Svetlana Petrova and her #FatCatArt Are All the Rage


Svetlana Petrova and  Zarathustra (photo source:

Svetlana Petrova and Zarathustra (photo source:

Svetlana Petrova was depressed after the loss of her mother and was unable to tap into her artistic creativity for two years.

At a friend’s suggestion, it was her “big-boned” ginger cat Zarathustra who inspired her to reenter the art world.

At first she wasn’t sure what she could do with him given his girth – thanks to years of her her mother spoiling him. But it turned out Zarathustra is quite the ham who enjoys posing, “and makes strange faces like he’s speaking with somebody.” (BBC)

So she began taking photographs of him and inserting him into famous works of art – Chagall, Botticelli, Da Vinci and Dali to name just a few.

The description of who they are and what they are doing is provided on the FatCatArt website from Zarathustra’s point of view  (keep in mind they are Russian so there are some translation inconsistencies that frankly make it rather entertaining to ready!).

The Birth of Venus

‘Our name is Zarathustra. We are a cat. According to our assistant (named by ignoramuses as our’“owner’) We are the best cat in the world. By the will of the gods, We have been relieved of our animal desires, therefore Our postprandial time is given to the reflections on lofty matters. We are so gracious in Our enjoyment of repasts. And We are also very very fond of Arrt.

Our main passion is to sit for the great artists. Only great artists can appreciate our generous body and sublime soul: What is Arrt? And how to treat it? This is Our tireless concern.” –


I love the sentence “only great artists can appreciate our  generous body….” (I’ll say!).  But he does pose a good question. WHAT IS ART? Svetlana certainly forces us to face that matter head-on.

She’s convinced Zarathustra is “a natural artist and …knows he is making art and is always very friendly to photographers who take his picture.” (

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 10.19.34 PM

Because of the way he is sliding out of her arms in the painting, Svetlana likens her Mona Lisa to that of “a modern girl who’s taking a selfie with her cat.”(BBC)  I’m not sure I see it, seems a bit of a stretch, what say you?

mona list with cat

Apparently her works have been confused for the real thing. A friend, who received one of her paintings as a gift, had trouble getting past security at the airport.

She tried to explain: ‘Do you think an 18th Century painter would really draw cats instead of horses?’ She had to scratch it with her nails to show it was printed underneath.” (BBC)

I wish I had been there to witness the dialogue between them, it must have been quite entertaining!

petie in a famous piece of art

Now why didn’t I think of putting Petie into famous works of art? He could have been my ticket to wealth and celebrity! Perhaps it’s his expressionless face and reluctance to look into the camera that could prove to be problematic.

What do you think of Svetlana’s work? Art or not?

Obioviously the ruling on Zarathustra is unanimous – how could one not love a chubby ginger with a face (and body) like that!

Shepard Fairy and cat

If you’re near Abingdon in the UK, you can view Svetlana’s work in person in an exhibition called “From Icons to I-Cats”, being held at the Stonehouse Mill in Abingdon, England. May 30th – June 5th

fat cat art Don’t despair, if you’re not in the UK, you can see more of  Svetlana’s work her her website and Facebook page. And you can purchase her work on her online store

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  • Annette Mayer

    Zarathustra is a cutie!!! When it comes to art though, I am not one to judge because I am not artistic at all. Heck, I can barely draw a cat and stick people, lol 🙂

    • Tamar

      He is so sweet I wanna squeeze him and hug him! What a good patient boy (scroll down, he just left a message to this post!)

  • those are just great!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Tamar

      Hey doll! Scroll down, kitty left a message ; 0
      i love him!

  • How cool – I’ve seen these paintings before but didn’t know anything about the artist!

    • Tamar

      The cat just left a comment to this post! =^^=

  • This was fantastic!

    • Tamar

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Your readership of I HAVE CAT is greatly appreciated!

  • jmuhj

    Of course we should all be concerned over Zarathustra’s girth…but, having said that, I think these are GENIUS (and I think she’s right on point with the “selfie” thing!) 😉 Yes, Tamar, I think you missed your calling there, but that’s not to say you can’t start now! 🙂

    • Tamar

      The kitty selfies? Hmmmmmm perhaps I should give it a try 🙂

    • Tamar

      or did you mean with the art? did you like my PETIE art? 🙂

  • Love her kitty and her art. Every great painting can be improved by the addition of a cat! XO, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

    • Tamar


  • Looks like Svetlana found her “mews” in Zarathustra. What a handsome cat, he enhances every picture he appears in. They make a great team.

    • Tamar

      I want him! Ijust want to squeeze him! =^^=

  • Gloria Walters

    I seriously WANT the kitteh for president poster; I saw it in 2012, and can’t wait til she puts it in the store…

  • Dear friends, thank you for your nice words! Dear Tamar, thank you for the nice article, here is definitely better photo of Us and Our assistant:) Dear Gloria, the shop is online you are welcome!
    with lot of purrs
    Zarathustra the Cat

    • Tamar

      Zarathustra, I’m so honored that you came by to see the post AND took the time to leave a comment. I adore the new photo of you and your assistant and have included that in the piece!

      I’ve always wanted a ginger cat, maybe someday….I just want to hug you!

      Oh, I included the link to the shop as well!

      All the best,
      Tamar of I HAVE CAT =^^=

      • thank you so much Tamar! And We love your art with Petie:) we’ll share it at our FB page if you don’ mind

        • Tamar

          I would be HONORED! Thank you so very much!

  • Connie Marie

    Oh, I love this story and her artwork. I’ve shared it all over.
    I do hope the weight issue isn’t mentioned. It’s explained in her story and unlike the previous mention, the weight is no one else’s business!!
    I’ve liked her Facebook page and book marked her pages, what a fabulous find and I wish her all the best!!
    By the way, I think Petie looks great! You have a future in art as well! Print it, I’ll buy it! lol

    • Tamar

      Be careful what you say Connie! I’ll take you up on it! tehe!

    • thank you Connie Marie, for support! yes really why it is rude to say “overfed lady” and not rude to say “overfed cat”? that is large cats discrimination. We just have such constitution, We eat so small, having diet and nothing changes. As it often happen with lot of women:) Let’s start campaign for natural cats beauty!
      Zarathustra the Cat

  • Of course, this is art! I love this impressive respectable cat, he really decorates himself any picture!

  • Dear Zaratustra; do you know your colleague in art Mozòt?
    Meet him in The Feline Comedy :