Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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The Big Four at Four

four black cats
The Big Four at Four

So what’s a birthday? Our mom told us we needed to clean up our act this morning and she went around washing our faces. She does that all the time. So what’s the big difference today? We were born today, but four years ago? What is “born”? She seems to be trying to tell us that we did not exist before this day four years ago. But the world did not exist before us either, so what did that matter?

black cat with pink impatiens
Mimi with impatiens.


I’m glad they are clueless. I’m glad they don’t know anything about having kittens, or what the world was like before they were born, or living outside, or being sent off to different homes where people maybe weren’t so nice.

As I was musing last week, something about the light this time of year, the temperature, the breeze, the very scent of the day took me back to another time, just before these four were born, before I came here, before my life changed forever. I remember the world before they were born, and they never need to know anything about that.

And we would be celebrating their birthday today, as we are having a few nice meals and such, except for one thing.

My human mom and I have discussed many important issues, and I have learned anniversary days are very important. One day in spring this year I realized I was staying here and let her know that. I don’t know why it took me so long…I guess it never occurred to me before that cats actually do move into houses and stay with people and love them and don’t want to leave, and the people love them just as much and don’t want the kitties to leave. I needed to have some serious conversations with Cookie and Peaches before I understood how it happened for them, and then I realized that it had already happened for me and I had no idea what that feeling was.

So I gave my mom a direct look and she noticed as I knew she would, and we exchanged a special look and a few blinks, and that was it. And that feeling was very complete and fulfilling and I will never turn back. And I wanted to remember that day.

But now that we have had this revelation, this year when I remembered the time just before I came here, I suddenly knew what was right. I let my mom know two things: that our anniversary day is the day I came in here, July 29, and since we have no idea when I was born, I want that to be my birthday.

four black cats
My Morning Cats.


And so that is how it is. Today is the big birthday, but we celebrate on Friday everything together: Mimi’s birthday, the communal birthday of the Fantastic Four and our anniversary of coming together.

black cat with pisces medallion
Giuseppe is not a Pisces.

No, Giuseppe, you are not a Pisces, that is me—all of you are Leos. And actually Cookie is too, since she was born some time in late July, 1992. Kelly we don’t know about, and it’s hard to tell with her. My household communal birthday was at one point on May 1, as we celebrated Peaches’ 100th birthday last year, because long, long ago another cat really did have a birthday on May 1 and the tradition carried down about 30 years. I’m not sure if I’m ready to change that, but it certainly seems the convergence of feline July birthdays is pressing for it!

four black cats
Trying to figure out what to do all day.


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.

24 thoughts on “The Big Four at Four

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  • Karen Lucas

    Many many thanks Bernadette. I plan to commission a portrait of Jenny when the time comes… the meantime I will take plenty of pictures and love her as much as we can in the time we have left.

    • Karen, feel free to send an update. No matter what happens, these days are sweet and while I thought I couldn’t love the kitty any more than I already did, I always found myself loving the kitty more deeply than I ever thought possible. I’ll be thinking of you and Jenny.

  • Karen Lucas

    16 years ago we adopted two sisters from the local SPCA. Jane died six weeks later from FIP and we were heartbroken. Her sister Jenny has lived a long healthy life, until now. She needed to have her teeth cleaned and her doctor found a small lesion under her tongue which we found out yesterday is squamos cell carcinoma. Losing our cats is part of having them but I am so shocked and saddened as Jenny is so healthy and happy otherwise. Because it is on her tongue it is inoperable and my vet who has taken care of Jenny since we adopted her does not believe that chemo is helpful and that radiation will help only with pain management. I won’t have her suffer but this is truly a dreadful cancer with a dreadful prognosis

    • Karen, I’m so sorry to hear about Jenny! Somehow that early loss of Jane, as it was with Lucy, makes us extra-sensitive to any possibility of illness in the ones left. But this cancer is truly frightening, and those first few days are the worst because it feels like all is lost.

      Sometimes treatments like chemo work for a while, sometimes even steroids, and sometimes naturopathic or homeopathic treatments will help ease or heal something as awful as a cancer. It’s hard to suddenly prepare to say goodbye, and it’s such a shock since she’s well and happy. You have a little time at least to think about it and consider what you could do, even if you decide not to take any course of treatment at all.

      I had a cat who developed a bony carcinoma in her jaw, my beautiful Sally, and there was nothing I could do 12 years ago, or possibly even now. It was a long six months as it totally disfigured her face, and I even lost another cat in the meantime, but Sally led the way and enjoyed every day until her last. I’ll think of you on your journey together.

  • I’m a big fan of The Creative Cat and always look forward to reading your posts. Recently, I started my own cat blog and would like to list a link to your blog as one of my “favorites.” Please let me know if you would allow me to do this. You can view my blog at

    [email protected]

    • Oh, I see excitement in your household Guard Cats! We can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • Angus and Donal want to wish their mom a very happy anniversary and would like to remind their youngest siblings to take good care of Mimi, too. We all remember Lucy and are glad that something so wonderful came about because of her illness and death.

    • Amby, it’s wonderful to know the extended family. All these years we’ve had pretty much unrelated cats, now suddenly we have a lineage! They do take care of their mom, so tell Angus and Donal not to worry.

    • Tammy, Mimi is very insightful, especially after all her experiences.

    • I think they are still celebrating this morning. I may need to make it a birthday/anniversary week.

  • Love. Fab. Four.
    (but I still insist it’s the Fab 5.)

    • Harry, Mimi tries to keep herself at a mom-type level, so I try to respect that, except when she wrestles with JB. But that’s why we are celebrating Friday, our anniversary day, instead of the Big Birthday, so Mimi can lead the way!

  • Carolyn Cummins

    Big Four, we want to wish you a very Happy Birthday.

    Mimi, your story is very much like two of our Momcats here.

    All, of you are so lucky to be in your forever home.

  • Are they all sibs too??? That’s wierd since my Pollt was a stray I started feeding and she was preg. Ended up with four also….three years ago. Found a good home for one but was too afraid to give them to “strangers” after they were born under my daughters bed! 🙂
    Now I have Mom and three sibs…just one short…

    • Lori, I wondered how you ended up with a little family!

      Mimi belonged to a neighbor and had six litters–24 kittens–in a little over two years. I helped them to find homes because I knew they’d dump them, and I ended up keeping one, Lucy, who developed FIP and died at 15 months; two weeks later, July 29, I took in Mimi and the babies, three days old. I kept them to look for any signs of FIP–none so far–and they’ve become great models!

      If you click from here to the article “Mimi, Mewsing” then to the links in that article, you’ll pretty much get her story. She’s a sweet little honey-mom.


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