'Elizabeth's black cat was an insinuating presence in her home, but it was some years before she found a satisfying way of capturing its essential qualities without resorting to sentimentality. "At first I though, how can you make a drawing of a cat without it just being pretty or sweet? Then I began to look at other people who'd painted cats beautifully like Bonnard, Gwen John and Manet - the Egyptians and Japanese rendered them unsentimentally, too, of course. And I thought, it is possible." And so a black cat began usurping a chair or a shawl in one or two paintings at the end of the 1960s and in the early 1970s.
Three cats, black, tortoiseshell and Abyssinian, joined the household and Elizabeth began to record their independent and unexpected movements and their distinctive characteristics. Cats sleeping, cleaning themselves, stretching and walking are the subjects of some of her freest and most relaxed drawings' (see J. Bumpus, Elizabeth Blackadder, Oxford, 1988, p. 51).