Drawing by BZTAT

This is a portrait of Nutmeg by BZTAT.

Last year, Vicki Boatwright, an Ohio artist better known as BZTAT, decided to work on her craft by making a drawing a day for a month. She was looking for inspiration one day, and I told her to take a look at the pictures of the kitten we took in after someone dropped her in my yard last summer.

Nutmeg and I fell in love at first sight when we looked in each other’s eyes as Nutmeg was planning to hide under a bush. Instead of hiding, she came right to me and trusted me to protect her. I also fell in love at first sight with BZTAT’s unique style of animal art.

BZTAT met Okey in the parking lot near her art studio last year.   Okey, unlike Nutmeg, was living the life of a feral cat and had developed the wariness that comes with life on the streets. She needed food, medical care and love, but did not trust a human to treat her with respect and care. With some coaching from feral cat lovers, BZTAT was able to gain enough of Okey’s trust to bring her into the studio. Although the artist THOUGHT Okey would move on to another forever home, she soon fell in love with the fearful little cat. Okey opened up to BZTAT and her cat family, and she stayed.


Okey, by BZTAT

Now, Okey is the muse of BZTAT’s public art. Through the murals of Okey’s Promise, BZTAT wants to increase awareness of the connections between animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence.

As with all big visions, this project needs backers. BZTAT launched a major drive to create a movement around Okey’s Promise and to raise funds to support painting six murals in six North American cities.   She is using to raise $6,000 in pledges by September 26 at 4:02 p.m. EDT.

Kickstarter allows creative people to present their projects to a wide audience to seek funding. The website also requires that a project reach the minimum financial goal of the campaign, or the pledges will not be charged to the backers’ accounts. All or nothing, they say, protects both donors and artists from the problems that arise when creative projects are underfunded.  I like the power that the Web gives to all of us to facilitate creativity, whether that means we are funding it or making art ourselves.

I pledged my support for Okey’s Promise, and as soon as I did, Cheshire Kitten (my blogging kitty) bet me that he could raise more money than I pledged by having an art auction on his own blog. We are on for a box of We Pity the Kitties salmon treats to do with as he pleases. I hope you’ll stop by Cheshire Kitten Loves Karma to check out the two weekends of drawings, jewelry, prints and the Christmas quilt CK and his anipals (and various other fellow travelers) will be auctioning on behalf of Okey’s Promise. For two weekends you’ll find a new artwork every day, mine will be auctioned first, beginning tomorrow (Thursday September 15) at 9 pm CDT.

My cats and I share BZTAT’s vision, as do our friends who contributed the work of their hands and hearts. When our hearts are engaged, we can work wonders.