Saturday, January 21, 2006
Illustration Friday: Cats
Growing up, our family had a cat...a Persian. I was four years old I think when a family friend gave him to us. He was orangey-yellow and very furry. He had that funny little smushed in face that some find creepy...I just had always found it more funny and special. We appropriately named him "Fluffy" which never seemed much like a cliche until now. He hated me when I was little. I think he thought we were the same size or something...I was his rival. I had pigtails and would lay on the floor watching tv...probably Fraggle Rock...and all of a sudden Fluffy would jump on my head and start flailing around attacking me. Turns out, my pony tails would jiggle around every time I moved and he thought I was a big cat toy. We never did have him de-clawed.
Anyway, we grew up together. He was like a weird hairy little brother who'd follow me around and be annoying. He would always lay right on top of my homework as I was doing it, or he would plunk himself down on the newspaper as it was being read. Or he would lay on a stair so you couldn't pass by on the staircase without breaking your neck. But we had fun times playing pass with a bouncy ball; or I'd get him drunk on catnip. hee hee. He loathed me all the way until I reached high school. Then, one day, he jumped up into my lap. He'd never done that before (never was into affection). He would curl on my lap and lay there quietly. I loved it because the guy had onced hated me and now seemed to appreciate me. He became good buddies. I don't like to think about the day he died when he was so frail and thin and wavering. I remember I was 17 and finishing up high school. He saw me through all my school years. I still miss him. I'm allergic to cats now (I had somehow become immune to him), so I'll never have another one. To me, Fluffy was and is the epitome of what a cat is. Snobbish, insistent and confident. Yet loving, fun, and caring at the same time. I had a lot of respect for that cat and I know that, eventually, he grew to respect me too. My quick sketch is a sort of caricature of Fluffy...proudly sitting. The pose reminds me of how he looked after hauling home a mouse for us, or a little bird (poor things). He was always so proud and almost smug. I imagine his human voice was like Frasier Crane's or Stewie from the Family Guy.