The Purple Cat Period


My granddaughter is quite the artist. She has gone through many phases in her artistic education. For a time everything was about fashion. With numerous Barbie type dolls to dress for the runway, we spent a small fortune on fabrics, netting, ribbon, beading, and hair products.


She dabbled in oil painting. This was her Chagall period as evidenced by the self-portrait shown here.

Emily self portrait

But my favorite expression of her creativity came at the age of eight (she is now sixteen) which we call the Purple Cat period. Water colors were all the rage. It was at this time that she created Reneaux.

Looking at the painting you might assume that Reneaux is a handsome cat. He certainly is the picture of contentment. But what you don’t see in this rendering is that he is a superior cat in the way that only a cat can be. He is a font of important information, i.e., purple and gold are the correct colors for any occasion because purple is for royalty and gold…well gold is for gold.Purple Cat

Never wear socks with sandals. Better your toes freeze off than make this fashion faux paux. Curly hair cannot be contained nor should you try.

If these were the only lessons to be learned from Reneaux then one would consider themselves well rewarded for having known him, but there are many things beyond mere matters of appearance that he has imparted. He has taught us that a nap is always appropriate, regardless of the situation and it quite often heals a world of heartache. Being alone isn’t lonely, especially when you have a creative mind. Work (creativity) is its own reward. Knowing your own worth and standing your ground when it comes to your values is hard but it is the right thing to do. Kindness to every living creature costs you nothing but the rewards are great.

Reneaux is no Cheshire cat. His messages are not cryptic. He has been a good friend and guide to a little girl who has had to survive the world of two older brothers, friendships that aren’t always what they seem, and the whole coming of age angst.

My granddaughter, the chicken whisperer, is a talented, creative, kind, self-assured young woman and brave in many ways. She has learned a lot from Reneaux and, through her, so have I.


Rebecca Barrett writes historical fiction, short stories of the South, and children’s stories. Her novel, Road’s End, is an historical novel set between WWI and WWII and is available on Amazon.

She is a cat lover, first and foremost, although dogs hold a special place in her heart. Cats have distinct personalities and abilities and anyone who is possessed by a cat is fortunate indeed, even if it is only in their imagination. Over the years, the many cats she has loved have formed the basis for the cozy mysteries she writes.

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