My Little Sunflower

tortoiseshell cat looking through deck railing

Cookie in early December 2011, tired of having her photo taken.

It’s been a week since I posted this on The Creative Cat. If anyone noticed I haven’t posted since then, this is why, but I’ll be back to posting photos and sketches soon.

Another star watches over me tonight. Cookie is with the rest of my feline family in the heavens, but her love is with me forever.

I saw this begin late Wednesday night, Thursday morning she could not walk, could barely hold her head up, had no appetite, even after a few palliative treatments including curled and purring on my lap outside on the deck. I put everything aside just to be with her and held her on my lap the rest of Thursday, carrying her with me, for as long as her needs determined, accompanied by one or more of the Fantastic Four at all times.

Around midnight being held and handled was too uncomfortable and she began slipping in and out of consciousness, breathing irregularly. I worked in my studio, the room where it all began for us, while she laid on the floor watching me as I added the color to block printed t-shirts and prints of her as “The Goddess” and Kelly with “The Roundest Eyes”. Each of The Four took their turn curled next to her, purring.

I laid down on the floor next to her at about 3:00 a.m. Her eyes moved around, focused on my face, opened fully as her green eyes looked directly into mine; we held each others’ gaze for a minute or more as she lifted her petite paw and laid it on the back of my hand, comforting me, saying goodbye. Then she shifted her position and her gaze and drifted from consciousness. Her breathing and heart finally stopped just before 4:00 a.m.

This hasn’t fully hit me yet, what my home and my life will be like without Cookie after 19 years of her cheerful personality, finding her with me at every moment in the house and out in the back yard, pleasantly vigilant, purring and gazing lovingly at me, simply happy to be near me and watch over me. There will be enough time to discover that.

I may have been posting about her and featuring photos and sketches of her here more often than usual lately; I’ve wanted to be sure she got as much attention as possible, and surely we appreciate all the love and energy everyone has sent our way. I have also been spending more and more time on her care as her needs have demanded and I’ve neglected to reply to blog comments and thank each of you, but I knew there would be time for that and it would be a healing thing for me.

For now I am rather exhausted and will take a few days off to rest and get my thoughts together, follow up on other things I’ve neglected and begin to get accustomed to the change. I think I saw the torch being passed to the next generation and already they are vigilant, but it will take all four to fill Cookie’s little pawprints in the time ahead.

But here is a little reading and image list about Cookie while I’m away.

Cookie and Me, Our 18th Anniversary Cookie’s rescue and her life with me, in her own words.

Cookie Goes to Work, three articles about Cookie’s job as my shop cat.

The Goddess Truly Inspires, a collection of stories inspired by people who have seen or purchased a print of “The Goddess”, Cookie’s true portrait.

Cookie Love, her progression into renal failure, with some of the nicest photos I’ve ever gotten of her outside.

In the Kitchen with Cookie, a link to all the photos of her interacting with pots and pans and mixing bowls in the kitchen.

And Daily photos featuring Cookie and Kelly.

See you in a few days when I can talk about her again.

tortoiseshell cat looking through deck railing

I'll be seeing you.

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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.

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