**click portrait to enlarge**
(oil painting on canvas, 16X20, 2006)
"Woman with a Persian Cat"
I love cats. People who hate cats have never taken their time to get to know one. In my lifetime I was blessed with two great cat friendships. The first one started when I was thirteen. I was feeling incredible lonely and somewhat abandoned after my mother moved to the States and I was left in the care of my grandmother.
Fortunately for me my grandmother felt so bad about the situation that she allowed me to get a kitten despite her life-long animosity towards felines. Ivan Ivanych was the best kitten in the world. He went everywhere with me resting comfortably around my neck like a fur collar. For several years he was my closest confidant and best friend.
A few months before I was supposed to leave for the U.S. Ivan Ivanych disappeared. I was heart broken and fell to pieces. For weeks I searched for him everywhere from dirty apartment buildings' basements to the nearby parks to only later find out that my grandmother has simply given him to my uncle. I understand now that she thought what she did was for the best, since she was battling cancer and I was leaving. Although, I still wish she told me that he was at least alive…
For the next twelve years I put cats out of my mind and concentrated on dogs and chinchillas. That is until Fate intervened and I got Tihon in the fall of 2006. I found him on Craig's list and I knew right away that this abandoned gray-white kitten and me were meant to be together. I was right! He reminds me a lot of Ivan Ivanych. I feel Tihon was a God's way of recreating for me the very special relationship that Ivan Ivanych and I once shared.
"If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur."
"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."
"Cats are smarter than dogs, you can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow."