Cat Mom Birthday Portrait Fiasco With Matisse And Bob Ross

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Welcome to a birthday edition of cat wisdom with feline editor Clyde. So, last night my mom Layla thought it would be fun to paint a portrait of me. It’s her birthday today so please indulge me. A friend of hers LeslieΒ goes every month to a “paint your pet” event. Every month for the past year, Leslie kept asking and Layla was forever busy. I hope Layla’s birthday wish comes true so she won’t need to be so unavailable.

It’s true I haven’t helped by keeping her up with my caterwauling day and night. It’s shades of Merlin all over again and it’s exhausting. But think about me, old as the hills with dementia, kidney disease, diabetes, arthritis, failing vision and hearing. It’s no picnic either. But enough about me. This is about how art inspires even when it isn’t purrfect.

Layla created a nice digital painting of me and all she had to do is paint it onto canvas. Easy, right? This was coming along swimmingly. They were sipping wine, chatting about cats. There were even three other participants with black cats. Very encouraging. It was a 50/50 mix of cat and dog portraits and 100% nice pet people.

You may know my resting face is a tad judgmental. Disapproval is my middle name. I’m fussy, particular and spoiled so imagine my surprise when Layla brought home the finished portrait.


Excuse me? Is my nose that big? Are my eyes really like those of a serial killer? Does she fancy herself a low-rent Matisse? I’ll have you know Henri Matisse loved cats and knew a thing or two about painting them.


Henri Matisse and his black cat Coussi

In his later years, Matisse was largely bedridden but it didn’t stop him from working. He often sat up drawing with one of his three cats between his leg like Minouche or his other black cat La Puce (the flea).


Layla admires him for continuing to create despite painful obstacles. She believes it’s better to do and keep doing.



I kinda agree with Layla. It was fun to hang out with friends, try something new and revisit something old. Everything keeps changing. Who would have guessed Layla had five years of art school under her belt. Well, any skill gets rusty if you don’t use it. Outside the restrooms was a Bob Ross mural of his famous catch phrase “No mistakes, just happy accidents”.Β  Thanks to Bob, Layla inspired me to put together this post. I hope it inspires you.


It’s been a whack-a-doo nutty times with the full moon eclipse. Did you feel it? Now with Mercury in retrograde that means there are six planets retrograde fraying tempers, slowing things down and general confusion. Save yourself some grief and don’t buy new electronics until September.Β  Actually don’t embark on anything new if you can avoid it. Ditto travel.Β  The mantra at our house is: Retrograde Relax. And don’t take anything personally.

Who is Bob Ross? Have you been catnapping? The honey-tongued painter launched on PBS in 1983 and built a strong following until his death at the age of 52. Layla used to love watching him or I should say to listen to him. He become a posthumous Internet sensation and meme but his quiet wisdom continues to shine. Millennials adore him and to no surprise the mindfulness app CALM just added Bob Ross to their soothing bedtime content. Give a listen to his calming voice and be prepared for some surprises.

Have a happy accident-free week. Look for a special post about an extraordinary cat later this week. Until then, join me and the rest of the gang send Layla your best birthday fishes.




49 thoughts on “Cat Mom Birthday Portrait Fiasco With Matisse And Bob Ross”

  1. Happy Happy Happy Happy Birthday Cat Mom Layla!!!!

    Loved Bob Ross. And also Jon Gnagy, who I watched when I was very young.

    Such great paintings of Clyde! You are very talented!

    1. And don’t ever feel that you are not valued so much by each and every one of us. We couldn’t be who we are without your beautiful love, cat love and more love and cat love, each and every day. <3 <3 <3

  2. Happy Birthday dear friend!!! We love your art and your subject as well….MOL. Art is about much more than just the end result…it is about communicating without words whatever is inside and needs to be outside. There is no right nor wrong good nor bad because it is individual and unique in every way just like our dear kitties.
    Luvs and bestest wishes to you all!
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & romeo & the Angels >^..^^..^<~

  3. THIS was one of the most FUN birthday posts EVER!! I think your Mom did an AMAZING job on her painting! It is GORGEOUS! And…of COURSE Mom knows who Bob Ross (was), she LOVED him.Mom used to find his voice to be sooo relaxing. She had forgotten about that quote of his, thank you for sharing it! Also, HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your most pawesome Mom!! xoxo

  4. Happy Birthday, Layla. We think the picture was awesome. Mom Judy used to love Bob Ross. Watching him made her so calm.

  5. guyz….happee 21st two yur mom; hope her dayz rockin awesum sooper grate
    and her getz ta due sum stuff her N joyz ~~heerz two a yeer a head filled with happeez N healtheez ~~~~~ β™₯β™₯ πŸ™‚

  6. Happy birthday, Layla! The humans love your painting, no matter what the Old Grump may think. (Cats are just *so* judgmental! As if *they* never screw up! ??) Mama fondly remembers Bob Ross, every Saturday afternoon. (And, his uptight mentor in the morning!) We recommend simply relaxing, and painting Happy Little Cats any time life throws a wrench in the works.

  7. Happy Birthday, Layla. Lots of great images here today. I especially like the drawing of Matisse in bed – and your painting of dear Clyde!

  8. Happy Happy Birthday dearest Layla!!!

    Oh Clyde, you look stunning in your painting, quit the moaning and groaning, crack a smile now and again you crotchety old devil πŸ˜‰ Yeah getting older sucks thats true, but ya know the alternative no one knows for sure. In any case stay healthy!

    Relax…. it sounds good in theory!

  9. Happy Birthday Layla! I love how the painting came out; the expression. TW went to one of those paint and sips a few years ago. She didn’t think she’d like it since she has zero art talent and zero social skills. She did have fun.

  10. We do wish you the happiest of birthdays Layla – we left a message on Facebook to say so! I was absolutely totally hooked on Bob Ross for years; his mesmerizing voice and ability to paint with ANY kind of brush (no matter what size!) fascinated me. I learned how to properly paint an evergreen with a fan brush and create perfect ocean waves thanks to him. BUT back to the real reason for my stopping by which is to wish you the very best birthday ever……Teddy and I sent hugs to you, Clyde, and everyone on this special occasion!

    Love, Pam

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