My mum, being of the opinion that a tea-towel makes the ideal
gift, sent the 19-year-old me to America with a suitcase stuffed
full of the things. One for every old friend of hers kind enough to
offer me bed and breakfast. It's a family tradition I've kept up
because it's true - they're often attractive (shop around,
obviously), travel well and make a nice souvenir of (one hopes) a
Sometimes, they even have personal significance: when my niece
Orla contributed a wonky self-portrait (big smile, legs) to a towel
"published" by her primary school, everyone in my family received
one from my proud sister.
Now I can respond in kind, for at last a member of my own
household is to appear on cotton, courtesy of illustrator Kavel
The tea-towel features 50 original drawings of cats (actually 49
cats and a dog that managed to sneak in), including my resident
feline Little My, and if My's portrait is anything to go by, Kavel
has managed to capture each purrsonality perfectly, in spite of
depending entirely on photos for reference.
The tea towel began as a contribution to the Cool
for Cats charity exhibition at the Mill Co Project in east
London, and is now for sale at Kavel's website (see link
Not a cat-owner herself, Kavel says, "I wanted to do something
quite personal and so 50 drawings of my friends' cats later, here
it is, the perfect tea towel for any cat lover".
It is probably particularly suitable for the lovers of cats that
feature on the towel, to be fair. That's 50 sales guaranteed then.
And I'll be buying one each for all my family, plus a few extra for
people I plan to visit this year. Nice to know Cats Protection will be quids
Unsurprisingly, Kavel is now taking a break from drawing
"If only my own work sold as well as blooming cats!" Kavel told
DIVA, off the record. I can only suggest that the non-cat-lovers
among you visit her online shop to inspect
her other wares, which include a host of original prints at
accessible prices and some very nifty turntable-themed place-mats,
suitable for vinyl junkies and people who eat off tables.
Tea-towels cost £8 (all profits to Cats Protection). Buy
at Galeria Kavel.