Reading List 2021

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Perfect Gift Ideas for Any Animal Lover in your Life

 Being stuck in your house (sheltering at home) means it is harder to see your loved ones, get out and buy gifts, and it also means that your pets become your best buds (even more so than they already were). 

This past Christmas, I gave two incredible gifts to the long time boyfriend / girlfriend of our two children. I am kicking myself for not having taken pictures, but I asked my talented sister, Jade, to paint the portraits of Tiger (a cat, obviously, not an actual Tiger because we all know how that ends up!), Maeve (a cat) and Tanner (a dog). The recipients were thrilled with the paintings and I am told they now take up special places of honour in their homes. 

My sister didn't just paint them for fun, it is her actual business and she's great at it. You can check out her website here and see for yourself! 

I've shown you her work before, but it bears repeating. These are our cats, past and present.


This one is Scooter (the cat-with-no-tail).


He is "unique", or "challenged" as we like to say. Won't use kitty litter, sleeps on smooth surfaces only, meows like a three pack a day smoker, and has only recently decided that it is o.k. to jump up on your lap for brief moments. But we love him for all of his oddities. This is the actual Scooter wearing his Christmas ruff (which incidentally, my sister sews herself and sells on her website).


You can see how she captured his wide-eyed innocence and quirky nature in the painting.


This is our beloved Samson.


He was one in a million as brown tabbies often are. He was the calm intelligence in the cat family. A handsome, perfectly symmetrical boy, he looked to Scooter as a project he couldn't train. Sammy was cool. Just cool. He was the Steve McQueen of cats. We lost him a year ago in November. We still miss him.


The three cats in the middle collection are cats who have also passed on. 


From left to right, Kitty, Nelly, and Boots. Yes, I know the names are on the paintings as well, and I like that she does that. Kitty was my first cat as an adult living on my own, in my first year of teaching. I wasn't married yet and husband was away at school in another country! She and I were each others' company. Every day when I came home from work and opened the door of my undesirable two story walk up apartment, she would greet me with all of her cat toys laid out on the floor. She lived to the ripe old age of seventeen and was a beloved member of our family. 

Next was Nelly, small in stature, big in personality. She was a "talker", entering a room meowing and answering all of your questions. Her biggest joy was a sick human, so she could curl up on your blanket and not leave your side for hours on end. She had an enormous purr. She lived to be nineteen years. 

Boots was our second cat, the first one purchased by both husband and I in our first year of marriage. He was more dog than cat. I have no idea if he actually was a Maine Coon cat, but he fit all the descriptions. He fetched toys, came when you called, had enormous paws, and I'm pretty sure was able to say "Mama" when we encouraged him. He died early from kidney problems. He and Kitty were best friends.

I really cherish these paintings because they are grouped together and when I look at them, I think back fondly to family memories because of course, our pets are part of our family. 


Mother's Day is coming up (for us, in early May), birthdays, or just a "thinking of you" present to those elderly parents who are sheltering at home and have had special pets in their past. I can't think of a more unique, special gift to give. My sister can do it all from a photograph emailed to her. She gives all the instructions on her site. For the horsey set in your world (and come on, they LOVE their horses), she also does paintings of horses, dogs, even a gecko! 

Check her out at Abstract Pet or maybe suggest her to someone else. Thanks for letting me shamelessly promote my only sister. (I have brothers, too, but they don't paint pets -haha!)

23 comments:

  1. Your sister is Talented (with a capital T), for sure! I loved that you gave a little history of each of your past (and present) cats. Animals can be so darn interesting! Besides bringing a lot of companionship and love into our lives.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, these are awesome gifts. I checked out your sister's website. She's super talented. I'll pass this information along. Thank you. Hugs, Edna B.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "meows like a three pack a day smoker" -- hahahahahaha, what a description! Your sister does beautiful work! I'm going to check out her website right now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your sister is so talented. I love your cat paintings and your history of them. Such a lovely keepsake.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I also checked out the site and may use it for gifts. Love the pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your sister does beautiful work. I've bookmarked her site for future reference. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Scooter is perfect in painting and picture. And Samson. X

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a loving portrait of loving memories.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful work. I might have to get one of our Clyde, a character indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you everyone for your kind words and for checking out her website. I do appreciate it and I'm sure she will as well.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your sister had put down the essence of all five cats, in my opinion. What a great gift.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Go ahead promote your sister! For any readers in South
    Australia I'll promote my friend Janet Coelho who does
    pet photography. For my 60th birthday she gave me a
    photo session and did a great job with our two rather
    difficult cats. Gifts like your sister's art and her
    photos are the most thoughtful ones!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What beautiful cats, and beautiful portraits. Your sister is an amazing artist. I love all your cats and their stories. That would be a wonderful gift.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow your sister is very talented. Thank you so much for sharing the history on all your cats. They are all so pretty. Such a great idea for a gift.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "meows like a three pack a day smoker" BAHAHAHA! I could actually imagine that. Had me laughing out loud. The artwork is amazing. Your sister is really talented. I'll check out her site.

    ReplyDelete
  17. How talented your sister is! Her paintings are wonderful Loved reading about your dear pets!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I can see why you cherish these -- they're wonderful and so is she. I know how hard doing a good pet portrait can be. (I just did one last night, in fact and nailed it --but I wasn't sure for quite awhile if it would bang or bust!). It's the expression -- you can take 10 cats that look identical but there is something in the expression that makes them their "own cat." She sure nailed it with the Scooter and Samson. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love these portraits! Hats off to your Sista! What a thoughtful gift, too. Have a wonderful week!

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a talent your sister has. Beautiful brushwork.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just plain gorgeous. What lovely memories these portraits carry.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Jenn, your sister's art is just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your Sister's Paintings are exquisite, they really capture the Essence of the individual Cat.

    ReplyDelete