Cat Jeoffry

Our household icon (as she would have it). I did this piece as a slightly ironic homage to the creature who sits on my drying paper, leaves paw imprints and grooms herself leaving piles of grit and fur all over the place. She seems to know when I have made somerhing new and exerts a fiendish ingenuity to make her mark on it. It can’t be much fun snoozing on damp cotton pulp.

The metal leaf here is not gold, it’s Dutch leaf (I imagine brass or some non-precious metal). I can’t have her getting uppity! And there’s quite a lot of it: I had to re-gild it after we moved house and the painting got slightly battered.

It has gone to a very superior household where they too have a superior cat. Also they picked up the literary reference, to a wonderful eighteenth-century poem about the habits of his cat (Jeoffry) by the poet Christopher Smart. He had a rather hard time of it and spent six years in Bedlam where he wrote this poem which, among other things, describes the habits of his cat:

Part of the text is to be found in the coloured borders which contain the saintly image.