Crabby Cat Portrait

Crabby cat

Crabby cat

Our cat Perkins was named for a grey cat in the children’s book “The Castle of Cats”, one of my daughter’s favorite childhood books.  She was a typical tortoise-shell cat with a grey/pale orange/white coat, except for the six toes, just like Hemingway’s cats.

She looks rather innocuous  in this portrait, but I called her Crabby Cat.  We got her as a kitten when the kids were small and they grew up together.  I show her here, perched on top of the water heater in the laundry room off of the kitchen.  She liked the out of the way place it was located and I think jumped up on it from the washing machine.  I’m sure that the warmth that it gave off was quite an incentive too.  She wasn’t particularly sociable, but she did like warm feet.  The only time she consented to sit on anyone’s lap was in the dead of winter when she got cold.  You could feel the iciness of her foot pads right through your pants. Only brief patting was allowed; then she just better be able to sit there and get warm.  Picking up was not usually permitted.

It wasn’t as though she was a biter when she got annoyed.  She just preferred interactions on her own terms and she definitely let you know when time was up. She never broke any skin, but after she had enough (which never was actually very long) you got the point.  Even the dog knew not to mess with her.  She was a cat to look at more than to play with.  I have heard that this aloofness is common for calicos and tortoise shell cats and now that I have looked for it, I believe it is true.

I definitely like this piece more than the black cat ones.  That dark color was really HARD and allowed for very little subtlety.  I am not unhappy with the way the two turned out, but this one gives me a bit more confidence in selling pet portraiture. This looks like Perkins, even to me.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy D.
    Aug 25, 2013 @ 14:30:16

    I love it! My favorite animal you have done, I think. The paw with the extra toe is just right! And what a cute face. I thought when I clicked the link she would look very crabby, but no – just a nickname. If I had a cat I think I would prefer the cuddly kind, but of course there are as many cat personalities as there are cats! 🙂


    • ruthsartwork
      Aug 25, 2013 @ 14:35:07

      Thanks, Cindy. I think this one is the best too. She didn’t look crabby, she just was crabby. LOL Very deceiving to anyone who didn’t know her. She was easily insulted.


  2. DixCutler
    Aug 25, 2013 @ 16:32:19

    Beautiful portrait, Ruth.
    Definitely reminds me of our first cat. She was also aloof and insisted — to the children’s chagrin — that she had first dibs on the warm spot in front of the kitchen heat register. The only time I saw her leave there of her own free will was when a mouse came through the nearby doorway. She actually jumped up on the nearest chair. That was our first “Farm Cat”! Luckily, the others that volunteered to join us later were much braver.


    • ruthsartwork
      Aug 25, 2013 @ 17:13:06

      Thanks, Dix. She was not an ideal cat for the kids because she didn’t want to play much – nor was she a mouser – but we loved her just the same. My daughter’s current cat is a real lover, but only to her.


  3. lesliepaints
    Sep 02, 2013 @ 18:46:45

    Beautiful. The color and the softness of her coat is really stunning in this portrait. I still like those black ones, too!


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