A New Sympathy Card

sympathy card with siamese cat     Never enough time but time enough to love.
A new sympathy card, dedicated to Lakota.

As I’d planned, I’ve designed and dedicated a new animal sympathy card to the memory of Lakota. For all that he meant to so many people, I am glad to be able to share him with the world and give others the chance to share him and his message as well.

I take the use of an animal’s image seriously, especially with my sympathy cards, never presuming they want to represent what I have to say; for that reason I always feel most comfortable using the images of animals I know well, mostly those who’ve lived with me.

Lakota and I both knew he was on borrowed time from the day he came here and I knew our journey would be brief. It was, in fact, longer than I thought it would be. I knew when I took this series of photos that they were special, and as it turns out, they were the last good photos I managed to get of the big guy. Trying to capture his friendly and engaging nature and that big fuzzy teddy bear physique I knew these images would become other works, a painting someday, and also a sympathy card.

Use this card to celebrate the adoption of senior cats

I use my sympathy cards, as do others, for intents other than the passing of an animal companion. They are used for human sympathy cards as well as friendship and thinking-of-you cards for people who love cats and other animals. Those of you who knew Lakota will recognize the reference to time, that he was 20 and only lived with me for six weeks, but more than enough time to become a part of my life. Lakota’s card is also dedicated to the importance of adopting senior cats, knowing they deserve a loving home as well as any kitten and perhaps more considering their needs, and when adopting or fostering we should all consider these senior cats, experienced at love and life, for the treasures they hold in their golden years, months, or days.

I hope that Lakota’s card can also be used to let others know you’ve made the commitment to adopt or foster a senior cat, or to congratulate someone who has done so, because even though we may never feel it’s enough time, there is always time enough to love. You can find Lakota’s card in my Etsy shop.

About my sympathy cards

animal sympathy cards
The set of sympathy cards.

As an artist I turn my emotions into creative output. Thus it is with the grief I’ve felt at the losses of my cats through the years. After receiving many sympathy cards I realized that not too many are focused on the loss of an animal companion, and I vowed to create a line of sympathy cards drawn on my own experiences that would feature photos and paintings of my cats and others’ animal companions as well as artwork and photos not focused on any species.

It wasn’t until after I’d lost Namir in July 2009 that I was suddenly moved to start designing, and when the task was done I had a dozen different sympathy cards. Each of the cats depicted was or is one of mine and the dog, Tika, I came to know through a friend and her animal memorial project.

Lakota’s card is the first new one since that year. I’ve also found that other cards outside this series are also used for sympathy cards, and as I mentioned above these sympathy cards are used for other greeting purposes. I’m so pleased to serve six veterinary hospitals around the country, four of them cat-specific, with wholesale orders of my sympathy cards. It also brings me joy to know the cats I loved are still out there doing their magic on others.

You can read more about my sympathy cards and see all the designs on my regular website, and you can also find the original set of a dozen sympathy cards in my Etsy shop. With the addition of Lakota’s card I’m going to organize different sets and take the time to list them each individually.

If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, each week I feature a piece of artwork on Wednesday and a new product on Thursday. Choose the category for featured artwork.


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

cats for adoption

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile 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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From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

19 thoughts on “A New Sympathy Card

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  • August 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Each day is a blessing. I look at the “elder girls” in wonder. MacKenzie, now 18, has come SO FAR from that “very frightened cat” at Animal Friends so many, many years ago. Molly, 17, doesn’t let being blind and deaf stand in her way of ruling her realm (or enjoying her food). They won’t be here forever, but in a way they will…. They have left their pawprints on my soul.

    • August 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      As my cats aged, all my old friends, I remember looking at them and thinking that I knew them longer than I’d known most of the people in my life. And for the rest of my life, I have a fondness for cats who look like them because I loved them so much.

  • August 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    mom B….lakota is bee yond happee ewe haz done this for him…..heez braggin ta R pal “frank” rite now bout hiz card…


    sauce of fishbone RB cloud 777315
    dude K RB cloud 777313

    • August 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Tabbies, I’m sure the guys are having a party up there right now.

  • August 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    We love Lakota’s card. How many times Maxie tucks his head in exactly the same way! That telegraphs just how content he was in those last six weeks. It’s such a gift to channelgrif in a way that helps others’ grief too. Purrs…

    • August 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      I’m so glad I could do provide that happy place for him, and I hope others find consolation in that happy moment. Designing these cards is therapy for me too…

  • August 23, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Glad you are memorializing him in this way, Bernadette. I enjoyed reading about him and I think the caption is perfect.

    • August 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      Sued, thanks so much, especially on the caption. What I started out with was soooo long, as always, and I let tried out abbreviated versions one after the other, but I never really know if it works until I get it out there.

  • August 22, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Lakota was a gorgeous kitty. That would have broken Mom’s heart to have made him a part of her family just to have him leave in six weeks later. Mom needs lots of sympathy cards. In her age group, friends are passing all the time. Thanks for creating these. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

    • August 22, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      Kitties Blue, I know that even Emeraude won’t be with me a lifetime, but that’s one of the reasons I took them in. Loss is painful and frightening, but all my other kitties have taught me not to fear it.

  • August 22, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    It is a wonderful card, Bernadette, and a fitting tribute to a fine old gentleman cat.

    • August 22, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      Tammy, he was one of those cats with a huge purrsonality, and anyone could see it right away.

  • August 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I had looked through your Etsy shop and somehow overlooked your sympathy cards before. I wish I had seen them earlier, since I wandered around a lot of stores recently looking for cat sympathy cards and ended up purchasing one I wasn’t happy with. I was resigned to making my own so I would have some on hand for the inevitable next time, but this is so much better! Thank you, Bernadette.


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