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Cats have inspired artists since ancient times, so it’s not surprising that a group of artists would come together to help cats in need.

In Phoenix, Ariz., the monthly First Friday Artwalks have taken on a distinctly feline tone at Kate Benjamin’s Moderncat Studio.

“People come here specifically for designer handmade cat products and I often get asked, ‘Well, where are the cats?’,” Benjamin said.

And behold: An idea was born! Benjamin is working with All About Animals, a local rescue group, to host cat and kitten adoption events at her studio during the Artwalks. The gallery is decorated with cat paintings created by some of her artist friends, but it seems from a local news video (which you can see at the end of this post) that the living and breathing cats were the main attraction.

Benjamin doesn’t mind that at all. She says anything she can do to help cats find loving forever homes is well worth it.

Artwalks like this aren’t just confined to large cities. My former hometown, a Maine coast town of about 6,000 people, is home to at least half a dozen galleries that host monthly multi-artist receptions, too. Imagine if one of these galleries was willing to showcase some living works of art, too. What an event that would be! It would probably also bring new people — potential customers — into the artists’ spaces and help to break the stereotype of art as only for snooty rich folks.

I myself am neither snooty nor rich, but I do enjoy collecting art. If I stopped in a gallery full of adoptable cats, I’d be more likely to buy something, not just because I love cats and I believe in supporting local artists, but because the gallery owners care enough about homeless kitties to bring a bunch of them to their studios!

If you’re a cat-loving artist or craftsperson, please think about hosting an adoption event at your gallery or studio. It’s a great way to help homeless kitties and probably get some new business while you’re at it.

Leonardo da Vinci said, “The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” Whether you paint them, sculpt them, make toys for them, or snuggle them, you know as well as I do that he was absolutely right.

Here’s the news story about the opening and adoption event at Kate Benjamin’s studio:


(In a reader? Watch the video here.)