Cat-tastic! The Oregon District portrait gallery of Dayton’s feline friends has begun

The cat mural in Dayton’s Oregon District — the purrrfect spot for portraits of your feline friends — has begun.

Tiffany Clark and Leslea Hipp of the Mural Machine are painting Dayton cats on the side of Lily’s Bistro, 329 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s Oregon District. The first two, “Bailey” and “Wonka” are peering out from their perches on colorful flowers and leaves.

The mural is a fundraiser for local groups dedicated to animal welfare. So far 40 cats have been committed for portraits Clark said and there is room for twice that many. “Bring me all your cats,” she said. If I have to paint along the back side of the wall I will.”

The portraits can be commissioned at


**UPDATE (JULY 2, 2019)  — Submissions open! Get your feline painted on the Oregon District cat mural for charity

Think your kitty is a work of art? Time to prove it.

As we told you, Lily’s Bistro and artist Tiffany Clark of the Mural Machine are seeking cats for a mural to be added to the side of the restaurant’s building, 329 E. Fifth St. in the Oregon District.

The submission process is now open.

Cat portraits cost $150 and can be purchased on Lily's Square page,

Proceeds after costs will be donated to a list of Dayton animal welfare organizations that includes Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals SICSA.

"Every cat we put on the wall raises $40 for community welfare," Emily Mendenhall, Lily's co-owner and a cat lover herself, told this news organization.

She said there is room for 75 to 85 cats on the west-facing wall that runs the length of the restaurant.

“We are a third of the way through that,” Mendenhall said.

**FIRST REPORT (Thursday, June 28) — Your cat can be part of an Oregon District mural

Cat owners soon will be able to turn their feline friends into art in the Oregon District while helping local groups dedicated to animal welfare.

People who pay a fee will be able to submit pictures of their cats and get realistic paintings that will be part of a mural on Lily’s Bistro’s west-facing wall, next to the parking lot.

The fees will pay for the art from Tiffany Clark, but some of the money will go to SICSA and or other animal groups.

MORE: Who is Lily? The real story behind the name of one of Dayton’s favorite restaurants

“Every cat we put on the wall raises $40 for community welfare,” said Emily Mendenhall, co-owner of Lily’s, which is at 329 E. Fifth St.

Mendenhall said there’s been strong interest in the planned mural, and she believes the entire wall can be covered with feline portraits.

“I’ve had at least 40 to 50 people say, ‘I’m in, I would Venmo the money today,’” she said. She believes the project can raise thousands of dollars.

On Thursday, the Dayton Landmark Commission approved a major certificate of appropriateness to allow the new mural to be painted. Commission members were complimentary of the design and project and asked, mostly in jest, if a dogs would be allowed on the mural.

MORE: Dayton woman: Art helped me recover from heroin addiction

They will not be. This is just for cats.

Clark, owner of Mural Machine, said the mural will match some of the colors of the Oregon District, including another mural going in near Smokin Bar-B-Que.

In addition to the cats, the design will look like vintage wallpaper, with flowers set against a black background, said Clark, who recently completed a space mural design at 400 E. Third St., near Warped Wing Brewery.