Cats, as we all know only too well, have strong personalities, unlikely quirks and the ability to delight without even lifting a paw. The cats that color the California artist and Creator-in-Chief of Artiphany John Littleboy’s Kitten Club Playing Cards embody these characteristics. Through each bright, silly suit, we watch as these cats play like there’s nobody watching. In this way, the cards become more than just a game: they are a collection of stories, which unravel over the course of ace to ten. Card-by-card narratives in miniature that make even the most dull game of Go Fish a pleasure to play.
The heart cards’ kitty knitter turns the tables on our expectations and, instead of chasing that ever-entertaining ball of yarn, picks up a pair of needles and crafts herself a blanket for winter naps. Meanwhile, over on the spades, a peaceful green paw tends to a houseplant while her owner is out. Then there are those trouble makers, with dirty paws in the shape of clubs, having fun making patterns on your newly mopped kitchen floor; and the hungry kitty staring in longing at those tasty fishies—which strangely resemble floating diamonds—swimming through the fishbowl (not shown below).
Once you get to the court cards, it’s a whole different story. Here, the artist has made each jack, queen and king into a portrait of a personality. There is the intellectual—Immanuel Kaht—thinking hard on the face of the jack of Spades; La Reina de los Corazones (Queen of Hearts), dancing a salsa with a sly look in her eye; and Mewie XIV, looking grumpy and overdressed as the king of Diamonds.
In other words, Mr. Littleboy’s Kitten Club playing cards are an artist’s homage to the wonderful world of cats. They make a unique, fun, pocket-sized gift. They brighten every weeknight game of poker, every round of bridge. They are visual catnip for cat lovers.
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