Local artist creates pet paintings worth remembering

Hanging on the wall of a house somewhere in Germany is a hand-painted portrait of someone’s beloved cat — wearing a business suit.

But it is not just any cat in a business suit. This cat has traveled 4,300 miles from the humble Niles home of an artist named Amy Beth Payne.

Payne, a Jackson, Michigan, native who settled in Niles with her husband Adam 11 years ago, has something of a cult following on the World Wide Web — a following that has brought in commissions from Germany, Italy, Australia and off-the-beaten-path places such as the Isle of Man.

What began as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the obscure practices of the business world has become a life’s work for Payne.

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