Senior Pet Adoption Donation Program

pastel painting of a cat on a table with peonies

Peaches and Peonies, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

I pledge to support senior adoption programs at shelters by making a donation from the sale of every full-size or half-size gicleé print of “Peaches and Peonies.”

I’ve told many stories about Peaches on this site so you know her story of losing her person and entering my life when she was fifteen as a foster, and that we shared a very fulfilling five years before she passed though others were afraid to adopt her for fear she’d die soon. That was not in Peaches’ plan, and not in the plan for most older pets who need homes!

For Adopt a Senior Pet Month I’m featuring this donation offer involving prints of the portrait I painted of her. She’d like the idea that she’s still helping people adopt senior pets and helping shelters help senior pets, and I like the idea that I help to spread her memory through my artwork.

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Senior Pets Make Great Friends!

tri-color cat

Despite her expression, Lacey was very grateful to have adopted Karen.

by Karen  Sable, Guest Columnist

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for senior pets. When I visit a shelter or browse the listings on Petfinder, I certainly love the young puppies and kittens, but I am usually drawn to the senior pets. To me their eyes seem to reflect a wisdom, and what I call a “soulfulness”. Plus, I know that they are less likely to be adopted, and I have always been inclined to favor the “underdog”. Over the past twenty or so years, I have become the “mother” to ten cats. While some younger ones chose me by showing up in my yard and deciding they would move in, of those that I made a conscious decision to go and adopt, all were seniors.

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It’s the Month to Celebrate Our Senior Pets

desk with six cats

Desk with Six Cats; sometimes my office is not so beautiful!

The photo above shows my household in the summer of 2006, and the youngest kitty in the photo is Kelly, in the center, who was 12 at the time.

tabby cat napping

Stanley napping in the sun.

From the left, Stanley, 25, is hard to see curled up behind Sophie, 17; on the desk turning around to bathe is Kelly at 12, then Namir at 13; Cookie,15, is curled up on the other side of the papers from him, then there’s Peaches having a good scratch at 16. Recently with us were Moses, 19, and Cream, 16, and joining us months later was Lucy as a young kitten.

A few things to be observed here, first that senior cats have no problem getting up on the desk, even at the advanced age of 25, as Stanley was.

Second, Peaches had come in the previous year at age 15 and fit in as if she’d always been there, so the idea that pets must be adopted young in order to fit into the household and be sufficiently bonded with its people is a myth, at least as far as I’m concerned.

Third, it’s been a while since my desk was neat, and one of the reasons has always been the habit of cats sleeping all over it! But for anyone who only knows my current household of the two senior torties, then the big jump in age to the family of black cats, Mimi and her children, here is the group that came immediately before them.

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We’re “Less Adoptable”?!

four black cats

The Big Four at Four

You mean everyone doesn’t want a house full of five fine black kitties? We Fantastic Four certainly think we are the envy of all other households! And our Mimi mom is the best! What would our human mom do without us? We don’t understand why every home doesn’t have a black cat, or two, or more!

four black cats and calico

The Big Four With Peaches

We also found out that kitties like our beloved little big sister Peaches, who we miss very much, would not have found a home because she was a senior kitty at age 15 if our mom hadn’t taken her in. We grew up with Peaches and we can’t begin to tell you what we learned from Peaches! Giuseppe loved her very much and took good care of her.

black cat on bed

Mlle Daisy Marguerite

And Giuseppe will remind you that his lovely Canadian girlfriend, Mlle Daisy Marguerite, is diabetic as well as being black, but that doesn’t stop Giuseppe from mooning all over the house about her—or her mom from loving her and learning to give Mlle her injections twice daily.

close up photo of a black cat

Mimi tells her story

Mimi here! It’s “Adopt a Less-Adoptable Pet Week” sponsored by PetFinder.com, encouraging you to consider a pet who may have special needs or characteristics that usually makes them left behind in shelters and animal adoption agencies.

I, too, remember Peaches fondly and was glad for her tutelage as my children grew, and for the adult instruction from Cookie, Kelly and Namir as well. This house was all senior kitties when I arrived as a young single mom.

While I admit my children are the most beautiful and wonderful foursome of black kitties who ever walked the earth, I also know there are plenty of other black kitties out there—I have no idea what happened to most of my 24 kittens, for instance, and if adoption statistics for black animals bear out, I don’t really want to know.

two cats on table

Share the Love

But hearing about deaf cats, blind cats and cats missing limbs, what’s a little black fur?! I feel lucky in the face of some of the stories my human mom tells me.

Just to prove that kitties who may not seem adoptable on the surface are all the same underneath, and there is nothing to be frightened about in a kitty who is older or blind or black or who has a treatable disease, our human mom will share stories of “less adoptable kitties who lived with her or who were adopted by friends—and they lived happily ever after, as I am and my children are doing right now.

And we’ll also introduce you to some kitties who are very  adoptable, but who may have some trait or characteristic you’re not sure about. Remember—we’re all the same beneath our fur, all capable of love and devotion.

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.


Senior Pet Adoption Donation Program

pastel painting of a cat on a table with peonies

Peaches and Peonies, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

I pledge to support senior adoption programs at shelters by making a donation from the sale of every full-size or half-size gicleé print of “Peaches and Peonies.”

I’ve told many stories about Peaches in the last few months, and I had been intending to post this during Adopt a Senior Pet Month not knowing if she’d still be with me in November. She’d like the idea that she’s still helping people adopt senior pets and helping shelters help senior pets.

I actually began this program in 2008, when I finished this painting and had it professionally reproduced to make the highest-quality gicleé prints in addition to lower-cost digital prints. The idea flourished as I worked on the painting and I couldn’t wait to get the word out—wouldn’t everyone want to adopt a senior kitty if they saw one as beautiful as my Peaches?

I had originally offered the donation only on the sale of a full-size print, but the cost of gicleé prints went up and the economy went down, and not everyone has the space on their walls for a full-size print of this piece, so I’m offering the donation on the half-size print as well. Read on for Peaches’ story and the details of the program.

About Peaches

Peaches came to my home at age 15, and despite my efforts to place her in a new home, she ended up staying with me. Most prospective adopters were concerned that Peaches was older and might not live long, but my point was that Peaches needed a home no matter what age she was. At the time this painting was done, she’d been with me three years, her petite prettiness, pleasant personality and simple friendliness providing much joy for me, and she was a big favorite of most visitors to my home. And then, she’s also the subject of not only this painting, but several other paintings and sketches as well as photographs, so in three years she provided a good bit of inspiration, not to mention wake-up duties and not-so-gentle reminders about it being dinnertime.

Peaches came to be homeless because her owner died; she was nearly euthanized because no one could figure out what to do with her, not wanting to take her to a shelter. Often, older pets come from situations like this, or where the owner has to enter the hospital or a care home, and no one can take the animal left behind. They are euthanized by the family or end up in shelters and are most often passed by, even though a “seasoned” pet usually makes the best companion.

Three years or three decades or three weeks, every adoptable animal like Peaches deserves a good and loving home. Especially now, during Adopt a Senior Pet Month, consider helping those who are most vulnerable.

Purchase a print and choose your senior pet adoption program

Giclée prints are printed on heavyweight acid-free archival paper using light-fast archival inks using a direct liquid printing process so fine that my prints are often indistinguishable from my originals. Each print is signed by me, the artist. I prefer this process not only because of its clarity and precision but also because I can order only one print at a time instead of  ordering dozens or hundreds, and it costs the same per print no matter how many I get. For that reason, I order them from my printer as I receive orders

  • Full-size, 23″ x 16″, $150.00
  • Half-size, 13″ x 9″, $75.00 (see “framing” below)

You pay for the print and give me the name of the senior pet adoption program of your choice. I process your order and send a donation to the program in your name or the name of your choosing, and either ask them to send you an acknowledgement or send you one myself. I usually make the donations through PayPal since most shelters use it now, and I can send you a acknowledgement through PayPal.

Shipping

I can ship the smaller prints flat for $10.95, but need to ship the full-size prints rolled for economy at $15.95 since the package is slightly oversized when shipping flat. However, I can ship flat for $25.95, or a surcharge of $10.00. I’m not fond of rolled prints, but I don’t like bent ones either.

Framing

Framing is often more expensive than the art itself. Custom framing is available for an estimate; I custom frame all my own things. To save a little bit on framing, I chose 13″ x 9″ for the the smaller print so that it would fit into a pre-made 16″ x 20″ frame that comes with an 11″ x 14″ mat leaving white space around the print, which is typical in framing a high-quality print. The larger will fit into a pre-made 24″ x 30″ frame, though you may need to purchase a mat since most larger frames don’t come with a mat.

Ordering

Visit the Portraits of Animals Marketplace on my website, choose “Cats” under “Original Art and Prints”, or click here to go directly to “Peaches and Peonies” in my Marketplace. In your PayPal shopping cart you’ll be able to give special instructions, and you can add that you’d like to donate through the program and give me the contact information for the shelter of your choice.