Copy Cat

Copy cat

Image: Andy Warhol

I came home from work on Monday night compelled to draw a cat, but as my frozen burrito cooked in the microwave, it occurred to me that I didn’t know how. Into the Google search bar I typed: “How to draw a cat.” The results overwhelmed me. Also, hunger made me too impatient to follow a step-by-step lesson, so I typed “cat illustration” into the Pinterest search bar for a different outcome. Better. I got up from my computer, pulled my steaming burrito from the beeping microwave, placed it on the table next to a paper towel and let it cool. Of the various options — some colorful, some absolutely terrible — the one that most quickly caught my eye was an Andy Warhol line drawing. I zoomed in and copied it into my sketchbook, line for line, curve for curve, between bites of bean and cheese. My version leaned a little too far to the left, its neck was a bit too skinny, its right eye unintentionally lazy. In spite of everything, I sat back satisfied having captured the essence of a cat, or at least the essence of a cat whose essence had already been captured by Andy Warhol. I was filled with an inflated sense of talent. That, or gas. The two can have such a striking likeness.

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