HAPPY NEW YEAR! I have a new cat!

 Paradoxes, purposes and ponderances  Comments Off on HAPPY NEW YEAR! I have a new cat!
Dec 312017
 
CALICO CAT kitten digital pet portrait by Artist BZTAT

Digital pet portrait of Ellie by Artist BZTAT

If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you no doubt have noticed that I recently rescued a small kitten. I have posted several photos and videos of her, so it would be hard not to notice.

The kitten entered my life on Small Business Saturday (11/25/17), which turned into a complicated mess of a day for me. I awakened that day to the realization that I had forgotten to lock my back door before bed, and the wind had blown it open. When I did a cat check, all in my furry brood were still inside – except for Who (yes, my cat’s name is Who). The great outdoors had beckoned, and my incorrigible Maine Coon had answered the call.

Who’s disappearance completely disrupted my plan of spending the biggest shopping day of the year for small businesses at my studio in the Canton Arts District. I had planned to meet customers and do painting demos. Instead, I spent the day looking for Who under bushes, in crawl spaces, in the field across the way, etc. I even cased out a large groundhog hole, thinking he may have crawled in there. It was all for naught. There was no Who in sight.

As evening approached and a cold chill came on, I began to feel desperate. I knew Who could not survive on the city streets in the cold. I called a friend who had live traps and decided to try to entice him in.

Soon after I set the first trap, it snapped. I threw a covering over the trap to calm the beast inside. When I pulled back the covering, though, it was not Who inside. A small calico kitten, instead, was thrashing about inside the trap. 

She looked to be about 3-4 months old – too young to release back to the streets on her own, really, but possibly over the age for successful socialization with humans. What was I to do with her?

CALICO CAT kitten

Ellie Cat

As I contemplated what to do, my neighbor knocked on my window and pointed at my door. When I opened the door, Who casually sauntered in as if nothing had happened. Upon reflection, it was almost like he had known this kitten needed help and had staged the rescue himself.

A friend agreed to let the kitten stay in her garage, and later, her enclosed porch, while we decided what to do with her. We put her in a large dog crate so that we could assess her socialization potential. First impressions were rough. She snarled and hissed and smacked at us viciously through the crate. We feared that she may have passed the age where she would be accepting of human contact.

I have been here before, though, with cats. Mia Meow, too, had been resistant to humans at first.  

I remembered a quote from one of my most favorite movies of all time – Contact. In the movie, a father had given his precocious daughter a ham radio, and he had encouraged her to take small steps towards achieving her goal of reaching people around the world. “Small moves, Ellie. Small moves.” he said. As she grew older, the words “Small moves, Ellie. Small moves,” became a prophetic refrain as she struggled to let things evolve in her life instead of forcing them to be.

Taking small moves with a cat, such as letting her sniff your hand and explore your scent; slow blinking to reduce her sense of threat; and putting food in your hand for her to overcome barriers; helps her to realize humans are OK. Eventually, the kitten started rubbing her cheeks on my hand and she allowed me to pet her. Then she agreed to sit in my lap and kneaded her paws as if making biscuits. It took time, and many small moves. But the kitten is now quite comfortable with me and my friend, and she seems to enjoy human “contact”.

As friends have followed her progress on social media, the big question everyone seems to want an answer for is, “Are you going to keep her?”

CALICO CAT kitten

Ellie with Dr. Amanda

I have held off answering that question for a number of reasons. First of all, as a self employed artist, finances are not predictable, and I wasn’t sure that I could afford taking on a new cat. There are lots of expenses to taking on a new pet, and I was still paying off bills from Brewskie’s care from his final days. Second, I wasn’t sure my heart was ready for a new cat after losing Brew.

Friends helped me cover her veterinary expenses, though, for which I am eternally grateful. And after putting so much effort into socializing her, the kitten found a spot for herself in my still aching heart.

So yes. I AM KEEPING HER. 

CALICO CAT kitten

Ellie on my lap as I write this post.

I have named the kitten Ellie after the character in the film Contact, Eleanor Arroway. I am grateful to have her here to remind me that I need to take small steps and let things evolve in my own life.

She is now living in my home, although she is still being kept separate from the other cats. The process of introduction will be a series of small moves as well, as she acclimates to being a part of a family of fabulous felines. Stay tuned to see how the story evolves.

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

What’s on BZTAT’s Easel? Simon the Church Cat.

 custom pet portraits, Paradoxes  Comments Off on What’s on BZTAT’s Easel? Simon the Church Cat.
Dec 042017
 
Simon the Church Cat Pet Portrait by Artist BZTAT

Simon the Church Cat Pet Portrait by Artist BZTAT

It is rare that an artist gets the opportunity to paint the portrait of an animal who holds a very important job. I recently was granted that opportunity.

Meet Simon, the caretaker and chief greeter of the Church of the Advent in Boston, MA.

Simon has kept residence at the Church of the Advent since July of 2012, and a parishioner, Julianne Ture, documents his antics on Facebook and  Instagram. He is the latest in a long succession of church cats at the church.

He takes his job very seriously, as you can see in the slideshow photos below.

Painting Simon’s portrait was a bit of a challenge for me. I wanted to capture his personality, as well as express something about the spiritual environment that is his domain.

It is a study in contrasts. His countenance is a mixture of mischief and pride, both stately and comical at the same time. His domain, on the other hand, is very regal with beautiful woodwork and ceremonial furnishings. Behind the scenes, Simon keeps the office in working order, and he manages the church’s recycling program.

 

You can see that Simon is a very busy cat. He is very friendly as well, and he is very observant of the job description that was developed for his predecessor Jeoffry. I wonder…are there lint rollers hidden in the sacristy to keep the vestments and pillows free of Simon fluff?

Cat portraits are always fun for me to paint, but Simon’s was an extra special treat. I hope someday to meet this amazing beast. Thank you, Julianne, for sharing Simon’s antics in cyberspace, and thanks for the opportunity to paint his portrait!

See other Premiere Contemporary Custom Pet Portrait Paintings here and learn about commissioning a portrait of your pet!

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

*Slideshow photos by Julianne Ture

Today’s “Drawing a Day” – “Aromatic”

 Paradoxes  Comments Off on Today’s “Drawing a Day” – “Aromatic”
Nov 062017
 
"Aromatic" Drawing of a mug of coffee by artist BZTAT

“Aromatic” Drawing by artist BZTAT

For an artistic challenge, I am making a drawing every day in November. Each drawing will be placed for auction on here on my blog. These drawings will be fun images that will make nice gifts for the upcoming holidays. I have done “Drawing a Day” projects before, and they have been a lot of fun!

You can follow each day’s drawing by by subscribing to my my blog or by following my posts on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Minimum bids will be low – you just might get a great artwork for a bargain!

Today’s drawing is of a very aromatic cup of coffee, drawn with Prismacolor Pencil on black paper. As the days get shorter and colder, a nice warm cup of coffee to snuggle up with is just what you need. I hope that you like it! 

Thanks for following along all month and for bidding on the drawings!

By the way, let me know what you would like to see me draw the rest of the month in the comments below. I am open to suggestions!

Here’s the info about the drawing:

5″ x 7″ Prismacolor Pencil and Marker Drawing by artist BZTAT 

Comes with an acid free mat ready for a 8×10″ frame

Leave bids in increments of $5 below in the comments section.

Minimum Bid $20 USD

Shipping: $5 USA $15 International

BUY NOW OPTION: You can buy this piece now for $35 as long as no bids have been made in the comments below. Simply write BUY NOW in the comments and I will send you an invoice via Paypal which can be paid with a credit card or with PayPal.

Highest bid at 10:00 pm EST on Tuesday 11/4/17 wins the piece.

Winning bidder: I will send an invoice via Paypal to the winning bidder which can be paid with a credit card or with PayPal.

Please allow 2-3 weeks for USA shipping.

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

 Posted by at 1:26 pm