We all know that cats l-o-o-o-ve boxes, so it’s absolutely no surprise to see a cat in a box. But in this “daily sketch” of Sophie from 2004 I’d begun playing a little “trick” on her and ended up playing a “trick” on myself.
First of all, we lived with nine kitties then, and all of them liked to be on my desk, especially my really old cats, Stanley and Moses, who got first dibs for wherever they wanted to sleep, and after that Sophie and Cookie, then Kelly and Namir. Also, around this time—summer— I had three adult fosters who’d been surrendered to me and who I was fostering to rehome and holding through kitten season if I’d surrender them to one of the shelters in the fall.
Despite how cute they are acting as paperweights and telephone receptionists, I sometimes had to get actual work done that required them to move. Right now my desk is L-shaped in the corner, but then I had an extra piece of furniture, a credenza, which made it U-shaped, and conveniently this was right by the door where cats often lined up to greet visitors and customers as they came in.
In this case, the three fosters were easy to coax elsewhere in the room since they hadn’t been in the house that long. Kelly always loved her windowsills and Namir liked sitting perched on corner of the credenza like a gargoyle, ready for anyone who came to visit. That left the four proverbially immovable objects.
Stanley would stay where he was. Even if I moved him, he gave me a confused look, shook himself and went right back to where he was. It was understandable at his age, something like 22 years old. Moses at 17 had a cloud bed on the floor near my desk and I could convince her to curl there and still feel like part of the action.
That left my guardian kitties, Cookie and Sophie, determined to settle in the place they thought was best to guard me. Who was I to question their judgement?
I picked up a box that had recently held file folders and put it on the credenza very near the door. Sophie immediately stepped into it and settled down to watch out the door, looking like a strange sort of hen on a nest with her long hair floofed out around her. So the box was a little strained because she was a little too big. I should have gotten a larger box.
My desk now cleared of most cats, instead of getting to work I grabbed the sketchbook and pencil I kept at the desk and did a quick sketch of Sophie, “in the box”. I’m so glad I captured the moment.
And in the 30 minutes it took me to rearrange cats and do a sketch, I probably could have gotten some real work done. So much for that.
. . . . . . .
My daily sketches from this era were less “daily” than now, but were still quite frequent. I carried a sketchbook with me outdoors and kept a sketchbook and pencil at the desk, and it is this second sketchbook that became my series, “From the Lost Sketchbook” , where I’d found a sketchbook that I’d kept at my desk beginning in 2002 and used periodically until about 2005. This was a general purpose sketchbook and I used it for many things in addition to extemporaneous sketches such as illustrations and ideas, and it included sketches of my cats and a few other subjects. I was so happy to see it again when I found it in 2010 that I scanned all the sketches that were pertinent to The Creative Cat and posted them.
I still have this original sketch too, and like another from this time, “Stripes”, the sketch is matted and framed and hanging in my office for now. “Stripes” is part of my Feline Pencil Sketches notecards.
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