Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hairless Rats Make Me Feel Warm and Fuzzy

 I had a great day signing books at The Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene. Santa was there among the amazing collection of rescued animals, many of which are up for adoption.

"What do you want for Christmas, Richy," he asked.  This particular Santa, a.k.a. John Franklin, has been with the Port Townsend Fire Department for twenty-nine years (apparently he goes back and forth between here and the North Pole).

 At the open house, a young girl adopted this rat and his siblings.  A ONE-EYED HAIRLESS RAT! You don't meet those everyday do you? Do you? Well, if you visit this remarkable animal shelter, you'll meet a lot of cuddly critters who need a home.

 To get to Quilcene you first have to journey to the outskirts of civilization.

When I arrived at the shelter, they set me up next to the cage of an enormous parrot named Peanut Butter. In his cage he perches quiet as a dead mouse, and likes to bob up and down to the inner beat of distant Amazonian jungle drums.

Then when you are happily signing away or cooing at the turtles or bunnies, he lets out the loudest scream you have ever heard. As in, Nazgûl scream. Your brain actually does a 180˚ turn inside your cranium when this parrot SKREEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeCHS!!! But other than my frayed noives, we DID have some in depth discussions about global warming and manners, and I wish I could take him home.

A fellow who was at the open house told me that he had A.D.D. and has two screeching birds at home. He confided to me that the sudden screams in fact calm him down. So.

 Here is the director, Sara Penhallegan holding Maya.  I learned that the bulbous things hanging on his jowls are called "false eyes" and the flap hanging down is called his dewlap.

 I would love to have this cuddly bear in my studio, but I would have to mist it throughout the day and set the temperature at 80 degrees.

 This dude's name is GODZILLA. Notice the blood on his lip. Seems he busted out and tried to kill one of the other iguanas. But not to worry, they are vegetarians, I'm told. Yeah, right. How many vegetarians do you know who have blood dripping down their lips?

Have you ever met a chinchilla?  This guy looks a little sad, because he had just gotten fixed. My heart goes out to you, man. Nevertheless, this furry rabbit/mouse/mink type animal had the softest fur I have ever felt. Like a cloud, only softer.

 Hi there.

 This is a feline version of "dog pile!"

Scotties rrroool the werrld.  Will ye pop over and toss me some shortcake, laddy?

 I'll bet one of you needs a pony.

Alright, I will.

But the ones that you really need to beware of are these sheep with the glowing eyes. They were rescued from the Sand People near Beggar's Canyon.


Kate Higgins said...

Hi Richard, I almost came over to see you at the shelter this last I really wish I did. I am going to have to visit this place.
PS, you just labeled yourself as a star wars geek...oh, I guess I did too just now...:)

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hey Kate,

It is a cool place, and they are caring for lots of sweety-pie animals. Yes... Star Wars...there's a name I've not heard in a long long time.

Kat_RN said...

Sounds like you had fun. Love the Santa painting at the top. Have a great Monday.

June said...

What a wonderful post! Full of fantastic animal, and really great Santa. I love your illustration at the top - I wish I could do that kind of work :o)
Thanks so much for sharing all this with us. I am sure the day was enjoyed by so many - two legged and 4 legged alike.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hi ya, Kat. Thanks. Hope you have a lovely holiday!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks, June. The two leggers, four leggers and the rest all had fun. You do wonderful work yourself!

Michaele Razi said...

How cool! I had no idea Santa moonlights as a fire fighter. Awesome! Love the wide array of animals. My favorite has to be the one-eyed, hairless rat! Gorgeous painting BTW!

PJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penney said...

Wonderful animal pics! Looks like you spent the day being Dr. Doolittle! Next time stop by, we live next door - well, out here on the 'outskirts of civilization' that means up the road, first driveway on left after passing Nicklebush Road!

Jeri Landers said...

I would really enjoy having Godzilla hanging around my house, although, I think he would take up much of the couch. Love your painting, it is wonderful, as always.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hi Penny,

Thanks. And yes, Dr. Doolittle is alive and well. We'll have to stop by some time.

Thank you, Jeri, you would love Godzilla, indeed. He is magnificent! And if he climbs up on your couch you can teach him to share the remote.

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

This was all such fabulous eye candy! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a message. I so appreciate you taking time to do so. Wishing you and yours the best of the holidays!

Cobalt Violet said...

Fantastic artwork of Santa with the animals! LOVE it!

I want that reptile. So cool. I have a parrot though much smaller than the macaw. Beatrice. She's and 11 year old Senegal and too smart for her own good!

If I didn't live in a one bedroom apartment I would have a whole menagerie.

Happy Holidays to you!!!!

Robin Weiss said...

I'll take one of each!....(If I did I would be sleeping in a very crowded chicken house..=/)
Wishing you and Suzi a very happy and blessed new year!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thank you Vanessa. Happy Holidays to you as well.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Cobalt Violet, so cool that you have a parrot. We have so much to learn from our brothers and sisters. Happy New Year to you and Beatrice!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hey Robin,

Miss y'all. Wish we could have done the studio show this year. Maybe next year. Heard from Jim and Leigh that you are doing some big pieces. Can't wait to see them. Actually can't wait to see anything you've been working on. Happy New Year! Peace!