King of the Jungle

Leo the little lion man, a.k.a. Buddy, is king around this jungle. He came to us as a “bucket kitty”. He and his siblings, not yet weaned, were put in a bucket on a hot summer morning and left outside the veterinarian’s office. We had been looking for a kitty since our older cat had passed away. We wanted a gray female tabby, but what we fell in love with was a ginger boy with a broken tail, thumbs and loads of personality. He was so tiny that he fit in the palm of your hand and was covered with soft spiky baby fur. He sure was full of spunk when he came to live with us…and he still is.

Here he is now, all grown up and handsome:

It did not take us long to find out how smart Polydactyl cats are. They are also called Hemingway cats, because Ernest Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship’s captain and he too, fell in love with these cats. Read about the Hemingway home, his cats, and museum here: https://www.hemingwayhome.com/cats/

This is how Buddy sees himself and thinks everyone else should too:

Painting this lion made me think back on how Buddy came to live with us. Every day with him is an adventure.

He soon learned how to open doors as seen in this video:

My inspiration for this painting came from the following video link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF7P1JP8h3Q

I found the mane to be quite challenging as you can see by the progress photos:

The reference photo was provided by photographer Gloria Anderson and is available for purchase through Wildlife Reference Photos:

https://wildlifereferencephotos.com/media.details.php?mediaID=70781

Be like Buddy when you look in the mirror. Be strong, be brave, open all doors, and head fiercely into the New Year!

Helen

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