One weekend at an art show set up on the grassy banks of a shady park, a group of people were clustered. The murmurs of appreciation led one to expect an up-and-coming Rembrandt, or Picasso. But upon inspection, the scene revealed a fluffy red Persian cat holding court, preening and posturing. Undeniably a work of art in himself, he was upstaging the show.
It turns out that the cat, Cinnamon--named for his particular shade of pumpkin-pie-colored fur and eyes to match--has become a celebrity of sorts.
Actually, to say it all happened recently is not entirely accurate. According to his owners, Carol and Rick Gandolfo of Redondo Beach, Cinnamon has always put on a show. Soon after getting the stray 2-year-old cat four years ago, the Gandolfos started taking him for walks on a leash around the neighborhood. People would stop them and marvel and exclaim at Cinnamon, particularly at those disdainful almond-shaped eyes that flash high voltage, and at his face, which Carol describes as "flat but not pug." Although "Cinnamon has always loved attention," says Carol, she admits his personality blossomed as his fans multiplied.
Late last year, a picture of him in a bathtub won the photo contest in the Sentinel, the employee newspaper for TRW, where Carol is a business administrator. An amateur photographer, she submitted the picture of her wet, bedraggled cat, his fiery eyes narrowed to glaring slits, his cat-brow furrowed into what could only be a frown. It may well be the all-time classic shot of a cat's distaste for water.