Thursday, July 25, 2024
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The Amazing Mr. Sunshine

I have been fussing around with a memory image for Mr. Sunshine and I think I’ve finally got it right for him. He was, I’ll say, more complex than the others. It’s hard to explain. While he played and napped and wrestled and co-groomed his siblings, he would often catch my eye and his expression would tell me he was the adult in the room, at least among his siblings. But he had a killer head tilt from the time he was a baby that was so cute it could make me babble. (Click here to read the post with the photos below.)

And he was very playful, going around the house and using all the toys, and he was the most important cat in the room. But they each had their roles in that litter: Mewsette was guileless, Giuseppe was overly emotional, Jelly Bean was cute no matter what he did, and he did a lot. Mr. Sunshine participated in everything, but underlying it all he was the rock. An amazing rock by the time we got to the end of it.

So choosing his photo was hard enough to begin with. I have some favorite photos of each of them like those I used for Jelly Bean and Giuseppe that are from years ago, but they still capture each of them. I chose a very recent one for Mewsette—she loved the green wicker loveseat, but when she loved something she loved it all the way, and there were many thing through her life that she loved that way every day and I got photos of those, but what her photo needed to express was her beauty and her boundless joy and love.

Here are some favorite photos of Mr. Sunshine that I think really capture his purrsonality from the age of 18 months to just the past few years that I considered.

Then the second group as I narrowed it down.

…trying to capture his gravity and his sweetness.

In the end I chose the photo of him from him and Mimi and Giuseppe on the pallet in the garden that I took on a gorgeous colorful day last October, the same one I used to share that he’d gone on to his next life. Mr. Sunshine is confident up there, poised and relaxed, smelling the flower, and I just love it. Not just the metaphor of smelling the flowers, but I used to call him Joe Cool now and then for things like this and when he was in Joe Cool mode that would capture a lot of his complexity.

Last week I’d uploaded this image with different text on it, but then I found the text that I’d originally written for it so I changed it. Same photo, different words. Now I have one for each of them.

I have some other things to write about him from those last three months, most of which I couldn’t put together until I got some purrspective. He was truly amazing in those last two years. How he held out that long I don’t know, but the work he did with his siblings, and then with Mimi in that last time probably knowing she’d still be here, was something he accepted and carried effortlessly. And through their life together as I marveled that they stayed together as a group of four to the last, possibly that was, in part, his doing, the responsible one, keeping them together.

Thank you for following our grief journey after losing three members of our feline family.

I hope sharing our experiences have helped you in some way, as sharing my experiences with you helps me.

You can read all the articles related to their loss by tapping one of these images in the side bar and in articles.

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


I’m a week behind of posting! Weekend before last I visited my friend Sally and her kitty Callie. She mentioned something we wanted to put together for an online group she moderates. I instantly had an idea so I designed something and put together a sample book. She and the other moderated shared it in the group and people loved it right away, so then I had to make a dozen 90-day customized journals! I had no idea it would be that fast, but I’m gratified that something I created is useful and enjoyed by my friend and all her friends in this group. I don’t often get feedback in quite that way and quickly. But I didn’t have time for much else over the past week. On top of that I think I need new glasses because I developed a serious eye strain headache over the weekend. Feeling better now, thankful for understanding kitties who did not get fed at the usual times yesterday or this morning…



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.

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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.

7 thoughts on “The Amazing Mr. Sunshine

  • 15andmeowing

    That is beautiful. He truly was Mr. Sunshine. XO

  • What a fabulous cat. I love black cats. Beautiful post and a handsome mancat. They embed themselves in our hearts and remain there forever.

    Thank you for joining the Awww Mondays Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Awww Monday and week. ♥

    • Thank you. It’s good to take your time with some things.

  • Thomas Hill

    That was a very poignant tribute to Mr. Sunshine’s memory. It appears that his trademark head tilt never changed throughout the years. From what I’ve seen, he was pretty much the leader of “the family”, and I think he will always be in spirit. All of our cats are “one-of-a-kind” to us, but it seems that some of them are a little more so than others.

    • When we lost Mewsette last year, I had a hard time defining why she was so special. I can’t say I loved her more than the others, but it’s like the loves and friends among humans in our lives–they are not all the same, and we don’t get to choose, really. These four and then Mimi just happened to be related but they were never all the same.


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