The long process of researching and creating the rendition of a long-vanished animal stirs deep thoughts. For me one of the most important is the sense of loss over the passing of such a creature. In pondering the reasons, some of which we'll never know, it brings you to the realization that the beautiful, bizarre and majestic life forms of today--our own time--are being sucked into the same black hole of irretrievable loss, this time not by nature but by human greed and ignorance. When I look at the now empty eye sockets of Dinictis, a little prehistoric cat of the distant past, I imagine it filled by the same fierce golden eye of today's cats, and the eons slip away. As in prehistory, the fragility of past life is matched by the present, and at these times I feel the child's sense of loss returning. Then the urge to pick up my pencil returns, stronger than ever, and I start to draw.