Smokey kissing beaded Smokey

From the Melville Cat: I’m a Work of Art

From the Melville Cat:

Heather enjoys animal-inspired art. She has a beaded giraffe, for example, as well as a clay porcupine.

But until recently she did not have any art inspired by the most important animal in her life: me.

I’ve been dropping hints about this omission for years — by sleeping on Heather’s art books and refusing to admire the beaded giraffe despite multiple prompts.

Apparently my hints finally worked. Last week Heather came home with this:

Beaded Smokey on tableMy beaded likeness. I’ve named him Melville Cat Deux.

I didn’t think much of my beaded likeness at first. After all these years of waiting, I suppose I’d lost interest in the idea. Also his front legs are a bit short.

Beaded Smokey and real Smokey laying downHo hum.

But then I took a closer look at Melville Cat Deux and realized his resemblance to me is quite remarkable.

Smokey and beaded SmokeyWe have a similar posture.

A man named Shepherd made Melville Cat Deux. Shepherd makes a living creating beaded animals on Melville’s 7th Street. He has sold Heather several beaded animals in the past.

Shepherd and the beaded Melville Cat
Shepherd with Melville Cat Deux.

Shepherd has been making beaded animals in Melville for many years — longer than Heather can remember — but he has never made a cat before. Heather also says she has never seen another beaded cat, despite meeting many bead artists over the years.

It’s possible Melville Cat Deux is the first-ever beaded house cat in Johannesburg.

Smokey and Melville Cat DeuxI’m not sure why Deux’s eyes are red, while mine are yellow. I supposed this is Shepherd’s artistic interpretation of me.

Melville cat yawning with Melville Cat DeuxHe might look like me. But he can’t yawn like me.

Melville Cat yawning againI couldn’t help but flaunt my yawning a bit more. It was a subtle reminder to Heather that although Deux looks like me, he is NOT me and he never will be me.

Melville at kissing Melville Cat DeuxLack of yawning prowess aside, I’ve become fond of Melville Cat Deux.

Shepherd told Heather he is going to make more beaded cats from now on. If you would like to commission a feline likeness of your own, find Shepherd at the corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue in Melville. He is also reachable on WhatsApp at +27-73-179-1351.

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  • Reply cycou01 [ Ron Thompson] November 9, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    I had two cats. Now I have one. MEAIOU was a copy cat. He sat next to the computer when I wrote. NEWCAT arrived recently to be with the Cyc-Ou. Then he lost an eye so he
    got a new identity. He is now the Cyc-Ou’s Cyclops

    • Reply 2summers November 9, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Sounds like quite an interesting household.

  • Reply mvschulze November 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm


    • Reply 2summers November 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      You’re quite right, Sandy Paws. I send you my best.

  • Reply autumnashbough November 9, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    The red eyes threw me for a minute. I thought it was a possum. Then I remembered they don’t exist in Africa.

    No replica can do you justice, of course.

    • Reply 2summers November 9, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      What is a possum?

      • Reply autumnashbough November 9, 2017 at 11:57 pm

        A rodent-like creature (only I think it’s a marsupial, and it carries its young around) that’s grey with tunnelish kind of snout and eats rotting fruit. Very good for cleaning up the garden. They are nocturnal. Most cats ignore them.

        Most dogs don’t.

        • Reply 2summers November 10, 2017 at 6:28 am

          I would most definitely ignore them.

  • Reply eremophila November 9, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Shepherd looks lovely man though:-)

    • Reply 2summers November 10, 2017 at 6:29 am

      Heather says he is very nice.

  • Reply debbieannjizo November 11, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Is there a guy at 4th st still making beaded animals, we used to stay near there

    • Reply 2summers November 11, 2017 at 7:33 am

      Yes! Pretty much all the same guys are there 🙂

  • Reply Deano November 13, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Love these posts about Melville!

    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      You were one of his first fans 😻

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