"I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased."
This is a quote from the Symbolist painter Odilon Redon (French, 1840-1916). He's best known for his mysterious humanoid creatures rendered in soft, sweet pastel colors. Everyone, I think, has seen The Cylops, in which the terrible beast of legend becomes a tender swain mooning over a sleeping girl. I've always had a soft spot for Redon.
And now I've found another reason to love him. He painted not only a cat, but the feeling and memory of having one, in Bazon The Artist's Cat (1905). In this piece the ginger cat slumbers smiling in a ginger world, in what looks to be a garden setting. Anyone who has felt the peace radiating from their happy cat will know exactly how that can fill their perceptions.