To make it a magical, interesting, special creature I wanted a non-standard non-earthly color. I pretty much painted that one up gold because, well, why not.
Once that was done, I put it in storage and kept it in mind.
Then I got around much later to painting the golden swordsmen.
The golden swordsmen are I-Kore Flesh Eaters. I got them because I thought they looked fairly Githyanki or Githzerai-ish.
They're intended to be undead but don't look rotted. So I used a paint scheme that made them look like the cover of the Fiend Folio with its Githyanki - gold, yellow, brown.
Once they were in-process I realized they'd match up well with the golden cat. I started to think of a synergistic set of abilities and powers and you end up with deaf/mute warriors with a "pet" with sound-based attack powers.
I'm quite happy with these guys. They had stayed half-painted for a long, long time until I just suddenly rushed and finished them. For all the rush might have detracted from the minis, I think it forced me to paint better and not second-guess my color scheme. Brown, gold, and yellow is a tough combo but they look good on the table.