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.

“Great Rescues” review by Marion Lane, former “ASPCA Animal Watch” editor

In part, it’s the creative conundrum of carrying around and then visualizing and realizing an idea over a period of time. I carried this idea for so long, then steeped myself in the creation of the whole book and I’m actually just getting a perspective on what I’ve done. It’s so gratifying to read the reviews; here are two quick excerpts from Marion’s review.

Marion writes, “Bernadette Kazmarski calls Great Rescues, her one-woman work of wonders a “calendar,” and it is, but that’s just for starters. Literally.”

And very touching to me, she noticed my dedication at the beginning of the calendar, “This book is dedicated to Bernadette’s first family of cats. All long since departed from the physical world, she notes that they are made immortal in everything she creates.”

Read the rest of Marion’s review on the blog for the Great Rescues website.

And you can read other reviews on the Reviews page, plus comments from recipients on the home page.