8x10" acrylic on mounted ampersand
(C) Cara Bevan 2009
This is a portrait of Cleo, one of our cats. Cleo is aptly named. She found us in 1998 by wandering into our wood workshop. One of my father’s employees mentioned seeing a
grey cat in the woodshop. At the time, we didn’t own any grey cats. We found a tame adult female. She had a gorgeous Prussian blue color with a short stocky tail and pale yellow-
green eyes. It wasn’t long before she became a part of the family. We named her Cleo for none other than her attitude. She acted like a pharaoh, and she told you when you
weren’t acting properly towards her. If she wanted attention and wasn’t getting it, your leg would become her scratching post! Cleo was never fond of other cats, she just wanted
her human subjects to tend to her every whim. The world was there to serve her, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

About a year after her arrival, Cleo didn’t come home for several days. When she returned, she had a nasty wound on her lower back and paw. Her short, fat tail had become
paralyzed except for the base of it. Scared for her safety, we put her inside the pottery studio (then it was a nice, one roomed playhouse, but it was converted later.) Cleo loved
her own little sanctum and made it home. She became the official pottery cat. No sculpture or creation was without her grey fur. She made beds of the slab roller and pottery
crates, sat on the potter’s wheel, and rolled in mud when she could. Occasionally a twitch in her tail would drive her crazy. She would run around the pottery house as fast as she
could, regardless of what was in her way. All pottery had to be put on high shelves in case she decided to run wild on the tables!

Being a pampered feline, she grew quite wide. We built her an outside enclosure so she could get some exercise, but she wasn’t fond of it. Her favorite part was sitting on the
seven-foot tall stair landing, overlooking the outer ranges of her domain. Eventually she did lose a lot of the weight by climbing the stairs. It left her flabby skin though. Whenever
she sat, her rolls of fur and skin would drape over her back legs, making them disappear. Cleo was still amazing beautiful though. Her fur and eyes never lost their shine.

Cleo may have been 13 years old when she died. I really miss our pottery cat, our feline pharaoh. But I know that she’s sitting on her stairway, looking down on her realm. She
used to sit on the stairway to look at heaven – now she has earned her place there.

                                                                                                                     (1996? – April 26th, 2009)
Cat Gallery
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