The Cat I Couldn’t Draw

Let’s just be blunt about it. One of the reasons — probably the main reason — I quit drawing last summer was because of my frustrations in trying to draw animals. Specifically, cats. I was determined to improve my animal drawings, and I pushed myself beyond my limits. Sometimes pushing ourselves is good; sometimes it’s not. In this case, it definitely was not a good thing to do. 

As you’ve already seen from previous posts, I drew a lot of very bad cats. Finally, I gave up. I accepted the fact that I really can’t draw cats, and I’ve moved on. And as I’ve moved on, our family has grown from one cat to two, from two to two-and-a-half (I’ll explain in a moment), and now from two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half and soon it will probably be four cats. 

Here’s a recent photo. It’s not a very good picture, but from front to back we have Sweet Hope, Buddy Boy, Mr. Gray (who is always in the catnip), and atop the tall tower, the queen cat, our Flower Child. 

Three of these cats are legally ours. You’ve already read all about Flower Child and Buddy Boy, and you’re probably aware of Mr. Gray. We refer to him as our “half-cat” because he doesn’t officially belong to us, but most likely that’s about to change. More on that in a moment.
The new addition is Sweet Hope. Her name is really just Hope, but when the local shelter first posted her picture it read “Sweet Hope wants to be your Valentine…” so I assumed her name was Sweet Hope.

She’s a tiny thing — about six pounds. Although the shelter told us she was an adult and have her listed as being born in May 2021, we think that’s likely incorrect. She was an “owner surrender” due to health reasons, and our guess is that the owner mis-stated Hope’s birthday. It seems far more likely she was born in May 2022, making her about 9 months old now. We adopted her about 2 weeks ago. 

Now, you’ll notice that I haven’t posted on the blog for 2 weeks. No, it’s not completely because of Hope, although she’s certainly kept us busy. We weren’t expecting a young cat who wanted to zoom through the house at all hours and play non-stop. So, yes, we’ve spent a lot of time with Hope. Fortunately she’s getting along well with Buddy Boy, and even with our anti-social Flower Child. 

What’s been keeping us really busy, though, has been Mr. Gray. He’s reached the age where he’s doing what tomcats do — fight. He’s come dragging in with one injury after another. Even though he’s not our cat, we wanted to provide the care he needed, so we’ve had him in and out of the animal hospital three times in the last two weeks. At one point we had to set up a pen for him to keep him safely protected from the other curious kitties while he recovered from his injuries.

At this point, Mr. Gray was barely able to walk. His injuries on his left foreleg and rear leg were horribly abscessed and the antibiotic he’d been given wasn’t helping. The vet did test him for feline leukemia and other diseases that might affect his body’s ability to heal. Fortunately the tests were negative. He’s on a different antibiotic now and is doing well.

To alleviate future problems, Mr. Gray is going back to the clinic next week for neutering. We’ll go ahead and have him vaccinated and claim him as our cat now. His status will change from “half-cat” to full member of the Kraus family.

This all has little to do with art, I realize. But there is a connection. Every time I look at Hope stretched out on the floor, I think about that awful drawing of a cat I made last summer. It was so awful I didn’t post it until very recently. I was so embarrassed and ashamed of this drawing at the time, but now I can look at it and laugh.

And I can look at Hope and smile.

Not quite the same pose, but similar. In case you’re wondering, she does have a problem with epiphora — a brownish discharge from her eye. We’ve been advised to simply wash it out. It’s getting much better. If it doesn’t clear up completely, she’ll be visiting the animal clinic.

For what it’s worth, I’ve made no attempt whatsoever to draw Hope, or Buddy Boy, or Mr. Gray. In the past I’ve made a few drawings of Flower Child — none of which were too flattering. I haven’t tried that again lately. 

Obviously, we love our cats. All of them. We even love stray cats that aren’t ours. Once we claim Mr. Gray and have him licensed with the city, we will be at the maximum allowed capacity. So, no more new kitties will be able to join our family. 

Caring for these four is a challenge. Flower Child requires a homeopathic anti-anxiety solution each evening. Buddy Boy is a carrier for FHV (Feline Herpes Virus) and must have an anti-viral daily. Mr. Gray is currently on a round of antibiotic. Hope get her eye washed regularly. And both Buddy Boy and Flower Child have “Zen Licks” each morning. Meal prep for the cats is interesting!

Meanwhile, in those few spare moments I’ve found, I’ve started re-organizing the art studio again. I’m not planning to jump in full force with drawing and painting, but I am getting ready to begin exploring a few simple creative projects, none of which involve animals!

Wish me luck, friends. I’m eager to begin doing a few “artsy” things — in addition to the “craftsy” projects my husband and I have done over the past few months. Mostly I just want to have fun playing in the art studio. I want to enjoy coming here each morning and seeing shapes and colors exploding all around me. I want to draw more flowers, get out my oil pastels again, play with watercolors, do crazy abstracts, and maybe one day put a canvas on the easel and do a little landscape oil painting again. But, all in good time. 



  1. Your cat drawing is really quite good! It’s expressive, and the toes are beautiful. So is the reclining pose. Perhaps your bothered by the leaning to the right? Personally, I find drawings with perspective shifts to be charming and expressive. I love them. I’ve noticed that most of the drawings that your unhappy with have these types of perspective features. Perhaps if you realize that your perspective is often right-leaning, you can try to overcorrect it and come out with a result that pleases you. I don’t look for photo realism in art, myself. I look for character, meaning, and individuality, and that’s why I love your expressive work so much.


    1. I can see the expressiveness and creativity — afterward! When I do a drawing or painting, I’m always overly critical. It’s only later when I see my work as a whole that I realize how much creativity and individuality is really there. It’s amazing, really, when I look around at all the work I’ve done. I love it all — but I still hate it when it’s new. LOL


      1. Yes, your work is really beautiful. Some of your pieces are among my favorites of all time, and I’ve viewed so much art in my life! I’d choose a few of your landscapes over many others, anytime! And you have created so much in such a short time!


      2. Thanks for all the kind words. I want to think that everything to this point has been “prepping” — getting me to a point where I can now cast aside all my thoughts of “right and wrong”, “should do and shouldn’t do” and all the rest of that judgmental crap in my brain and now just find my own true voice. It’s everywhere around me in the studio. I just have to identify it and connect with the feelings behind it — if that makes any sense.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think your drawing efforts aren’t too shabby…. I would only suggest that you not draw outlines around them, (since they dont really have lines around their bodies.. ) and instead try to sketch outward in flicking motions to simulate fur… hard to describe in a comment, but I hope you get it. Also, if theres a smooth spot you dont think flicking fur is appropriate, try just shading… light at first and darkening as needed… help? I hope so. Keep going!


    1. Great suggestions! I understand exactly what you’re describing. I’ve struggled so much with drawing animals that I’m hesitant to try again LOL. But I am getting back to doing a little drawing and painting. I’ve been away from my studio for 9 months now. It’s time to get back.

      Liked by 1 person

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