Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 1, 2023 by Crystal Uys

Great Rescues calendar and gift book

I’m a big fan of animal artist and writer Bernadette Kazmarski. Her photographs and cat paintings capture the essence of cats in ways that only a small handful of artists are able to do. Bernadette is a multi-faceted creative spirit:  artist, writer, graphic designer, painter, animal advocate, environmentalist.  From commissioned pet portraits to animal inspired merchandise ranging from prints to textiles to greeting cards, looking around Bernadette’s websites are a feast for the senses.

Great Rescues is a 16-month desk calendar and gift book featuring 16 portraits of rescued cats Bernadette has been commissioned to paint in the 20 years she has been an animal portrait artist. This sixteen-month calendar and gift book is a labor of love.

“While the portraits are lovely and I’m proud of my body of work, the stories of these cats, and the people who rescued them, were what compelled me to share them,” says Bernadette. “Each of the stories tells of cats from shelters and cats abandoned and saved, cats found inside car engines and cats reluctantly surrendered by people who could no longer care for them, but each one has a happy ending as a cherished companion in a loving home.”

Peaches by animal artist Bernadette Kazmarski

I’m particularly thrilled that “Peaches” made it into the calendar. I commissioned this painting as a Christmas gift for a friend last year. The original was absolutely stunning. It’s always difficult to tell when you have an artist paint someone else’s cat whether they truly captured the animal’s spirit. I think that’s something only the pet’s person can truly judge. My friend burst into tears when she opened her gift – that probably speaks volumes, especially since she’s not someone who cries easily. The painting not only captured Peaches’ spirit, it also brought a tremendous amount of peace to my friend. Peaches, at this writing, is 19 years old, and my friend is well aware that time is short. She says the painting will help her keep a part of Peaches with her forever, in a very tangible way.

This is one of the most beautiful cat calendars I’ve seen. The paintings are stunningly beautiful, and the stories are heart touching.  And it’s so much more than just a calendar. It also includes a comprehensive resource section covering feline wellness, health concerns, household toxins and poisons, fun cat facts, and more. The spiral bound book also contains a generous amount of blank pages (with a beautiful faint cat design in the background) for notes, or journaling.

Great Rescues calendar and gift book Bernadette Kazmarski

The calendar runs from September 2011 through December 2012. You can order the calendar directly through Benadette’s website for the incredibly low price of $19.99 plus shipping. Even though it’s only July, it’s never to early to order Christmas presents – Great Rescues makes a purrfect gift for the cat lovers on your list.

I’m giving away one personalized, autographed copy to one lucky winner. To enter, leave a comment telling me why you would like to win the calendar. Tweet about this giveaway or share it on Facebook for an extra chance to win. This giveaway ends Friday, August 12.

You can learn more about Bernadette Kazmarski and enjoy samples of her gorgeous art and photographs on her website and on her blog.

You may also enjoy reading:

An interview with animal artist Bernadette Kazmarski

2011 Petties Best Cat Blog Best Overall Pet Blog

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28 Comments on Great Rescues: a 16-month calendar and gift book

  1. I would like to win this calendar and book. I would hang the calendar in my office to remind people how important it is to rescue/adopt. And I would give the book to my Mother. She is no longer able to care for a cat 🙁 Since her last one passed away a couple of years ago she has really been lonesome for the bond she shared all her life with cats. She does still put out a bowl of dry food each day for the travelers that go through her back yard though. I think this would be a lovely book for her. When I go to the kitteh food store, she always likes to go, so she can look at all the kittehs and “pick out” the ones she wants to adopt 🙂 And of course she loves to come over to my house to see all my rescued kittehs too!

  2. I am a volunteer for my counties humane society and I have been a part of rescue, fostering and finding homes for homeless pets and this is the most rewarding thing I do with my free time for my paying job. I would love this calendar as a constant reminder and encourager to never become discouraged or stop my quest to help homeless pets.


  3. I love pictures of kitties that have been rescued and are now living a wonderful life, as all kitties deserve to live. All four of mine are rescues and they’re just as important to me and my husband as other people’s children are to them – they are our children. I keep every cat calendar that I receive, they’re too precious to throw away when the new year begins.

  4. I would love to win this calendar for my M, who rescued me from a shelter two years ago. Thank you so much for the opportunity to enter.

  5. I’m an art student, and I love my Cat Harvey, and my Foster Oliver. I have been fostering for almost 2 years now. Having this calendar would be great because it would help me know that there are great people out there that love Cats and animals just like I do.

  6. After spending almost seven years of photographing my foster and rescued kitties, I am starting to paint watercolor paintings using some of the images I have caputred. I can appreciate how much work goes into this. I think this calendar would inspire me.

  7. What a wonderful calendar. I’ve been doing animal rescue work for almost 50 years. It’s stories like these that make the difficult parts of animal rescue work worth the effort.

  8. As the parent of an 18 year old cat myself, I know how much that portrait must have meant to your friend. What a thoughtful gesture! We have nine rescued furbabies who live w/us. I’d love to have a portrait of all of them. Bernadette Kazmarski is SO talented. Her work is beyond amazing. I would love to win the calendar of her photos/paintings. Thank you for such a wonderful opportunity.

  9. I was having a really bad day until I saw this! And out came a beautiful smile!!! I dearly love cats!! Mine own and everybody else’s. This calendar and book would heal my sad heart.

  10. I would like to win the calendar because it’s beautiful and would inspire me through the year… 16 months, actually. I try to get a desk calendar like this each year to keep notes in but to be honest the ones I’ve found the past couple of years are just so-so. I went to Bernadette’s site with the intent of perhaps buying one but the my computer– or else my browser– isn’t displaying properly. I’ll try again at the local library’s computers. My other problem is that I tend not to use PayPal on the net and credit cards sparingly. I hope she has a way to pay by check. I’d love to win, but I know everyone else would like to win as well.

    Good luck with the Petties! I do vote for you!

    • Jeanne, thanks for voting!

      I would suggest contacting Bernadette through her website to see if she’ll accept checks.

  11. That looks beautiful and I would be thrilled if I won!! Thanks for all the cool giveaways lately.

    Tweeted for extra entry too — you’re following me I think.!/RabidRantingCat

  12. This would be great to win! I’m sure my 8 rescue kitties would be jealous that they weren’t in the calendar, though LOL

  13. I would so cherish this gift! Over the past 30 years I have rescued 100’s of cats on my own, from orphaned bottle-fed babies to cats with handicaps and disabilities to senior cats looking for a forever home to live out the latter years of their lives. It’s a rewarding experience to give these beautiful, loving cats and kittens a second chance at life with people who love and care for them, saving them from being euthanized in a shelter.

  14. Rescue kitties and strays have filled my life with endless pleasure. Even if I win your book, I want to give another couple of books as gifts to special friends. Love your work.

  15. If I won this lovely calendar, I would donate it to the silent auction that benefits the cat rescue group for which I volunteer.

  16. What a beautiful calendar and gift! I would love to win the calendar to give to my local shelter to help raise awareness about spay and neuter and TNR! What a WIN-WIN deal!!! I’d keep the calendar for myself, but it would serve a much bigger purpose sharing it! Thank you!

  17. Oh, the little bit you have shown is so beautiful. Having had and loved cats for decades I would be so honored to have this in my home. Thank you for the chance to win.

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