Feline Utopia…

I first became aware of the Moreton Rd cats about 18 month ago when I started seeing black and white cats in the back garden – first one and then several. I started leaving out cabin window open and putting some biscuits out in cold weather. The cats were very shy, but the biscuits were always gone in the morning..

Last month, Cats Protection League put a note through the door asking for help with a colony of stray cats about to be displaced by building works (knocking down an old industrial estate and woods at the end of the road to build houses). I hadn’t realised that they were all feral.

So now I’m feeding 7 cats and any donations would be gratefully recieved so I can buy them an insulated shed to live in and some decent quality food. If we get more money than we need, I’ll donate the extra to Cat’s Protection League.

If I win the lottery, I’m going to buy that industrial estate and turn it into a cat sanctuary 😀

Here are some of the visitors I was able to photograph..

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I’ll draw cartoon updates for those who donate, to let you know how things are going for Lightning and the rest of the Moreton Road cats.

Please send any donations to FelineUtopia@gmail.com by PayPal.

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Cat Deco (and Inkscape Triumph!)

sarah cat transparency

I put up the pencil sketch of this a few months ago – it’s the tattoo design I made for my friend Sarah.

I’ve now had a chance to tidy it up on GIMP and convert it to a vector in Inkscape. I finally figured out how! It takes much longer than drawing the initial image but I guess you could write a script to do it? Is it easier in Photoshop/Illustrator or are all graphic artists just masochists?

Inkscape and GIMP are free to use though, thanks to their energetic developer communities, so I’m not complaining. I enjoy the bracing intellectual challenge of figuring out how to get them to work.

I’ll list it here in case I forget, or it helps anyone else.

  1. Scan sketch into GIMP as .jpeg or .png.
  2. Go to “mode” and select “Greyscale”
  3. Adjust the “brightness/contrast “so that the imperfections in the paper are not so visible and the lines are as dark as possible
  4. Use “threshold” to adjust the image so it becomes just black and white with no grey.
  5. “Select by colour” and click on a bit of black
  6. Copy
  7. Open new image, “advanced options”, select “transparent background”
  8. Paste into new image
  9. You should have a block outline of your sketch on an transparency.
  10. “Export to”  from GIMP as a .PNG with a transparent background (and uncheck the “background” box). Make sure you change the extension as well as the file type.
  11. Start Inkscape
  12. Open your .png image into Inkscape. Check the “embed” box.
  13. “Select all layers”
  14. Go to “Path” then “Bitmap trace”
  15. The right hand panel should show a thumbnail of your picture. If not then you’ve done something wrong with the transparency.
  16. click “2” for “Colours” (you’ve only got black and white)
  17. click “OK”
  18. Wait for a while, depending on how complex your image is and how slow your computer is.
  19. Then you have to save it back as a .PNG again (it wants to be an .SVG) before WordPress will upload it.

But anyhow, this is now a resizeable image. So theoretically I could make a giant stencil and spraypaint it on the wall of my house. Yippee!

birch transparency vector