Pretty Pleeeeze…? From A Year Ago

two black cats in green sink

Mr. Sunshine turns on the charm

Mr. Sunshine will try every charming approach to get what he wants, and right now he wants a drink of water from the bathroom faucet. Who could resist? He has the most classically beautiful face of all four of his siblings, the nice wedge shape from his chin to his ears, exotic slanted yellow eyes and long, long straight whiskers and he’s the most curvy, and he knows if he catches me just right I’ll have a hard time turning away.

Jelly Bean is in the background, taking a break from his charming routine while Mr. Sunshine works. After all, you can’t go wrong if you just sit in the sink and keep your nose right under the faucet.

I do turn the faucet on for them every day, though I make sure they also drink from the water bowls around the house. Still, a stainless fountain may be in their future.

Let’s Shake On It

two black cats touching paws

"Let's shake on it."

Now I’m really scared.

I’ll be keeping an eye on these two.

Jelly Bean and Giuseppe are at it again, engaging in their morning wrestling match. Perhaps they are only agreeing to disagree and not agreeing to some plot.

A few other posts showing the boys at their stuff:

That Does It!

I Knight Thee…

To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.

Daily Sketch: Squiggly Bean

ink sketch of cat

Squiggly Bean, ink © B.E. Kazmarski

Lots of squiggles as Jelly Bean happily bathes after a meal. The extra squiggles add shape and dimension to Bean, describing shadowed areas and motion at the same time as well as just adding interest.

Yes, it’s all one line, no, it wasn’t drawn all at once. This is sketched in felt-tip ink technical pen and it’s nice enough, but the pen tip kept drying out with the constant contact with the paper so I noted the ending spot, capped the pen for a minute or two, then got back to it.


Click here to see other daily sketches, and for a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.

Dorothy Must Finally Let Them Go: A Final Wish

five animals

Lilibel, Sylvester, Mickey, Barney and Petey are looking for homes.

Melanie posted a detailed update on Dorothy’s pets on the original story, A Final Wish, and Dorothy must give up her pets and likely leave home for the hospital. I’ve left the comment there and also made a new post of it just to make sure it gets the most circulation possible. Her comment is immediately below, then the original story’s text with links to the original story and updates so you can read all the wonderful comments from people all over the world.

Latest Update:

Sadly, Dorothy has started on a very fast downward spiral. Her breathing has been very labored. I have been doing my best to keep up with her needs and the needs of her pets. I just received an emergency call from Dorothy’s POA. Dorothy cannot breathe today and will possibly be on her way to the hospital. Dorothy cannot care for the pets any more and has finally asked for them to be removed from the home. The POA (asked that her name not be mentioned) has asked me to remove Barney tonight and the cats by this weekend. I will be contacting Barney’s potential adopter to see if she can take Barney right away. I really need homes or foster homes for the cats as soon as possible. If anyone can help I would really appreciate it.

Thank you.

Information from a recent update and the text of the original article

photo of dog on floor


Barney is starting to show his age more. I think it’s possible that he may not be with us long enough to see a new home. His potential adopter is very understanding and patient regarding the situation.

To date we don’t have any adopters for any of the cats.

Dorothy is still hanging in there. Her short term memory continues to get worse as well as her breathing. I think everyone is surprised though at how she is still really fighting this cancer as it has spread through her lungs, brain, and now liver. She’s truly sticking around to make sure her pets are found great homes.

To date we have raised $370.00 through the Chip In site. I would really like to be able to get Sylvester’s medical care taken care of so we could really use more traffic to the Chip In site.

photo of long-haired cat under bed


Right now Sylvester has a very large wound on his neck from scratching and his poor bum area is raw from him biting at it. I need to get him more comfortable, but I cannot afford his care and Dorothy’s funds are currently wrapped up in paying for her hospice care and medical treatment. Any help would really be incredible. Also I would love to see Animal Advocates get some donations for really stepping up and going out of their way to help us with Petey. I’m going to make a donation to them once I have Dorothy’s pets settled and their medical expenses taken care of.

The word about Dorothy’s pets spread quickly and nationally. I want to thank everyone who forwarded my plea and donated to the Chip In. It’s been wonderful to receive so much support. Things have really died down and I still need homes for the Lilibel, Mickey,and Sylvester. If anyone has any suggestions to help me get the cats into loving homes, please let me know. I have sent many e-mails and left many voice mails with cat groups that I am comfortable working with, but so far I have not received any responses.

Once again, thank you to all that have helped so far. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.


Here’s the original story, but please also click to that post to read all the wonderful comments…

In our rambles finding our forever pets, we’ve all encountered a lifelong animal rescuer, an individual so dedicated to capturing animals and making them well and whole that their life story is wrapped around with all the animals they saved. Such is Dorothy, who has saved and nurtured probably more animals than she can remember.

And in these extended families of rescued animals are always those who stayed with the rescuer because they were difficult to adopt with extreme or complicated medical needs, behavioral issues resulting from abuse or simply a personality that didn’t quite fit into another household. A rescuer like Dorothy would simply keep them on and care for them for the rest of their lives.

Dorothy has tragically developed brain cancer and is very near the end of the time she’ll be able to care for the five animals who still live with her, and as her final wish for their welfare she’d love to know they are in loving homes before she succumbs to her condition. If you can foster or adopt, or know of a rescue or shelter that has room for any of these special needs cats or dogs, Dorothy’s friend Melanie is the contact person whose information is at the bottom. Please share this as far as you can and hope that Lilibel, Mickey, Sylvester, Barney and Petey can find homes as nurturing as Dorothy’s.

From Melanie

My dear friend is nearing the end of her life due to cancer. She has 5 great pets that need re-homed soon. Dorothy would like to continue to care for her pets until she is too ill to do so. This could be a couple of weeks to another month or so. Dorothy has been a rescuer and friend to the underdog for most of her life. She is really trying to hang in there to make sure her pets find great new homes. I hope you can help make her final wish come true.

photo of white cat


This gem is Lilibel. Lilibel is approx. 11-12 years old.

photo of white cat


She was declawed by her previous owners. Lilibel tends to be a wall flower, but will come around to make herself known now and then. She is super sweet and cuddly with Dorothy, but takes her time warming up to strangers. Lilibel has an eye condition called chorioretinal scarring, but she is not blind from the condition. She also carries the feline herpes virus, but is managed well with Lysine.

photo of orange cat


This orange cutie is my absolute favorite cat! His name is Mickey. Mickey is approx. 12 years old and is just as sweet as can be. He loves cuddle. You can hold him like a baby and he’ll stay like that forever. He’s the sweetest cat I’ve ever met. Everyone loves Mickey. He’s just that cool.

photo of orange cat


When Mickey was younger he suffered from a urinary blockage. Since then he’s had a couple of surgeries to remove scar tissue from his bladder. This has caused chronic inflammation of the bladder and unfortunately does suffer from inappropriate urination. Some of this could be behavioral, but it’s mostly a medical issue. This could probably be controlled with the appropriate medications. He needs someone that is understanding and willing to work with him regarding this issue.

photo of long-haired cat under bed


This is Sylvester. He’s approx. 5 years old. Sylvester suffers from allergic dermatitis and he had severe skin wounds when he was found. He allowed Dorothy to bathe him and bandage him. He is so patient and gentle. He really trusts Dorothy and is very close to her. He is extremely sweet, but needs time to trust someone new. I pet sat for Dorothy once while she was in the hospital. Sylvester hid most of the evening, but I woke up on the couch with him sleeping on my chest. Sylvester still has skin wounds from his allergies. Sylvester was under the care of a dermatologist at PVSEC and needs to continue care with them.

photo of dog on floor


Barney is 15 and has Cushings, seizures, and cancer. He is really looking for hospice care.

photo of dog


Even though Barney has these health issues, he is still full of life. Barney loves going on walks, acts like a puppy when it’s time for “cookies”, and loves a good butt scratch. He’s a scraggle-butt cutie that still has a lot of fun left in him.

photo of dog on bed


Petey has been adopted, but you might like to know about him anyway. This little guy is Petey. Petey is about 3-4 years old. He’s a Jack Russell mix so Petey will require a home that can run him and wear him out. Petey requires a lot of attention and wants to be close all of the time. Dorothy is his third home.

photo of dog


Sadly, Petey may have been abused in his past. He required hip surgery on both hips because he “fell down the steps” in his last home. Though Petey went through a lot before getting to Dorothy, he is a snuggle bug and is incredibly sweet. Petey does need an alpha owner. He is very submissive with me and my husband, but tends to be more pushy with Dorothy. Since Dorothy has become more ill and has not been able to provide Petey with the exercise outlet he requires, he has become frustrated and has be-gun to take it out on the other animals in the home even though he’s lived with them for 2 years. Dorothy is ok with having Petey re-homed sooner rather than later because she realizes that he needs more than she can provide him in her current condition.

Download the flyer and send it in e-mail

Melanie made up a flyer to distribute so you can share it as an e-mail attachment or print it out and post it.

Contact Melanie

These guys currently live in Baden, PA. If you are interested in adopting one of these cool critters, Melanie will take them to the vet to receive an exam and if necessary update their vaccines prior to adoption. You can e-mail Melanie.

An Update on Dorothy’s Pets: A Final Wish

Chipin for Dorothy’s Pets: A Final Wish

A Final Wish

The Housewarming Cat

black and white photo of long-haired cat

Sophie in all her fuzzy glory.

Most rescue stories are pretty dramatic and any humor one can find is usually an offbeat detail of an otherwise grim story.

But every once in a while there’s a rescue that’s just plain silly. After Skeeter’s rescue and other stories of cats and kittens brought back from the brink of death, I feel the need to tell this one.

Also, as I write I often refer to cats who spent many years with me but who passed before I began blogging. This year I’ll finally be sharing their stories.

My Housewarming Cat

Cookie and Sophie

Cookie and Sophie

Sophie was unique among the cats in my household, big and fluffy and beautiful but with little understanding of her own size, timid and very dramatic but devoted and deeply affectionate with her own customized vocabulary, I always had the feeling she was all caught up in her own version of reality. Cookie remembers her because she and Cookie were good friends and my personal guards as they stationed themselves on either side of me whether I was at my easel or at the washing machine.

But this was even before Cookie joined my household and just after I moved into my house and so I’ve always called Sophie my “housewarming cat”.

A new house and a new cat

I bought the house where I now live in 1990, closing on October 19 on my little carpenter’s special. Once I had the key I spent about two weeks of nights after work at projects that were much easier without furniture, stuff and cats like painting walls and repairing or laying flooring, then taking car loads of things every time I went past since my new house wasn’t far from the house I’d been renting.

Finally came moving weekend when friends and I went back and forth for an entire day to just get all my stuff here so I could spend the next full week on vacation putting things away. My six cats were closed in one of the empty bedrooms in the old house with water and a litter box while the world came apart around them. At about 1:00 a.m. I had the new house in enough order, even litter boxes in the basement, and I went back to the old house, packed my cats in carriers, put them in the car, and introduced them to their new home (Kublai had already visited once or twice). I fed them their dinner in the kitchen, which though late ingratiated them to their new home as nothing else ever could have. And even that first night, Kublai, Sally, Stanley, Allegro, Moses and Fawn all ended up sleeping with me.

Through the week, as we settled in, slowly working my way through all the rooms I used the spare bedroom as a dumping ground for both empty boxes and those still with contents. The house I’d bought was easily half the size of the one I’d rented and furniture and even kitchen items ended up in there. It was all destined for the attic but I had only a small access in my other bedroom closet and decided I’d have plenty of time to ask someone to come over so they could hand me things and I could organize them up there.

On the Saturday before I was to return to work I received a housewarming gift in the form of a check that I would deposit on Monday after I’d returned to work. I worked four ten-hour days then, sometimes five or six, and I was grateful for ATMs since I never made it to the bank in person. I also left too late for work to make any stops on the way, so I’d be stopping at a certain drive-up ATM on the way home.

The “rescue”

My workplace was 17 miles from my home, and the ATM was a mere five miles from my home so I wouldn’t mind stopping when I was “almost there”. I pulled off the highway onto the winding roads of the newly-built shopping complex including a strip mall, several free-standing big box stores, an IKEA store, a theater, you get the picture—the place was huge and pretty much the only thing off an exit from the highway, dark and deserted by the time I got there.

So I wound my way through the roads in the development to the big deluxe bank and drove around the side to where the drive-through was, which included the drive-up ATM.

I had just exited the highway and my ears were full of highway noise, I had the radio playing the alternative rock station at a fairly high volume, and when I pulled up under the drive-through and opened my window my car engine echoed under the canopy. I could barely hear the “ding” of the ATM as it prompted me to go to the next step in depositing my check.

But I heard a cat meow.

Nonsense, I thought to myself, you always hear a cat meow. There’s no cat here, this bank is at the end of the world, all there is after this is graded mud all the way to the highway, winding development roads, not a single house, not even another human being. There is no way there’s a cat anywhere around here.

I had been rescuing for about ten years at that time, and in addition to the six who lived with me, all rescues to small or great extent, there had already been twice that many who I’d grabbed off the roadside, climbed trees to get, lured into a trap in my yard, chased along railroad tracks who I’d captured, treated, fostered, midwifed into life and adopted out to an ever-widening circle of friends who loved animals. That was the end of the 80s when there really were homeless cats everywhere, so it was not out of the question that I did hear cats meow all the time, and they weren’t just in my head.

cat with curtain

Sophie being shy.

But I looked past the two drive-through lanes and there, through the scant new hedge bare of leaves I saw a cat, adult-size, lots of white and some black pacing back and forth at the edge of the light circle from the street light. And meowing, loudly, loud enough to be heard over all the din I was producing.

I opened my car door and walked toward the cat, leaving the engine running and the door open and my card in the machine, never mind that I was all alone at a bank ATM in a deserted retail development miles from civilization. There was a cat to be caught, one that was literally asking me to catch it, and all ideas of care and safety were null and void until the cat was safely stashed, somewhere.

“Hi, kitty!”


I began slowly moving toward the hedge.

“Who are you, kitty?”


That cat could run off toward the highway at any moment and not only would I never catch it, I’d barely be able to see it, and it could end in disaster. I didn’t want to think about that, only about a way to get around behind the cat. This was actually pointless because there was no place to corner the cat, but it made me feel better that I wouldn’t be chasing it toward the highway.

“How did you get here, kitty?”


The cat answered all my insipid questions with the same enthusiastic “meow!” and continued pacing behind the hedge. I came around the end of it, squatted down and held out my hand as if I had a treat in it, like this cat might even know what a treat was.

The cat was acting cautious, but not actually frightened, and everything it was doing was telling me it wanted to be caught. Shaggy medium-haired, white legs, belly, chest and lower face, big saddle and babushka of tabby stripes on the back and head and big floofy tabby tail like a raccoon’s, the cat looked adult size, certainly no kitten, but no clue for gender.

It was not uncomfortable with my presence nor my eye contact, so I kept my eye contact with it and slowly moved forward as the cat ran away a few steps, came back, ran again, came back, meowing with every move.

I finally got within reach of the cat, let it cautiously tiptoe toward me and stretch as many body parts as it could to sniff my outstretched hand. It began investigating my hand as I continued my little patter though the cat was now quiet. When it got to my sleeve I tried to stay relaxed as if I wasn’t planning my one and only chance to grab a scruff and possibly have my face shredded by an unknown kitty.

Distracted by my coat sleeve which smelled heavily of all my six cats since I petted each of them before I left the house, the moment presented itself and I scruffed the kitty, picked it up and smashed it against my coat front before it could get a paw loose, then cut through the little hedge heading for my car and ready to hold onto this cat at all costs until I had it contained somewhere.

The cat was not acting violent in any way, though, just wiggling in discomfort at being suddenly smashed face-first into a wool winter coat. I plopped down into the seat, pulled the door shut, rolled up the window both with my left hand while I “restrained” the cat with my right.

The car sealed shut I loosened my death grip on the cat’s scruff and released the pressure on its back.

It looked up at me and said tentatively, “Meow?”

Okay, so I hadn’t needed to prepare for battle, but cats had done all the things I anticipated and more. The cat seemed confused, as if it had been expecting something else entirely when it met its rescuer.

“Hi, kitty, are you okay?” I continued with meaningless conversation as I gave it a gentle little exam and decided that, since I had no evidence the cat was a boy, that she was therefore a girl and that would be good enough until I had the time to investigate further.

I realized I had nothing to put her into. I had been carrying a cat carrier in the back of my car for several years, but I’d taken everything out to move. She might be okay just sitting here, but what about when the car starts moving? Ever had a cat attack the back of your head?

I looked up at the ATM for my card, prepared to hold her in place as I opened the window to get my card. But my card wasn’t there. The evil machine said I had left the card in place too long with no response and it had taken my card, and that I should visit the bank to get it back.

So much for my deposit and my ATM card, but I had the cat!

Now what to do with her while I drove home down a dark, winding road?

Hope for the best. I let her go and she explored the car. When I began driving she hopped gracefully into the passenger seat and then came for me, getting onto my lap and then stepping up onto my arms outstretched to the steering wheel so she could…stand there and lick my face all the way home.

pastel painting of cat with flowers

The Perfect Camouflage, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

But now where do I put the kitty

Arriving home some time later for having to drive about five miles per hour while not being able to see much around the cat’s face and fuzzy head, I realized that I had no place in the house to put the kitty, either—no spare cat room had yet been established. I looked at her and said, “You’re staying in the car,” held her, got out, tossed her to the passenger seat and closed the door. She ran to the window and meowed, and all the way up to my house I could hear her…

I ran in, fed my cats their canned food—I didn’t leave food out even then and the long day had been long enough for them, it was now near 11:00 p.m.!

As soon as I had their food down I ran upstairs to the spare bedroom and opened the door. I could swing the door open, otherwise the room was stacked with boxes more than halfway to the nine-foot ceiling.

Well, I thought, there’s no time like the present to get these things into the attic. I moved as many as would fit into my bedroom, closed the door against curious kitties, opened the closet door, got the ladder I had stashed in there, moved the attic access panel out of the way and started shoving boxes into the attic. When that was done I closed up the attic and moved another set of boxes to my room. Finally, there was enough space in the spare bedroom to fit a cat and a litterbox and food and water, and nothing would come unexpectedly tumbling down from anywhere.

I grabbed a carrier and went to my car. The cat was desperately leaping from seat to seat and looking out the windows and still meowing loudly, but I got my hands on her easily, got her in the carrier and into the house and past six sets of feline eyes suspicious of this entire process as several of them had seen it already a number of times…a new cat was in the house!

The spare cat room

So that was how the “spare cat room” was established, practically at the same time I moved into this place, and though it’s my studio today that is only a development from this, my twenty-first year in this house. While also serving other purposes, that room has welcomed all the other new cats who’ve joined my household, from Sophie, my housewarming cat, to Mimi and the Fantastic Four when they were just three days old. It’s also kept convalescing kitties comfortable, and kitties on the last part of their journey safe when I couldn’t be with them for part of a day.

And Sophie…

I always had the feeling Sophie was sent to me, appearing in that desolate place more than a mile from any house right when I’d be there—it was muddy and damp but she was clean—and seeming to be waiting for me, not objecting to being caught and actually thanking me once we got in the car and every day afterward.

But it was her confused reaction to my cautious and defensive methods—it was as if those who sent her to me had told her, “We’ll put you here, and the human you are to take care of will come along and pick you up and take you home …”, but no one had warned her of all my defensive scruffing and smashing, it just wasn’t at all what she’d expected.

Sophie was a girl and a juvenile kitten, though such a big girl at that age indicated perhaps she had some of a large breed in her heritage, and she spent the next 17 years with me, with lots of stories to tell of taking care of her human..

photo of a cat at a window with lace curtain

Sophie Keeps an Eye on Thingsn photo © B.E. Kazmarski


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.