Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Gifts From Deep Dark Space
I hear my mother, "You never know from where you sit, who from the balcony is going to spit". This always rang true to me, the boy, and I still never sit right under the Balcony Spit Zone. But the Outer Space Zone is another matter.
Meet my new black cat. Showed up on my back porch on Halloween. "No way," I chortled. "Go away you apparition," I hissed at the thing. I mean, come on. Halloween? I've read Nataniel Hawthorn, Snow White, and MacDonald's Photogen and Nicteris. I wasn't born yesterday.
But the so-called cat was clearly starving. It had twigs and waify things in its fur. "Not falling for it!" I opened and slammed the back door for emphasis.
Well, I couldn't let it starve could I? A few tidbits. Next day the same. Now the cat owns me.
What does one call a seriously black, Halloween cat. I thought of the blackest things I could think of. Charcoal. Inky. Midnight. Trite, trite, trite. Tar? Skid marks. Oil spill. Burned carrots. I was pulling hard for Atramentaceous, but try saying it three times in a row. Susi said, "What about Olive?" For a boy?!! Maybe. "What about Space?" I beamed. "It's so dark out there. And the weird cat might be from outer space. Acts like it."
"For a cat?" wife doesn't look up from laptop.
We were at loggerheads. What does that even mean? "We'll let the grandkids decide," I proclaimed.
They listened to our closing arguments like diplomats. Held counsel and announced, "The name should be Space Olive." Whoah. Profound. Think about it. What could be blacker than a black olive in outer space? Especially when you climbed inside the hole.
Art inspired by another almost all black cat, Wiley. Holding marzipan mice.
I hate to be wasteful. So when my cat puts poor dead creatures on my door mat. I first lecture the cat. Then I sketch the offering.
You learn so much from observation. A must for artists. Writers. Superhero costume makers.
I even used my cats when painting this lion to see the way the fur layers.
Sometimes I hide things in my art. In this illustration of the expulsion from Eden, I hid a cat in the flames.
See the cat?