Image is 4" x 3.75"
What a relief to come out from under that pickup truck. She is so tired of gravel and debris. The life of a stray is hard. She is pregnant, and wanting more for her kittens. Her legs might be stumpy, but those short legs are the key to future glory. Her descendants won't scavenge for leftovers or hide from dogs. They will be prim and pampered, eat well, and win prizes.
Blackberry was the grandmother of all Munchkin cats. In 1983 an American music teacher discovered two pregnant cats with unusually short legs under a pickup truck. The one she named Blackberry gave birth to a kitten named Toulouse, and it is from their line that all registered Munchkins descend. Munchkins are a new breed of cat to be officially recognized by The International Cat Association. So new, in fact, that there are ongoing debates over whether it is ethical or not to breed these cats, distinguished by their extremely short legs. Some fear that Munchkins will suffer back, hip, and leg health problems, and thus these critics discourage the propagation of the breed. Others argue that there is no evidence that Munchkins' short legs cause health problems. They also point out that stray Munchkins flourish alongside more typical cats and that the autosomal dominant gene that causes Munchkins' short legs has repeatedly appeared in genetic mutations in several separate lineages.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Image is 3.5" x 4"
This is page one of an alphabet book of cats I'm writing and illustrating. Each page will feature a cat whose name starts with a letter of the alphabet. Haven't decided if the final book will be in color or keep it in black and white. I'm planning to play around with watercolors on my proofs of this print tomorrow.
Being adopted, he looks nothing like his mother. But when she holds him, he feels comforted by her fur and the heat of her body against his. He can tell from her long gazes and gentle caresses that she loves him. Even when a baby is chosen from a litter, a mother knows which one is hers.
All Ball was the name of Koko the gorilla's first pet kitten. Koko (a gorilla in captivity who was taught more than 1000 words in sign language) chose this pet out of an abandoned litter and named him "All Ball" because the kitten was a Manx and therefore had no tail. There are many films and a book documenting Koko playing joyfully with All Ball. Sadly, All Ball was killed in an accident just a few months after being adopted by Koko. After hearing the news, Koko is reported to have signed words expressing her grief and cried in private. It is a moving story that some researchers present as evidence of the profound emotional similarities between humans and other great apes.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Rigid puzzle pieces
That don't fit together are
Poised to explode
Like painstakingly stacked stones
The white space reminds me of
John Cage, oceans, and
The nothing that is
Monday, September 10, 2012
Romance abounds in these vintage postcards, these myths that sharpen our vision, yet cloud our good sense.
As these two move toward me I long to open my arms, give them both a good, firm embrace. But they will break apart and rejoin the abstract lines, shapes, and rhythms of the background before I even get close.
There will be no evidence left behind from these visitors. Nothing except the persistent memory of their having come and the nondescript yet powerful sense that without them life is no longer worth living. They are blood-sucking predators disguised as peace-seekers. Flat, empty, vessels parading as beauty, truth, and hope.
Monday, September 3, 2012
I noticed you there, but I dared not stare back at you. I know what annoyance it is to be stared at, and didn't want to frighten you away. You stood so long, I thought you might be aiming at something. Perhaps, after all the gawkers had gone, you might do something interesting. But you just hung around for such an achingly long space of time, and then slipped away, passing into the crowd, nameless, like all the rest.
Day after day these faces, these figures, bleed into each other and become like wallpaper in the most abhorrent of rooms. Curse this insane asylum. I no longer know my own voice, or preferences, or temperament, for all that is unique is lost in this sea of identically miserable days.