Catty Cape Breton art project draws attention to abandoned and feral cats

They're colourful, larger than life and they're springing up at storefronts and on sidewalks all over, as part of the Catwalk Show of Art, raising awareness of abandoned and feral cats.

Painted cat statues popping up all over the Cape Breton Regional Municipality

Deana Lloy of the Feral and Abandoned Cat Society of Cape Breton especially likes Cowboy cat. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

They're colourful, larger than life and they're springing up at storefronts and on sidewalks all over the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

They're part of the Catwalk Show of Art, raising awareness of abandoned and feral cats. 

"It's amazing to see it come to life," said Deana Lloy, vice-president of the Feral and Abandoned Cat Society and chair of the Catwalk Show Campaign.

The feline statues can't be missed, at just over a metre tall, greeting people outside a bank, at a hotel, a restaurant and other places. 

Local artists created and painted unique designs for each of the statues.

The Cat's Pajamas (All photos Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)
Spogan cat.
Beacon from the front...
...and the back.
The Gilded Pharaoh

Lloy says while it's lots of fun, the goal is serious.

"We really need to educate a large number of the public, that they really need to step up and start helping us to prevent unwanted litters of kittens."

Cowboy cat from the front...
...and the tail.

Angela Mercer Penny is one of the artists.

She owns a horse stable and she used one of her own barn cats as inspiration for the Cowboy cat. 

"I wanted to just have a fun cat; he was a mouser, so if you check the back pocket of his jeans, he's got a little mouse hidden in there as well," she said. 

She says she was more than happy to help. 

Lots more to come

"It may be a conversation piece to see all these statues and I'm hoping that it just brings more awareness to their cause," said Mercer Penny.

There will be 24 cats in all,  with a new one unveiled every day until the end of June.

Cat Borg

People are already looking around the CBRM for the statues, including Carol Anne Steeves. 

"The cats around the city are really cool," she said. "I think it's pretty awesome. I'm a cat lover myself; I have three rescues."

The statues will be on display until the middle of September,  then auctioned off. 

Lloy is very excited about the impact of the project.

"Bringing a positive twist to it and to see so many people out there happy to see these cat statues — so excited over the artwork — people are getting it and they are listening."