Note: On 8 Jan 2018 I was made aware that there was some copyright infringement going on. I took down this page while I dealt with it. As of 10 Jan 2018 I have put this page back up but with limited images and a copy of the infringing image, and there is more information at the bottom of this page.
This is Heartcat. I've had a lot of comments and question about him. He is based on my late Seelie cat:
Seelie was a slinky grey cat with the most amazing hyperflexible and long tail with a much more pronounced kink at the end than any other cat I've had. I could make 3/4s of a heart with his tail without him caring (aside from asking for more petting instead)
In 1999 I sketched him looking out the front window at the sunset. It's rough and not good art, but I love it because it's him. I gave him a whole heart on his tail. I found and scanned my original this week (Jan 2018):
I digitised Heartcat saved it to my computer on 11 May 1999 as a solid black cat:
I also made this version:
I put Heartcat on catsnco.com around 2000. After Seelie's unexpected death on 29 Jan 2013 (from congestive heart failure, of all things. Oh, my Heartcat!), I hid some of the Heartcat images. In 2015 someone evidently figured he was fair game and made a really poor copy of him, uploaded it to multiple clipart sites and said it was released to Creative Commons.
This is untrue; I retain all rights to Heartcat and any derivative works based on him.
I have never released Heartcat to Creative Commons and I have never given anyone else permission to use him.
This is an example of the infringing image that was put out on clipart sites, with an added notice from me:
This image compares my fullsize black Heartcat, the infringing image, and a same size image blown up from my 100 pixel Heartcat on my cats' page:
If you have inadvertently used this image, please discontinue your use of it. I do recognise that the vast majority were acting in good faith, and no hard feelings so long as you stop.
However there is also someone named strangerdarkerbetter/Sabrina in the Autistic tumblr community claiming that they drew the same infringing image in 2017, when it has already been on clipart sites for 2 years.
Here is a comparison of their image and the infringing image from 3 sites (all are the same image, uploaded by two different people, but they were each screencapped at the site marked on them). I made a negative copy of Sabrina's cat and layered it over each of the other cats with transparency set to 65%.
Where the images are grey, they are the same. Where they are black, they are different. As you can see, they are almost exactly identical except for a narrow slice to flatten the bottom of the newer image and the ND bowtie:
Sabrina told me directly that they drew the image entirely from scratch and had never seen Heartcat or the infringing images. They have also told the Autistic community that their version of the image is available to be freely used by others. This is untrue.
I urge you all to create your own Autisticats, because Autisticat Is Love! But DO use your own art or art that actually is part of the Creative Commons.
Heartcat is and has been and will be © Chris "Cats" Starfire 1999, all rights reserved.
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