In pretty much every blog post I’ll mention three things. My art, my husband, Greg, and my cats. They’re a huge part of my everyday life. And often they’re my best, and worst, distractions.
Artists and our pets. It’s kind of a thing isn’t it? I’ll bet you’ve got one or more furry or feathered friends who keep you company while you work. In my case, its cats. Three of them.
In the last blog post Greg mentioned a bump on the head. That was compliments of Theo who is currently sitting on my computer desk trying to catch the pages of the artists book that I’m printing as they come out of the printer. Theo is still young and gets into everything. His curiosity is endless and he really can’t help himself. He can’t hold still. He can’t resist a noise. He can’t resist his own tail if it moves.
Two weeks ago Theo couldn’t resist a stack of paper, that shouldn’t have been where it was, and knocked it off in a sliding avalanche onto the floor of the office. (He is now standing on the file cabinet trying to reach an imaginary bug on the wall, nope, cleaning his foot, now chewing on the tape bit sticking out of the labeling machine and now on my desk in front of the screen so I’m having to look around him to type this.)
There. Now Theo is in the garage with his buddies. The garage is their big adventure. We have too many predators where we live to send them outdoors, but the garage is an ever changing cat jungle gym. It’s where they go when I need to concentrate.
Back to the pile of papers that swooshed down onto the floor. As I muttered Theo’s name under my breath I proceeded to hit my forehead with impressive force on a very sharp desk corner. It turns out you really can see tweety birds and stars…
I downplayed it for a day or two and after four days straight of headaches and the inability to be in bright light I had to admit I’d concussed myself. Of course the cats were thrilled I’d hit my head because then I was right where I “should” be, in bed, ready to pet them.
As you can guess, Theo is too young to go to the studio yet. He’d have a great time, but I’d have to throttle him. On a tangent, Theo is named after an artist. Well, an artist’s brother. He came with the name Chauncey which didn’t fit. We wanted to name him after an artist and his side markings look like a Van Gogh painting, but we didn’t like Vince or Vincent for him either. So we went with the brother, Theo.
Then there is Ellis. Ellis, who is also young, but at 4 years old, twice Theo’s age, is just old enough to come to the studio. As I’m getting ready for Codex my hours in the studio are getting longer and longer. Ellis is so desperate he’s been sleeping in his “going to the studio” carrier so he won’t miss me as I go by. We’ve been working up to spending the day with me. Yesterday he successfully did an hour in the studio without any damage to my artwork or the cat!
He really wants to be on my work table so I’m working on training him to go only in his box on the table. The floor is a free go zone. The table, not so much.
Chinle, who is 17, has my favorite provenance story. When Greg and I were first dating we took a driving trip to the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, etc. In Chinle Arizona we were at an overlook at the Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Canyon du Shay) and up walks this beautiful, starving kitty. I picked her up and she wrapped around my neck. Greg asked me what I was doing and I told him she was starving and was going to die. He told me that cats die sometimes. I told him, “Not this one and if you want to break up when we get home I understand.” We went to the local Safeway, fed and watered the cat, and snuck her into the hotel for the next two nights while we drove home to California.
Well, clearly we didn’t break up and, ironically, Chinle is Greg’s cat. She loves him more than anything (And he loves her more, too. He greets the cat and then me. Yes, I know.) Theo loves Chinle, too.
Chinle is a bit too nervous for the studio. She doesn’t mind the occasional visit while tucked safely in Greg’s arms, but she’d much rather be in her heated bed than the house.
So there you have them. “The cats.” In our house that’s often said with affection, exasperation, and hysterics. Usually within the same few minutes.
Which reminds me of a project I did with my dear friend, Karen called “Cat-A-Log.” Next week I’ll tell you about it.
Do you have a studio pet? I’d love to hear about them and see photos. Feel free to post in the comments!