Woman has her six dead cats tattooed on her back

Published date: 30 October 2012 |
Published by: Dominic Robertson
Read more articles by Dominic Robertson

Fran's six dead cats are tattooed to her back 

Ray with his WASP tattoo. 

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WE all make mistakes, but it’s safe to say they’re not usually fixed by your own daughter in her own home tattoo studio.

That’s the story that Newtown residents Fran Bailey (above) and her 67-year-old father Ray told on the Channel Four programme Tattoos and their Tales.

Their tale saw Ray deciding to have an old racist tattoo altered and Fran, a budding tattooist with her own business, carrying out the job.

Ray explained he had the tattoo – an English flag and the letters WASP meaning “White Anglo Saxon Protestant” – more than 20 years ago when living in Bristol.

However, he revealed he now felt shamed by the marking and wanted rid of it.

Fran carried out the work alteration in her own licensed and health registered home studio and now Ray’s right arm sports a “Hannya mask” – a mask used which represents a jealous female demon or a wronged woman.

However, she revealed her father didn’t make the most compliant canvas.
She said: “It’s the most annoying thing having to tattoo someone who’s family or a friend.

“They feel like because they are your friend they can move around and fidget, shout in your ear, tell you what to do.

“Dad would just stand up when he wanted and wander off. It’s not good, he took liberties.”

Speaking afterwards Ray said: “It was lovely, she’s excellent and it’s all I could wish for.”

Fran herself has around 14 tattoos including a full back piece representing six cats she owned which all died in the space of a year.

She said: “When I went to the rescue centre I asked for the most ill and unloved cats they had so that they would have somewhere to go.

“That meant the ones I had were ones with feline aids so they all died. On average I lost one every two months.

“It was a little bit traumatic. I got it when I still had two cats alive and when I was getting it done two more passed away.”

Fran now has another five cats, but says she won’t be adding any more to the image and instead will get smaller tattoos to represent them.

As well as the cats, Fran has a platter of sushi tattooed on her foot because she likes sushi, a pixillated banana and cherry on her stomach as a reference to video games, a Japanese lucky cat drunk on sake on her ankle, an Oriental face, a breakdancing scene on her leg, a “zombified heart garter”, a Japanese anime cat, and a 3/4 sleeve of ribbons, bows butterflies and ink splats.

Ray said although some people have negative perceptions of people with tattoos his experiences have taught him otherwise.

He said: “I think people in general are too conservative. They look at the tattoos not the person.

“I go to tattoo conventions and there’s no swearing, no trouble, there are kids running around having fun.

“But you go to a football match and there’s fighting everywhere and none of them have got tattoos.”

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