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Four-year-old Duncan and 2 1/2-year-old Isadora have been busy.

The two cats, residents of the Dearborn Animal Shelter, and some of their canine pals, have created four paintings that will be auctioned off at the shelter’s annual Black Tie and Tails fund-raising event.

Bidding on the “Pupcatsos,” made by painted pawprints and tail swooshes, is expected to start at $100 US.

The shelter supporters who organized the artwork auction emphasize the fact that the poster paint used to create the artwork is nontoxic, safe for animals and people, and washes off easily with water.

The organizers have previously given similar paintings to recipients of the shelter’s annual Big Heart Award, but this year they decided to auction the artwork, too.

“I thought that was pretty cool we can do that,” said Elaine Greene, the shelter’s executive director.

The artworks have made strong impressions on some visitors. “I’ve been told people see fireworks in this one,” Greene said of a canvas covered in red, yellow and black smudges and swirls.

Shelter bookkeeper Suzanne Johnson is particularly proud of the paw work of Duncan, a 4-year-old tabby whose golden prints are clearly visible in at least one of the paintings.

Johnson says that Duncan doesn’t require much coaxing to unleash his creative skills. “You just set [the paint and canvas] out and he goes through.”

If the paintings do well at the fund-raiser, the shelter group hopes to help the animals make more of them for sale in local shops and galleries.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

This video, filmed by the Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter, shows some of the artworks being created. Don’t be put off by the dogs shown at the beginning; some of the feline artists are also featured.

Pupcatso 2010 from Dearborn Animal Shelter on Vimeo.

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