Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A-Muse: Confessions of a Closet Cat Fetishist and The Neighbor Kitties


Ah, the muse, how we love thee. My eclectic junking soul has dozens, and I'm sure you do, too. This A-Muse feature will explore my favorite art inspiration, right in time to help me complete my ambitious quest to draw 36 things in 3 months! Let's start with a childhood favorite: the feline! I'm a crazy god damn cat lady.


I've loved cats since toddler-hood, my first beloved feline was a snowshoe Siamese we named April for her birth month and our favorite Ninja Turtle's reporter. Saved from a dumpster in Naples, Italy, our April lived up to her breed's standard of being an incredibly gregarious, loving and sweetly vocal companion. (Also a rare breed, only 388 officially registered in the USA in the last decade!) My family mourned when a stray dog wrote the final chapter of her life, she'd lived with us for over a decade. (Hence why my Yuko is a strict indoor-only cat!) If I acted out my secret desires I'd have four cats. Another snowshoe, my current feline, Yuko, a calico Japanese bobtail named Usagi (Japanese for rabbit), and Lydia the Bombay.


Give it time, I'll age into a crazy collector as the years pass. I'll buy a new cat every time a man breaks my heart, by the time I'm eighty I could have hundreds! It'll be beautiful. Just me and my eight hundred cats. Just kidding. OR AM I?!


I'd love to produce a cat photography series or even publish a cat photography and/or artwork book. They're energetic subjects, their front-facing eyes expressive and their Cheshire "grins" alluringly enigmatic.


Why do the artists (notable cat fans, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Claude Monet, Alexander Dumas, Freddie Mercury) find never-ending inspiration in the cat? I'm sure their graceful shapes and movements play a role; they sprawl on narrowest ledges, perch proudly on the tallest spires, squeeze into clandestine cubbies, all without breaking a sweat.


No matter where I'm at in the world, I love to stop and photograph the local cats. They add life to composition and highlight or nicely juxtapose local architecture and landscapes. All the of the photos in this post were snapped on a couple of walks around my Riverside, Jacksonville neighborhood. Everything's better with cats!


Cats are cool, sleek, tough, and elegant. They're what we wish we could be. They are vengeance. They are the night. They are Catman! They sleep 12 hours a day so we don't have to. What heroes!

The Yuko, my own personal feline muse. And pissant.

I love drawing, shooting, watching, and living with them. They'll never fail to a-muse! I really let the cat out of the bag with this one, oh ho ho ho! :D I'll stop with the bad puns now.

Are kitties a muse for you, too? Feel free to share your favorite muses in the comments!
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15 comments:

  1. Cats are very photogenic, aren't they? I haven't "replaced" my old cat who lived with me for 13 years. Miss having one!

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    1. I still miss the April when I think of her or look at Snowshoe Siamese cats and the dog killed her 11 years ago. I looove cats but didn't get the Yuko until my niece's cat had two kittens. They're a big responsibility, but they're worth it. :D

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  2. Im a crazy cat lady too. As much as I would love a Scottish fold, I only will get a cat from a shelter. Besides, shelter cats tend to live the longest. My childhood calico lived to 21 and my current calico is 19 and nowhere near slowing down.
    Yes, cats so photograph well. They are always chillaxin'

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    1. I would love a Scottish fold too, those ears! They're so painfully cute. If a snowshoe turns up in a cat shelter he/she will be MINE! I didn't know shelter cats tend to live longest, good to know!

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    2. Is there inbreeding with "purebreds" you can get from breeders I wonder?

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    3. I don't really know if shelter cats live the longest. I just like to think that if they make it though shelter life, they are a little tougher. :-)

      I'll keep my eye out for a snowshoe for you! Im in florida too!

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    4. I would love that, thank you!

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  3. I prefer to refer to myself as a batshit crazy cat lady. I currently have 6 and have plans for building an indoor/outdoor cat enclosure in the near future. If I build it, they will come...or be dropped off to "that crazy cat lady." My first real cat of all my own was a snowshoe named Billy. She too was killed by a dog. I still mourn her and she is my standard for measuring what all perfect cats should be. Luckily, I even love the imperfect ones.

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    1. That is...a wonderful, magical dream! :D Haha! I may have day dreamed about owning my own no-kill cat shelter before, I volunteered at a beautiful one with a multi-leveled carpeted room for the cats as a tween and it was fun to get to know each animal and their quirky personalities. Over a decade later my mom and I may still get misty eyed if we reminiscence too much over the April, I've never talked with a snowshoe owner that didn't remember the animal as a loyal, playful, purring machine.

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  4. I love cats too, from the local ones that come over to say hello when I pass to the feral kittens i met in an Italian Hill town, to the neighbours' cat that used to more or less live in our garden when i was young

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    1. I'm not alone! I always have to "speak" with the roaming ferals I pass and document them if my camera's handy.

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    2. I found a new cat muse today! A lovely young ginger cat was lying on a windowledge, saw me and rolled over to show it's tummy then fell off the windowledge before coming running over to say hello! Hilarious and very sweet... would have made a sweet video!

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    3. Haha! I love it when they do that. My animal is the clumsiest cat ever, I need to document her spills someday.

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  5. Cats are the perfect photo. They sit still, pose in all sorts of ways and are just fun to play with and watch. We have 5 of them and adore them to pieces. Two are brother and sister and look like the white furry one you have picture with the black hair around the face. Their blue eyes are amazingly beautiful. They all have different personalities just like people.

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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