Ana Juan’s “Making Mischief” | The New Yorker

It’s thought that cats lived alongside individuals for hundreds of years, searching the rodents that inevitably accompany human settlements, earlier than they deigned to grow to be domesticated—a state that many cat homeowners can attest feels provisional to this present day. One analysis paper on the historical past of the home cat observes, “Let us just say that our cats do not take instruction well. Such attributes suggest that whereas other domesticates were recruited from the wild by humans who bred them for specific tasks, ancestors of domestic cats most likely chose to live among humans because of opportunities they found for themselves.” In different phrases, we serve the cat, not the opposite approach round. This week’s cowl artist, Ana Juan, captures our fascination for these famously impartial creatures.

This portrait captures a definite persona. Is it based mostly by yourself cat?

I’ve by no means had a cat, however I’m fascinated by the connection between them and people. The author Italo Calvino mentioned, “The city of cats and the city of humans exist within each other, but they are not the same city.”

What’s your attraction to cats based mostly on?

We poor people make them depositaries of our wishes: we discover them mysterious; we make them gods; we ascribe to them supernatural powers; we even make them embody our deepest want, immortality. However let’s not be naïve—cats do what they need. It’s clear who’s in cost.

Are your drawings of animals ever impressed by individuals you already know?

If I go searching, there’s at all times a cat or a canine, or generally a fowl, a fish, or perhaps a snake dwelling among the many individuals I do know. Pets and their homeowners, like outdated {couples}, find yourself wanting alike. Past bodily look, animals and other people share the essence of feelings similar to love, motherhood, the sensation of group, and cruelty.

You’ve additionally drawn a number of canine covers. Are you a canine individual or a cat individual?

Truthfully, I couldn’t select. I would really like a cat that greeted me once I got here again residence with the identical pleasure as a canine and a canine that I didn’t must take to the park. However, aside from a childhood hamster, I’ve by no means had a pet. Someday I’ll have a pet, however I’ll go away the selection to no matter destiny throws my approach.

In the event you have been an animal, which might you be?

Onerous to say. I will be as courageous as a lion and as timid as a fawn, as quiet as a fish and as talkative as a parrot, as showy as a peacock and as humble as a mouse, as chilly as a lizard and as loving as a bear cub, as monumental as an elephant and as elusive—to some—as a unicorn (unicorns exist—I’ve seen an image of Kim Jong-un driving one).

See beneath for a few of Ana Juan’s canine covers:

Discover Ana Juan’s covers, cartoons, and extra on the Condé Nast Store.

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