Dogs can be heroes just by being there when we need them. Some dogs, however, do more than simply “be there”. In the case of Marron (left), her presence inspired a movement that brought real change to a community in Peru.
Rescued off the streets of Iquitos, Peru, Marron became the co-founder for the Amazon Cares charity that has rescued countless other stray animals in the region. Capturing the heart of her human companion, Marron inspired an international effort to bring improved quality of life to animals in the region. It has been no small effort, but it has been a successful one.
Sadly, Marron went to the Rainbow Bridge on March 4, 2016. It was my honor and pleasure to paint her portrait with her pal Marilyn, another rescued pup from Peru.
I am not exactly a wildlife artist. My typical artistic genre is more in the realm of domestic pets. I have, however, on occasion, created artworks of wildlife.
Wild animals fascinate me, and although they are not typically the subject of my artwork, I love all animals, and I am amazed at the wondrous beauty found in animals in the wild. When a wild animal finds itself harmed and trapped by man’s world, it saddens me deeply. I am very thankful for those who take on the challenge of rehabilitating such creatures.
I once volunteered with a wildlife rescue, which resulted in me adding my cat Slick to my family. Slick went to the Rainbow Bridge in September of last year. You can read how she came to my family here.
I was intrigued by the local media stories about the owl, and I posted about it on my Facebook page. It caught the attention of many of my Facebook fans, one of whom was so intrigued, she has commissioned me to paint a portrait of it! Paula Andrews Rogers is a big fan of the Harry Potter stories, and she saw a great story in this owl’s likeness to the Snowy Owl Hedwig in the series. She would like for me to paint it’s portrait and send it to Author J.K. Rowling in Scotland!
T.S. Eliot wrote poems about a colony of cats that eventually were compiled into the book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Andrew Lloyd Weber adapted the poems into the musical Cats, which was the second longest-running show in Broadway history. I read once that the poems were inspired by an actual colony of feral cats that Eliot tended.
Much like the famous writer, I too am charmed and inspired by the antics and independent dignity of free roaming cats. Unlike pets that people keep in their homes, these animals live simply for the sake of being a cat.
So called feral cats are unsocialized to human contact, and they are often the offspring of abandoned and stray pets. Feral cats multiply much too quickly, though, and they become unwelcome pests in many areas.
As a volunteer with Peace for Pets, a nonprofit organization in Stark County, Ohio, I have been performing Trap Neuter Return (TNR) interventions with feral cats to reduce the overpopulation of free roaming cats in the area.
This summer, I have participated in TNR with several feral cats, and much as Eliot was inspired to write, I have been inspired to draw the cats in a new series of original drawings called “Fab Ferals”.
Each drawing is 5″ x 7″ and matted for framing in an 8″ x 10″ frame. I am selling the drawings in my Etsy Shop if you would like to purchase them. New drawings will be added daily, so visit often! 10% of the sales from the Fab Feral series will be donated to Peace for Pets.
Some of these cats have been named by the humans who feed them and manage their colonies. “Oreo” above is a male cat who has spawned many young kittens, but he is now neutered and will no longer contribute to the overpopulation of free roaming cats. “Mama Kitty”, a female cat who makes a pallet factory her home, will be a “mama” to no more kitties thanks to TNR.
You can learn more about the process of TNR at the Neighborhood Cats website. TNR is not only the most humane method for controlling feral cats, it is also the most effective method.
I hope that you enjoy the drawings, and I hope that you support TNR in your Community!