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cats and dogs blog post featured image
For almost as long as I can remember I have lived with a cat. I cannot fathom life without these tiny felines. When I moved in the mountains, the first thing I did was adopt a cat, while my partner took in a dog. I now have two cats and one dog and they are my biggest source of inspiration.

Living with cats and dogs is amazing. Bonding with a feline is the best thing that can happen to you. I strongly believe that if you don’t like cats, you have no soul. They may not be your favorite animal, or you may not care about them that much, but how can you hate them? Dogs are great too but they are so much more dependent on you. I love the sense of freedom a cat has. “Dogs have owners, cats have staff” must be my favorite quote ever!

cat art print
This art print is available in both my Etsy shop and in my Society6 shop!
When the dog met the cat

I was living and working on a ranch at the time. The puppy came into my life unexpectedly. My partner suddenly announced one day that he was getting a puppy. Later that day a friend came to me and said “so you guys are getting a dog?”, I answered “well, I’m not, he is”, to which she said with a firm voice “Yeah, you’re getting a dog!” and I knew that was true. Puppies are tough! They are pretty much children, except they grow up faster. I had so many sleepless nights, having to get up to clean dog pee. The cuteness outweighs the cons by far though! The puppy was quickly nicknamed “the Monster” for all the mischief he did. Unfortunately, I had to go back to my country for the winter and missed a big part of that dog’s life.

living with cats and dogs - puppy running on sand

A year later, I permanently moved to Colorado and that is when Aria the cat came into my life. One of my friends had a pregnant cat that was about to have babies soon and of course I decided to adopt one. Aria was born in a barn on the 4th of July. When I first saw her she had baby blue eyes and was the tiniest thing ever. A few months later, she came home with me. Aria, aka The One and Only.

Aria the kitten

At first, I was scared the dog would eat her. I had grown up believing that cats and dogs did not get along. How wrong was I! The kitten spend the first couple nights in a small cage so the dog would not be able to get to her. I kept her separated from him at all times the first few days.

I introduced them to each other very slowly and carefully. I gingerly hold the kitten in front Rowley – the dog – and watched his reaction. When he showed no sign of aggression or anything of the sort, I tremendously relaxed. After that, I felt comfortable enough to let them interact on their own. Of course, I would still watch them like a hawk. I would sit outside with the kitten next to me and the dog nearby. When the kitten would run toward something, sometimes Rowley would nip at her. I got so mad at him but realized later that he just wanted to play.

I knew living with cats and dogs would be amazing if they all got along. The day I knew this would happen was when I witnessed them playing together for the first time. My heart melted.

The dog ended up actually protecting the kitten. It was the cutest thing ever! I love these two so much I consider them my children. I’m sure every pet owner will relate to the fact that pets ARE family. Living with cats and dogs in harmony is possible if you have the right animals. These two are what pushed me to consider doing custom pet portraits. I practiced with them first and I realized how much I loved painting cats and dogs so I decided to add pet portraits to my Etsy shop.

rowley photo pet painting

Get a custom pet portrait of your own cat or dog in my Etsy shop!
The more the merrier

Della came next. Two and half year later, I wanted a new baby! I looked online at nearby shelters and found this absolutely beautiful kitten with different colored eyes and I fell in love immediately. I adopted her. I knew the dog wouldn’t mind as he is great with other animals, I was more afraid of how Aria would react. She was two years old and still a playful baby so I thought she would get along with a newcomer.

Big mistake. Aria, The One and Only, upon realizing that although she would forever be The One wasn’t so much The Only one anymore, turned into a savage monster. She hated the new kitten. She became incredibly mean and aggressive. It broke my heart to see her like that. It’s been almost a year now and they still don’t get along. Thankfully, Aria got used to the other cat eventually, even if she still doesn’t like having to share. She hisses every time she sees the poor kitten. This morning, Della hissed back at Aria for the first time, it was kind of funny. But I don’t regret getting the kitten, I love her so much.

living with cats and dogs Della portrait

I was afraid of leaving the two cats together in the same room in the very beginning but the dog established himself as the mediator. Every time Aria was too mean he would intervene and broke up the fight. Living with cats and dogs is full of wonder.

An artist’s struggle with living with cats and dogs

The biggest problem as an artist is when the cats decide to drink my paint water! You would think they would stay away from it giving the nasty greenish-brown color but no, it’s their favorite! I have to remember to empty it as soon as I’m done or down their throat it goes and it can’t be good for them. I’m sure the dog would love to drink paint water too but thankfully he can’t get on tables.

I also can never leave a painting unattended or it’ll end up with paw prints all over it. Same with the paint brushes that apparently make great toys for cats! Oh, and the hair! Hair everywhere!

kitten illustration

This cat painting is available in both my Etsy shop and in my Society6 shop!

I love being surrounded by animals, and living with cats and dogs helps keeping me focused on my art. My fur babies are my life.

How about you? Do you have any pets?

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