Do you know these cats? Well, you wouldn't know these three, who have been gone for more than twenty years, but you probably know cats just like these. From the top: "Eustacia, the Vampire Pidgequin," "Tuftan, Princess of Tigers," and the grey one is "Ben the Boffin." These cute names for cute cats were given by their people, friends of mine in Boston many years ago. The people were a comic book artist and his lady, a comics writer and critic. In those days of yesteryear they commissioned me to paint a portrait of their three furry friends, and this is the result. The vampire cape for the cat didn't exist, I invented it to give her the Bela Lugosi tuxedo fashion homage. We had no idea what a "boffin" was (it's British slang for a science nerd) and Ben certainly wasn't bright enough for that; he was famous (among our friends) for his dimwitted comedy cat moves. I did this from both direct observation and photographs, as I do with most of my pet portraits. I gave the cats big eyes long before Japanese anime made big eyes a worldwide phenomenon. Now these cats will be part of the memory of at least a handful of people who never knew them or their humans back so many years ago.
Triple Cat Portrait is acrylic on illustration board, 9" x 15", December 1980.