Posts Tagged ‘kittens’


In lieu of real art … you get this.

Umm …. sorry.

So my dear sweet Budda is just about the sweetest little cat (though Robert’s Ari may disagree) ever. He is so loving, snuggly, and oozing purring adorableness and would be in total kitten heaven if I just carried him around in a sling or baby carrier all day long.

During the daylight hours he is this cherubic little sweetie, who will break into a runbley purr if I just so much as look at him.

But lately I’ve been working until 10pm or so. There has been s a noticeable change that comes over my little Boodie Boo just about the time the sun sets.

He starts puffing up and spronking about like a Halloween cat. Leaping up and smacking the back of my head or popping out from behind objects flashing his “jazz hands” trying (and usually succeeding) at scaring the bejeebers out of me.

Now I’ve only had 2 indoor cats in my life so I think back to whether Oliver ever had mood shifts between day and night.

And … Uh … Nope. He pretty much had the same attitude no matter what the time of day.

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Barn Kitties Big Adventure

And yes I meant kitties not kitty’s because … well it has happened to more than one cat.

A Normal Day Just Like Any Other
I arrive at the gallery somewhere around 11am and stop in the printing room to confer with my husband about what’s going on today.

(Yeah, I know 11am makes me sound lazy, but seriously it’s the middle of winter, the gallery has zero business and so I just can’t see the point of rushing up there, especially when Mike gets there at like 7am.)

(So yeah okay, he gets there at 7am because he’s a morning person and well … quite frankly I’m not. I’m way more loving with a couple of hours of quiet time and a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke.)

(Umm … to clarify, I don’t actually drink the entire 2 liters in the morning. It just gives me comfort to hold it.)

(Okay, so yeah occasionally I do drink the entire 2 liters in one morning but only on the days that I really need the extra emotional support.)

(Stop judging me.)

So I’m chatting away and I hear a distant meow. I glance down and see Budda eyeballing me and his lips totally did not move when I heard it again. So unless Budda has turned himself into some kind of awesome genius ventriloquist cat we had another cat in the gallery.

Mike’s like “Uh, I think we have a cat in the garage.”

On further inquiry after Mike arrived he had heard some meowing but thought perhaps it was Budda (because Budda is a seriously vocal cat. He has Siamese ancestors I just know it.) But then it quit. Upon my arrival however the cat recognized my voice as the belonging to “The one who brings all good things” and started to meow.

Turns out it was one of our more wild kitties. Most of my barn cats I can pet if not pick up. A couple however are truly wild. And our gallery garages are huge and filled will all sorts of hidy holes, not to mention a basement.

Just Call Me The Cat Whisperer

Mike had noticed that the cat seemed to like sitting on the straw bales which we use for lining the large link-fence dog run. Our old girl Cisco is kept in the kennel when we leave for winter events. Our garages are heated so it’s a comfortable stay if not a happy one. Anyway the cat was drawn to them. I imagine they smelled of Cisco and the straw reminded him of home, which was comforting in this very strange and foreign place.

So Mike puts two bales in the dog kennel in hopes of luring our little vagrant into a giant cat trap. This worked like a charm. Within minutes the cat was napping in the dog run.

So I casually walk in. speaking softly. The kitty was one of those that leaned to the feral side and thus hadn’t been named. I had only recently been able to put my hand on it briefly. I wasn’t sure if this was going to work at all. The cat hops off the bales and skulks deeper into the run. So I step into the run and close the gate. The kennel is 6 foot tall but I know a cat can scale this if frightened enough. Plus a 20 foot dog run is still a lot of space to wrangle a cat in.

So I speak in my soft voice trying to lull the cat into stop trying to push itself through the 2″ hole of the chain link. This actually worked. After about 5 minutes it stopped. Another minute or two it came within a few feet of me and sat down. When it would look away or close it’s eyes I would try to step closer, but deep straw bedding does not allow for stealthy movement.

So giving up on this tactic I opted for the distraction method. I rubbed my thumb over my fore and index fingers making a swirling motion that’s proven to be like some sort of cat hypnotism. The cat’s eyes glazed over completely transfixed on my fingers. I move slowly closer all the while doing the finger rub thing until I finally reach out and touch him by the neck.

He flattens himself to the floor in a moment of panic and then realizing the sheer and utter joy of my touch rears up and pushes against my hand wanting more petting. I scuffed his neck a bit getting him good and relaxed and then picked him by it (relieved he didn’t yowl, twist or try to scratch or bite) and plunked him in Budda’s cat carrier to be returned to the farm.

Barn Kitty’s Wild Ride

So with my successful cat capture (I should totally try-out for a job as a wild critter wrangler on like the crocodile hunter or something) we then began to discuss exactly how a cat got from the farm to the gallery garage in the first place.

Our best guess is that he was either under the van or in the engine space. Both place make for a dead cat. And after all these many years we’ve never taken a cat into town. It’s like 4 miles. And while that doesn’t sound far, think of clinging to a vehicle hurtling down a gravel road at 50 mph and then gauge how far 4 miles is.

The other thing was on this particular day we had just had a storm so the van was also pushing through drifts. The great thing about all-wheel drive is it plows throw snow taller than the vehicle’s bumper. Again probably kinda harrowing for the cat though. It’s amazing it made it.

Several Days Later
It’s about 10 am so I’m still at home (I said stop judging me!) and I get a call from Mike.

Mike “Uh … I think we have another cat in the gallery.”

Me …. …. …. (that’s the sound of me beating my head against a wall.)

UPDATE: We now park the van in the garage at the farm and will hopefully avoid this happening again. I know you’d think we’d do that anyway but so often a cat goes into the garage, but then refuses to come back out. So that brings it’s own set of problems. But so far … no more barn cats have had another big adventure.

UPDATED, Update: The second cat was Tortilena and she is quite tame. Well for me. With Mike she darted off and hid. But when I called she ran out all purring and stretching and so was a very easy catch. Whew!

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Is This Wrong, Or Is It Just Me?

So being a person who has a mild interest in all things marketing and image branding, and well . . . cat food, I did a double take yesterday while perusing the cat food isle in our local grocery.

I mean I literally passed by, stopped and looked back over my shoulder and then backed up. Sitting there was stacks and stacks of a brand of pet food I’d never seen before. But what actually caught my attention was the picture on the can.

It appeared to be a boy, leaning over a large bowl, lapping up milk (and since it was a cat food can, well it seems a logical conclusion perhaps there is cat food in the bowl as well.) Regardless, here’s this kid apparently eating while sadistically forcing his hungry kitten to watch. The way the boy is hunched over clearly indicates that he is not sharing.

Yeah okay, on closer inspection (much closer because the actual picture is less than 1/2″ tall and the text it teeny tiny. Photo below blown up 4x actual size) it says something about teaching his cat to drink from a water fountain. Which still makes no sense and certainly doesn’t help sell cat food.

Where was this company’s focus group? I’m pretty sure I could have come up with something better on my worst day. Seriously what cat food company marketing geniuses thought this picture (plastered on every single variety of food they sell) was a good idea?

Of course I instantly thought I’d tell you guys about it, so I bought a can.

Ah . . . wait.

(repeating aloud to self) . . . so I bought a can . . .

Touche’ cat food company marketing geniuses.


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So I am leaving for a couple of days for another paper making excursion with my dear friend Connie Herring. I thought I’d leave you a parting gift of a feel good photo of my Ollie when he was a baby.

How cute is he?

BTW Oliver was my first gallery cat. It was he who taught me that I wasn’t necessarily a dyed in the wool “dog person.” I found him as an orphan in a ditch on one of my daily walks in late October. He was very young (he could easily fit in my hand – the mousy toy is about 1″ long) half froze and starved, his momma had left him. AT that time our barn cats were onle a few step away from feral so instinct told them to abandon kittens born so late in the season.

Anyway the day i found him, I had a city meeting (our version of chamber of commerce) and since he was so weak and chilled I just tucked him in my jacket and carried him around on my shoulder (one of the few times being large chested is an asset.) He slept the entire meeting until it was over, then he woke up gave a tiny mew. Immediately everyone had to see him and he got passed around and received all sort of love and affections.

It took me about a week to decide to make him my gallery cat. I had never had an indoor cat so this was a big step for me. He was my gallery cat for almost 4 years before he passed away quite unexpectedly just before Christmas. At the time I had barely begun blogging and used several posts to explore my loss of him. I keep this photo (and many others) hanging in the gallery as I still miss him though it’s been a couple of years already.

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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.

Dear Mr Budda,
My cat, Miss Priss is always washing herself. If she’s really that dirty shouldn’t I help out by bathing her?
Signed All Washed Up

Dear All Washed Up
No. I suggest you let your cat bathe herself, or else her hair will stick to your tongue, something wicked.

Dear The Budda,
I am an art student and my instructor says that I have kissing issues. Since I’m not sure what that means, how do I avoid kissing?
Signed The Puckered Painter

Dear Puckered,
Well when my human looks like she is about to plant one on the top of my head I usually put my feet on her chin, lock my legs, close my eyes and twist my face away while mentally screaming “No. . . for the love of God, nooooooo!.” and then . . .

Oh wait. I bet your instructor was referring to kissing in the artistic sense.

Kissing as it applies to art is where one object touches (or almost touches) another object or the edge of artwork. In general kissing is seen as a novice mistake but many professional “kiss” intentionally. . . and sometimes not. To avoid kissing simply make any connections between objects (or the edge of the artwork) solid and into said object deeper than it’s edge. As with all rules, first you must learn them before you start breaking them.

As always, those of you who are googling for enlightenment . . . this ain’t it.

Dear Mr Budda,
I’ve noticed that once a genre’ becomes popular, for instance around here Tuscan scenes and wine bottles are all the rage, it seems that many artists quite doing what they do and start to paint the current trend.

Why do so many artists do this instead of creating work that is true to who they are?
Signed Wide-Eyed Wonderer

Dear Wonderer,
I don’t know why $ome arti$t$ paint the late$t fad. But I re$pect their right to do $o. And $o $hould you.

Note: these “questions” were based on search terms that brought people to my blog. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. Budda is currently working hard (well, as hard as any cat works) on a special Ask The Budda: Halloween Edition. 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

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More Kittens Pics

I was asked an excellent question by Undaunted concerning the reasoning behind raising the price of my Natural Grace painting despite the fact that though there was interest in it, it wasn’t selling. I began working on a post to answer that more fully and as usual it spun out of control. So tomorrow (hopefully) I will post the answer and comment on pricing in general.

But for today you must be contented with some cute kitten photos. They have gotten to that little drunkard stage where they have to concentrate hard on not falling over. I love this stage. I can pick them up and cuddle them and they just look back at me with their huge blue eyes and blink. In a few more weeks though, they are going to be gnawing on my ankles and climbing me like a tree.

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She Did It Again

I do have a business post in the works and with any luck it will get posted tomorrow. Also will hopefully get started on a painting tomorrow. I got the gallery put back together and I think I have a handle on my customer orders.

These little ratty looking critters are Little Gray’s (LG) latest batch of kittens. LG is Budda’s mom and is notorious for large batches of kittens. Last year she had a litter of 7, then I added one whos mom got killed. She raised them all up to be healthy. This group has nine (as in 9) kittens! I’m like, “I wonder what the guiness record is for cat litters.” They are a little over a week old and are already beginning to open their eyes.

Lg is a special cat in that she is the only barn cat that gets to come in the house (in a porch) whenever she wants. She also get as much food as she wants and first choice of any food scraps like egg yolks which I don’t eat. Hmmm. . . do you suppose that has anything to do with all these kittens?

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Budda the Amazing Fetching Cat!

Budda fetching a toy mouse

Budda returns the mouse to me.
Budda’s two week “trial” period is over as of today. Mike kinda rolls his eyes at the “trial period ” part. Like, after day one I would ever just toss him out into the cold. He has come through with flying colors, with the exception of one time pottying not in the potty box. Since he is my second cat I am unsure how common this might be. It was early on and it was the first time we spent all afternoon out of the room containing his litter pan. Other than that one time he has been faithful to use his box.

He seems to be a fast learner. He had picked up what “No” meant almost immediately. He doesn’t challenge my authority as much as Oliver did, which is kind of nice. Ollie would do the naughty thing, (say… bite into a shrinkwrapped print) I’d say Ollie NO! He’d stop look at me, then open his mouth and put it over the print in very slow motion, as if to bite. All the while making eye contact with me. I’d say Ollie? And he’d MEOW loudly and stalk off, tail switching in annoyance. I say Budda No! And he just makes a little mew, stares at me wide eyed and innocently and then saunters over for cuddles. That being said, as every day passes he seems to be getting a little more Ollie like.

And now for the amazing Budda!
Last week, I was throwing a mousy toy and he would return to me with it. Now, I am sure to start out with this was just because he is really attached to me and planned to play with it, by me. But I would keep throwing it and he would keep bringing it back. Now 5-10 times might be a fluke but he retrieved it almost 30 times, at that point I got tired of the game. (I tried to take photos to illustrate, but oddly enough they just look like a cat carrying a toy. Somehow the amazing part is lost in the pictures.) Anywho, by the next day he was dropping the mousey in my hand. Such a clever, clever kitty. (See, I told you I’d be bragging about how bright he is.)

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Small But Significant Changes

Mouse over the image above to compare them.

I am on the whole more pleased with the new composition. The image went from a 17 1/4 x 25 1/2 to a 16 x 30. I always try to work on a board larger than what I think my image will be so that I can choose to change things. This is especially important when I am still working out a composition. I have never really been the type to do thumbnail sketches. I have tried them but it just never gave me enough information to make any real decisions.

The plan for today is to begin to lay in color. I also have to finalize my plans for the tack. I have to say the new kitten has been a boost for my state of mind, but not so much for my productivity. He keeps me on my toes and yes it’s worth it.

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Meet The Budda

My cat Budda being cute
This is day 3 of having my little kitten at the gallery. He is slowly adjusting to the lack of siblings. I broke out my camera to take a few snaps this afternoon as he was thinking about napping.
Budda being more cute
Budda shares the same lineage as Oliver. (Notice the family resemblance?) Budda’s grandmother was Ollie’s mom. They do look quite a bit alike. I really wanted a cat that was considerably different looking than Ollie but as you may have noticed from the hellcats photos, my color choices were somewhat limited. Turns out, it doesn’t matter. When I look at Budda, I think of Budda … not Ollie.
Budda being even more cute
I am smiling again. I discovered, kittens are a huge mood lifter. (who knew?) I think next time I get cranky or tired I will just prescribe more kittens, continue to add as needed. (Kidding, just kidding. One is plenty)
How cute can this cat get? Thats about it. I’m sure I’ll be shoving kittens photos into this blog quite often. You will be so sick of looking at Budda’s kitten pictures. But hey, I am a proud new mommy. Just wait. Pretty soon I’ll start bragging about how smart he is, especially compared to other peoples kittens.

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