This is a cheetah, but instead of the normal cheetah markings, it has the black and white stripes of a zebra. The cheetah is a colour void, while the background is an explosion of colour.
There are two hearts in the painting. I needed to put them there, but at the time I was not sure why. A couple of days later, I was looking at the painting and the reason clicked into place. Our amazing dog Laika had died a few months earlier. He is represented by the darker empty heart. The smaller paler, full heart represents our adorable new puppy, Varney. At the time I painted this, we had picked him out but he had not yet come home with us because he was still too young.