Another source of inspiration – for those of us fortunate enough to be allowed to share our lives with the feline species – is our cats. Despite their characteristic aloofness I have often found that they seem to be very aware that they are being photographed, painted or sketched and will often respond in surprising ways – and give you a really arresting image to work with. I have two cats. The first was given to me by my eldest son in interesting circumstances (another story for another blog day). She lived with him briefly on the fourteenth floor of a much higher apartment block in Cardiff. I literally fell in love with her the first time I held her. She is a well-travelled cat too. She was very familiar with the train journey between Cardiff and Weston-Super-Mare (before coming to me); then she sojourned with me in the colder north west for a few years where she was joined by a companion I found for her. I foolishly thought that she was in need of company when I worked long days as a teacher. Sadly it was hate at first sight. The skirmishes over territorial rights – me, the house and the garden were the subjects of the spitting and hissing – continued for years until they slipped wearily into a kind of grudging acceptance of each other. When they hit their middle age they were scooped up and sent over to the USA. I don’t think they’ve ever forgiven me for the crates, the journey down the M1 in force gale winds, the ignominious night’s stay at the veterinary centre outside Heathrow airport or even the cat nip (which of course they normally revel in) that was designed to lull them into a false sense of security before they were placed in the deep, dark hold of an airbus for nine hours. We are reunited again now and they still look at me warily (they definitely do have memories) but I think forgiveness comes little by little as I slip them a few tasty treats each day and stroke them felicitously. They have given me so much pleasure over the years. I have to confess that Coco has a special place in my heart because she was my son’s cat but they are both beautiful and will no doubt feature here regularly. If you would like me to capture the uniqueness, quirkiness, or even regality (some owners do think of them that way) of your pet/s then please contact me.