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Rescued Cats: The Unlikely Muses and Sources of Inspiration for an Urban Artist

Rescued Cats: The Unlikely Muses and Sources of Inspiration for an Urban Artist

Artists often find inspiration in the most unexpected places, and sometimes, that inspiration purrs. Cats, particularly those rescued from precarious circumstances, can profoundly influence their human companions, bringing a wave of luck and fresh inspiration. They remind us to appreciate the simpler joys of life, such as staying present and not taking existence too seriously—a lesson that can rejuvenate even the most stagnant wells of creativity.

Artist’s Muse: Fig Newton the Rescued Cat

Artist Becca Snyder attributes her creative resurgence to her rescued cats, Flurff and Fig Newton. After a decade of creative dormancy, Becca found new zeal in her art through her interaction with these felines. She highlights Fig Newton—a striking black and white cat rescued by friends from under a parked car in Brooklyn—as a daily reminder to embrace life’s lighter moments and not to overwork at the expense of valuable head-scratching sessions.

From Nightmare to Nightmeow

Fig Newton, in particular, sparked a unique artistic transformation. Inspired by an 18th-century painting by Henry Fuseli titled “The Nightmare,” Snyder created “The Nightmeow.” This reinterpretation maintains the original’s dark allure but injects a whimsical twist, reflecting the light-hearted mischief of her feline muse.

A Beautiful Nightmeow at 5:00 AM

In “The Nightmeow,” what was originally a depiction of a goblin tormenting a sleeping woman morphs into a scene featuring Fig Newton’s early morning antics. Snyder humorously portrays these antics as both a beautiful and a slightly bothersome wake-up call, driven by Fig’s relentless desire for breakfast.

Flurff the Original Feline Muse

Before Fig, there was Flurff, a street-savvy cat from Brooklyn whose plight led him to Snyder, initially as a foster. The bond they formed proved too strong to break, and Snyder officially adopted him. Flurff’s unique charm and imperfections became the subjects of numerous sketches and paintings, rekindling Snyder’s passion for art.

A Legacy of Inspiration and Imperfection

Flurff’s influence on Snyder extended beyond his life; his presence encouraged her to appreciate the beauty in imperfections and the personal touch they add to art. This perspective is especially poignant in an era increasingly dominated by AI and perfectionism.

‘Random Cats of Kindness’

Snyder’s creative journey continues as she engages with her community through her “Random Cats of Kindness” series, where she paints cats observed in neighborhood windows and gifts the portraits to their owners. This initiative not only spreads joy but also strengthens community bonds.

A Heartfelt Thanks to Becca Snyder

Becca Snyder’s story is a testament to the profound impact that animals, particularly rescued cats, can have on our lives. Her artwork and the stories behind it can be followed on her Instagram and TikTok accounts, Becca By Hand.

In a world where small acts of kindness can seem rare, Snyder’s gestures remind us of the enduring goodness in people—and the enduring charm of cats. Her parting message encapsulates her journey: “Just your neighborhood cat lady doing over-the-top cat lady stuff 😂🥰,” shared after delighting a local family with a portrait of their cat, Sardine.


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