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Leo "Katz" Limon

Leo "Katz" Limon has been coming to the river to paint for over 35 years. In the 70's he developed an interest in the arts and discovered a prime, neglected canvas in the L.A. River's storm drains. His detailed paintings of cat faces represent his love for the unique flora and fauna of our urban river.

With help from the city, Leo hired youth from different high schools, not only working with them to paint over 30 feline faces, but also working to reduce violence, teen pregnancy and other challenges facing his young assistants.

Appreciation for our river is something we often have to grow into, according to "Katz." "When I was a little boy," he recalls, "I had relatives that lived here in Frogtown; they would bring me down to the river back in the 1950s. I was throwing rocks and looking at the birds and didn't think twice about them."

Above are several videos of Leo Limon, artist known for his paintings of cats on drains, discussing the prevention of graffiti and his personal work. Student Producer Chris Lagunas interviewed him for Departures Youth Voices. Click here to read about his impressions.


Leo discusses the city's relentless pursuit to cover up graffiti along the river.


Leo discusses the city's relentless pursuit to cover up graffiti along the river.


Leo explains why he paints cats on the storm drain caps.

Time Lapse

A time lapse of Leo painting a cat.

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