We Miss You

six cats on desk

Six cats on desk.

I’ve appreciated each and every message and comment I’ve received in the past week while I’ve been busy healing. Of course, I’m up to my eyebrows in another creative endeavor, my best method of healing. Sometimes these creative projects mean going off for 40 days and 40 nights to work things out, but in this case it’s really only been about 4 days and 4 nights, so very soon I’ll have something new for you, and I’ll also be resuming my usual posts. I’ve let the Fantastic Four write this one for me, though. Until tomorrow…

We miss all the attention we got being stars on the internet, we miss being artist’s models, we miss our Bernadette mom’s busy schedule and her happy plans, even staying up all night with her to get things done. And we miss our sister Cookie. We always will, but we are ready to get back to inspiring our mom and entertaining and enlightening you because Cookie spent years showing us how. She’d be really mad if we didn’t do it right, roll her eyes and walk away with her tail flicking back and forth. Nothing can make a big cat feel really, really small like a little tortie cat just walking away, flicking her tail in disgust.

Cookie showed us a lot of cool stuff.

It’s almost a week since Cookie left us, and we have done our best to help our Bernadette mom feel better. Cookie taught us this too, and she’d be even more mad if we didn’t get this right. We spent a few days sitting around looking out the windows and sighing a lot. Cats are good at this, so we know we did this right. Jelly Bean sat on her and purred his most healing purr until he was exhausted. And Mewsette loved all over her with head butts to the face and a tail up the nose now and then and even slept under the covers with her a few nights.

We Four were with her every moment, all four of us, running up and down the stairs to show we were excited about whatever it was she wanted to do, rubbing all over her and being as cute as possible. We got a few smiles and lots of kisses. After a few days of this Bernadette mom got back to work and we could tell she felt a little better every day. Now she is on the trail of some new project that we know nothing about, but we can’t wait until it’s done because we know she’ll be really happy then.

two cats on desk

Kelly relaxing on the desk.

Kelly hasn’t been as frightened as she was, and instead of rolling up and hiding inside herself she’s been hanging out on the desk and following Bernadette mom around too. She still doesn’t understand that when we run up to her and smell her we just want to be friendly and help her feel better too, but we think there’s some hope, and we’ve all managed to hang out around the kitchen or the desk with some purrs and cuddling. We can’t even imagine how old Cookie was or how long she and Kelly were friends, and we don’t want to think about how it would feel to lose a friend like that.

two cats on a pillow

On a Rainy Afternoon, Cookie and Mimi

Our Mimi mom was very quiet and we didn’t see much of her. This was very puzzling—she’s our mom, and she always spends time cuddling and bathing with us every day, but she just seemed sad. We sat with her in front of the heater vent in the kitchen and bathed her, but she just curled up against us and slept, no baths for us or playtime. We knew she missed Cookie, but we just never knew how important Cookie was to her and that they had been good friends. To us, she’d always just been our mom and our friend.

black cat in yard

Mimi enjoys the morning.

Then one day Bernadette mom just picked her up and carried her outside and stood on the deck with her back to us, holding her. We don’t know what happened, but Mimi mom felt better when she came in, and so did Bernadette mom. The next morning Bernadette mom took all her stuff outside like she used to with Cookie, her bird seed and coffee and camera and hot water for the bird baths, then came back in and put something around Mimi mom’s neck, then unrolled a long thing and added that and out they went! They were on the deck for a while, then they disappeared out in the yard. They came back in and our Mimi mom was really happy and spent some time with us and followed Bernadette mom around, talking. We could tell this made her very happy, but we don’t get the “outside” thing. Now they do this every morning, and Mimi mom goes to the back door just like Cookie used to. They look at each other and blink their eyes. It’s okay, we Four have each other, and they can be friends.

four black cats on tables

We are ready to help our mom.

We’ve done our best to be the most inspiring models any animal artist has ever seen, and we know our Bernadette mom can’t go too long without sharing some of the photos and sketches she’s made.

And we can tell you that she read every single message everyone sent to her, more than once, and we can tell you they made her feel much, much better. We know this. We are cats. We sit on her. We can feel things people can’t. And we know our Bernadette mom. We were taught by the best. You will be hearing from her.

Cuddles and purrs,

The Fantastic Four


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.

25 Comments on “We Miss You”

  1. Thank you for sharing..your stories and art are helping me, with my guys and Maynard’s healing.

  2. animalartist says:

    It was important to tell this story through their eyes. Everyone can imagine how I feel, but I’ve also been watching how they have felt through all of this. When we lost Sophie six years ago it was Cookie who was grieving so deeply that she quit eating and following me around, and I was grieving so deeply I hardly noticed. One day I realized I could lose her if that kept up, so it’s another lesson Cookie taught me. I have been keeping watch on Kelly, but Mimi is so tiny and always takes a back seat to her children and it would be easy to miss her grief. The Four can stand to grow up a little bit more. It’s the way things happen.

  3. Wazeau says:

    Bernadette, I am again moved to tears from the love your words express. I can only offer my sympathies for your loss. I am glad you had so many years with her and that your cat pack is surrounding you with love and support.

  4. Chris Davis says:

    Bernadette, I’ve often thought that when we spend our lives with critters we create this exquisite, perfectly balanced mobile…until the time comes when one of us has to leave. Suddenly everything goes topsy-turvy, and no one knows where they belong anymore. But you and the kitties will find your balance again, and in the middle of all that love and fur Cookie’s spirit will live on forever.

  5. Awww… Cookie left such an impression and appears to be alive and well in spirit. What little troopers the Fantastic Four are – it does my heart good to hear how much they are trying to do Cookie proud. I also love your contemplative time outside with Mimi – it seems to be equally therapeutic for the both of you. I think of you often and am glad you are in the midst of new creative channels…

    • animalartist says:

      Deb, Mimi has always been a very special cat; even before she lived with me I felt that. Now she and I are even closer than before, and I still have Cookie’s wisdom to comfort me as she taught all five of the black cats how things are. I am about ready to get back to what I was doing last fall, and look forward to it.

  6. Sharon says:

    Dear Bernadette,

    I wanted to let you know how much I look forward to seeing your postings each day. I look forward to reading them when I get to work. It is so refreshing to hear what the animal’s view of things is. I laugh and cry at some of the stories you tell and feel like I almost know all your animals. Although I have always had dogs, when Penny the stray cat came to my house that is how I found you and the website. And Penny had a happy ending.

    The following is a quote that someone at the Humane Society had attached to an e-mail and I find it so appropriate to any animal that one has.:

    “It came to me that every time I loose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them and every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.” -Unknown

    Thanks again for all your interesting stories and artwork on your website.


    • animalartist says:

      Sharon, I am so glad you asked me to help you find a home for a certain calico cat.

      I love the quote too–we know they take a part of our heart, but it’s hard at first to know they’ve left a part of theirs behind with us.

  7. Susan Mullen says:

    Bernadette, I am so glad to hear how all of you are doing, and from the Four’s point of view no less. They see so clearly. Thank you for the reminder that our animal companions grieve too. And since they are our teachers, they also teach us how to go forward.

    • animalartist says:

      Susan, it was important to show their viewpoint. I’ve been watching them as closely as I’ve been observing myself, they are a very sensitive lot and taken all together I really was concerned. But they are okay and a great comfort to me and Kelly and their mom.

  8. Anita says:

    The Fantastic Four – I’ve missed you too. I’ve been thinking of you and sending much comfort to your home. It sounds like you’ve listened closely to Cookie’s lessons, and your Bernadette Mom must be comforted by all you offer.

  9. What a support group, Bernadette! Work and cats — two of the best healers I know.

  10. CATachresis says:

    It is always quite an adjustment for all that have been left behind. It is lovely that the fabulous fantastc four are helping you through this, Bernadette x

  11. Karen says:

    All of you will take a while to re-adjust to not having Cookie there. It will never be the same but it will be different! And the cats will look for her in the house. You still all have each other. Things will never be fine but they will start to be OK. I know all this as I just lost my 16 year old Tiger. We all miss him very much. Hang in there Bernadette.

  12. Juliet Farmer says:

    I am so sorry for your loss–all of you lost an important part of your lives. (The other day my husband commented that we have the most spoiled dog and cats in thew world, and I said, “They only live a few years compared to how long we live, so they deserve to be spoiled!” With that perspective, he completely agreed.) We lost my first cat 10 years ago last month, and I swear I still catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye sometimes. It gives me comfort. I hope whatever gives you comfort is abundant in your life, too.

    • animalartist says:

      Juliet, I love your last sentence, what a beautiful thought. Yes, cats and creative endeavors are abundant in my life, and these are my greatest comforts. How wonderful of your cats and dog to have people like you and your husband. Thanks for visiting.

  13. thibeaultda says:

    Well done Mewsette, Jelly Bean, Mr. Sunshine and

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