So this showed up in my backyard last Tuesday:

But I had nothing to fear, thanks to my crack team of Security Experts (Taffy and Bibs), who utilized their best Stink Eye maneuver to keep The Dastardly Mr. Fluffy at bay. . .

Mr. Fluffy is actually a very sweet kitty who is obviously a lost house cat. But he’s long overdue for his rendezvous with destiny so I’ve made appointments for him too visit the vet, to make him less likely to roam; unfortunately it’s not until Wednesday. Riding herd on a randy Tom Cat is, honestly, more work than I am in the mood for. We’ve searched for flyers and “Lost” posters in the neighborhood but no one seems to be missing this sweetie and NO, we are NOT looking for ANOTHER cat to add to our posse so if anyone knows of anyone who would like to adopt a smart and gentle Maine Coon, I will personally deliver within a 90-mile radius of Oyster Bay, Long Island.

The news came a few hours after I posted last week’s blog that der Drumpf’s idiotic health care repeal had been effectively defeated by his own party. Oh, lordy, it was just what the doctor ordered: a big fat dose of relief and overjoy! Because of this gift of uplift I am a better, kinder person: I sing to myself, I turn on You Tube and dance, I give people the benefit of the doubt (at least half the time, no matter how un-freaking deserving they are of my patience and I’m talking to you, lady at Costco who held up the checkout line while you searched the boggy depths of your handbag for the elusive credit card that you should have had ready in your hand because, surprise, it’s the CHECK OUT LANE), I foster stray cats when I need another cat in this  house like I need a hole in the head, I am delighted by the small moments of pleasure that have gone unnoticed in these past four months, and I sleep at night like I’m in the middle of a kitty puddle of snooze:

I even got word of a debut novel about another sexually-abused autistic teenager and did not despair for what passes as literature these days. At least there’s not a dog fight in it, or a multi-generational saga from the mean streets of Detroit. See? I’m all about the silver linings!

Last Christmas someone gave Top Cat a gift certificate to Red Robin restaurant. Top Cat and I are not Red Robin kind of people. But last Friday we were in a good mood and decided to not be ourselves and we went for a dine-out at the local Red Robin. I don’t know why these kinds of places are in business when there’s a perfectly authentic Cajun restaurant in a trailer not two miles away, but there you are. Before I received my cold black beans and barely warm “mac’N’cheese” (it was elbow macaroni smothered in a lukewarm cream sauce of some kind) I was served a glass of chardonnay in the filthiest tumbler I have ever seen this side of a Bangalore recycling bin. I handed the foul vessel back to the waiter and yet, I was still in such a good mood that I privately thanked the slovenly bartender for disgusting me — no overindulging on Happy Hour wine for V. Swift, that’s for sure! In fact, I think I might be sober the rest of my life. All I have to do is conjure up the memory of that spittle-encrusted glass and I turn into a tea totaler. At the end of our “meal” at Red Robin we had a largish balance on this gift certificate, which Top Cat gave to the waiter because neither of us has any intention of ever returning to this place ever again.

I should mention that it is cold and rainy today here on the Isle of Long, as I type this on Friday morning. Every cat-body is in the house today, as it is too gloomy and muddy to be prancing around the estate, so that in addition to the regular crew of six who inhabit these rooms, plus the guest in the downstairs powder room, I have the neighbor’s cat, Dennis, in for day care:

Dennis is such a frequent visitor that he has his own spot, on his own pillow atop a cabinet in the basement.

Steve showed up on the front porch as usual for breakfast, but has since then been curled up in his cubby in the garage, that’s how lousy the weather is today:

But it’s still sunshine and flowers in VivianWorld, which I was able to paint this week!

I have to remind you that I am actually not a painter, I am an illustrator, and as such I hack my watercolor to get certain effects. Last week I wanted to paint flowing water, and here’s how I hacked it:

I used masking fluid to map out some “swirls” in the water:

Then I removed the masking fluid, exposing the white, unpainted paper underneath:

Then I painted in a thin, color-matched line inside the empty space:

I turned the picture on its side, just as shown here, because it’s easier to paint these lines smoothly when you use your brush in an up-and-down motion, rather than a side-to-side (if you ask me). Here’s how it looks with painted-in:

I think this is a perfectly fine facsimile of rippling water, and it couldn’t be easier!


Remember, I have a darling Maine Coon kitty that needs a home and forget about the 90-mile limit I posted (above). I once drove a cat to Rhode Island (where he found his perfect forever people) so I’m willing to go as far as one tank of gas in my hybrid car. That’s about 550 miles. OK, two tanks if you have the perfect forever home for this guy.

Have a great weekend, everyone — do a Happy Dance against der Drumpf!



10 Comments, RSS

  1. Barbara March 31, 2017 @ 3:26 pm

    Good luck with Mr. Fluffy.
    There’s a website called Lost and found pets of Long Island. http://www.lostandfoundpetsoflongisland.com/gallery-pages/lostcats-gal1.html

  2. Megan March 31, 2017 @ 5:28 pm

    You are a kind person to take in Mr Fluffy. Dennis is very cute, shows what nice vibes emanate from your home that all these cats keep turning up. Cheers!

  3. Vicki Abbott March 31, 2017 @ 6:21 pm

    You sure do have a way with words! Love that phrase,” kitty puddle of snooze”.

    It’s clear to me that your next book needs to be about living with 16 cats.
    Or a how-to watercolor book? Oh, you’ve already written that.

  4. chel March 31, 2017 @ 9:39 pm

    Beautiful lovely kitty- someone would be lucky to add him to their clowder. I would, but we’re up to eight fur-people (four cats, three parrots, and a gecko) and about fifty butterflies (out on the screened-in lanai… ) so our little zoo seems to be maxed out. Although I sort of think there’s always room for more cats. It’s sort of my approach to life: “more cats.”

    I don’t watch the news anymore because if I hear the “T” word I literally feel my blood pressure sky rocket, but when my husband told me the gleeful news about the health care situation, I literally thought about you and how overjoyed you would be.

  5. Kirra March 31, 2017 @ 11:37 pm

    Good to hear you’re feeling happy, though who wouldn’t be after the massive backfire with the health care plan. Great it’s been kept! And you even survived that horrible sounding restaurant.

    I think Dennis is the cutest of this lot. Good luck finding a home for Mr Fluffy. Your trick with the water looks great but I don’t know if I’d classify it as easy myself!

    Great video to post, enjoy your dancing everyone! (Watching it – I think that sign language here in Australia is different.)

  6. Elizabeth April 1, 2017 @ 7:57 am

    Love your splendid new visitor!
    Sadly, am not currently in the right place for new fur-friends.
    So glad you are feeling cheerier.
    I am a bit.
    Am going to send you an email!

  7. deb mattin April 1, 2017 @ 8:20 am

    I can relate to your Red Robin story. We got a gift certificate to Outback and finally decided to use it – I mean, how bad could it be? B.A.D. My sangria tasted like concentrated Kool-Aide , the place was down-in-the- tooth to put it mildly,our dinners awful, but we had a good laugh about it. When the server asked if we wanted to get one of those punch cards for frequent visitors, we stifled back the guffaws .

    The rippling water is amazing – so cool.

    What is it with all these books that are so damn depressing! Why? I’ve taken a stand against reading fictional (and maybe even the true ones) sad, horrible tales- people doing horrible things, being horrible people and dragging others into the mess. Don’t think of myself as Pollyanna-ish, but don’t feel the need to invite that into my life.

  8. jeanie April 1, 2017 @ 9:04 am

    Dennis is winning my “I miss Gypsy” heart today. We’ve had the gloom and rain for a few days too but today is sunny and they even threaten us with 50+, so maybe it will work it’s way to the Isle of Long and Taffy and Company will be able to resume security duties. Sweet Fluffy…

    I, too, did a happy dance although I’m sure there’s something to bring up the blood boiling temperature on the horizon! So happy, I did some painting again, finally, and now I will do those over again until I get them right. Your willows in Giverny inspired me but boy, that clutter of foliage thing you mentioned — yes, indeed. That’s just one of the things to fix!

    So, maybe in my next version I’ll add a ripple or two, just for practice! Thanks for the very good tip.

    Here’s a question and this lazy soul will probably find it online but while I’m thinking of it — do you use a brush for the masking fluid? Does it kill your brushes? Other implement? Toothpick? Feather quill? I’ve got to get some and before I start messing things up it would be useful to know! Cheers! Keep happy. Oh, and why ANYONE goes to ANY chain that doesn’t hold its weight when there is a good LOCAL restaurant at hand — I don’t understand. Years ago on a trip to NYC, there was a line going around the Olive Garden while a perfectly charming, intimate and not outrageously priced genuine Italian joint was about two blocks away. And not the only one on the block. I don’t get it.

  9. Becky April 2, 2017 @ 7:49 am

    Is Mr. Fluffy chipped? If so it would be easy to locate the owners.
    I too love local restaurants. I have a favorite here. Their food is so yummy. It always amazes me that the chains will be packed and this place will Have 2 tables of customers. Also, They love cats, and it is always fun to talk about their adventures with them.
    Love the forest scene with the stream….the ripples and the reflections in the stream ……the cool spring greens……it is such a peaceful picture.

  10. Mary April 4, 2017 @ 6:53 am

    Becky: that’s what I thought (chip). How neat that wd be to have “found” a kitty on a walkabout- like Candy
    did last year.
    Fluffy’s parents would be very very happy.
    Good luck , there.

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