I was thinking back over my commissions in 2016 and beyond and it occurred to me how few pet portrait orders I now receive for cats. A few years ago I would paint several a year for my clients but today it is more like one a year.
And I’ve been trying to work out why. There’s not been a big drop in cat ownership to my knowledge or an increase in the canine community so why are cars out of fashion?
I personally think that there is a stronger bond between man and woman and dog than there is between the household cat and the family. There are exceptions of course but the family dog is generally very loyal expressing their love and affection and always by your side.
Now the domestic cat, if it’s anything like my Ginger Tom, ‘Murray’, doesn’t give a stuff about loyalty. He spends more time around my neighbour’s house with her cats. Once he’s been fed there he will wander back through the door flap and see what’s on offer here. He might even join us in the lounge if the fire is going and if we are really lucky he’ll bring us a mouse in – often alive.
My dog however, ‘Luke’ a Jack Russell cross Terrier loves everybody, protects the family and gets seriously stressed when I go out. Of course we all love Murray because that’s what cats do but if I was investing hundreds of pounds in a pet portrait Luke would have to be first choice!