Gemma cat

IMG_20180812_232526_788

I was watching a video today and remembered one if our old cats, Gemma. Like the cat in the video she would ride round on my shoulders, and was determined to stay near me. I once visited a friend in the street and went in through the front door. I came out the back way after the visit and could not see her so I went through the entry (passageway) back to the front, and there she was, sitting on my friends doorstep, waiting for me.

We first met because she had been going to my friends house and eating the dog’s food there. I had recently lost my old cat, he had died of old age, so I agreed to take her. We booked to have her neutered but she was pregnant. She was fine up until the birth but did not bite through the umbilical cords, When  we got up in the morning the kittens had been born, but one had died. It was a shock as I had not realised there was a problem. We were saddened by the kittens death.

As there were three kittens left we kept two and gave one away. This was because it was an odd eyed white cat, and we didn’t think living by a main road would be good for it.

Her two kittens, a male and a female lived with us too. All of them lived long lives, I think they had a good life with us.

Anyway we had not realised how bright Gemma was. I have a painting I did of her from a photo. If I was outside with her and tapped one side of the gate post she would jump across the gap to me. She was so good at it that I could take a photo of her in mid air, this was the basis of a painting called Gemma leaping.

Her happiest spot was sitting in the sun on the window ledge upstairs. This is my favourite cat painting, and most loved image if her.

Two cats together…

20180813_075601

This was what I saw when I got up this morning. Two cats together, going about their business, looking out for birds or squirrels. Not a care in the world. I wish I had their life!

The thing is I have to leave them a space to sit in because they just knock things off the cupboard if I don’t. I have had broken glasses and side plates to prove it.

They don’t go out so I guess it’s fair enough, but both of them don’t like going out. They will look out the front door but if a car is driving along the street they dart back in. I’ve never known such scaredy cats!

Anyway, they continue to thrive, despite not being allowed out. Maybe one day if I can get them in a harness? But I doubt that would work………..!

 

Black cat appreciation day

Untitled_003

Some people don’t like black cats,  but I do. I had two of them over the last few years. A female who was very sweet and tiny, and a big male who would sit and guard the cat flap at night.

My only worry with black cats is that they are difficult to see at night so I always put reflective collars on them. That goes for black and white cats to as they tend to have black bodies and the white parts are underneath or on their legs.

Black cats are supposed to be lucky in the UK where in other parts of the world they are meant to be unlucky. They have a history of being thought to be witches familiars, but I think if a lonely old lady wants a cat to keep her company she should not be persecuted for it. If a black cat walks in front of me I try to stroke it!

Cats were worshipped in Egypt and thought to be related to gods.  I think the Egyptian cat God was Bast? however I may be wrong? Cats have lived with humans for thousands of years and caught mice and rats which eat grain, so they were well liked on farms.

Ideas for Black cat names? Sooty, Blackie, Beauty, Smudge, Molly, Lady, Archie, Night, Moonbeam…….

I can’t sleep….

I can’t sleep, so I’m watching the cat dreaming.

I can’t sleep, so I watch its little paws.

I can’t sleep, even though the stars are gleaming,

I can’t sleep, despite long, deep, yawns…..

 

My hands are itching from an eczema flare up,

My hands are itching, the skin it seems to burn,

My hands are itching, and painfully I sit up.

My hands are itching, the clocks hands slowly turn…..

 

My mind is racing, swirling with tired thoughts,

My mind is racing, trying to find rest,

My mind is racing, while dreams are what I’ve sought,

My mind is racing, a deep sleep would be best.

 

The cat is waking, a gentle mewing breathing

The cat is waking, and wants to play a while,

The cat is waking, while I at last am sleeping,

The cat is waking, in dreams it ran so wild.

 

Well that’s the best I can do at 3.18am! I went to bed but got up again, I don’t know what started it but eczema that I have had on one finger of one hand for many years has flared up and spread. So much so that I went out and bought SLS free soap and shampoo yesterday. It stands for sodium laureleth sulphate and a friend reckons that it can cause eczema. However having used the magic soap it only seemed to alleviate the problem slightly.

I then compounded the problem because the shopkeeper tried to sell me some expensive moisturizing hand cream, I didn’t want a whole tube so they gave me a tiny sample in a little pot to bring home.  I duly put it on my hands before bedtime, now a few hours later my hands are very itchy. So no more posh hand cream, I think I will try and get something else. In the meantime I’ve put on a little hydrocortisone and I’m hoping it calms things down.

Sitting here at 3.26am wishing I could sleep like a cat….

X

Decorating pottery

For years I have drawn a little cat in a hat, useful if you want to talk to someone and they have a fidgety child. I would ask if they would like me to draw them a cat, and then draw this motif, with a pointy hat, and a name tag on its collar so the child could choose the cats name.

I also like decorating pottery so took the opportunity to do so at Trentham Retail village. This is on the A34 near Trentham village, a couple of miles South of Stoke-on-Trent, near the Stoke South junction of the M6 motorway.

There is a shop there selling pottery called the Potters Barn. They have glazes and blank pottery so you can decorate pots yourself. I know it’s usually for children, but I don’t see why adults can’t do it too.

Anyway I painted two cats, so you will see one or the other depending on which hand you hold the mug in. There are various things to paint so I chose a large mug. It cost me £15, but when you think that’s including the firing of the mug, it’s no too bad.

The final result should be bright and cheerful. I added numerous flowers in the background and dots on the rim. I should get it back I a couple of weeks.

Experimenting.

I’m experimenting with different ideas. I have gone a bit more abstract. The small green man has already gone to a new home, and I’m trying to make paintings with a slight Celtic influence, like the cat. The horse is taken from an illustration I saw, I think the original had a rider. I just like the strong shapes in it.

Further ideas are more industrial and town landscapes, more celtic/abstract designs, more animals. I might try and do slightly surrealistic pictures, where the perspective is altered. I painted some like that a few years ago. I’m exploring my mind as well as art…

I intend to try and do some ceramics over glass later in the year.

I guess it’s because of doing some mono prints yesterday. I suddenly feel more liberated. I’m not sure if I will ever stick to one style or idea…..

Casey

FB_IMG_1530570710951

If ever there was a strange cat it was Casey. He would jump in to any box, and kite! Black and white, with golden eyes, white paws, weighing in at around 5 kilos.

Casey was a stray, he kept going into a local shop and walking along the shelves, knocking things down. I was asked if we would take him in as no one else had claimed him. So he became our cat for a while.

But Casey was not clever. Every day he would sit on the white line on the centre of our road, every day, just after 5, when cars were driving down the street. Every day risking his life. I would drive round the corner, get out of the car, and call him in. I never knew why he did it, but as the evenings got darker I became more worried.

Then one night he limped in through the back door. We took him to the vets and they said he must have been hit by a car. The head of his femur had been broken, where it fits into the hip socket. We had to let them operate to remove it, the hip would recover if he was kept quiet and not allowed to move around much. We got a small cage and he had to stay in it for 3 months…..

Eventually he was allowed out. He was fit and healthy again, but I doubted his ability to stay safe. It was winter so Casey was given luminous, sparkling collars so that if he did go onto the road he would be visible to cars.

Nothing happened for a while. I took  a photo of him playing in the kite and decided to paint it.

Then one night he went out and when I looked for him in the morning he was nowhere to be found.

Worried, I put up posters, I rang a local cat charity, and then as it was the weekend, I had to wait for Monday to ring the council to see if their waste trucks had picked up a black and white cat. But there was no news.

Finally I rang another charity, yes they had collected a badly injured cat, they told me which vet he had gone to. It was on the other side of the city, it was the emergency vet that they used.

I rang in hope and fear. Yes they had received the cat, but it was badly injured when they got it so they had put it to sleep….. I was shocked. I asked why, and they said it was because no owner could be found! I asked what would have happened if I had found out where he was earlier? They would have operated to remove his leg! I could not get over the fact that he had been euthenised because I had not contacted them….I was so upset. His life was taken because there was no one available to pay a large bill….I was totally broken, felt so guilty. But there was no way I could have known where he was. It was before microchipping came in. My cats are both microchipped.

I still miss that mad, weird cat…..