Pete the Cat and James Dean (the artist, not the actor)

This past Sunday was my birthday, and my dad gave me the coolest gift: a book called The Misadventures of Pete the Cat. It’s a compilation of paintings done by artist James Dean, all of which feature his cat Pete.

I love cats, and I love art, so of course I love cat art! But this book is like nothing I’ve seen before. I couldn’t put it down without flipping through the entire thing to look at each and every picture. Some are simple and whimsical, but there are also reproductions of famous paintings with the addition of Pete, such as this:

I have since found Pete the Cat’s website, which features pictures not included in the book, and now I’m totally obsessed. Most inspiring is the fact that James Dean was an electrical engineer who wanted to be an artist but didn’t think he could make a living as one; Pete came into his life at an opportune time and stayed just long enough to be the muse he needed to make the leap into a freelance art career. Now he is locally and nationally known for his Pete the Cat prints, which are sold at galleries and retailers around the country. Isn’t that encouraging?

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