I first posted this on July 11, 2011 when I saw Mimi in quiet contemplation at the front window. What would she be thinking about? It was one day after the fourth anniversary of losing Lucy, the day I saw Mimi once again in my garden, hunting, drinking from the water bowl, and once again carrying kittens, and decided I had to bring her in, for Lucy, for me. I had watched her struggle outside and only been able to help the other cats who lived at her house up to then. It was her turn.
. . . . . . .
Something about the light today brings back a memory…something about the time before I came here.
How long have I been here? It seems like forever, but I know it hasn’t been because I lived out there, out in the street I’m looking at, out there in all kinds of weather with noisy cars and kids after me, and I had all those babies…
That’s it, this time seven years ago I was pregnant again. Which litter? I don’t remember…
These four big black cats, my children, didn’t exist yet, but I was near to giving birth, it was hot and they were getting big and heavy, my belly was nearly dragging on the ground. It was the only thing I didn’t like about childbirth then, those last few weeks when I was a real whale of a cat, otherwise it was as easy as eating dinner…I can hardly remember what it felt like to be pregnant now.
I came over here, I was always in this yard, hunting, there was so much here, and it was so quiet and peaceful, no big dogs barking, though the dogs were always nice to me…no people arguing or loud TVs or music. I just liked to sit in the garden, but the lady usually chased me away, something about not wanting me to hunt here.
…all the cats in the windows always looked so happy. I would talk to them now and then, Kelly or Cookie or Sophie at the basement door…funny to think that now they’re my sisters, even in memory. They told me it was very nice inside, quiet, the lady was home most of the time and she loved each of them more than anything, she was like that. Everyone got special care, the food was good food. They had to stay inside…I really loved being outside, but I might be able to live without frozen paws and being chased by tomcats. I wouldn’t mind sitting at that screened basement door if it meant peace and quiet and good food.
But I always pictured myself carrying another litter of kittens in my belly, and it’s really odd how…no matter how hard I try…I can remember some parts of it, but it’s like it happened to another kitty, all those babies…and all that catting around. I have no urge to do that now, wonder what happened? I think it had something to do with that awful cutting and stapling and that horrible plastic cup on my head…really, I just about changed my mind with that, Mewsette was the only thing that kept me from heading for the door and sneaking out, and I would have done it, no kitty was better than me at sneaking out.
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, but she wasn’t here when I came in…I didn’t really understand what happened with her, but 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—even before I came in. She changed too, that’s right, she quit chasing me out of the yard and started talking to me now and then. And it did have something to do with that daughter…
And before I knew it I was inside. Okay, I remember now, I was in the box with my newborns, then the lid closed and we were apparently up in the air, then voices, then the box was set down…the flaps opened in a little square and there was the lady looking at me. It was quiet and cool, she opened the flaps and I looked around. I was…in her house. Why? Now I know, now that I’m here, but I was totally confused.
I felt that other daughter around and looked for her and so did my new mom, but I knew then she was in the rainbows that flowed across the walls and floor from the crystal in the window, spinning slowly for no apparent reason.
Life is truly magical.
Happy Homecoming Day soon, Mimi, to you and your babies.
The photo of Lucy chasing the rainbows above was taken just a few days prior to Lucy’s death from FIP on July 10, 2007. And not only had I lost Lucy just days before, but I had also lost my four oldest cats one after another in the previous year, including Stanley at age 25, and could not believe I had then lost the youngest, five cats in 18 months. The photo of Mimi on the drawing table at left was taken just a few weeks later, the day a younger Mimi came to my household, within an hour of her arrival…seven years ago today, with three-day-old kittens who you now know as the Fantastic Four, or The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse.
The rainbows did and still do swirl around the room from that crystal hanging in the window of my studio, but on that hot, still day there was only one reason for it to be moving from the moment I entered the room with Mimi and the kittens in the box, and closed the door. It’s also the only crystal I haven’t had to remove because it became a toy for four black kittens; this faceted solid crystal ball a little over 1″ in diameter, hangs where it always did, twirling and sometimes swinging in the breeze in my studio window, every day the rainbows spill across the room, yet I’ve never seen a curious and playful paw reach for it.
The big birthday is July 26, but the day most special to me and my girl Mimi is July 29, the day Mimi joined our family here, and stayed.
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Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
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Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
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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!