Pet Profiles: Saad Hindal and Hantosh

The Concord artist uses his cat as a muse

Artist Saad Hindal and his family had a cat in Iraq, but were forced to leave it behind because of the war. Now, in Concord, they have another cat, Hantosh — long, white and curious. “He loves my dad’s work, always, always staring at the colors,” Hindal’s daughter Ashtar says. “He sits next to my dad when he’s painting a picture.” Hantosh approves of Hindal’s subjects as well as his vibrant colors. After moving to Concord in 2009, Hindal began painting its cats. He often walks around town, noticing cats in people’s windows. “I think of cats as innocent,” he says. “They’re beautiful.” He’s struck by the warmth his neighbors show their felines: “We got a cat because we want to feel what they feel about the cat.”

“The cat always means peace,” he says. He and his family have found peace in New Hampshire. “I can feel safe here. My family, I see them growing up here. I love the people and the people love me; the people are nice here. I have hope.” Hindal’s goal is to include every house in town in his pictures, Ashtar says, “to say how much he loves Concord and the cats.”

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