Layla Morgan Wilde/ July 30, 2018/ Black Cats Tell All Monday, Cats, Feline Fine Art, Holidays, Reviews & interviews/ 49 comments

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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.




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  1. So sorry we missed your birthday, Layla! We hope it was a great celebration for you and the coming year will be filled with joy.

  2. Happy Belated Birthday Greetings!!

    No way could anything petcretary would try to paint, draw or sculpt would even begin to look like a real kitty, you, Layla, made a wonderful likeness!

    1. Thanks so much to you and your petcretary and I beg to differ. I think she could create kitty art xoxo

  3. Happy belated Birthday to your mom, Clyde ! We think she did a pawsome job with your painting ! Purrs

  4. Happy belated birthday, Layla. And Clyde, we know you, pal, and we think that is a GREAT portrait of you. πŸ™‚ Hugs!

    1. Thanks dears and oh, oh, you do know Clyde personally so okay πŸ˜‰ xoxox

  5. Belated Happy Birthday from one Leo to another! I think the painting is lovely.

    1. Ah, another Leo. No wonder we get on so well xoxox

  6. 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

      1. You’re too kind but I’ll take it πŸ˜‰ xo

    2. Kathyrn, purrs of thanks. Now I have to Google Jon Gnagy!

  7. 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 >^..^^..^<~

    1. Thanks my friend and I’ll tell art critic Clyde what you said xoxox

  8. Happy Birthday Layla, we think the painting turned out very nice.

    1. Thanks so much Alasandra xo

  9. 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

    1. Caren, thanks a bunch! We must discuss Bob sometime πŸ˜‰ xoxo

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

    1. Thanks so much πŸ™‚ I’m amazed how many of our cat friends remember Bob xo

  11. We think the painting came out good! Way better than our mom could ever do. Happy Birthday to Miss Layla!

    1. Thanks, it much appreciated. I’m expecting a few tweaks to the painting πŸ˜‰ xo

  12. Oh this is not brilliant when I am developing a video course for sale is it?

    PS We like the portrait so Happy Birthday Layla.

    1. Thanks dears and we must check out your course xo

  13. 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™‚

    1. oh thanks and big yaaaas please xoxo

  14. 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.

    1. Ha, cats don’t ever screw up πŸ˜‰ Thanks a bunch xo

  15. Happy birthday to your human! Awesome portrait of you.

  16. I love it!! Happy Birthday to your Mom!!! I am a Leo too πŸ™‚ XO

    1. Oh another Leo, lovely and thank mew xoxo

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

    1. Maggie, thank you, that so kind considering you’re a pro! xox

  18. I love that portrait – your Mom did a really excellent job!!! Hope her birthday was wonderful

    1. Karen, thanks and it was blissfully quiet xo

  19. 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!

    1. Ellen, many thanks and yes, I must tell Clyde to take it back a notch. He’s doted on 24/7. Ha, the theory is being tested xoxox

  20. 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.

    1. Thanks CW. The expression is pure Clyde even though he denies it xo

  21. Happy Birthday to your most special Mom from all of us!

    1. Many thanks and purrs from all of us to your fur family xox

  22. Happy birthday to your mom Layla! We like your portrait and the story on Matisse and Bob Ross! It proves again how we cats inspire, MOL! – Tom x

    1. Thanks, Tom and yes,as long as humans need inspiration, cats will continue to inspire πŸ™‚

  23. 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

    1. Thanks Teddy and June! Ah, awesome you’re former Bob Ross student xoxo

  24. Happy Birthday to your Mom!!!!! the mama grinned as she saw Bob Ross… she remembered her fails while painting with BoB at 2:30 am (this darned time-difference)

    1. Thanks and merci mes amies xox Only you would do a Bob Ross fail πŸ˜‰ xoxo

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