• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 08

Finding Your Joy

To some, Jen’s art was a joke. Photographing your two cats and photoshopping them into historical portraiture was a bit silly. But, at a time when her life was falling apart, this hobby had brought her joy. The cats seemed to enjoy the attention too. At some point, she knew she would pursue her passion, odd as it might be, and turn it into a business.
Until today, everything had worked like a dream.

Now a national cat photography competition had come up, and Jen desperately wanted to enter with something special. She had purchased several outfits for the cats. An astronaut. A black and white striped big collar like David Bowie. A lion’s mane. Not her usual style.

Sir Percy, the tabby cat, flat out refused to go near the mane. Lady Grey, her usually amenable Russian Blue, tried to scratch her when she approached with the little astronaut helmet. And forget about the black and white high collar, neither cat would go near it. Jen began to despair.

The phone rang.

‘You ready for the big competition?’ asked Heather, her frenemy and competitor in the cat portraiture game.
‘Yes…?’ Jen lied, not very convincingly. Lady Grey rubbed herself against Jen’s calf.
‘Mine are spectacular, so you better bring you’re A game.’
Jen couldn’t find the words to trash talk. Her throat felt tight, and only the feeling of the soft fur against her skin kept her from crumbling.
‘I expect you’ll do another one of your stuffy Elizabethan Age portraits, or the kind of thing Jane Austen would’ve seen Mr Darcy in?’
Inspiration struck Jen. ‘Yes, actually. Because that’s where my strengths are, not in modernist stuff like you do. I have the perfect idea.’ Jen hung up and looked down at Lady Grey. ‘We have a lot of work to do.


Finding Your Joy

Lady meowed, and Sir Percy came out of hiding.

Jen spent the rest of the afternoon sewing odd scraps of past outfits together until she had created a wonderful Elizabethan dress for Lady Grey. Sir Percy soon donned a white cravat and a deep blue velvet dress coat. Neither cat fretted as Jen dressed them up and photographed them; it was as if they knew what she was doing and supported her.

Jen used her computer to complete the two portraits. When she stepped back in the early hours of the morning to see what she had created, a tear sprung from her eye.
‘Purrfect,’ she said with laughter.