around the hottest weather in June, she ate her breakfast and dinner, and her Senior Tortie Lunch Special, every single day. Yesterday morning she raced down to the kitchen before anyone else and was waiting for breakfast.

sketch of cat drinking water
Kelly Has a Drink, colored pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

But it’s been an intuitive feeling lately more than symptoms. In the past few days I’ve felt that odd exhaustion that I’ve come to know is part of my connection with them as they compensate but can’t hide the fact their body is slowing down, and I feel it. Though Kelly’s been eating and running around, I’ve sensed a distinct feel of unease from her, and my always agile and graceful long-legged tortie has occasionally knocked things over, or even missed a leap.

I’ve been working on “A Little Bit About Kelly” for the past two months, organizing it, illustrating it, and recording it for publication as a print, e-reader and audio book, and Kelly has been with me all the way in the studio. I was looking forward to a book tour with Kelly, at least a virtual book tour, and hoping that whatever was happening with her would hold off long enough for her to enjoy the limelight for a bit. Even if she didn’t make it to the end, I’m glad I recorded the story of the lost little stray or feral kitty who was adopted from the shelter at the last minute, and through a series of felines who taught her valuable lessons and in loving homes finally learned to love and trust, and how good it felt to curl up on a lap.

tortoiseshell cat on lap
There is nothing so content as a cat who owns your lap.

And ironically, last night as I was falling asleep with Kelly I remembered earlier in the day when I was posting my daily photos and sketch and Kelly was happily bathing and relaxing on my lap and thought, “There is nothing so content as a cat who owns your lap.” Thinking of how Kelly had gone from flighty and fearful to the kitty then purring on my chest, I decided I’d share that thought the very next day on Facebook. I will do that, in memory of Kelly.

And now, I live with five cats. Two years ago, I lived with ten. All are now black, then they were black and tortie and calico and tabby. As I wrote in The Alchemy of Love, I no longer think of my cats in groups, but of all of them together as a family, and each of them as individuals within that family. Kelly’s place has not changed. You will still see photos of Kelly regularly, and I will certainly finish her book, the story of so many lost and forgotten cats, to the benefit of all. I know she would like that, and I know she will be with me in my studio as I do.

I’m going to take a few days off now. I am in good hands. See you in a while. In the meantime, read about Kelly and look at plenty of sketches and photos.

Mewsette and Bean observe from the bathroom.
Giuseppe peeks over the monitor as Kelly did.
Sunshine keeps vigil on the easel stool.

The music I was listening to this morning…

It brings the moments back as I listen to it now. I named the post for the lyrics of the first piece listed here. Surely all things will flourish where Kelly turns her green eyes.

Where’er you walk, aria from Semele, George Friedrich Handel (the version I enjoy is an instrumental, this is a well-done trumpet solo)

Where’er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade;
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade.
Where’er you tread, the blushing flow’rs shall rise,
And all things flourish where’er you turn your eyes.

Arabesque No. 1, Claude Debussy

Pavane and Gigue, William Byrd, orchestral arrangement by Leopold Stokowski

Ave Verum Corpus, Gabriel Fauré

Kegelstatt Trio: 3rd movement, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart



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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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats.

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74 thoughts on “Where’er You Walk

  • August 9, 2015 at 9:40 pm
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    As you uncharacteristically lazed in bed that last morning, Kelly shared a monumental connection with you. She knew she was preparing to say goodbye.

    You had given her everything, filled her to the brim with love, and she was ready to release herself from a blessedly brief struggle.

    Her spirit is in you.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2015 at 9:44 pm
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      Meg, you are exactly right. It felt like a timeless time, so unusual, that one hour. That time was one of the things that prepared me for what was to come, though. I think if I’d just gotten up as usual and fed breakfast and then Kelly collapsed, I would never have resolved my guilt because I wouldn’t have that time to remember. I take care to do that now with everyone, no running off and thinking I’ll talk to them later.

      Reply
      • August 9, 2015 at 9:48 pm
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        No feelings of guilt. You did nothing wrong. Kelly wants you to be happy with her memories.

        Reply
        • August 9, 2015 at 10:36 pm
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          I know. It’s easier each year. I just have to let it play out.

          Reply
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  • August 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm
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    I am so very sorry to hear of you loss. Losing a loved one is never easy. It was nice you had some good quality time before she passed.

    My deepest condolences.

    Reply
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  • August 17, 2012 at 9:50 am
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    Oh how sorry I am to hear about Kelly going to be with Cookie and Peaches and Namir and Stanley and all the others. How happy she will be to see Cookie again. It’s just so heartbreaking to lose them, even when you have been preparing yourself. We lost our Chloe two weeks ago – we had adopted her at Christmas 2010 when she was 14 and was surrendered with her sister to the spca and I said no one would adopt 14 year old kitties. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in the spring but was doing well at her recent vet visit and then suddenly stopped eating. She went to the vet twice but was going downhill fast and was diagnosed the day before she died with lung cancer. We had seen no sign of it. I hated to have to take her to the vet for her euthanasia and have decided that in the future we will find someone who will do it at home. I’m just glad that Chloe had a loving home the last 18 months so her life was happy. Our 16 year old Jenny who died from oral squamos cell last October was there to meet her I’m sure. Kelly was so lucky to have you and Cookie to love. We send you prayers and peace.

    Reply
    • August 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm
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      Karen, I’m so sorry about Chloe. Who would think about lung cancer in a cat? And it’s hard enough to diagnose in a human. And you just lost Jenny in October? It has been a difficult time. There’s nothing that makes it easier but at least thinking they’ve met their old friend and others softens it a bit. Thinking of you.

      Reply
  • August 17, 2012 at 6:59 am
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    I am so very sorry. I loved Kelly. She reminded me of a feral that I fed before moving out here and I always wonder how she is doing. I know that Kelly is in great company and has great comfort while she waits for you. Again, so sorry.
    zora

    Reply
    • August 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm
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      Zora, thanks so much for visiting. I miss her so much, and following Cookie so closely my house is very different. But I know they are all together and I have my memories plus new artwork to do in their name.

      Reply
  • August 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm
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    Hey it’s Jet here. Hi Miss Bernadette.

    Savannah, from Savannah’s Paw Tracks and Miss Linda shared with us today, that you lost Kelly this past week. We wanted to share our deepest condolences. Your post was so beautiful and matched your exquisite artwork of Kelly.

    We found comfort knowing that Kelly will be Over the Rainbow Bridge ready to greet our sweet boy, Fluffy, who crossed today.

    Reply
    • August 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm
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      Jet, I am so sorry to hear about Fluffy, but glad that Kelly could greet him, and Cookie too. I’m sure they are still working together as a team. I haven’t been reading as much lately and missed it. We all send you love and light, and we’ll think about Fluffy, knowing they are all out there together.

      Reply
  • August 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm
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    I am so ashamed I have not visited for a bit. I did not know of Kelly’s passing.It is like losing my precious Tasha all over again. Almost a similar last time spent snuggling, and then she had to go. I know you treasure all you fur babies Bernadette, and I believe Kelly was special. And I am not sure what else I have missed, but apparently Cookie is gone as well? I will go back over your posts I have missed. If that is so, then I am just devastated at my lack of visiting regularly. Warm hugs, Linda, Savannah’s Mom.

    Reply
    • August 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm
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      Linda, don’t be ashamed, you were visiting shelters and were away. Kelly was very special, and I’m glad I had at least a little time with just her and me, but she never felt right alone, and never felt a part of the kids. I actually think she lived longer than she expected, and we shared some very special time.

      Reply
  • August 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm
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    Dear Bernadette,

    I am so sorry for your loss. Kelly was a beautiful cat with the most beautiful emerald green eyes. When you pictured her on your website that is the first thing I saw were her green eyes. She made any background that she was pictured in. She looked a little sad to me though but I know she couldn’t have had a better life with you! You are a GREAT MOM!

    I always enjoy your stories of all the kitties you have and look forward to reading about them every day.

    You and your family are in my prayers and thoughts.

    Kelly will be missed

    Love,

    Sharon

    Reply
    • August 15, 2012 at 12:19 am
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      Sharon, thank you for your kind words. I know Kelly had her challenges though I’ll never know their source, but I do know that she tried every single day to be happy and content despite her fears, and I did my best to help her with that and lover her no matter. You know from Penny that they visit us for both their own reasons and ours as well, and each of us goes on the better for it.

      I’m glad you enjoy reading about them. I love to share them, all of them.

      Reply
  • August 14, 2012 at 9:11 am
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    I am so, so sorry to hear of Kelly’s passing. My heart is aching as I live through your haunting, touching, sweet, and heartfelt words. While very sad, I am grateful you were with Kelly to give her peace and comfort as she made her journey to the Rainbow Bridge to be with her beloved feline friends. I look forward to your book and I offer blessings and comfort to you and the gang of five who will miss her very much.

    Reply
    • August 14, 2012 at 9:32 am
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      Thanks, Deb. Of all the kitties who shared my life, Kelly came a long, long way and I believe in those last hours truly finished her cycle of growth. Though it was painful to see her loneliness I’m glad she and I had a few months together, just the two of us.

      Reply
  • August 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm
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    We are so very sorry about Kelly. Purrs to you all….. Safe Journey and we know she was warmly greeted across the Bridge. No matter the outcome, the time you spent with her was priceless….

    Reply
    • August 14, 2012 at 8:40 am
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      For the little kitty who began so frightened years ago it’s wonderful to know that she went off with so much love and had such friends to welcome her.

      Reply
  • August 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm
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    Bernadette, I am so sorry for your loss. I will pray for Kelly’s soul on the other side, with her sister Miss Queen Cookie. You and the Fab 5 took such wonderful care of Cookie and Kelly as they aged. Thank you for that, and thank you for sharing their lives with us.

    Reply
    • August 14, 2012 at 8:38 am
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      Susan, thanks for sharing Kelly’s life in reading about her and enjoying her photos and sketches. I know she’s glad to see all her best friends.

      Reply
  • August 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm
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    I’m so sorry, Bernadette. I read this post yesterday, but I didn’t want to acknowledge Kelly’s passing … I didn’t want to know that it was true.

    Today I can reply with my sympathies.

    Dear Little Kelly, I sure enjoyed reading about you, and will miss you, even though you were not my kitty, and you lived thousands of miles away from where I am.

    Reply
    • August 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm
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      Pam, thank you. It’s still hard for me to believe, but I’m so glad I shared her with everyone while she was here to enjoy it. I know it made her last years different for a shy little kitty accustomed to being behind the others. You’ll still see her, though.

      Reply
  • August 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm
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    Bernadette, I’m so sad for you and Kelly but am comforted to hear that you two had some very dear and precious last moments together, sharing heart to heart while listening to beautiful music. It’s wonderful to know that Ingrid helped Kelly in her transition, as well. Thank you for sharing all you have about beautiful Kelly. Many of us have gotten to know and love this special kitty through your art, writing and photography. She will be remembered and loved by many. I am so grateful to have a print of Kelly in Warm Colors and can feel her at peace now with the rest of the dear cat family that has gone before her. Thoughts, prayers and warm hugs to you and the Fabulous Five.

    Reply
    • August 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm
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      Susan, I had to share those last moments, in part because what happened was such a shock. And I had no idea that would be Ingrid’s role, but I know Kelly was ready for it. I love knowing you have a print of one of my favorite paintings of her. I know she’s happy again with all her old friends. I think the Five are now ready to assume their leadership roles.

      Reply
  • August 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm
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    Bernadette, I’m so sorry for your loss. Kelly sounds like she was a wonderful companion during her time with you. It’s wonderful that you had special time with her on the morning that she passed – and how fitting were the words to the music you were listening to. Be kind to yourself over the next few days – it’s such a difficult time. Love and prayers from me to you, Margaret.

    Reply
    • August 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm
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      Margaret, it’s almost like a dream now, and Kelly and I didn’t have many of those magic moments as I did with the other cats, but I know it all happened as if it was planned. I’ve been remembering all day today, and just visiting the studio.

      Reply
  • August 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm
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    Oh, Bernadette – Holding You and Kelly so tenderly in my thoughts. What an incredible journey for the both of you yesterday. May those special moments offer some comfort in the days to come. What a beautiful post and tribute.

    Reply
    • August 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm
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      Anita, I have her lovely photo on my computer upstairs, right in front of that very window and where we spent so much time together, and I listen to the music.

      Reply
  • August 12, 2012 at 10:34 am
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    Dear Bernadette, I am so sorry to read about your loss. I felt so sad reading your beautiful tribute to Kelly. It reminds me of loosing Jones a month ago. It’s always so painful. Take care Bernadette. We’re thinking of you and Kelly.

    Reply
    • August 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm
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      Herman, thank you. I am so honored she finally came to trust me.

      Reply
  • August 12, 2012 at 9:50 am
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    Bernadette, I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful testament to your beloved cat friend, and I’m so grateful that you were able to share that last time together. It’s really a sacred time, when a cat transitions out of this world and into the next, and it’s an honor and privilege to be able to walk that path with them. Love and compassion to you and your remaining kitty family. <3

    Reply
    • August 12, 2012 at 10:12 am
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      JaneA, I will always remember those precious hours with Kelly, as if time stopped for us. I work with a house call vet and usually if it’s time for euthanasia it’s with all of us around and I’m a little better prepared even if it’s unexpected, but I’m sure Kelly and I were given that time together in preparation for the circumstances to come.

      Reply
  • August 12, 2012 at 9:13 am
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    Also, the image of all the sombre sad faces looking on at their dear little Kelly’s still form in the kitchen is one I will never ever forget. God Love Her.
    Glad to think she has friends minding her now as she gets used to her new existence.

    Reply
  • August 12, 2012 at 8:54 am
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    I’m So Sorry for the loss of your Dear little Kelly, Bernadette.
    Before I started reading, I had just been admiring how much of her character you had caught in her expression in your ‘Kelly The Art Cat’ photo. I’m Glad that you both had that wonderfully gentle interlude this morning, tucked in together in the bed, listening to beautiful music.. treasurig each others company and your shared Life together. And that you were there with her at the end.. keeping her safe.. as she passed. She was Lucky to have been one of your family, when she needed you most.
    Thinking of You All, Dear Hearts xxx

    Reply
    • August 12, 2012 at 9:12 am
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      Annie, thanks so much. That’s one of my most favorite photos of all time, feline or any other subject. Because Kelly was so timid I always tried to catch her “in a good light” to help bring her happy thoughts from those who looked at her photos and sketches.

      Reply
  • August 12, 2012 at 12:14 am
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    Can hardly see the keyboard for the tears. Tears for you and your special baby Kelly. I didn’t know of her until today but I know the connection you had. I also have a loving rescue Torti, Happy Cat. Until today, I have made arrangements for her in a Trust and made sure friends and neighbors will make the call to get her picked up to go to her new home. I hadn’t even thought about her going first. She was about 2 when I got her in ’04. She should have more years left than I do. Bernadette, so sorry for your loss. She must have had some comfort with you there. You write from the heart and I and others will have Kelly in our hearts as we read more about her.

    Reply
    • August 12, 2012 at 9:16 am
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      Bobby, I’m so sorry we had to meet on a sad note, but I’m so glad you got to meet Kelly. And I certainly hope you have more years left than you think, but I’m glad you’ve made arrangements for Happy Cat–and that you rescued her!

      Reply
  • August 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm
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    I am so very, very sorry for your loss. What a blessing those last cuddling times must be.

    Reply
  • August 11, 2012 at 10:44 pm
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    Awwww Bernadette, we are so sorry to read that.
    It is an immensely beautiful tribute to Kelly that you wrote and it brought tears to our eyes.
    I’m sure it was comforting for her that you were with her at that time.
    She was a beautiful kitty and it is evident from the pictures you shared and the story you told that she knew she was loved.
    We are looking forward to reading her book. We hope we could do something to help in any way. We will start by reading the posts about her in her memory. And we’re sending you lots and lots of warm thoughts, virtual hugs and purrs.
    Carine, Texas and family

    Reply
    • August 12, 2012 at 9:18 am
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      Texas, it’s been wonderful to get to know you, and I know you recently had a loss as well. I guess it’s our lot, loving animals, who just don’t live as long as us no matter the conditions. You will still see Kelly, just as you’ve been seeing Cookie and Namir and even Peaches who’ve moved on to the next life.

      Reply
  • August 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm
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    hugs to u, Bernadette…i know just what u are going thru having lost 4 of my senior dogs this year one after the other…2 of them totally unexpectedly even though they were seniors…just as Kelly went all of a sudden…my heart weeps with urs..may she rest in peace knowing how much she was loved..

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    • August 12, 2012 at 9:21 am
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      Peggy, thanks for visiting. I lost my four oldest friends in on year, 2006, including Stanley who was about 25, then a few months later lost my kitten, Lucy, to FIP at 15 months. Those seniors are some of the ones Kelly was missing. Lucy is one of Mimi’s daughters from earlier litter before she moved in with me, and she is the reason I have Mimi and the Fantastic Four. But I think Kelly finally learned by the last few years that I adored her all along.

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  • August 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm
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    My heart aches for you and your kitty family this evening!I am a “Mom” to three Tortie girls who have passed and three who live in our heart and home today. I have come to the conclusion that Tortie’s are not only special in colors, but they have a incredibly special magical way to get into your heart and that’s where they stay! Thanks for sharing Kelly’s magic with all of us!

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    • August 12, 2012 at 9:23 am
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      Hi, girls! Yes, they do, especially those rescues. I’m so glad I got to share my beautiful, shy Kelly.

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  • August 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm
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    Dear Bernadette, I am so sorry and sad for your loss. What a wonderful last evening your Kelly & you had together ~ I can just imagine your waking up with that precious tortie on your chest. We love our cats and get such pleasure & happiness from them but they also love us & live good lives with us.
    Blessings to you & your black cat family, Alice

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    • August 12, 2012 at 9:28 am
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      Alice, thanks for wishing us well. I will always go back and listen to that music and remember those moments. I am currently being well monitored and cuddled by those black cats, though it will be a while before I am accustomed to my new household.

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  • August 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm
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    Bernadette, what a wonderful mom you have been to Kelly. She loved you so. I was so happy to spend time with you and Kelly and the others. Kelly welcome and talkative voice and manner was a wonderful thing for me to hear. She must have been telling me of what a great life she had with Cookie and you and all the others. Prayers and tears, Bernadette. What can I say. She is with her beloved Cookie and your Peaches. Take all the days off you need. I believe you gave me some excellent advice not so long ago. I am a phone call away.

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    • August 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm
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      Bernie, thanks so much, and I’m so glad you got to meet her when you were here. Meet her–she greeted you at the door! My little formerly feral fraid of everyone kitty certainly turned around in her later years! That made me happier than anything, to see Kelly confident and unafraid with people. Going from ten cats to five in two years will be about as hard as you going from one cat to four.

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  • August 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm
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    Bernadette, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear, sweet Kelly…I know she had such a wonderful life with you, and was so very much loved by you, and by all of us who read your words and view your sketches daily.

    I sill be keeping Kelly, Cookie, and you in my prayers – sending light and love out to you now. Kelly is happy now, together again with her dear Cookie, and welcomed by my sweet Teaka, and all our other beloved and never forgotten torties who have previously crossed the bridge.

    (((((Hugs)))))

    Denise

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    • August 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm
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      Denise, they are all one big family, and the ones who lived with me will never cease to inspire me to create beauty in their image. Thanks for the candle in her memory too.

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  • August 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm
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    It was such an honor to be allowed to help Kelly transition. My heart hurts for you, and I have tears running down my face as I’m reading this wonderful tribute to her. You’re in my thoughts and prayers as you mourn her loss and remember your time together. Even though you already know that she’s not really gone, it’s still hard to not have her physical presence.

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    • August 11, 2012 at 9:01 pm
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      Ingrid, if this had to happen, I’m glad it happened as it did. Who would know the timing work for all of it? Kelly wasn’t like Cookie, who practically gave me a report of how she felt and what would likely happen that day, but she had her own ways of working with the universe, after all look at all the lucky timing in her story!

      Thanks for taking the time at the last minute, for both Kelly and Cookie. I don’t know what I would have done without you.

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  • August 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm
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    I’m so sorry to hear about Kelly, Bernadette. I’m glad you were able to spend some special time with her before she left. Now she is with Cookie and her other friends again, and you will always have the lovely photos, drawings, and paintings of your time together. I’ll be thinking of you both. xo

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    • August 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm
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      Vicki, thank you. I might have posted a little extra in the past few months, but that was just to make sure she got positive energy from everyone, and I think it worked.

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  • August 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm
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    Dear B. I’m so sorry for your loss. Kelly was a beautiful tortie girl. I very much enjoyed reading they story of her…… and Cookie too. Please know that I will have you in my thoughts and prayers…….and the rest of the kitty family too.

    Kimberly

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    • August 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm
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      Kimberly, thank you, and thanks for reading all my stories about them. I’d be so sad right now if no one knew about Kelly. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

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  • August 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm
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    I am so sorry, Bernadette, but glad that you were with Kelly at the end. I get that she missed Cookie and wanted to be with her and the rest of her old gang: Circe never really recovered from Phoenix’s death, and she was much younger.
    I am glad that you shared Kelly’s story with us and that you’ll be finishing her book. I can’t think of a better tribute.

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    • August 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm
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      Tammy, I never felt so much sadness from a cat after she’d gotten accustomed to living with a household. Sadness at the beginning, yes, but I knew there was nothing I could do but be with her and hope for the best.

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  • August 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm
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    Dear Bernadette, my heart aches for you. I don’t know how you found the strength to share with us as you did today. I lost my Bobbi almost ten years ago in circumstances somewhat similar to Kelly’s passing. They know they’re going and you do, too. Kelly was such a beautiful girl, and I thank you for sharing her with us. You have my condolences and empathy, as I know what it’s like to lose one’s “heart cat” (as my girls’ vet has called some of her departed cats). Ateret lost her best friend five years ago, so she could empathize with how Kelly felt after losing Cookie. We send you our love and fond embraces of support and friendship. Stephanie, Ateret, Livia and Abbi

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    • August 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm
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      Thank you girls, I’ve just met you and we have so much to share. I remember the story of Ateret, it was one of the first I read on your site. I’m so glad I had the chance to share Kelly with you.

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      • August 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm
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        My first cat was a tortoiseshell. I’ve got a particular affinity for them. I hope to talk to you one day when you’re feeling better. You’re such a wonderful artist, and I’d love to have a portrait of my Bobbi done. I often think I should write the story in more detail about Tereza and Ateret, but then I start to cry. Kelly would be so happy if you finish your book. She’s now with Cookie and all our dear ones who are waiting for us. Again, we here embrace you from afar in your time of grief.

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