NEW YORK — Buddy the Cat’s human servant returned home Friday to discover the buzz of craftsmen and smell of fresh paint after the silver tabby commissioned a fresco to celebrate his recent victory over a menacing rodent.
Amid the commotion was Luigi Tettamanzi, 62, one of Italy’s foremost Renaissance revivalists. The artist crouched on one knee, applying fine brush strokes to render the beginnings of a sun beam illuminating a powerful feline form in mid-leap with claws extended.
The fresh plaster had already been painted with a luminous sky blue, and broad strokes outlined the suggestion of mountains and forests in the background.
“You see, yes, I use bright and dramatic colors on the arriccio, paint you very heroic, ah?” Tettamanzi told the famously egotistical feline as they conferred during a break. “Not to worry, my friend. I make sure is okay with you before I apply intonaco, yes.”
At Buddy’s instruction, Tettamanzi had begun to render the mouse as a savage and menacing beast several hundred times its actual size. The painting shows a trail of death and destruction behind the mouse, with terrified onlookers pointing at the majestic feline leaping to engage the monstrous rodent. His outstretched paw connects with the enemy, the strike represented with a brilliant flash of energy in chaotic brush strokes.
A cartouche above the painting identifies it as “The Battle of the Rodential Interloper: Year 7 A.B. Resulting In Glorious Buddesian Victory.”
For several long moments, Big Buddy could only stare, dumbfounded.
“Buuuuud!” the human finally said, incredulity in his voice. “What the hell are you doing?”
The tabby looked up from some concept drawings he was reviewing with Tettamanzi.
“Commemorating my victory, of course,” Buddy replied. “The painting represents my heroic actions that day, when I saved many humans from a sinister and vicious rodent-beast.”
The human sighed.
“No, you did not!” he said. “You slept through the whole thing. You didn’t even know the mouse was here until you woke up from your nap an hour later.”
“Fake news!” Buddy said, turning back to Tettamanzi to confer on palette choices and urge the artist to make him look more muscular.
As of press time the fresco had been extended to a second wall, with a new panel depicting a powerfully built Buddy atop a throne adorned with lion motifs, and humans bending the knee before him as he magnanimously accepts oaths of loyalty.