An Oklahoma artist’s not kitten around when he says he wants to draw a cat version of all 100 U.S. senators.
Anthony Pego, an Oklahoma City artist, last week started posting on his website drawings of politicians as cats, giving whiskers and fur to pols ranging from the Senate majority leader to an Oklahoma representative.
The drawings began as a silly gift for Pego’s friends on his birthday and served as a way for him to hone his skills using a digital stylus, the artist told ABC News. Pego, 36, typically creates metal jewelry, but the colder winter temperatures make that process more difficult this time of year, he said.
So he drew Oklahoma's U.S. senators, the governor and a district representative -- clad in suits, posing before flags, and with whiskers sprouting from their cheeks.
Pego, an owner of two dogs but no cats, decided on felines because of the animal’s pervasiveness online -- and said they were more of a challenge to fuse with people.
“It’s very easy to get a human emotion out of a dog. We anthropomorphize them more easily,” he said. “With cats it’s a little harder, you don’t really know what’s going on in their mind.”
He scans the politicians’ photos online -- official portraits and unflattering shots alike -- and takes time to learn their positions, too.
After purr-fecting his own state’s leaders, he noticed a photo of a New York state senator wielding machetes he wanted to ban -- a photo Pego found absurd -- and decided to “cat-ify” that politician, along with others from New York.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., took on the name "Purrsten Giilibrand."
And New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, became "Andrew Cuomew."
Pego hopes to draw all 100 U.S. senators before the year is out.
“I wont stop until I mange to get all of them,” he said, “and hopefully I manage to get them all before some of them get booted out by voters.”
This week, he's working on a cat version of Woody Guthrie, for the release of a pineapple-infused version of a beer dedicated to the late singer-songwriter.
But he’s been blown away by the response to his political “catifications” -- and says he had to check to make sure Schumer’s tweet didn’t come from a fake account.
“It’s really me just teaching myself who’s running my country,” he said. “It’s just for fun.”