As a long time gallery cat, Budda has generously agreed to answers your art and/or cat related questions around the first of every month. Or whenever he feels like it. Budda also now has his own lens on Squidoo containing all the cat related questions from this column.
Oh wise and wonderful Budda,
I was wondering if you could explain why my cat Kitty Kisses likes to wake my up by batting at my face every morning hours before sunrise? As long as she has food and water during the night, she ignores me completely after this wake up call.
Rude awakening in Rochester.
Dear Rude Awakening,
The short answer is . . . because it’s funny.
No but seriously, the real reason she does this is . . . umm . . . No . . . You know I’m gonna have to stick with . . . because it’s funny.
Oh great oracle of catnipness…
When my cat scooter (my buddy for over 12 years) licks my arm his tongue is like sandpaper. When he wakes me up by licking my nose his tongue is very soft. Apparently you guys can control your tongue’s roughness? How does that work?
Scooter’s human Nate
Dear Scooter’s Pet, err . . . I meant Scooter’s human,
We cats have several different kinds of licks. I personally have 37 variations. The great Morpheous was said to have 93 subtle variations on licks. But I won’t trouble you with all of that information. Both of your licks fall into the “I Love You” category (as opposed to the “Let Me Taste This” or “Eeeuw somethings on my fur! Get it off! Get it off!”) Within each of these categories are many subcategories.
So the first type of lick we’re talking about here is a “grooming” lick which is something we only do to someone we love. Namely ourselves, but occasionally our humans as well. And the second is “Wake Up And Give Me Something” lick. Also clearly done with love since it’s gentle. Scooter clearly adores you since he licks instead of . . . well slaps you. As for myself and apparently other cats like Kitty Kisses, slapping is a way more enjoyable way to wake people up.
As to the technical aspect we cats have barbed tongues, which I’m sure you already know. By varying the pressure we can adjust the raspy-ness of our licks.
And Now A Few Words From Budda As To Why Spaying Or Neutering IS Important.
My predecessor Oliver the gallery cat, hated children. If someone under 4 foot entered the gallery he hid until they left. I myself don’t mind them too much but have also been forced to flee when things got a little too “touchy feely.”
Some humans have a tendency to let their young run wild. As my human is an artist she has noticed this on more than one occasion during the art fairs she partakes in. Now I’m not talking about the usual snot nosed, sticky fingered thing where parents say “don’t touch” then completely ignore the child as they run amok touching absolutely everything. No, what I speak here are worse offenses . . . by the parents. I have heard stories that would turn me prematurely gray, if I were not already gray.
So here are three to illustrate my point.
The first was just recently at an event where a neighboring artist (a potter) had a beautiful floor vase of about 3 foot tall selling for many hundreds of tins of catfood. An unchecked child with a newly purchased wood sword was whacking it thoroughly enjoying the melodic gonging noises it made. The potter got up and asked the boy nicely if he could see his sword. The child quickly yanks it behinds his back and asks why. The Potter says (also quite nicely), “So I can beat you with it.” The child dashes away presumably to find the protection of his wayward parents.
As always, those of you who are googling for enlightenment . . . this ain’t it.
Another is not so much a story as an incident, tells of when a parent drops a child in the middle of a booth and says stay here I’ll be back in 10 minutes. Umm . . . what?
And lastly my owner herself had a moment where a young boy wanted a painting for his room. Parents of course said no and left the booth, and the child behind. The pouting boy starts kicking the low hanging painting. As he appeared to have no plans on stopping Mona gets up and goes to his parents who are sitting about 15 feet from the booth facing away hoping that by ignoring their child they wouldn’t have to deal with his tantrum. She says to them (very nicely, though totally seriously) if the boy kicks the painting one more time, they will own it.
So people please understand that an art fair (you know what, let’s make that anywhere that isn’t your own home) is not a free version of daycare. If you have wild kids or . . . well, heck any kind of kids it is your responsibility to keep them in control. The people who say “it takes a village to raise a child” are usually the ones who let them run like savages.
Note: Some of these “questions” were based on search terms that brought people to my blog. And some were posed by readers of this blog. Most of the names have been changed to protect the innocent. If anyone has any questions they’d like to submit for Budda’s review, you are all welcome to do so. Just leave a comment here or contact me directly