Posted September 16, 2018 10:30:53The internet has a funny way of revealing the depths of human emotion.
For many, the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon, is a beacon of hope.
For others, it’s a dangerous place.
The latest twist in the story of an adorable cat who was allegedly abducted by an online pet store and then sold to a human trafficker for $300,000 is raising eyebrows.
An artist has created a digital painting that portrays a human and a cat crossing paths.
“We’ve been seeing this trend of animal crossing art on the internet in recent years, especially in recent months with the popularity of the meme ‘Cat is dead,’ which has gained traction in the last year,” said a spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States.
“While some have questioned the authenticity of this painting, the fact that it has been created by an artist who works for the shelter demonstrates that this particular story is not uncommon.”
A spokesperson for Amazon confirmed that the painting was made by the company’s art director, but would not confirm that the cat was indeed a captive rabbit.
“Amazon does not comment on the authenticity or content of artwork, and we have no further comment to offer on this matter,” they said.
The artist who created the painting, Amanda Stirling, has created similar works of art before.
The “Cat is Dead” meme has been used to mock animal cruelty and dehumanization online.
A cat in the background is a real cat, and the word “dead” is an animal euphemism for the phrase “deadly.”
The meme’s popularity led to a new breed of “cat” that was born.
It’s an idea that’s become part of the Internet’s collective consciousness, with cat memes appearing in mainstream media and being shared by thousands of people in Facebook groups.
The artist’s painting, however, is more than just a satirical take on animal cruelty.
“This is a work of art, an image that illustrates the relationship between animals and humans,” said Stirling.
“This artwork shows a human, a cat, a dog, a bird, and a turtle, and it also illustrates a cat’s need to eat a food item from its owner.
It shows that the human is a prey animal and the animal is its host.”
Animal crossing art has a long history, dating back to the 1600s.
Artist David A. Smith, for example, painted his own “cat is dead” drawing of a woman with a human torso on a fence in 1874.
In the 19th century, artist James Rivet, known for his “Cat in the Box,” painted a woman and her dog in a cage together, as well as a man and a horse.
By the early 20th century it was common for people to depict animals as living in cages and other confined spaces.
In a recent blog post, a Toronto woman said she took the art to work with the artist who’d taken her daughter away from her and the other family members, after the mother found out about the cat in her backyard.
“I’m not an animal lover, but it’s been so heartbreaking to watch her lose her daughter to cruelty, and now I’ve seen her own daughter die,” she wrote.
She said she was upset by the images, and thought it was unfair to blame someone for their loss.
“They are just human beings that need a home,” she said.
Stirling said she wanted to see a way to show that animal trafficking is not limited to a handful of “furries” and “geek cats.”
“I think it’s important to see how other animals are exploited and how they are being sold in these types of artworks,” she told CBC News.
“It’s also important to know that there are many people that are working to help these animals.”
“Cat is alive” cat image via Shutterstock