“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are…”From Edward Lear’s famous Limerick “The Owl and the Pussy-cat”. It is said that the cat in the Limerick was based on Lear’s cat. Not sure about the Owl, Maybe he had a pet owl as well. who knows! We are engaged by stories that give animals human qualities. The owl and the pussy cat have a romance and get married, by a Turkey, no less. On a “land where the Bong-tree grows”! Owls and cats would obviously do no such thing. But we find that charming.
I think there is something else that attracts us to cats. Their indifference perhaps? Rudyard Kipling hit the nail on the head in his just so story, “The cat that walked by himself”. Of all the domesticated animals the cat has remained wild. Maybe we like their aloof nature, their inherent wildness.
This watercolour was a Battle! Technically I wanted to get a simple shape, kind of in keeping with how children draw cats. round head, round body, and stick legs. The head was the struggle! I kept doing and re-doing the shape, I knew it needed to be heart-shaped, but finally when i re-did the muzzle it all slotted into place! You can see an eairler version of the painting here
Image © Daniel Mackie
View All the cats at The DM Collection
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With the exception of artists, inventors, and teenagers - we humans are diurnal daytime creatures on the whole, and although it’s one thing to be out and about during the night in a street lit urban environment, it’s a very different scenario if you find yourself in, say… oh, I don’t know, a forest per se. Where, if you’re lucky, you may hear the unmistakable cry or hoot of an Owl: natures very own nocturne, a stark reminder of the unknown peril of night, and a creature that has featured heavily in myth and folklore throughout the ages.