Crazy Cat Lady

It was about six years ago when a pillowy, brindle colored stray female cat started hanging out my garden. She was one of most lovable cats I’d ever met. I fed her and, naturally, she never left. I named her Jessie, and she’s still with me 🙂

Jessie spends most of her time outside but never roams far. When I call her from the kitchen door steps she appears usually within three minutes. We’ve been through a lot together –  surly male cats trespassing on Jessie’s turf, raccoons, vet appointments for her bronchitis, Superstorm Sandy. These days I give her daily meds and spoil her with a superb diet. I took this picture of her just after she finished scarfing down a can of brisling sardines. Look at that pink tongue!


And here’s a quick charcoal sketch of me by my friend Bruce Williams. During a private session at Bruce’s studio, his cat Ika decided to join us and jumped up onto the platform. She’s a fine modeling partner and a great little cat. But Jessie will always be my number one girl.


Artists seem to have an affinity for cats. I wonder why? Andy Warhol owned 25 cats, and Ai Wei Wei has over thirty! Matisse, Picasso, Dali, Klimt, Georgia O’Keeffe – all cat people. Honestly, I love all animals equally and would love to have a dog. Ok .. two dogs, six cats, a giant aviary full of canaries, a 300 gallon aquarium full of tropical fish, a horse, a rabbit, a turtle, and a peacock. That’s all really 😉

Suzanne Valadon, Study of a Cat, 1918:


16 thoughts on “Crazy Cat Lady

  1. scultore says:

    Can’t wait to work with the Crazy Cat Lady again! see you tomorrow!

  2. Dave says:


    That wonderful post, the paintings, the photo of Jessie, and the drawing made me just a little bit jealous. I grew up with cats but developed a pretty severe allergy in my teens. So no cats for me. But I’ve (over)compensated with three dogs.

    I hope you’re doing well. I’ve had a couple of great sessions lately, and I hope you’ve been similarly blessed.

    • artmodel says:


      Though you’ve had to forego cats, for good reason, dogs are totally wonderful! I’m sure they are a very happy trio with you as their caretaker.

      Delighted to hear that you’ve had quality modeling sessions of late. That’s awesome. Hope it continues.

      Thanks so much for your comments!


  3. Love the charcoal sketch and the pose . . .

  4. Elaine Hajian says:

    I loved the photo of Jessie. Know her well. I have three cats.
    Taffy, Silver and Miles. They are outdoor cats but will come inside to
    make sure to remind me that they are hungry. Like Claudia, I feed them top of the line cat food. Only the best for these wonderful
    friends. Lovely sketch by Bruce.

    • artmodel says:


      Your three cats are just as beautiful as Jessie. And I should let the readers know that they are three siblings, which is very cool. Nice that they maintain their family bonds.

      Thanks for commenting.


  5. Grier Horner says:

    Fantastic sketch, great pose.

  6. Bill says:

    Sardines, eh? Hmmm, free food, free rent, probable access to the ray of sun hitting the couch for napping purposes — where did you say your garden was? 🙂

    • artmodel says:


      Should I open a boarding house? Or, I should say, a boarding garden? Fine with me! All the amenities here .. and Jessie takes full advantage. She hunted and killed a bird today, though, which was a little gruesome. I guess even sardines aren’t enough to satisfy these lunatic cats!

      Thanks for your comments.


  7. Derek tewey says:

    lovely piece I believe you mentioned about doing a Museworthy art show that features pets involved I would love to do something like that in the future. Your mate is one talented man and captured you spot on and you seemed to be surrounded by talented artistic people. You are truly an inspiration to us artists.

    btw I love your reclicing poses it showed calmness peacful and vulnerability. the artist and the model make a good collaboration in telling a story.


    • artmodel says:


      I’m glad you brought up my idea for the next Museworthy Art Show. You have a good memory! I still want to go with that idea, and you’ve prompted me to get moving on it. “Pets and Portraits” 🙂

      Thank you, as always, for your kind comments about my modeling. Reclining poses are great. Models like doing them, and artists like drawing them. And like you said, my friend Bruce did a fine job. He and I have worked together many many times!


  8. Jessie’s clearly thinking: “It ith true, I am wonderful. And they adore me.” 🙂

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