Let’s Talk About Cats

Siberian Cat Portrait

Recently I have decided to work on creating more cat portraits for my collection and I will also release these as prints. My decision is based on my experience at my new part time job at the lovely local gift shop “Candle Tree” where I sell some of my prints. One of the most popular prints, which is actually almost sold out, is called “Watching” and this is a painting of a Siberian cat (the main image at the top of this article).

I really enjoyed painting him back in 2013. But since then most of my works have been dogs and I have been focussed on bespoke commissions rather than artwork that I would reproduce as prints. The reaction of the customers when they see this painting of the cat is quite pleasing, people say that he is definitely following them with his eyes and that the picture looks great. To be honest I have got this painting in my dining room and it is very nice to see it every day and I never get bored of it. It may be even that pictures of cats have got their own therapeutic effect.

Being inspired by the public’s love of these furry friends I have decided to create more artworks of cats for print. I really want to concentrate on their eyes and very special expressions. In this blog I am happy to present my new cat painting and soon the prints from this artwork will be available as well.

Latest Cat Portrait Print
Latest Cat Portrait Print

Some Facts About Cats

I also have found a few interesting facts about cats and I am happy to share this information with everyone.

Hope you will enjoy it!

  1. CATS help to relieve depression and stress – The purring is very relaxing, stimulates concentration, and creates a very welcoming atmosphere.
  2. CATS  provide company – For a person who lives alone, a cat is the best option. It’s very independent when it wants to be, but also very affectionate.  Stroking or cuddling a cat can have a positive effect on your health. Research shows that felines can relieve stress and lower blood pressure, and studies have found that the hormone oxytocin is released when we’re around our furry friends, triggering feelings of happiness.
  3. CATS have been shown to help people get over their loss more quickly, and show less physical symptoms of pain, like crying. Despite the fact that they are only animals, cats serve as a social support during difficult times. People in mourning report talking to their pet to work out their feelings, since it is often easier to talk to something that won’t respond and can’t judge than to another human being. It seems to suggest that those who own cats are less likely to die from a heart attack than those who do not.
  4. CATS are very funny and playful, and they’ll always keep you entertained.
  5. CATS  hardly need any care – Unlike other animals, apart from vaccines and food, cats hardly need any care. They are pretty clean animals. As soon as they learn to use the litter box, they will always use it.

History & Cats

In some civilizations cats were sacred. In Egypt they were venerated for being the protectors of their most important god: Ra. Legend says he was born and died with every rising and falling of the sun. On the other hand, for hundreds of years cats were treated as evil creatures. It was believed they were the faithful companions of witches, carriers of bad luck and envoys of the devil. Their indomitable and unpredictable nature frightened both villagers and those in power.

Cats initially remained wild animals and according to recent studies, it is believed they themselves decided to approach humans in the hope of getting food. Their gentle nature got them fed by ranchers and farmers, who finally accepted them because of how good they were at hunting rodents. It wouldn’t be until several centuries later that cats would be accepted as company for humans.

Now About These Eyes

A cat’s eyes are one of its most distinctive features and they can vary significantly from one breed to the next. They range from large round eyes to almond shaped eyes and from pale blue to bright amber or dark green.

Cat Eyes Can Indicate Their Emotions

If you look at the eyes of a cat, you can get some indication of the way they are feeling right at that moment. Wide pupils are indicators of heightened emotions, such as excitement or fear. On the other hand, a narrowed pupil is usually a sign of anger.

All Kittens Have Blue Eyes

Just like humans, kittens are born with blue eyes and this does not necessarily indicate the colour of their eyes in the future. The majority of cat eyes become shades of hazel or amber. However, there is a vast range of eye colours found in cats, including green, yellow, and brown.

Cats Have a Third Eyelid

All cats have a third eyelid. This is located between the cornea and the regular eyelids and its purpose is to provide extra protection for cat eyes. At the base of the third eyelid, there is a gland that produces tears.

There is a Reason Why Cats Eyes Glow in Photographs

If you have ever taken a photograph with a cat in the picture, then you might notice that its eyes have an eerie glow to them in the photo. This is because the back of the retina in cat eyes is coated in mirror-like cells that allow them to make the most of the light. This is called the tapetum lucidum. When a camera flashes, it reflects the light back and gives the impression of ‘eye-shine’.

Cats & Superstitions

Cats have attracted a lot of different superstitions over the years, some easier to believe than others.  Here some superstitions from around the world.

  1. CATS ARE GOSSIPS. In the Netherlands, cats are apparently believed to be gossipy creatures who will happily blab all of your deepest, darkest secrets. For that reason, people try not to have important or private conversations while a cat’s in the room, just in case it’s listening.
  1. A GROOMING CAT MEANS UNEXPECTED VISITORS ARE COMING. According to Japanese superstition, if a cat washes its face with its paws, it’s not just grooming—it means that visitors are on their way. There are similar superstitions in other countries, too, with some people in the U.S. expecting a visit from a member of the clergy if a cat starts cleaning its whiskers.
  2. A SNEEZING CAT IS LUCKY (EXCEPT WHEN IT ISN’T). In Italy, hearing a cat sneeze is supposed to be good luck. Specifically, if your pet gets the sneezes, it means there’s money coming your way. If a bride hears a cat sneeze on her wedding day, it means the marriage will be a good one. Beware, though—while one sneeze might be good luck, if a cat sneezes three times it supposedly indicates that you’re going to come down with a cold.
  1. BLACK CATS SINK SHIPS. Of all the kinds of cats there are, black cats are the ones with the most superstitions attached. Maybe that’s due to the ancient Egyptian belief that black cats were associated with the goddess Bastet, and keeping one would bring her favour; maybe it’s to do with the European conviction that witches had black cats as familiars and so they were evil omens. One black cat superstition you might not have heard, though, is that if a black cat walks onto a ship and then back off again, the ship will sink on its next voyage.
  1. CATS CAN RAISE THE DEAD. In parts of Southern Europe, folklore has it that if a cat jumps across a person’s grave, they’ll rise again as a vampire. And this idea spread beyond Southern Europe. Writing in the late 19th century, William Henderson recounted  that in England a cat jumped over the coffin during a funeral, and no one was willing to move until the cat was killed.
  1. BEING A CAT LADY CAN HELP YOU GET MARRIED. Although pop culture has turned cats into a symbol of eternal singledom, according to one book on Pennsylvania German tradition, cats can help a woman who is anxious to get married. All she has to do is “feed the cat from her shoe,” although the superstition doesn’t say what’s supposed to happen next—or how to get the uneaten cat food out of the shoe.
  1. WET CATS MAKE IT RAIN. You might suspect there’s some cause and effect confusion going on here, but in parts of Indonesia, cats are associated with the weather. If people wanted it to rain, they’d pour water over a cat. Presumably the cat in question then made it rain as revenge.
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