ink and needles

My Cat Sugar Skull Tattoo

My reason for getting a cat sugar skull tattoo is pretty simple: I’ve had a lot of kitties die on me this year. Our Girlie and Kulasa cats both had a litter each— a total of nine kitties plus the occasional strays that find their way to our home. Save for two who mysteriously disappeared (I hope someone found them irresistibly adorable and adopted them), only one survived. I miss each one of them every day.

Sugar skulls are used to decorate the ofrendas (offerings) on Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday to celebrate and enjoy the memories of the deceased. Trendy as they are, I find sugar skulls to be extremely pretty. When I came across this cat sugar skull cross stitch pattern on Etsy a few months ago, I was smitten by the idea and knew that I would eventually get one tattooed on me.

WARNING: Contains a pic of a weeping wound/blood/blood plasma.

cat sugar skull tattoo

I decided to go with Dyani Lao for my fifth tattoo. Dyani has done three of my friends tattoos and I’ve always wanted to get something done by him. Good thing he opened shop at Cubao X!

At PHP3000 an hour (minimum of two hours), Dyani is expensive and rightfully so. He also only does custom designs. I sent him a message over Facebook, showed him two designs I liked, set the date (Friday, August 2) and then deposited the PHP3000 downpayment needed for him to start working on a study.

cat sugar skull tattoo

Dyani’s study

SO PRETTY! I love that kitty looks like she’s smiling.

cat sugar skull tattoo

Last look at my bare thigh.

cat sugar skull tattoo

I gave Dyani complete artistic freedom when it came to choosing the colors. “Ikaw yung artist, hindi ako!” I said.

cat sugar skull tattoo

cat sugar skull tattoo

This thigh tattoo took three and half hours and while the outline and line work were bearable (more ticklish than painful), the shading was AGONY, especially the parts near my inner thigh. Dyani sprayed Ink-eeze several times throughout the session to help ease the pain.

cat sugar skull tattoo

cat sugar skull tattoo

Almost there…

cat sugar skull tattoo

At home, unwrapped.

cat sugar skull tattoo

Saturday afternoon.

cat sugar skull tattoo


My thigh is still a bit swollen right now and I’m paranoid about cellulitis and all sorts of skin infections LOL. Kitty is looking pretty rough and ugly and I’m hoping that’s natural scabbing. I also read that leg tattoos tend to take longer to heal! I am using Drapolene (nappy rash cream) and virgin coconut oil to keep it clean and moisturized. I’m considering ordering Ink Butter but I want to wait and see how VCO fares! The internet says it helps speed up the healing process.

This tattoo is for Tweety, Bunso, Munky, Bobby, Peachy, TJ, Greyjoy, Betty Bat, Crooky, Marmalade, Clownie, Bertha, Tweety Jr, and all our other cats who have come and gone since we took in our first stray nearly 10 years ago ♥

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  • Reply Trish August 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    The details and the colors are so beautiful!

  • Reply Roan August 5, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Nanghahalina ang eyes!

  • Reply Jean August 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Soooo pretty! Ang mahal but ang ganda!

  • Reply Irene August 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm


    I love this so much more knowing the story behind it.

  • Reply edelweiza August 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    One lovely and meaningful tattoo! :)

  • Reply Eula August 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    That’s pretty rad.

  • Reply Loise Garcia August 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I love this! <3

  • Reply Dan August 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Great tattoo! Love it but I love cats also…. >^–^<

  • Reply Yuki August 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    OMG I want a tat, too, but I’m scared! ;A;

  • Reply Tori August 5, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I really love the design! Typically, I’m a fan of line art for designs like this, but the colors came out beautifully. Did you recommend a pallet of colors for the tattoo artist or did he choose them himself?

  • Reply Tracy August 6, 2013 at 1:51 am

    I agree, this is a very pretty tattoo. The colors are so soft. I love the names of the cats. The names I had for my cats: Chica and Chica 2. My roommates cats were named Kabuki and Saber Cat :) A typical name here is Minka or Moritz, I know a lot of cats named like that.

  • Reply V August 6, 2013 at 3:01 am

    Bilib. Wala talaga akong courage magpa-tattoo because it looks like it hurts! :( Nice one but your ampersand is my favorite among your tats. :)

  • Reply maui August 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Great colors! Pero three and a half hours? Grabe! o_o

  • Reply Gelai August 6, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I am IN LOVE with your tattoo. And the dedication to all the cats you have taken care of in the past is just heartwarming to a fellow cat lover like me. <3

  • Reply altheasarah August 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Awww you really have an awesome <3 for catzzzz! :) Nice tat!

  • Reply Crystal August 8, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Love the colors!

  • Reply Sherica August 9, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Awesome!!! Parang ang sakit lang though with all of the colors and shit!!!! Huhuhu pero ang ganda.

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