One winter we heard a cat yelling in the gardens behind our home. We live in London and the gardens are enclosed by two streets of houses, so at first we thought he must live at one of the other houses. Maybe his owner worked late and the cat was out in the gardens during the day and wanting to be let back in perhaps? It seemed likely, but we kept seeing him out there and I became concerned, he was yelling pretty loudly! I took my courage in both hands and canvassed the neighbours, everyone had seen him but they all thought he belonged to somebody else. Besides, he looks well fed they said. My neighbour opposite however was also concerned. The following day it snowed and there he was, yelling in the snow. I could clearly see his paw prints and he hadn’t come from the house we thought he lived in. I grabbed the cat basket, went around to my neighbour and she let me into her garden. He came straight to me and practically jumped into my arms!
I took him home and as soon as we got him out of the basket we could see how thin he was and half his undercoat was missing! Poor lad must have been so cold! And to think people thought he was well fed! We put food and water down for him but he was so pleased to be rescued that he’d take a couple of mouthfuls of food and then come and rub himself over me, purring like a demon, then some more food then over to my other half for another rub. You couldn’t have got a clearer thank you if he could speak! By the time he was fed and we’d got him to the vet for a check-up we’d fallen for him. So once he got the all clear he came back home to live with us and our other cats.
Black cats are beautiful, truly they are the domestic panther in our homes. Anyone who lives with a black cat will find themselves blessed both by their beauty and their wonderful personalities. I’m an artist and I paint cats and I couldn’t resist the beauty of my own gorgeous house panther. He loves to sit next to my easel on the sofa looking out of the window. His fur glows in the sun and I can see so many beautiful colours in his coat. Harry has become my favourite model, appearing in many paintings since his unexpected arrival that winter. His paintings have been shown in many exhibitions too including the Society Of Feline Artists Exhibition in Central London. I’m a member of the society and Harry’s paintings have always done well there. He says that makes him a famous super model!
The society, or SOFA to its friends, has exhibited in London for the last 22 years, the last four years with Harry too. Sadly the gallery closed in 2018 when the owners retired, so the society is crowdfunding to raise money to host our own London show next year.
Harry is helping S.O.F.A. raise funds, limited edition prints of Harry in one of his most famous paintings ‘Day Dreamer‘ is one of the rewards on offer.
Denise Laurent and Harry – Super Model
Find Harry’s print on the SOFA crowdfunding page http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/society-of-feline-artists-exhibition