Tuesday, April 23, 2024
black catscat photographscatsDaily Featuredaily photofrom the archivesmr. sunshinepet lossPet Loss in the First PersonRemembering the Four Housecats of the Apocalypsesenior catsSunday

Daily Photo: Photographs and Memories, Belly-up Silly to Serious

black cat sleeping on back
Mr. Sunshine’s summer sleeping position, belly-up.

When I lost Mewsette and Jelly Bean and Giuseppe I knew as I prepared myself for the possibility of their loss what photo I’d want to use as a sort of memorial, one that was representative of their purrsonality. These are the three photos I have in the right column and at the bottom of “pet loss” articles for Mewsette’s Journey, Remembering Jelly Bean and Giuseppe’s Journey.

memorial graphic for a black cat looking in a mirror named Jelly Bean






I actually started on this process back in April 2022 when Mr. Sunshine was first diagnosed with some sort of cancer, which didn’t turn out to be an injection site sarcoma but something more insidious. I wanted to be ready just in case…and he outlived his siblings and almost two full years after the diagnosis.

black cat in cat bed
Mr. Sunshine is pleased.

But I have been thinking about it for the past couple of months knowing things would change for him soon enough. I had one particular photo in mind right away and let myself spend some time with it. But then I felt it might focus too much on who he was at the end of his life but not give time enough for who he was at the beginning.

He was a totally cute and audacious kitten with a manipulative head tilt that he went on to perfect as an adult. As the weather grew warmer he would unroll and roll over onto his back as the temperature reached 80 degrees and higher. Here is just a small selection of belly-up photos.

He had a series of decisive expressions and would have whatever treat or goodie he wanted even if he had to deftly swipe it from my hand, or cruise the counters until he’d located it.

With Green Eyes.
With Green Eyes.

He liked to play hard, though none of his siblings or any others who ever lived here did, so we always had a roll of paper towels on the kitchen floor for him to tackle and bite and bunny kick. He was a lot of fun, even for all his quiet nature.

black cat with paper towels
Mr. Sunshine subdues the roll of paper towels.

He always had the same self-contained and inventive, independent energy, but the inner strength he demonstrated in these past two years wasn’t as well developed when he was younger. I could see it when we seriously began fostering hospice cats, then socializing feral kittens about a decade ago, that quiet, sober strength that he would share with the weakened ones, and show to the kittens to learn about purrsonal space and respect with other cats.

two black cats
Up close and personal.

He took seriously quietly settling down next to the hospice kitties with his calming rumbly purr therapy, and never lift a paw to a kitten but simply sit still and make it clear that touching, which was welcomed by the other three siblings, was not appropriate with him until he had touched them first. When, after a few encounters, he did touch them, they would just about burst with pride, but also understand restraint and the way to interact with a cat who was not your wrestling buddy.

two black cats
I’m sure Mr. Sunshine only has good things in mind!

With me, oh, the eye contact that communicated so much. Not since Kublai and his training of me in understanding his thoughts have I had communication that direct and that clear.

black cat on blue table
Mr. Sunshine reflecting.

They grew together as a group, the four of them, and each of them could perfect their best abilities by combining their energies. Mr. Sunshine became the leader of sorts. Observing him through the years I joked that if he had lived life outdoors as an intact male cat he would have been very successful, noting that inner strength that was so obvious to me. So it was always there, but not until this year did I know quite how strong he was.

Spooning, Mr. Sunshine holding Mewsette.

And the sympathy card I designed with my favorite photo of his eyes when he was young.

"Mr. Sunshine's Eyes" sympathy card
“Mr. Sunshine’s Eyes” sympathy card

So I will keep looking for the photo so that I can collect the articles about him with it. I’m enjoying my own journey in this while I browse 16 years of photos.



Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Feline Artwork on Portraits of Animals

charcoal sketch of two cats sleeping
“Cuddle Boys”, charcoal pencil, 9″ x 5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Bean and Sunshine couldn’t have been any sweeter cuddling with their faces together and paws entangled on the bed. Sunshine likes to sleep on his back, and Bean is just like a ball with his toes curled. Read more and order.


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.

Subscribe to my e-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter.

© 2022 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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!





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.

One thought on “Daily Photo: Photographs and Memories, Belly-up Silly to Serious

  • 15andmeowing

    Mr. Sunshine was a handsome boy. XO


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by ExactMetrics