Thursday, February 22, 2024
black catscharcoaldaily sketchjelly beankublaimr. sunshine

Daily Sketch: Self-portrait With Kublai for Hug Your Cat Day

charcoal sketch on blue paper
Self-portrait with Kublai, charcoal pencil on paper.

One more cat hug on Hug Your Cat Day! This is Kublai, the cat who loved hugs, who gave hugs to everyone he met, and taught me to love hugs too! His favorite pastime was to leap up and throw his arms around my neck and bury his face in my hair, even when he was a tiny former barn kitten. Now that’s a cat hug. And a cat I’ll never forget.

This image may look familiar. My profile image on Facebook, LinkedIn and a few other places, it’s a charcoal a sketch of me holding Kublai, called, not surprisingly, “Self-portrait with Kublai”. I sketched it when I participated in an art exhibit with the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators in 2004 and needed an image of myself to include in the catalog; most of us either had or decided to do self-portraits.

As the summer wore on in the months before Kublai died, I had a friend take a few photos of us, and as Kublai was in the final stages of some wasting illness I was shocked at what he looked like in the photos (at the end of this post is one of the photos from that day). I decided that I liked the pose, but I’d paint him in the way I had been picturing him. I never got around to the painting and unfortunately didn’t have the time when the exhibit came up, but I quickly did a little sketch of us from one of the photographs for the show catalog. I think I probably like it better than a painting.

I’ve been hugging cats all day—also read Daily Photo Reprise: Hugging My Cookie for Hug Your Cat Day and Daily Photo: Hugging Mimi on Hug Your Cat Day.

What was I sketching a year ago today?


charcoal sketch of two cats
Observing, charcoal pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Mr. Sunshine and Jelly Bean watch what’s happening outside the front door…see the original post and read more about the sketch.

Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Cat Art and Prints” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in One Year of Daily Sketches.

And download your free desktop wallpaper calendar for computer or mobile, usually based on a daily sketch.


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

Find your muse! During Adopt-a-Cat Month, you can save a life and find inspiration for art, poetry, prose, music, or any number of creative or professional careers by adopting a fine feline or two!

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.


All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

© 2013 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski


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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