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Rescue Story: The Weed Wacker Kittens, 2017

...and the Weed Wacker kittens!
…and the Weed Wacker kittens!

For three years, 2017, 2018 and 2019, I created a calendar as a fundraiser for Pittsburgh C.A.T. I really enjoyed the whole process, from photographing the cats and kittens to writing up the rescue stories to designing and having the whole thing printed and distributing.

The photo above is one of my absolute favorites and so fun to capture. The woman fostering these five was and still is one of our main bottle feeders and had a room full of kittens all about the same age, and all either bouncing off the walls or investigating me and my camera bag. We played and played until they started to pause a bit in between play sessions, and then I started photographing. But I still can’t believe I got these five all lined up, twice, with no blurs! I wanted to share this photo again, and why not the whole rescue story?

Here’s their story.


Meet McGhee, Parker, Violet, Thistle and Sparrow, the “weed wacker kittens”. That may sound foreboding, but it all ends well. Thanks to compassion and the commitment of volunteer rescuers they are alive and healthy and their mom will never have to worry about kittens again.

A worker was clearing overgrowth on a property to be renovated and found a litter of newborn kittens; seeing he’d accidentally injured them he took them immediately to the management office. The manager knew of us and contacted us right away. Because a few of the kittens were injured they could not be left until their mom came back, but got medical attention and went to a bottle feeder.

But mom was not to be left behind—she would miss her kittens, they needed her nurturing, and she could still reproduce. Rescuers set traps and watched for two days to find her. It was pretty clear she was the tortie who wandered around crying to break your heart even when rescuers showed her her kittens, until she went into the trap.

She was reunited and was a great mom but had no interest at all in being a housecat so was spayed and released when kittens were eight weeks old.

All the kittens survived, but Violet did lose her right ear, Parker was unintentionally ear-tipped, and Sparrow lost an eye. The worker whose quick decision to get care for them is thrilled they all survived, and the manager has joined Pittsburgh C.A.T. to transport fosters wherever they need to go.

So let’s hear it for the amazing people who didn’t think twice about making this right a top priority, from the lawn guy to the property manager to everyone in Pittsburgh C.A.T. who organized the rescue and treatment of the kittens, and the trapping of mom—and believe me, I rarely hang out on Facebook, but I couldn’t tear myself away from that whole conversation.

And besides that, aren’t they darling?!

Five cute kittens!
Five cute kittens!

I’m in LOVE!! Meet Violet, a petite but fearless dilute tortie kitten. Yes, she is missing her right ear, but that doesn’t stop her. She is one of the stars of Pittsburgh CAT’s rescue calendar in a rescued litter we call the weed wacker kittens.

Meet Violet!
Meet Violet!

The 2018 calendar cover

Pittsburgh CAT Calendar cover.
Pittsburgh CAT Calendar cover.

Read more about Pittsburgh C.A.T.

Read other posts about the calendar rescue stories.

Read more stories in my weekly Rescue Stories series and read about my Rescue Stories series.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals

Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals!

Feline Gifts from Portraits of Animals!

cat book trio
Cat Book Trio

I find my feline inspirations in my rescues. Here’s a trio of books of my artwork and also with some stories. Read more.


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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© 2022 | | 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.

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