Tag Archives: Caturday

Cats Get Around

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You may or may not know that I post a bi-weekly feature called The Friday Art Cat on Katzenworld, an amazing blog about all things cat. Well, it’s turned out to be a lot of fun for me, and other bloggers like what I’m doing enough to re-post my art! You can see how My Daily Musings‘ features My Article Read (this week, The Friday Art Cat is #22 on the list,) and Ravenhawks’ Magazine, a comprehensive site about spirituality and earth-friendly practices, has given The Friday Art Cat a prominent place on their post.

Closer to home, Vera, Lucy, and Bean are starting to get a little supervised outside time on the back patio to soak up the warming sun!

Three cats laying on a patio.

Left: Bean, Right: Lucy, Lower: Vera                                    We love our sunny patio!

Happy Spring weekend, everybody, and thanks for checking out the cats and news this Caturday.

Shelter

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I may have mentioned it before, but I love Illustration Friday, a site where illustrators respond to a weekly prompt based on a theme. It’s a great place to see a lot of creative responses to the motif, and to post your own theme-related work. This week’s prompt is SHELTER, which fits perfectly with some of my other recent posts. Like this Friday Art Cat on Katzenworld, this previous post about Los Gatos de Panama, and this one about a little kitty who lives in a culvert.

Cat under an umbrella, watercolor painting

Rainy cat.

Here’s a watercolor sketch that was inspired by a rainstorm and my cat, Miss Bean, who is wary of any water that falls from the sky. For me, it’s not only a portrait of my own cat who was a stray, but also a symbol for all the cats, and other homeless animals who need protection, food, medicine and shelter.

Nothing But Love

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Nothing But Love

I love Valentine’s Day, not for the commercial expectations for diamonds and romance, but, rather for the idea that there is a day where we are asked to contemplate and appreciate the love we experience, give and receive in our lives in all its forms.

Linocut heart prints with Chocolove

Linocut prints and chocolates waiting for delivery.

To celebrate this year, I carved a simple sentiment out of linoleum and printed multiples to give to friends and family along with a hug and some good chocolate.

Cats with Valentines.

Not all the cats are equally impressed with their Valentine hearts.

I tried to get the cats in the spirit. Bean was slightly tolerant of my heart placement, and Vera was completely disinterested. But, Lucy was enthusiastic, with appreciation for my cause.

Give appreciation to all beings who touch your life. If that involves hearts and chocolate, great! Otherwise, just a nice hug, or a slow blink, will do.

A Hole in the Door

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Between the place where there is the food dish, and the place of the litter box, exists a miraculous openness, The Magic Portal. It doesn’t require any thumbs to operate, and it allows free passing to those in need. In the best of a times, a cat may travel unhindered up and down the stairs. At it’s worst, it is used as a political tool in the power struggle for territory and domination.

Ginger cat sitting in a kitty doorway.

The view from the other side.

The humans like it because they don’t have to continually open and close the door for a cat, or leave the door ajar. In addition, The Magic Portal is a great source of entertainment for the humans, as the cat politics do not go unnoticed.

Guess Who Just Got Their Teeth Cleaned

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My vet recommended Vera for a cleaning because her gums had become inflamed, causing pain and discomfort. Cats can have similar dental issues to people that can impact overall health and well-being, so, we loaded a grumpy Miss Vera into the carrier and took her to the kitty dentist!

Smiling Cat

Look at my sparkly, clean teeth!

The procedure requires anesthetic so the teeth can be thoroughly cleaned and inspected. This also allows the vet to do any extractions or other procedures while the cat is safely asleep. The medical staff makes a complete record of the cat’s mouth, and, just like the familiar work-up from a human dentist, a digital x-ray record shows all of the teeth, and allows the vet to analyze any hidden complications. For example, Vera has a tooth that is showing evidence of resorption, but is not a problem at this time.

Cat dental x-rays

Here is a close up of Vera’s jaw. A pretty good check up!

Miss Vera came out of the anesthesia with no issues. She now has sparkly clean teeth, and her gums have returned to a healthy state. Another bonus is that Vera no longer offends her other cat friends with bad breath!

Special thanks to Dr. Jill Erickson at VCA Cherry Bend Animal Hospital!

 

Connoisseurs of Comfort

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Creative, inquisitive, and masters of the spaces they inhabit, cats have no qualms about making themselves comfortable. By way of example, I illustrate the particular behaviors my cats exhibited this week.

SUNDAY
We had a few friends over for Halloween. It was late, so I thought I would wait until the morning to complete the clean up. This is what Lucy thought about my leaving the drink station up overnight.

Cat on drink cart.

Awesome spot. I can see the whole room from here.

THURSDAY 
Bean has a penchant for imposing horizontal-ness as a way to say, “I will control you.” Here, she flops at the foot of the stair (a trick she learned from Lucy,) in an attempt to get someone to play with her. And, more adorably, Miss Bean takes a break to lay atop Neil who was just trying to do some sit-ups.

Cat laying on things

Left: Cat bed with instant heater
Right: None shall pass!!

FRIDAY
I’ve been working feverishly in my studio to make books for an upcoming art show. Interested in my activity, Lucy surveys the situation, then attacks my scissors, knocking the offending implement to the floor.

Cat with art supplies

This is a mess. I’m sure I can help.

Ginger cat with scissors

These things are useless when you have claws.

MIDWEEK
Tuesday, I was looking around the house for Vera, only to find her rolling in the laundry with a stinky dish rag. She has returned to the stinky dish rag for a couple of days, each time scruffing on and attacking her prey. I think it’s a sure sign that I need to do some laundry. On Wednesday, she exhibits complete disinterest in anything going with her humans.

Cat in laundry

I adore my stinky dish rag.

Yawning Cat

Yawn….or…. Rrrraaawwwrr!?

Hug a Black Cat Today

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Black cats are just as cuddly as every other type of kitty. Unfortunately, black cats are at an unusually high risk of being harmed this time of year, so keep them inside and under watch–especially on Halloween!

Black Cat Safety

Celebrate Black Caturday. Love a black cat today!

Drawlloween with Cats

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Cat Graveyard Illustration

Day 1: Return from the Dead

The real story is what happens inside the haunted house. That’s one of the reasons I’m participating in Drawlloween 2015, a month-long list of prompts and postings based on Halloween themes. I love Halloween–not so much the gore-ridden, chainsaw type of Halloween, but costumes, candy, and fun “scary” stuff. Plus, I’ve never been able to draw anything even vaguely terrifying.

Do Not Feed After Midnight

Day 2: Better Homes and Goblins
I interpreted this one more like Gremlins… but Goblins…Gremlins…not much difference!

I’m enamored with narrative, so I decided that I would include cats in order to push the story element of the illustrations. By pairing my silly cats with the daily prompts, I’m forced to think of imagery I might never have considered.

Cat lurking after a spider.

Day 3: Spider Day
This is possibly the scariest thing I’ve ever drawn.

I’ve set the parameter of working small. I trace a credit-card onto a page in my sketchbook and plan the sketch. The drawing is finalized using watercolor and pen, my preferred media for illustrating.

Cat and Mouse

Look out, Vera! I based this image on a photo I took of my cat Vera at the bottom of our hallway stairs and imagined what would happen if her toy mouse came to life.
Day 4: Mansions and Manors

I’ll be sharing my Drawlloween 2015 entries for the rest of the month. I hope I can keep up!

5 Things I Love About Cats

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5 Things I Love About Cats

Why DO people like cats soooo much? Cats claw your stuff, vomit on the rug, and track litter all over the house. They wake you up at four in the morning by walking on your face. They deposit cat hair everywhere, and never like riding in the car. And, yet, they are adored. My cats are so revered that I will pay to put my cat-allergic guests up in a hotel when they come to visit than oust my felines.

Cat in a box. Cats playing with toys.

Predictable, curious cats make playtime fun.

Here are a few things I love about cats:

  1. They’re entertaining. From excited reactions to catnip and laser pointers, to the predictable occupation of a cardboard box, cats provide hours of distracting fun.
  2. They’re aesthetically pleasing. Graceful, always thoughtful about the placement of their paws, there’s something about the presence of a cat that makes a space more habitable, more beautiful.

    Cat asleep in the sun.

    So beautiful! There’s something peaceful about a kitty in a sun puddle.

  3. Cats are snuggly. In varying degrees, my cats like to get pets and scruffs from the humans. Vera is the flopper who waits until I am perfectly settled before plopping over on me. Lucy just likes to be in my vicinity. Bean wants the full on lap experience. As in, “Please do not move. Ever. Or I will bite you.”

    Cats with their people.

    My cats love to be with the humans.

  4. Cat politics. Who gets to perch on the highest part of the cat tree? Who comes and goes through the window to the catio first? There are places in the house that clearly belong to one cat and other places that are comfortable, communal property.

    Cats in cat tree. Cat in a pod.

    From cat tree hierarchy, to pod sleepers, cats work out their own territory.

  5. Cats are a good reason to come home. Seriously. I love my home and life, but the thing that convinces me to return from any vacation that my cats are waiting for me. I say this with all sincerity, yet remain dubious regarding cats actually missing me.

Do you love cats? What is it that you find so appealing about cats? Why do you put up with all of the cattiness and furballs? Share your story!

Arty Cats

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Arty Cats

I collect cats. There are only three that already saturate the available space in my home, so I enjoy other people’s cats whenever I can. My obsession doesn’t stop there because I also amass images of cats I see in art museums and galleries. I am always on the lookout for the shadowy places an artist might have hidden a cat in a Renaissance painting, or featured a cat in a Pop Art portrait. I even wrote a brief post about Cats in Art a few years ago.

Sleeping Cat, Ruskin Spear

Sleeping Cat  Ruskin Spear was a British painter during the 1900’s. In addition to his portraits of dignitaries and such, he painted charming cats, as well.

My most populated collection of cats resides on Pinterest in Arty Cats. This is where I store and share images of cats I’ve seen that I really like. In my little online cat art gallery I’ve included master painters like Ruskin Spear and this sweet, sleeping cat, and Theophile Steinlein, who painted sassy French cats of the Moulin Rouge era.

Cats 1920 Steinlein

Cats 1910 by the grandfather of all cat painters, Theophile Alexandre Steinlein.

Some living artists whose work I admire include Midori Yamada, who creates quiet cat worlds with simple compositions . But, I also like the folk-style art of Ryan Conners of Kilkenny Cat Art in which she portrays cat friends who take off on adventures in their Volkswagens.

All of this cat art  is interesting to me, not only because I love cats, but also because I make pictures of cats. I like to see what other people are doing, and how I fit into the visual conversation. What is instructive to me, at the very core, is that people make extraordinary art about everyday things, in this case, cats. It is in the portrayal of the ordinary that elevates it to art as it becomes imbued with the perspective of its creator. Whether it makes us contemplate, or relate, or smile, or even dislike, then the art is successful.

As far our feline friends, it’s clear that cats inspire artists, whether as portraiture or symbol. The next time you’re in an art museum, I challenge you to do your own cat count to see how many works of art include a kitty. And, if you’re interested, you can see the varied cat portrayals I’ve saved on my Arty Cats Pinterest board. You can even start your own cat collection. If you can’t have more actual cats, then why not horde some virtual cats for your own enjoyment?