What is it about cats? Aloof, independent, marathon sleepers, expert hunters, master climbers and your friend, but only on their terms. They are fascinating and well-loved pets to some, yet despised and put into dustbins by others. They rival dogs as our favourite pets and were once considered sacred deities by the ancient Egyptians. They are featured in calendars, novels, their own diaries, films, cartoons, haiku and of course, on YouTube!
I have to admit I’ve spent many an hour browsing through endless compilations of cats doing crazy things. It’s pure entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I spend equal amounts of time browsing ‘dogs to the craziest things’ videos, but today, it’s all about the cats. Take for instance, Maru who enjoys trying to insert himself into boxes that were clearly never intended for cat habitation. Or perhaps a strange Japanese show where cats climb into bowls…?!
Quite recently, a friend of mine announced that she was opening a luxury 5 star cat hotel. I was fascinated to learn that the franchise offers four poster beds with silk sheets, music piped into the rooms, trout breakfasts, cat massage, a dedicated cat entertainer and the option to have your cat send you a postcard whilst you are away. Wow, what more is there to say? Perhaps I should leave you with the cartoon…it brings cats down a peg or two.
A combination of lack of inspiration, a new job, holidays and general laziness have been conspiring against me over the past few months. I’ve hardly put pen to paper except to doodle in the margins of my notepad during exceptionally boring meetings.
I envy those comic artists and illustrators who manage to pour their creativity onto paper week in and week out; keeping the masses entertained with unwavering dedication.
I recently took time out to holiday in Greece. Kefalonia to be precise. Despite my love of crisp autumnal mornings and streets scattered with crunchy brown and yellow leaves (if we’re lucky – usually it’s soggy, wet, mouldy leaf litter and unpredictable weather), I think a short stint in warmer climes is good for the soul.
Every day for a week, I tentatively opened the curtains (as I would do in the UK) wondering whether the skies would be dark and foreboding, and every day I was delighted by clear blue skies and golden sunrise.
During the first couple of days, two things stood out. The first, which I’ve drawn in this post, was the extraordinary number of ferrel cats. Unbeknownst to me, Kefalonia is often referred to as the Island of Cats. They are everywhere, lurking in alleyways, behind walls, under cars, in supermarkets, beneath bushes and in restaurants. Always watching. If you feel something brush against your leg or catch some movement out of the corner of your eye, it’s likely to be a cat slinking past you. Not one meal was consumed without a handful of cats watching us put every forkful of food to our mouths. This was the first thing that made me put pen to paper in weeks.
A little excerpt from my sketch pad! My second observation (amongst others) will be covered in my next post or posts (depending on my mood) so stay tuned!