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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