Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

There is Nothing Like Coming Home to My Sixteen Cats

When I come after a long day, like this one, and walk in the back door, all sixteen of them are waiting for me in the kitchen. And they are always in the very same spots. That may be because they're hanging on the wall. No, they are not massacred cats. They are heinously bad pieces of art.

Actually, I just feel obligated to say they're bad pieces of art, because it's more cool to like "bad" art for its "badness." The truth is, I adore them. Anything that involve a cat or a dog wearing clothes does something to me. It apparently hits a resonant frequency in my skull, which leads to the firing up of my cranial pleasure center. This started when I was very young, and would pull my elastic-waisted skirts over the very aggravated butt of our German Shepherd, Buck. Not only was Buck uninterested in wearing clothing, but had he been interested in dressing up, he would not have selected my wooly teal blue pleated skirt.

It is now decades later, and I'm still made stupidly happy by dog and cat art. I've evolved, of course. After Buck went to the big dog pen in the sky, we got a pekipoo who had a little red turtleneck sweater. In college I purchased a cheap, felt, 6-dollar gas station wall hanging of the classic dogs-playing-poker scene. Later there were William Wegman books and the like.

I used to dress my cat in a small blue-striped rugby shirt (size 12 months), and push the sleeves up. Cats do not take well to clothing. I stopped doing that when I heard of a friend of a friend taking their cat to a Halloween party, dressed in a little tuxedo, and he had a heart attack and died when they got home. Besides that, my cat is 19, which is 92 in people years, and his elderly state has earned him some dignified treatment. But not such dignified treatment that I talked myself out of dressing him like Mother Teresa for last year's Christmas cards.

Why am I bringing this up? Because Sarah, a friend of mine, gave me a great gift in celebration of my engagement. It's called a Cat-a-pult. A plastic catapult equipped with 4 tiny rubber cats for me to shoot across the room in delight. It is the perfect gift. And it came into my kitchen to take its place among the old-timers already there.

My two favorite framed cat prints:

1. A cat couple sitting upright on a couch, fully dressed, the "man" cat in suit and red polka-dotted tie, the "woman" in her June Cleaver best, apron and all.

2. A cat working behind the counter at an ice cream parlor, scoop in paw, wearing a red striped soda jerk apron. The sign behind him says "Paw's Ice Cream Parlor." It's giant. It's framed. It was 7 bucks at a flea market in Florida. Beat that.

No one will ever make me believe that anything Monet did is better than these. No painting of wussy lilies in a pond can rise to the level of feline and canine art. And don't even get me started on the Mona Lisa. That bitch is a two-bagger. Keep your hoity museum pieces and give me a dog in a fedora.


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