Editor’s note: Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? The photos in this article appeared in our July/August 2016 issue. Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.
Tattoos and cats in the past decade or two have gained acceptance as they’ve crawled their way into popular culture and society at large. Tattoos, once the markers of marginalized populations such as seafarers and motorcyclists and suggesting a certain recklessness that might include time served in the Big House, now are so common as to be seen — and not remarked upon — on the bodies of suburban moms and dads standing in supermarket lines (which is definitely a good thing). Meanwhile, cats and people who love them have begun to shed a dog-loving culture’s stigma of being ill-adjusted and emotionally troubled loners.
At the confluence of these two trends are cat tattoos. We’ve written about our own writers and editors who have cat tattoos, which depict individual cats, rescue work, cartoon characters, or tributes to cats who’ve passed. We’ve assembled photos of extreme cat tattoos, and we devoted one post to 22 variations on the Cheshire cat from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice” tales. One woman, in a comical effort that demonstrates the ubiquity of felines and body art, covered herself in temporary cat tattoos in an effort to make friends.
As a supplement to our interview with Seattle tattoo artist Kapten Hanna, we bring you works from three other American inksters: Betty Rose (who we’ve interviewed before), Jordan Mitchell, and Ivana Belakova.