My Purrsonal Fascination 😻
What I find fascinating about our Global Cat PR Agency is that we always come across unique cat stories from all over the world. Despite the recurring categories such as cat walking, FIP, cats with disabilities, rainbow stories, and more, no story is the same. You could say that there are as many stories as there are cats.
In this immense diversity of beautiful cat stories and the many cat friends that CatSwoppr has, I purrsonally find great joy in following our friend James Love from Florida, USA. He is not only the cat parent of Cashew and Pistachio (†), but in my eyes also a fascinating life artist. He has a great personality and knows how to shape his life in his own authentic, imaginative, and humorous way.
Forever Jaguar 👾
In my view, James Love could be described as a painter, video artist, violin player, and sculptor, but above all as an independent car engineer, and more specifically a Jaguar artist - or in his words, a 'Jaguar emasculator'.
Words fail me when I attempt to describe his work and life. Especially because he is a true creator of both three-dimensional Jaguar (car) sculptures, two-dimensional (cat) video art, and time-based performances.
His fabulous works of art speak for themselves in a refreshing and surprising way. To understand them, it's best to take a look at his Instagram account ForeverJaguar and YouTube channel ForeverJaguar.
Bruised and Battered James ‘91 ❤️🩹
I believe James Love’s life and work fascinate me because they evoke many memories connected with my own life. Whether it's a coincidence or not, the first cat I met as a kitten was a ginger cat named James.
My cat James was born on a Dutch farm in the town of Heino in 1991, but no one knows exactly when. Thus, we simply decided to celebrate his birthday on May the 15th.
When we started the CatSwoppr Instagram, we had a photo of ginger James featured as our profile picture. His sweet mischievous red cat face can still be seen on our Johnny Cornercat Facebook.
Like artistic Jaguar engineer James, I purrsonally also share a love for the big cat classics of steel. Interestingly enough, my first car, a regency red Jaguar XJ40 Daimler trim with an original and rare Getrag 5-speed manual gearbox, also comes from 1991. I like to see a connection between this car and my cat James.
In a way, judging by its worn-out appearance and sub-optimal functioning, my red XJ40 seems to have had a major stroke just like my red cat James experienced in his later years. For instance, the Daimler Jag has some patina on the bonnet, cracked wood veneer here and there, some of the driver’s seat leather is torn, the air conditioning is broken, the battery is leaking, and the handbrake is stiff.
Art Making 📹
Another connection I feel with ForeverJaguar is art. Because many of you may not know, but like James Love, I was once an artist too. However, I never came close to his level of talent.
I started creating art in 2005 in New York City. At that time, my Art History teacher said to me at the Guggenheim Museum, "The difference between you and the artist is that he does it and you don't." That was the trigger for me to start creating art as well. During my high school years, I also made some art, mainly drawings and paintings for school, but I didn't have the ambition to exhibit it at that time.
After the incident at the Guggenheim, I resumed creating art in 2005. Eventually, I had a tremendously creative and productive period as an amateur video installation artist - amateur in the true sense of the word 'amatrice,' meaning lover - from around 2009 to 2019.
I traveled all over the world and I was doing my so-called ‘video graffiti’ everywhere: Zurich, London, San Francisco, Istanbul, Berlin, Jakarta, and so on. You can still find traces of my art on the web.
In 2019, I had my last shows in Rotterdam and Surabaya, both port cities and the second-largest cities in their respective countries. I was also supposed to have a duo show in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, in 2020, where works by an older Chilean video artist would be exhibited next to my video installations. Unfortunately, it didn't happen due to the pandemic.
From that moment on, I shifted my focus from art to creating a platform for cats, which led to the creation of our Global Cat PR Agency CatSwoppr and our CatScanR, the Google Maps, Linktree, and WhatsApp all-in-one for cat lovers.
Tragic Pistachio 🌈
I have strayed a bit from the story about James Love and his cats and cars. The usually quiet James briefly told me about Pistachio (†) and Cashew.
About nine years ago, James moved from Bermuda to the equally sunny Florida. James and his partner Country Girl found the late Pistachio about eight years ago in dire conditions, right in the middle of the road. She was just a ten-week-old kitten at the time. Her nose was all bloody, and when they took her to the vet, she needed seven stitches to patch her up.
At the age of seven, Pistachio tragically passed away. She was fatally attacked by a rabid dog that had escaped from a nearby fence.
Now, she resides on the eternal hunting grounds, and the memories of her will remain as long as James' art is on display.
Jag Driving Cats 🏁
After their first encounter and visit to the vet, James and Country Girl brought Pistachio home in a Jaguar XK8 coupé. This car quickly became Pistachio's favorite Jag. She loved cruising around in it with James.
Not only did Pistachio love driving in Jaguar cars, but Cashew the cat is also a big fan of these sleek feline vehicles. Cashew absolutely adores hanging out of the car window while they're on the road. James suggests starting early if you want your cats to enjoy car rides too. That way, they'll get used to it in no time.
Cashew is the star of an art video created by James, where he portrays Cashew as an aristoc(r)at accompanied by his private chauffeur, flying to the Jaguar Dealership in a private helicopter. There, he is greeted by his hybrid cat pawrents. He then purchases a new Jaguar F-Type and has some fun with his puppy friend Jowee. Together, they drive past a herd of cows to his private gated community and then return to the helicopter to fly away.
There are many more videos where James' cats steal the show next to or in or on top of his big cat classics. You can check them out on the previously mentioned links from ForeverJaguar!
Your Story 💡
Thank you for taking the time to read a more purrsonal story from me, suki (founder of CatSwoppr). Of course, you and your cat(s) are always welcome to share your story to inspire other cat lovers. We would be more than happy to write a blog about your feline expurriences and way of life! Feel free to reach out to us via a DM on our Instagram.
My wish, as I do not have a cat to take care of at this moment, and my Jag despite its ‘stroke’ is still somewhat conventional: Hopefully, I will also get the chance to drive around with a little cat in an artsy emasculated Jaguar someday!