Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cats in Art: The Madonna of the Cat (Barocci)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.

Image credit The National Gallery, The Madonna of the Cat, Federico Fiori Barocci, ca. 1575, oil on canvas, 44" x 37", held by The National Gallery,, London, UK.

Bugler's analysis: 

The Italian artist Barocci evidently loved cats.  He drew them on a number of occasions, and incorporated them into several finished paintings....At first sight it appears to be a simple image of a family affectionately playing with a pet, but there is a more tragic undercurrent.  John the Baptist is teasing the cat by holding up a goldfinch.  While the bird was once a favorite pet for children, it became a symbolic reminder of Christ's passion because of the legend that it acquired its red spot when it flew down to remove a throne from Christ's brow and was splashed with his blood.  But the viewer knows that the cat will never catch the bird, and that the fate waiting the chubby baby in Mary's lap can never be avoided.

Seems that Barocci painted this image at least twice.  This one is on canvas, and an identical image, but on a panel, is held by the Musee Condi, Chantilly.

The cat is where?  Lower left, of course--that's seemingly where they always are.  Also, I just wish that we could see the kitty's face, for everyone else in the image is quite contented-looking, if not outright happy.  I bet the cat is quite annoyed over having to chase the bird, seeing as how cats are powerless to resist anything with feathers.

Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Math is Simple

I get it that people want to have the means to keep themselves and their families safe.  That's an obvious evolutionary adaptation that aids in the survival of the species.

But there's that pesky math thingy that can't be ignored:

Thanks to Digby's blog for the image.

Back to the math thingy.  Sure, I will admit that there are circumstances where the good guy with a gun saves the day over the bad guy with the gun.  But overwhelmingly, chances are that the something else will happen...something bad: a toddler finding a gun in a nightstand, kids playing with a gun while the adults are away, an"empty" gun going off unexpectedly in the hands of an otherwise responsible owner.

You may quibble with the actual numbers in the picture above but they are basically right. Your loved ones are far more at risk when guns are in the home.

I will also admit that this risk essentially goes to zero when firearms are secured in a kid-proof gun safe...provide that the "good guys" admit that virtually no one does that 100% of the time.

Sorry, that's just the math.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Guest Quote

One of the following pair of quotes is an actual quote last week from a famous politician.  See if you can guess which one is real and who said it:

1.  Zippity doobie blobbity ROOOAR summa summa ice ice baby boom boom boom boom da boom boom can't stop this hammertime run run rudolph run right wingy dingy WINGDINGS Clippy bop bop ba loo bop tutti frutti.  Amen and praise god.

2.  You quit footin' the bill for these nations who are oil-rich, we're payin' for some of their "squirm-ishes" that have been goin' on for centuries where they're fightin' each other, callin' Allah Akbar, callin' jihad on each other's heads forever and ever. Like I said before, let 'em duke it out and let Allah sort if out!

The correct answer is the second one is real and was actually uttered in a major speech by Sarah Palin as she endorsed Donald trump for president.

We're in trouble, folks.

Credits: The first quote is courtesy of Eschaton, here.  The second is via Digby, here.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cats in Art: The Last Supper (Bassano)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.

Today I feature a second painting by Leandro Bassano (also known as Leandro da Ponte, or Leandro da Ponte Bassano):

Image credit Wikimedia Commons, The Last Supper, Leandro Bassano, 1578, oil on canvas, size unspecified, held by Santa Maria Formosa, Venice, Italy.

The "held by" is not a gallery, but rather is a church, where the painting simply hangs.  And yes, there is indeed a cat in the picture.  To see it, however, we need a close-up of the very dark kitty crouching--of all places--down there at the lower left:

The painting above is soooo dark and gloomy that I hesitate to even show it....except that it provides a valuable art lesson.  Turns out that Leandro--as did many artists--painted more than one image of The Last Supper.  Perhaps the one above was originally a much brighter painting, but has deteriorated over time.

Regardless, check out Leandro's other crack at The Last Supper.  This one is much brighter and pleasing to the eye:

Image credit here, The Last Supper, Leandro Bassano, oil on canvas, date and size unspecified, held by Archivio Bridgeman Art Library, Berlin, Germany.

And here's the mandatory kitty close-up of the feline down in the lower left front:

Thank goodness for the Internet and all the wonderful art images that are to be found there. Without it I would have been stuck with a very poor Last Supper.

Also, it appears that the very same cat as last week was the subject for this painting as well.  Way to go, Leandro, immortalizing your pet forever!  I can well imagine Leandro saying to his dad Jacopo--also an artist and who also apparently painted this same cat--"Dad, can I borrow the cat for a couple of days?  I'm working on The Last Supper and I've got a blank spot down there at the lower left."  

Or, if my Italian translator is working OK, "Papà, posso prendere in prestito il gatto per un paio di giorni? Sto lavorando su l Ultima Cena e ho un punto vuoto laggiù in basso a sinister."

Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Astronomy, 5 Planets Visible, and Ultrarunning

It's been awhile since I posted anything about astronomy, but that field is one of my favorite almost-hobbies.

I say "almost" because I don't have any telescopes or anything, I'm just a knowledgeable casual naked-eye observer.  I pride myself at being able to identify at a basic level planets, stars, and constellations.

Anyway...turns out that the next couple weeks, if you haul your butt out of bed just before dawn, you're in for a treat.  I'll let the always-good Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy tell us more (also, the image above is part of his post):

If you get up very early over the next couple of weeks, there’s a treat waiting for you outside: All five naked-eye planets known since antiquity are visible in the dawn sky at once.

This is actually pretty cool, and it’s visible from anywhere in the world. Very generally, if you go outside well before dawn (5:30–6 a.m. local time) and look south (in the Northern Hemisphere; face north if you’re in the upside-down part of the world), you’ll see the planets lined up across the sky.

Mind you, that’s “very generally.” Here are some specifics:
In order from their apparent positions from the Sun in the sky, the planets are Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter.* They scoot around a bit over the next few weeks, changing their positions and distances from each other, but stay in that order. Venus is the brightest by far, with Jupiter next. Saturn and Mars are about the same brightness as each other (compare them with the red supergiant star Antares which shines near Saturn), but Saturn will appear yellowish, while Mars will be rust-colored (because it’s rusty).

Click on over here and read the rest, then add Bad Astronomy to your regular reading regime.  You really must!

Oh, and the link to Ultrarunning.  In the spirit of adventure running, about which I just wrote, I plan to scope out the overnight weather conditions over the next couple of weeks--looking for a clear forecast--and get up early for a pre-dawn run.  It's been awhile since I've done that, and it should prove to be magical.

Practically any activity is magical anytime you're doing something cool that is nowhere close to being on the radar of the rest of the world.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Finally, An Adventure Run!

These past few months I've not spent much time in the backcountry.  In fact, if I'm being honest with myself, I've kinda been afraid.

See, my age begins with a 6 and it's two digits.  Until not all that long ago, I would happily head out into the backcountry for a trail run, leaving behind only the sketchiest of directions as to my timing and whereabouts.

I've gotten much better about that of late, as it has finally dawned upon me that my peers and contemporaries are keeling over with uncomfortable regularity, and that I myself--despite the good health that I currently enjoy--am not immune to two laws (the law of averages and the law of cause and effect).

So, truth be told, I've done my recent trail running with a buddy or not at all.

Until Sunday.

On our way to visit the in-laws, I had the bride drop me off several miles from our destination, in the middle of Clark's Valley, PA.  I had given her very specific instructions as to my route and timing.  Leaving the car, I immediately bushwhacked up a power line straight up the side of a mountain, to gain the ridge top, a 1200' breath-taking endeavor. The western U.S. runner who famously once said, "These eastern mountains are SO cute!" would have been sucking air on this climb, big time!

Once on top, I see what looks to be a rocket ship and snap this photo:

I knew in advance that it was actually an unmanned FAA radar beacon.  In today's day and age, as I took the picture I thought it was quite likely that I was on a surveillance camera myself, and might get hassled for taking pictures of government infrastructure, as if I were a terrorist rather than a simple Ultrarunner.

So...after the off-road stretch and a section of gated dirt road, I reached "civilization," meaning a dirt road that was open to the public and which I had identified to the bride as being my route.  I then enjoyed the several mile gradual downhill that was the payback and reward for the initial climb.

Quickly enough the run was over, I had survived being alone, and felt elated for finally doing another "adventure run."

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cats in Art: The Rich Man and Lazarus (Bassano)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.

Today I feature another painting by Leandro Bassano, who is the son of our featured artist from the past two weeks, Jacopo Bassano:

Image credit The Atheneum, The Rich Man and Lazarus, Leandro Bassano, ca. 1580-85, oil on canvas, 52" x 71", held by Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

And the close up of the kitty there in the lower left (why does it always seem that the cat appears in the lower left corner?):

Bugler's analysis: 

Leandro was the son of Jacopo Bassano, and his works exhibit the family love of animals.  Here he illustrates a parable drawn from Luke 16: 19-31, which tells how the starving beggar Lazarus habitually asked for crumbs from a  rich man's table, but was refused; dogs came and licked his sores.  After his death Lazarus was taken to Paradise, but the rich man was consigned to Hell.  The begging scene seems almost secondary to the animated kitchen scene on the left, where the feast is being prepared.  Here the cat--in similar livery to the dogs--seems far more preoccupied with confronting a monkey than with stealing tidbits from the table.

Couple of my comments.  

--First, the kitty bears a remarkable resemblance to the that the Leandro's dad Jacopo used in Animals Entering the Ark (see my post from 2 weeks ago, here).  One can't help but that think that this gray and white cat was the family pet.

--Second, this painting shows yet again that you can never trust a monkey.  It's plain to see that the primate is taunting the poor cat, who has no other recourse than to assume a defensive posture, prior to kicking the monkey's *ss.

--Note that the cat-monkey theme has appeared before in art.  See my post on The Fall of Man, here; that painting hangs in the magnificent Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (AKA Holland).

Last, you can bet that this rich-poor theme will never be mentioned in any of the Republican debates, as an object lesson on taking care of the poor. 

Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Good Run...and Ultrarunning

Along the lines of the bride reminding me  about the ostensible origins of this blog, let me tell you about an 8.5 mile Appalachian Trail run that I undertook last Sunday with my good trail friend, JS.  This play-by-play is geared towards a newer Ultrarunner who might have landed here on this blog.

We hatched the scheme on a Wednesday, for Sunday. The weather forecast looked a but unsettled, but we proceeded.  However, as the time grew closer the weather looked worse. In fact, I called JS on Saturday evening saying I was still good to go but offering him an out if he didn't feel like running in the rain. JS declined, saying in effect, "I kinda like dealing with whatever Mother Nature throws at us."

So we met at daybreak a Pine Grove Furnace State Park in south central PA, dropped a car, and proceeded in the other car to the start of the run at  Big Flat. We needed to wait about 10 minutes until it was light enough to see the trail, and started off. It was raining, light to moderate, a condition that persisted for the duration of the run.

The air temperature was about 45F, and both JS and I opted for tights, thinking of leg warmth later in the run when we would have slowed down.  On my torso I wore a long-sleeve polypro top and fleece vest; JS was dressed in a nylon jacket, but I'm not sure whether the shirt underneath was long- or short-sleeved.  Regardless, neither of us got chilly during the run, even with the becoming soaked later.  The key is not to wear cotton.

We each carried a single water bottle in a waist pack.  I also carried a small bag of my go-to trail snack, peanut M&Ms, but did not eat any during the run.

The trail was soggy, at places more than soggy, as we splashed through ankle deep water in the low spots.  After about half a mile, there was no longer any thought of keeping your feet dry; that dream was toast.

However, prior experience has taught us that running in wet feet is really no problem.  It's just a shock the first time your foot gets submerged.

This run was point to point rather than a loop, and was a net downhill, so it ran a bit faster than normal. I had a baseball cap low over my eyes to try to keep the rain from my glasses, but that failed as they were soon covered in droplets and fog.  Every half mile or so I needed to dip my glasses into a puddle or stream to "clean" them off...which helped me see for about half a mile.

The first half of the run was a fairly smooth trail, with some ups and downs, more or less along the ridge top.  At length we reached the point where the trail broke down from the ridge, a real nice slightly downhill trail, until a stream crossing of Tom's Run, a year-round stream that is usually about 3 feet wide.  Today it was double that, and a pretty good torrent. After the wet-footed crossing, our next mile or so was a rocky downhill plunge over which JS scampered much like I'd imagine a mountain goat might.  It was a joy to observe his sure-footedness.

By and by we passed the Tom's Run Shelter and continued on a soggy jeep trail until another rocky stretch.  In another mile we recrossed Tom's Run, now quite a cataract, via a bridge that we were grateful to use.

The final mile of easy trail went, well, easily, and soon we hove into view of the car. We wrung out our clothes as best we could, laid towels on the seats, and drove back to pick up the start vehicle.  Here JS and I shook hands, said "Good run!" sincerely and gratefully, and each headed home.

A good run.  That's what it was.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Another Thought on Rambling...and Ultrarunning

Following this post on rock music and rambling that I posted back in December, I teased the bride, telling her that I was now ready to do some rambling myself, "...but I don't need no woman tagging along."

She says, "Fine, enjoy your ramble, but I know you'll be back soon."

Me: "But what if I'm not?"

Bride: "Because you're always losing or misplacing something, that's why.  And I'm always the one who finds it."

Me: "I don't get it, what's that got to do with anything?  I've got to ramble!  And maybe even gamble!"

Bride:  "Here's why.  The first time you lose something, you'll come back.  Fast.  And I'll say like I always do, let's retrace your steps.  So, where have you been rambling?"

At which point we both cracked up.

The connection to Ultrarunning, of course, is that it's a harmless way to ramble.  And that I'm a lucky rambler to have this woman in my life.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Farewell, David Bowie

Today's unfortunate news about the death of David Bowie had a profound effect upon me. I'm not any sort of Rock n Roll groupie, but we all have our particular favorites, and David Bowie was one of mine.

I guess it was partly the innovation, partly the reinvention, partly the notion of a misfit succeeding at being a misfit, and proud of it, on behalf of all non-mainstream people everywhere.

Regardless, today would be a proper time to repost my all-time favorite David Bowie tune, the one that speaks directly to Ultrarunners and to ordinary people everywhere: Heroes.

Please take the time to actually click the YouTube video and to watch this amazing, multilayered song (if the embedded video playeth not, here's the link).


Friday, May 31, 2013

We Can Be Heroes, Just for One Day...and Ultrarunning

After several years--indeed, the love affair has only intensified--I rely mightily on my Sirius XM Radio for musical enjoyment and inspiration.

Just today I heard a David Bowie song--Heroes--that I had not heard for some time. The passage of time enabled me to hear it from an Ultrarunner's perspective.

I think it probably hits on one of the key precepts of why we run these vast distances: we can be heroes.  We have our everyday lives, but for one day, when we don the mantle of an Ultrarunner--we can be heroes.  We could be set apart from every other human being on the planet.

This tune is so not at all about athletic achievement, but I think of it in that way anyway.  The music and the main lyric are so catchy:
     We can be heroes
     Just for one day.

If that day is our day, the day when "suddenly it is all as easy as a bird in flight," then we can achieve distances or times that were formerly unimaginable.

Like when I cracked the 24 hour barrier for 100 miles at Umstead in 2010, when--seriously--all I was hoping for was to finish.

You all have your stories, I am sure, of the day when you were a hero, if just for one day.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cats in Art: Christ in the House of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (Bassano)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.

Today I feature another painting by Jacopo Bassano, the second week in a row:

Image credit Wikimedia Commons, Christ in the House of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, Jacopo Bassano, 1577, oil on canvas, 39" x 50", held by Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX.

And of course we need a close up of the kitty down there in the lower left:

The beleaguered cat seems about ready to nail that pesky dog who is menacing the cat's food dish.  The poor canine has no idea who he is dealing with...the cat of Jacopo Bassano, famous painter!

Other than the kitty, this painting is quite interesting for its darkness and gloom, although the subject matter should be happy: Christ raising Lazarus from the dead.  Perhaps the miracle has not yet happened and poor Laz is still dead; yet there's a bunch of food around that seems to indicate a feast.

Big time darkness and gloom....thank goodness for the happy ray of light created by the cat!

Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Birdcam Blue Jay

I forget if I've posted this one previously (am am too lazy to search), but even if I did, it's a cool shot to see a second time:

Image credit Gary, taken on my Audubon Birdcam, 2015

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dressing for Winter Running

Your mileage may vary.  In fact, it will vary.  But since some of the folks who stop by here are newer runners of Ultrarunners looking for practical, how-to advice, I'll tell you what works for me.

Today's example is a cold weather run from earlier this week when the ambient temp was 10F.  There was a slight wind, say up to 10 MPH, so I'd characterize the conditions as breezy but not windy. As is the norm around here in south-central PA, the prevailing wind was more or less from the west.

My clothes: started with a pair of "wind boxers."  These are boxer shorts with a nylon panel in the front, well, to protect your junk.  Next was a pair of calf length socks, medium weight, much like I'd wear in any season.  I don't use a heavier sock in the winter.

Since my winter tights are not super heavy, I layered up first with a pair women's footless tights from a department store (i.e., not a designed running garment), then my outer men's tights.

On my torso I wore a long sleeve mock turtleneck of polypro or some such fabric, then went with my outer layer: a fairly heavy fleece shell with a hood.  I love this shell for serious cold because the way it is designed, the zipper can come up high enough to cover my chin and in so doing in snugs the hood around my head (there is not hood string to draw it tight).  I wear a baseball cap under the hood, for sun or rain/snow protection for my eyes and glasses.

Thus when I'm totally zipped up, only my nose and eyes show.  But I usually zip the fleece down just a tad to expose my mouth for breathing.

Oh, I do wear heavier gloves when it's this cold, as my hands get chilly easy here in my old age.  Plus from long habit, I always carry a bandana.  That's a year-round staple for blowing noses to wiping sweat to cooling off with water dipped from a stream.

For me the best strategy is to run first into the wind if your geography permits.  That way you get the worst part done first, and can unzip a bit on the return segments. If you do the downwind part first, you risk sweating up a bit, which will be unpleasant when later you do have to turn into the wind.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Supporting my Local Sports Franchise

Look how excited our kitty Ca Beere is about the Steelers making the playoffs, as she happily sports half of the team's traditional colors:

This poor cat thought her primary responsibilities centered around Halloween, and that she had entered the off-season.

Little did Ca Beere know she'd be called upon for football support!

I guess I prove that one can be both an Ultrarunner and a football fan.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Concise Philosophy of Ultrarunning

Some weeks back I decided I'd try to get back a bit closer to the original impetus for this blog back in 2010: the sport of Ultrarunning. The bride recently pointed out that over the years I had kinda veered more and more into the philosophical and political.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

So, many of us know this famous quote. It was used yesterday (4 Jan) as the quote of the day on my homepage, REFDESK, and I could not help but realize just how well it nails the essence of Ultraruning in just 4 succinct lines of verse:

To see a world in a grain of sand,

And a heaven in a wild flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,

And eternity in an hour.

-- William Blake

Now go for your trail run and (re)capture the magic.  Be alive!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Another Hopeful Note on the American Chestnut

In catching up on my reading of the always delightful Mike the Mad Biologist blog (you REALLY should hop over there, it's a treasure!), I encountered another piece of good news concerning the American Chestnut.

Mike links to this NPR story:

Scientists are excited about the discovery of an American chestnut tree in the woods of western Maine, a record-breaking tree that's giving them hope for the future.
Growing straight and tall, chestnut trees were once prized for timber. Vendors still roast and sell European chestnuts on the streets of Manhattan, fragrant aroma and all. But the American chestnut that once dominated the Eastern woodlands, from Maine to Georgia, was virtually wiped out by a blight that was accidentally introduced from Asia.
That's why on a recent, rainy December day, a gaggle of reporters, photographers and members of the American Chestnut Foundation trudged into the woods of Lovell, Maine, to confirm some crucial measurements of a chestnut tree growing in the wild.
As girth goes, this chestnut tree is not impressive: At 16.1 inches, it's on the skinny side. Except for its long, slender leaves, and spiny, urchin-like burs, it wouldn't stand out as distinctive in a forest lineup, especially this time of year, when both the leaves and the burs are littering the ground.
But Brian Roth, a forest scientist with the University of Maine, says when it comes to height, this American chestnut reigns supreme.
"We think it's around 100 years old," Roth says. "It's over 100 feet tall, which makes it the tallest tree that we know of in North America."
That's 115 feet tall, to be precise. But beyond its exceptional height, this chestnut is interesting to Roth and members of the American Chestnut Foundation because of its ability to survive. Surrounded by a cluster of equally tall pine trees, it was discovered in July from the air, distinguished by the large white flowers in its crown.

This is great news!  See my previous American Chestnut post, a nostalgic tale of my father-in-law, an old barn, and a board returning to the forest, here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cats in Art: Animals Entering the Ark (Bassano)

Back from hiatus.  

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.

Image credit Museo Nacional del Prado, Animals Entering the Ark, Jacopo Bassano, 1570, oil on canvas, 81" x 104", held by Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

Since this nearly 500 year old image is rather large and dark, of course we need the kitty close-up from the lower left corner:

Bugler's comment:
The illustrious and prolific Bassano family of artists, who worked in the are around Venice, habitually incorporated animals not their paintings.  Jacopo's workshop produced several pictures on the theme of Noah's Ark.  All the animals are about to board with their mates, and two cats are crouching quietly in the bottom left-hand corner.  The one with the white coat and tabby markings is very similar to other cats in Jacopo's work, and it is tempting to think that it is a portrait of a family cat.

The featured cat seems a tad uneasy, perhaps by the proximity of the pair of dogs immediately to the right.  In fact, the second kitty--dark gray and in the shadows--practically finds itself underneath one of the dogs.  Not a cat's preferred location, I'd wager.

But as for the art, the white tabby is flawlessly rendered, looking especially lifelike and virtually three-dimensional on the canvas.  And I like the notion that it may well be one of Bassano's cats, preserved for all time in this painting.

See my previous Jacopo Bassano post on The Supper at Emmaus, here.  The kitty in that painting does look the same.

Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!