Gemma and her kittens in the wild strawberries and periwinkles.
We rescued her, as a kitten, from a pet shop in St Albans.
Don't tell your father it's a girl, I warned my two small sons, who helped me choose her on our way back from school one day. Surprise for him, when a year later, Gemma gave us four beautiful little furry presents, as a thank you for having her. They were born in the kitchen on the trolley behind the shelter of a Save The Children tea towel in time for tea. We kept Muppet and Emu, (the girls!) and gave the other two kittens, Bimbo and Lou, to nearby friends.
The following year Muppet became a mother herself, to five even lovelier babies. Her sister, Emu, decided to study domestic science rather than motherhood and became known as Auntie Emu.
The point of Mother's Day originated in olden times, when girls, often as young as 11, had to leave home and go out to work sometimes in service to the gentry. They were given one day in the year to visit their mothers. The traditional present to take to her was a bunch of violets, picked on the way from the hedgerows.
Violets grew amongst the wild strawberries and periwinkles in my mother's garden. I always picked a bunch for her on Mothering Sunday. The flowers in this painting are a tribute to my mother, for telling me this story and providing me with poignant and significant memories of this day.
As far as I know Gemma and Muppet did not receive any violets from their kittens. Perhaps they have different ways of showing their affection. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the world. The cats and I are thinking of you.
[This image has been licensed for use on greetings cards and the theme of motherhood makes it a perfact painting to license for a Mother's Day card and so many other wonderful gifts suitable for giving to Mothers.]