Cookie and Kelly Help Out in the Studio: 2011

two cats on art table
Cookie and Kelly lend me a paw.

Not just supervising today, the girls decide to get in on the action, Cookie making sure the papercutter stays in place and Kelly holding the papers secure.

tortoiseshell cat on papercutter
Cookie has been waiting for the paper cutter all day.

No kitties could possibly be harmed in the taking of this photo—I wasn’t using the guillotine blade (I rarely do, for paws and noses reasons), and the trimmer blade runs in a track underneath the bar on the left that only five sheets of paper can slide underneath, so I can’t even manage to trim my own fingernails by accident. I apologize for the quality of these photos—I don’t have as much control over the little camera since I dunked it in the creek, I think it’s trying to make me pay for that mistake by taking most photos on ISO1600, nice and grainy and badly colored.

But, first of all, here is Cookie at it again. She likes to try out all sorts of household items, not just kitchen items, and she has always adored flat, smooth surfaces to exercise and stretch out on. I have often had to wrestle her for my equipment in order to get work done on time, ensuing in a tortie mad face on Cookie, which always made me laugh, and made her more determined to occupy whatever item I coveted.

I set the papercutter on the table and she immediately came over, stepped up onto it, turned around and did a little test digging, turned around again and laid down, stretching out against the locked blade holder and trying to cover as much of my work surface as possible, purringly pleased with herself. Apparently, this is just what she was waiting for to make her afternoon perfect.

two tortie cats
Kelly rolling her eyes at Cookie.

Cookie has been helping me for 19 years, and that is not about to change soon.

By “test-digging” I mean scratching with both paws as if she is digging in the box or in something soft like soil, but it’s always a firm surface. In sorting books I found my copy of “French Impressionism (The Big Book of)” which in an earlier day had actually been a coffee table book when I had a coffee table, and which Cookie chose for her performances of digging and spinning around and stretching; the paper cover bears criss-crossed scratches from such activity, as do magazines and quite a few other things.

She always enjoyed the glass surface of my lightbox which I use to trace images onto a drawing surface. I had often thought that might be because the lights inside the box, being strong enough to shine through heavy papers or drawing materials, also made the box and its surface very warm, but she also enjoyed it when it was turned off. There were times I actually had to rudely remove her and even close her out of my studio for a brief time just so I could get my work done because she simply spread-eagled herself over the top and would not move. I never figured this out (nor got a good photo), just accepted it as Cookie-ness.

Kelly, on the other hand, kind of rolled her eyes at Cookie but decided there was room enough for her so she might as well get some attention too. She decided that walking around and talking about it was a better idea so at least I could get my pages cut in half while Cookie held my papers with her paw and purred and Kelly walked around giving color commentary.


From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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