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David Hockney is known for loving and painting his doggie companions, especially his cheeky dachshunds, but the celebrated UK artist also made a fetching ceramic cat piece in his youth which went under the hammer at Stacey’s Auctioneers in Essex earlier this week, fetching a hefty £111,875 (with fees). Hockney’s moggie, co-created with Norman Stevens, has a charming back story: the feline piece, estimated at £30,000 to £40,000, was made especially for Peter Richards and his wife who invited Hockney and Stevens into their cottage for a cup of tea during a storm when the young artists were hitchhiking from Bradford to London in 1955 (the cat was Hockney’s way of saying thanks). The arty cat and other Hockney items, such as letters and greetings cards, were on display at Grosvenor Gallery in London during Frieze week (clearly catnip to the masses).