Cats in the Library, But What Kind of a Cat is That?

photo of oazacan wood carving
Two jaguars in the library! Photo courtesy Lisa DiGioia-Nutini.

I love to browse the whimsical, imaginative and brightly-painted details on the Oaxacan wood carvings in  Mexico Lindo Mercado y Galeria de Artesanias in Pittsburgh. Shop owners Lisa DiGioia Nutini and Jean-Pierre Nutini travel to Mexico a couple of times each year to visit the artisans and purchase directly from them to stock their shop. Most of the time the alebrijes are animals, domestic pets, livestock, wildlife, all stylized and patterned in the style of individual artists, often anthropomorphically engaged in human daily activites. Lisa and Jean-Pierre are animal lovers with many rescued cats and dogs through the years, and I’ve corresponded with Lisa about our cats’ lives and passing. I’ve been planning a visit to photograph and share all the new feline-themed alebrijes very soon.

Then this came over in a post from the shop and I had to share it now with my feline-loving, book-reading friends!

We were very excited to meet with Maestro Martin Melchor once again in March, and to re-stock more of his famous taxi-driving giraffes and bicycle-riding zebras, but imagine our surprise and delight when he also showed us this little library scene! The jaguar child is climbing the ladder to the top of the bookshelf, putting away some volumes, while the studious adult jaguar remains absorbed by a volume of Mayan history.

Well, a jaguar is a cat, and I certainly recognized it as a cat at first glance. Here is another angle on the library.

oaxacan wood carving
Library from the side. Photo courtesy Lisa DiGioia-Nutini.

Visit the Mexico Lindo blog for a little more about this piece, and follow the links to the mercado to see even more.

Martin Melchor is also famous for his animal-filled libraries. Read more about him at this post.


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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