This is the late and much loved Meowers.
His owner sent me a number of shots to choose from: so many, and so varied, in fact, that I almost found myself at a loss. My first favourite photo, was the dark eyed beauty, propped up against the sofa (bottom middle). There’s a kind of dainty precision about his pose there, that reminds me of a Beatrix Potter character. Yet, with his normally flamboyant cravat squished down into a neat square, like a dog-collar, I’m wondering whether he isn’t more like Chesterton’s Father Brown than Potter’s Tom Kitten. I can rather imagine Meowers accompanying a flamboyant French criminal across London in possession of a priceless blue Cross and in pursuit of a flamboyant French Criminal’s soul. I think if Meowers looked too long at me like that, I might give him my soul, too. (You know, if you can’t imagine it, you really must read or reread “The Blue Cross”. I would myself, it’s just the afternoon for some G.K.Chesterton, but I’m now haunted by the fear that I may have mis-remembered the whole thing, or got hold of the wrong end of the stick. It happens.)
On a more prosaic note, though, Meowers’ eyes, dark with superior intelligence and kindness, are also dark with no visible highlights, which might prove tricky in a portrait. So Father Meowers was put to one side.
My next choice was the that top photo. But talking of eyes that steal your soul, I worried that those eyes, combined with the quizzical tilt to the head, were too beautiful perhaps, or too poignant, at any rate, for the portrait of a cat who has recently died. In the end, I asked the owner which photo she would start with, and she suggested the one on the bottom left. I think she chose cannily well: it’s a nice every day pose, in an every day background, just the way to remember the companion of those every days of hearth and heart.
But no matter which photo we chose, what colours that Meowers sported in his time! I had lots of fun with the fabric paints.
The first thing was to find my tabby threads – turns out I’ve rather a few by now. Then it was just a case of sketching and colouring in. Oh, and holding one’s breath, because it’s obviously not that easy.
Then some greens for the eyes:
And here he is, ready and waiting for whiskers and a background:And here he is, shedding the essential goodness of Father Brown for the more exciting mystery of a Macavity, and hiding himself amongst the Liberty fabric swatches. I genuinely couldn’t find him for what stretched into an annoyingly long period of time, and a couple of fruitless trips up and downstairs to boot.After quite a bit of play with Meowers, myself and various backgrounds, we plumped for a beautiful blue. And here he is, all done:I do love those eyes – and so did his lovely owner when I sent her a picture of the work so far. She said that it was the eyes in that particle photo that she had so loved.
And Meowers is honoured as he should be: with stitches in time.
Ave atque vale, Meowers