Okay I already feel like I can paint this cat in my sleep. Thank you everyone for bearing with me and my repetitive posts :)
Today I lowered the horizon line to free up his body a bit more, there was a bit of a tangent with the tail yesterday. I also tried to work in darker darks and lighter lights so he'd stand out more from the bg. Instead of just values, I also worked in a cool-to-warm transition to push the background back even more and lightened the little details in the bg to make them seem even less important.
I also remembered to paint his whiskers this time.
Not sure if I will paint him again tomorrow, because I feel fairly happy with this for an hour painting. I might try attacking another drawing with paint and see how that goes.