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The inspiration for Macdonald’s soon-to-be published book came from Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of, La Madonna del Gatto, the Madonna of the cat (circa. 1480-1481). In the drawings, Mary is lovingly holding the baby Jesus who is embracing a cat. After seeing the drawing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Macdonald wondered, “Was it possible that Jesus might have had a pet cat?” Then she learned of a legend about a cat living in the stable who purred Jesus to sleep the night he was born, and began to imagine the long, loving relationship the two might have had.
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