That’s what it’s about


Whatever holiday you celebrate in defiance of self-important nitwits, there is always one thing to remember: make the cats happy. However, I’m not going to participate in the whole “Caturday” or phonetic spelling nonsense, as my gift to you.

Two of the aforementioned kittens ended up staying with us, despite intentions to find them all homes, and while this still may not be a permanent situation, that didn’t mean we could neglect them come christmastime. One of them is named “Kaylee,” for a couple of reasons. She is a calitabby-point Siamese (or Snowshoe) mix, and in the beginning we simply referred to her as “Cali” to differentiate her from the others. Later on as her adult coat came in, she developed numerous random blotches of pale brown in her coat, making her look as if she’d been wrestling in the garage, so the name morphed to “Kaylee” since we’re Firefly fans here. If you don’t get it, just begone with you.

Anyway, a few days back at a thrift store we spied the pile of stuffed animals and wondered if the girls would like something like that for christmas, and since 69 cents wasn’t a serious risk, we went ahead and got a choice one for them and presented it this morning. After some curious hesitation, Kaylee realized what such things are best used for. No, that’s not an adorable hug at top; she’s kicking the ever-loving shit out of the toy, which was just what we intended. Kaylee does kind of lose her mind when the playful mood kicks in…

What we didn’t foresee was her turning jaguar and carrying the toy around the house like it was fresh kill, at times running selfishly down the hall with it to protect her food from opportunistic scavengers. Because of the size of it, this usually required straddling, lending her gait a hilarious waddle. The other kitten, unoriginally named “Little Girl” until we find something better, showed distinct interest in the toy too, but soon got outclassed by Kaylee’s vicious enthusiasm. They still have plenty of other things to share, as well as treating one another as stuffed animals most evenings. And whenever that fails, the tables (that they seem to keep forgetting they’re not allowed upon) serve as handy sources of pens and fiddly bits.

One of my presents to The Girlfriend was a (personally) hand-carved manatee with calf, which I wanted some pics of. While I was setting the lighting levels to get the best detail, Little Girl decided it was time for attention, and when I wouldn’t pet her she hopped onto the table to see just what was demanding all of my attention. She thus provides a little scale to the piece.

By the way, this (and another figure) were my first attempts at working with soapstone, and my third at carving anything. I’m kind of a stickler for accuracy, so the end results aren’t exactly to my liking since the proportions are a bit off, making the figures a bit… ‘stylized,’ I guess you could say. The Girlfriend’s happy with them, so I’m cool with it, but like just about any project I tackle (or any image I’ve shot,) I can find ways to improve them, and will be aiming for that in subsequent pieces. The positive side of being critical of your own work is that you’re always seeking to improve, which can never hurt, but the negative side is that you can be pretty hard on yourself too. Though it’s still not art.

Anyway, here’s to hoping your own celebrations are entertaining, and that you’re remembering that “mellow” is a pretty good thing to aim for too. Cheers!

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