Financial analyst quits job to become a full-time cat artist

Sick of her office job, Patricia Katherine Lee decided to become a full-time cat artist five years ago.

The former financial analyst, from Cornelius, North Carolina, has now won ten awards for her eccentric designs, which include a Saltire and thistle carved into a cat’s coat and a windmill inspired by Paris’s Moulin Rouge.

Patricia, 39, wants to make colourful cat grooming more mainstream, following a surge in popularity for creative dog grooming in recent years.

She said: ‘Creative cat grooming is my career but it’s also my passion.

‘I’ve done designs on cats inspired by Scotland, the Moulin Rouge and damask wallpaper – and I’ve won awards for many of them.

‘At the shows, the cats are judged through a runway show. It’s like a catwalk with actual cats.

‘I’ve always owned cats and I understand them better than people.’

Before starting her business, Patricia spent a year and a half in a corporate job but said humans stressed her out too much.

She added: ‘I’m an artsy person and grooming is a creative outlet for me.’

Since swapping the keyboard for a pair of scissors five years ago, Patricia has creatively groomed over thirty different cats, alongside traditional grooming that she undertakes to pay the bills.

Sadly, her star feline runway model, Princess Shadowina, with whom Patricia has won several awards, passed away at the age of 20 earlier this year.

She is now training two of her current pet cats, two-and-a-half-year-old Special Agent Gibbs and five-and-a-half-year-old IV Baby to be her next catwalk models to showcase her crazy designs.

Patricia said: ‘Dogs can guide themselves down the runway to be judged in grooming competitions, but I have to steer the cats myself.

‘They take longer to groom than dog too as they don’t stand still.

‘Cats move around, lie down and go in circles.

‘It can take two to three hours in total to groom them, whereas you can groom a dog in much less time.’

Patricia has faced some negative comments online from people who accuse her of mistreating her feline friends, but she says she is certain that the cats love being groomed as much as she loves grooming them.

She said: ‘It’s not cruel as you’re not doing the designs on every single animal.

‘It’s all about doing it on the right animals.

‘If it’s a cat that doesn’t like being handled then it’s not the right candidate.

‘My other cat Squishy doesn’t get creatively groomed because she doesn’t like being petted.

‘It depends on the character of the cats.’

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