cat1.jpg (11635 bytes)The Tarot of the Cat People
by Karen Kuykendall Review by C.J. Rose


If you would like to purchase a copy of this deck, click here.

pub U.S. Games Systems, 1985
traditional card titles
eight: Justice; eleven: Lust
suits are wands, cups, swords and pentacles
courts are page, knight, queen and knight
illustrated pips, no captions
backs symmetrical
purpose: Strength

“Karen Kuykendall,” according to the LWB, “… is called by people who know her, ’The
Cat Lady.’  Her art has been influenced not only by felines, but also by
architecture, anthropology, art history, her travels in Europe, Mexico and the United
States, and especially the location of her present home, the desert of Arizona.”   She
also makes papier mâché jewelry of the characters in the cards which she wears to
science fiction conventions.

Her deck establishes a sci-fi Outer Region of five kingdoms.  Va-PAH-la, the Diamond
Kingdom, is inhabited by Sky People (trumps).  Th-NOS-sis, The Ruby Kingdom, is
inhabited by Fire People (swords in this deck).  Twa-HEE-heek, The Emerald Kingdom,
is inhabited by Sand People (wands).  Azh-EN-gir, The Topaz Kingdom, is inhabited by
Salt People (cups).  Ka-HOO-la-weh, The Sapphire Kingdom, is inhabited by Rock People
(pentacles).

This Fool’s dog is a cat.  This Magician’s hat is a cat.  This High Priestess’
pillars are cats.  This Empress’ garden is a cat.  This Emperor is in the same
garden.  This High Priest wears a cat mantle.  These Lovers have cat lovers.   This
Chariot is pulled by cats.  This Justice is flanked by cats.  This Hermit shares his
cave with cats.  This Wheel is decorated with cats.  This Strength rides a fictive
cat.  This Hanged Man has a cat on his captive foot.  This Death has a skeleton cat.
This Temperance pours for a cat.  This Devil has a cat’s head on a stick.   This Tower
is an exploding cat.  This Star is a cat.  This Moon glows on a cat.  This Sun is a
cat’s face.  This Rejuvenation shows cats rising in bubbles.  This World is a shaman
in a catskin.

Asked if it wanted to mew for itself, this deck coughed up Strength!  Does this
describe KK’s process?  “A woman mounted on a formidable cat exerts her will with
confidence, respect and love.  She moves silently and resolutely toward her goal
under a clear starry sky that is symbolic of the sharpness of her vision and her
perseverance.”  The LWB reveals the technique used to create the clear starry skies,
”With great skill and control, the artist ‘splattered’ the backgrounds, using a
toothbrush.”

If you would like to purchase a copy of this deck, click here.

See more images from the Tarot of the Cat People

Copyright (c) 1998 C.J. Rose

Images Copyright (c) 1985 US Games Systems, 179 Ludlow St., Stamford CT, 06902 (800)544-2637



This page is Copyright © 1998 by Michele Jackson