Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Arts & Crafts with Popeye

Yes, I'm actually writing about doing arts and crafts projects with cats. However, since you could do this project with a wide variety of animals and because the final product makes a great gift for anyone who loves the animal, perhaps we could think of this post as one targeting all animal, craft, and gift-giving lovers? That makes it feel a bit more inclusive. 😉

Cat painting doesn't actually involve handing a cat a paint brush, an assortment of acrylics, and a canvas; I can only imagine the mess that would result from that combination. But cat painting can be done - almost completely mess-free, I might add - and here's how Hallie did it.

First, Hallie encouraged Popeye to choose the colors with which he wanted to paint. It took a while, but I think this was his favorite part.

Once Popeye had selected his colors, Hallie squeezed small dollops of each paint color onto the canvas. (In hindsight, we should have used more paint/bigger dollops.)

Next, Hallie slid the canvas into a large ziplock bag. She pressed as much air as possible out of the bag and zipped it closed. 

Then she put the bag on the ground, and called Popeye - he comes when called, as long as you say his name or "kitty kitty" in what I like to call a "treat voice" - to come check it out. He was a little nervous (he's a little nervous about all new things), so at first he spent a lot more time sniffing and pawing at the bag than actually playing with it.

That is until Hallie busted out the toys. She strategically held/placed all of his favorites so he would simultaneously play with them and walk/shuffle/scurry/roll around on top of the canvas.

When we decided he had painted enough, Hallie gave Popeye got lots of treats. I take back what I said earlier, this was his favorite part.

When the canvas was dry, we used a paintbrush to paint Popeye's toe beans a different color and helped him "sign" his painting with his paw. (We then of course thoroughly cleaned his toe beans.)

We actually didn't keep this art project of Popeye's. Instead, we gifted it to our friend Mallori, one of the founders of Six Kittens Rescue and who - if circumstances had been slightly different - probably would have been Popeye's forever mom. She and her wife (they founded SKR together) are moving away soon, and we wanted them to have a little gift from their beloved tripod. 

I realized as I was pulling this post together last night that I somehow don't have a photo of the finished product (either I didn't take one or I deleted it - I truly can't remember), but I'll ask Mallori to send me one and share it soon. It's a shame Popeye didn't love painting (the process was a little trickier for him given his mobility challenges) because he's a true talent. 😉 

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