Serious Question: Are Pet Portraits Classy or Crazy?


It was the very first thing I moved into our new home on the day we got the keys. A 24-by-36-inch canvas featuring my beloved Ghost Cat as a faux oil painting. My husband has since hung it on the wall in our dining room, but only on the condition that I don’t hang any more pictures of Ghost Cat on the main floor.

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in my husband’s reaction to the painting when he pulled it out of the box it was shipped in. I’d mistakenly thought that because he was the photographer and digital artist behind the picture that he’d appreciate seeing it blown up in all its Ghost Cat glory.

“Um, this is going in the basement, right?” weren’t exactly the words I’d imagined when I’d used a digital file he’d made for my phone screen to order the picture online. I’d even had the printing company digitally remove the blue step-stool from the shot.

What had started as an Instagram shot was now a beautiful painting to hang in the new home we share with Ghost Cat, but for some strange reason, my husband didn’t love it as much as I did.

“It’s kind of crazy,” he said.

“I know you’re obsessed with that cat, but I’m not,” he lied. (Dude protests too much.)

I told him I had almost ordered a mosaic made out of 12 smaller canvases, all with Ghost Cat’s cute little face printed on them. My husband said he was glad I hadn’t, because that would make us look like crazy cat people. He said the painting could hang upstairs as long as it didn’t multiply.

He took a similar stance on a beautiful little toothpick holder he bought for me at an antique store a couple of weeks before we got our new house. When I saw it, I fell in love with it because it reminds me of my Ghost Cat. Weeks later, my parents were over at the new place helping unpack the kitchen, and I showed my dad where my cute little toothpick holder would go on the shelf.

“Thirty years from now you’ll probably have a whole shelf of these,” my father said to me before turning to my husband.

“Every Christmas or birthday you’ll be like, ‘I know, Heather likes kitty cats!'” said my dad.

My husband disagreed, saying that one vaguely anime-looking ceramic cat in the kitchen is more than enough. Even if my toothpick holder cat has to live a life of shelf solitude, I still love my husband for buying it for me.

If it weren’t for the restriction on Ghost Cat art in the house, I would have probably had a few more canvas portraits printed — enough for that mosaic at least. Ghost Cat’s so photogenic that my social media presence is practically a digital archive dedicated to her beauty. I mean, my brother-in-law and his girlfriend harvested enough pictures of Ghost Cat from my Facebook to make me a calendar for a Christmas gift. The calendar is now in my office — not on the main floor.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if I get to display two pieces of Ghost Cat decor only upstairs, because my baby is a living work of art.

What do you think of pet portraits — cool and classy, or crazy? How many pictures of your cats grace your walls? Have you ever commissioned a portrait of your pet? Let me know in the comments.

Read about and see more cats in art on Catster:

About the author: Heather Marcoux is Ghost Cat’s mom. She is also a wife, writer and former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts GIFs of her cat on Google +.

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