An art student from Hereford was so taken with the story of Chester’s most popular cat, Brutus, she decided to pay tribute by immortalising him in a unique painting.
Cat lover Kerri Heinrich, a fine art student at the Hereford College of Art, has aspirations to be a pet portrait and wildlife artist, and has followed the progress of Brutus on social media ever since the tabby cat first made headlines for spending almost every day lounging in the foyer of Morrisons supermarket in Saltney.
In the past three years, the puss has regularly been found relaxing in the store and not only did he earn a mention on Radio 2 but he is also listed on Wikipedia under a list of famous cats.
When Brutus recently stopped eating and had to go on a drip due to a problem with his kidneys, it sparked a huge outpouring of concern on social media, with thousands of followers posting goodwill messages to him and his owners Claire and Adam Owens.
Kerri was one of these well-wishers and said she ‘fell in love’ with Brutus on Facebook, so decided to draw him as practice for her pet portraits.
The 21-year-old told The Chronicle: “ I wanted to draw Brutus because of my work with wildlife artists and because I absolutely adore cats. I discovered him on Facebook and fell in love with him so I asked Claire if I could use the pictures on Facebook as practise for my portraits.
“Shortly after I started drawing him he became ill and everyone was really worried about him. That’s when I knew I wanted to give the picture to Claire when I had finished,” she added. “I’d describe what I’ve done as ‘mixed media’ - it’s mainly a drawing with a watercolour base layer.”
Kerri travelled all the way from Hereford to Saltney to present Claire with the drawing at Morrisons. It will be kept by Claire but a copy of it hangs in the foyer of Morrisons where Brutus likes to spend so much of his time.
Claire, who described Kerri’s drawing as ‘amazing’, said she was touched that she travelled so far to deliver the picture.
“And as for a health update on Brutus, he’s still plodding along,” she explained. “He doesn’t appear ill, however his kidneys are still slowly deteriorating, but with everyone’s help in spreading the word about not feeding him when they see him, I’m sure this is making a huge difference to his life expectancy and I’d like to thank all his fans and followers for looking out for him.
“Sadly I can’t stop him from stealing food from places he shouldn’t. I can’t speak cat to explain it to him, but if anyone knows Dr Doolittle, please ask him to get in touch!”
To see more of Kerri's artwork, visit http://www.kerriheinrichart.co.uk