Cats painting? Oh yes, my friends and there is a book written about it. I was pricing books for the AAUW book sale that we hope to hold this year and there was another couple pricing books for part of the time I was in there. Somehow we came to talk about pets which moved to cats and all things related. While I was pricing the husband was looking around at some of the offerings that will be for sale and he found me the most perfect book. Some may call it oddball but I call it perfect.
Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aesthetics by Heather Busch and Burton Silver is brilliant in a way I had not expected. The book was written in 1994 and you can still obtain copies on Amazon (link above) if it is something that you need to have. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have to share just a few reasons why that is so.
I don’t have permission from the authors to share much more than a brief review but I am hoping they won’t mind if I share a couple of their fabulous photos. Basically the book is a look at the history of cats in art and the idea that they are motivated to create paintings as part of their territorial marking behavior.
The book is split into four basic parts — a historical perspective, theories of feline marking behavior, Twelve Major Artists featuring 12 award winning felines and finally other forms of artistic expression which got quite a few guffaws from me.
Take a look at Buster who is recreating Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Apparently his interpretation is that the blue marks are territorial and in this painting they indicate ownership of the inverted object. Seriously –there are people who spend a lot of time working on this so I trust their words. I certainly would not have come up with that on my own.
Without doubt my favorite part of the book was the part that shared different artistic expression forms other than painting. Basically these include torn couches, scratches on fence posts, torn venetian blinds, litter box scratchings and of course — gifts of mice arranged artistically.
Just when you think you have seen it all you find a book on cat painting and know you haven’t. I love that this book found its way into my hands and I will happily return it so that others can have the pleasure as well.
Have you ever run across a book that made you giggle like this one did for me? I would love to hear about it in the comments. Remember that each comment made on any post this month means a 50 cent donation to Copeland Oaks Life Care Fund.