Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Great Cats and Great Art

Miss Moo takes a break from her correspondence to ignore the taunts directed at her over on Clarence's blog, Diary of a Bad Cat (not that she would ever set paw into that den of debauchery, but word does get around).  She has confirmed the rumor that Clarence (whose hubris knows no bounds) has nominated himself for a blogging award.  Grammatically-challenged creature that he is, we can all guess where that will end.  Yes, pride goeth before a fall.

So let us ignore all of that, Gentle Reader, and elevate ourselves above the usual piffle which pollutes the internet and discuss Art.  In particular, let us discuss the Ideal Female Figure which has inspired the great artists of the ages.  In the time of the Dutch and Flemish Baroque Masters, the full-figured human female was held in such high regard that today this figure type is described as "Rubenesque".

Pieter Pauwel Rubens Venus at a Mirror  c. 1615
(Miss Moo has cropped this image for modesty's sake.)

Pity the poor humans, whose good sense and appreciation for beauty seem to have declined considerably since those days.  We felines, wise creatures that we are, still prefer to eat our fill and have the the curves to show for it. 

Here is a famous painting featuring one of my favorite beverages:

JohannesVermeer  The Milkmaid  c 1658

Now, imagine how much more famous it would be if only he had included a beautiful full-figured cat.  Miss Moo, for example.

(click to enlarge and enjoy)

If Willem Claesz Heda had painted Yours Truly into this painting, instead of Ham and Silverware, it would be called Voluptuous Cat with Ham and far more worthy of notice .  Where there is ham, there should also be a cat.  (The reverse is also true, of course.)

Still Life with Moo and Ham

Indeed, what if he had added an enormously  handsome tomcat like my cousin Bubba to his still life  Breakfast of Crab?  (The accent in the previous sentence is on the word "enormously", as Cousin Bubba truly is enormous.)  We would no longer call it a "still life" but instead praise it as "the good life".  (And judging by the glint in Cousin Bubba's eyes and the angle of his ears, I would not advise getting between him and that crab.)

Still Life with Crab and Bubba

If Pieter Janssens Elinga had put my cousins Dusty and Patches in Reading Woman, it would be titled Kittens with Yarn and Slippers and earn a more prominent place in the museum.

Dusty and Patches with Yarn and Slippers  

If Tomás Hieppes had painted a fine tomcat like Kitty Boy instead of that scruffy dog in his Garden View with a Dog, his name might be more of a household word today.

Garden View with Kitty Boy

Do cats require great art?  We can live without it.  Truly great art, however, does require cats.

And now, I'm feeling rather hungry.  Perhaps I'll have some ham, crab and milk for my breakfast this morning.  If you'd like to continue looking at art, I highly recommend you peruse the Web Gallery of Art.

*In response to inquiries, Miss Moo adds you may click to enlarge and enjoy all the pictures in this post.

**Shameless plug added by Miss Moo's secretary on April 29, 2010:  Now you can purchase items with artworks from this post (featuring Miss Moo, of course) at Miss Moo's Cafe Press shops:  Ask Miss Moo and Ask Miss Moo Again

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hang on to your seat

Dear Miss Moo,

My naps have been most rudely interrupted lately by my human.  He unceremoniously picks me up out of my comfy chair without so much as a "by your leave" and dumps me onto the floor!   Doesn't he appreciate that I'm exhausted after keeping my eye on those sneaky squirrels outside the window all day -- and then amusing him for fifteen whole minutes at a stretch?

I need my beauty sleep.  My fur is losing some of its luster -- and my tail is beginning to droop a little.  What's a girl to do?  Please help!

Seatless in Seattle

Dear Seatless,

Miss Moo deduces from your excessive use of exclamation points and dashes that you are young and have not yet attained the convex silhouette so admired in the fair sex of our species.   Rest assured that when you do, your troubles will be all but over.  Humans, you see, are reluctant to do any heavy lifting and will avoid it if at all possible.  Miss Moo herself has attained such magnificent girth that no human would dare risk his back to forcibly remove her from where she wishes to be. 

Until you have gained weight sufficient to deter your human from evicting you from your chosen spot, Miss Moo counsels you to dig your claws deeply into the comfy chair and hold on with all your might.  Your human may tire of the struggle and surrender the seat to you.  But do work on your figure, my dear.  Ham and whipped cream are highly recommended.

Miss Moo

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Most Delicate Question

Dear Miss Moo,

I'm a handsome, active young fellow who's got a bright future ahead of me.  I've found my myself a cozy place to crash with decent grub and mostly cooperative humans.  I've been building up my street cred lately with the other toms, and I've got my eye on a couple of sweet young things across the alley.  Life is a bowl of sardines.

So what could go wrong?  My humans and their strange notions.  I mean, a guy has to mark his territory don't he?    What's all the fuss about?  My humans have been spraying stinky stuff all over the house and yelling at me for three days straight .  Sheesh.  

Then, last night, they said they were going to get me noodered.  I think it has something to do with THE VET or maybe a Chinese restaurant.  Either way, I'm pretty apprehensive.  How do I get them off my back and keep away from  THE VET?

Peewee in Peoria

Dear Peewee,

Miss Moo notes with pleasure that you have used the proper form of address with your elder and better this time around. She pauses here to caution her Gentle Readers that she does not respond to inquiries which do not include her proper title. And Miss Moo applauds your persistence, Peewee, in resubmitting your question for a second time, amended to reflect her status.

Now, to continue and to address your predicament. I gather from your phrase "all over the house" that you have been marking your territory indoors.  Here I must caution you that this is not necessary or even desirable.  You see, humans have an odd aversion to territorial markings when applied indoors.  This is peculiar to their species, and a subject of much interest in the feline scientific community.  Until a cure is found, you'll simply have to refrain from marking your territory inside the house or else face the consequences.

It pains Miss Moo to inform you that those consequences do involve the vet's office.  I will not go into details, except to say that there sometimes comes a time when one must part company with those things one finds most precious in this life.  Should you continue with your current indoor territorial marking pursuits, you may find yourself minus two of those things, compliments of the vet.

Miss Moo trusts you will choose your course wisely, and that she will not receive future correspondence from you signed "Snipped in Schenectady".

Miss Moo

I spy with my green kitty eye

Miss Moo takes time out from her correspondence to comment: 

Well, I never!  That odious cad, that blackguard, that Clarence has been frolicking over at the Carnival of the Cats.  He's number 13, of course, the despicable varmint.  Yes, that Clarence, the corrupter of youth over at Diary of a Bad Cat.  That yellowish stain on the newsprint in his header looks suspicious to me.  What has he been doing over there?

On a happier note, I spied some most enchanting Kitty Toys over at Wrinkled RoseSmithsonian Roses, she calls them.  If I get my paws on them, they'll be wrinkled roses alright.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Independent Claws

Dear Miss Moo,

I've been having trouble with my humans lately. They just don't seem to appreciate my need for needle-sharp claws. They fuss at me and throw things at me whenever I sharpen my claws on the arm of the sofa or the leg of the dining room table. Just yesterday, they threatened to trim my claws! Yikes! How can I get them to calm down and come round?

Soon to be Clawless in Cleveland

Dear Clueless -- er Clawless,

Our humans can, on occasion, become inordinately attached to some of our possessions. It's no use arguing with them, poor creatures. Logic is wasted on them. The proper course, in your situation, is to find and use a scratching place that is hidden from their view. What they can't see can't upset them.

Myself, I prefer the upper reaches of an antique walnut table leg way up underneath the drop leaf. I can admire my ministrations to this table leg quite satisfactorily from my vantage point, but those hulking humans never notice it. True, there are telltale sprinklings of sawdust on the floor when I am done, but the humans just sweep them up and mutter about termites.

So, you see, my dear Clawless, it is quite possible to have manageable humans if one only uses one's head. I urge you to search out and employ a similarly suitable location for your own claw sharpening exercises.

Miss Moo