Thinking Of Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

You all know Dennis, the cat from next door who, most mornings and afternoons, hunkers down in my house because he thinks that we are his Kitty Day Care providers?

This is Dennis in my dining room this past Tuesday morning:

Dennis is a cool cat, but he is not cool with me hovering near him with a camera. If I get too close, he skedaddles, makes himself scarce, vanishes like he’s from Cheshire. I was starting to think that getting the photo I want would be impossible because I have long been stalking him to get a good photo of him in lounging mode (above) but finally, this past Tuesday morning, I got what we lunatic cat stalkers call The Money Shot:

This (above) is Dennis’s back right foot, which I have long wanted to show you all because Dennis has the most adorable tootsies, as you can now see. Dennis’s toes make me happy.

This past Tuesday morning must have been my lucky day because I also got another photo that I thought would be impossible:

These are the Blue Jays who love the dry cat food that I put out on the den patio with the birdseed every morning. Blue Jays are bossy and brave in addition to being beautiful, but getting them to pose together is like herding cats because as soon as they can see me at the picture window in the den they tend to bugger off like they were Cardinals (Cardinals being the chickens of the song birds).  But last Tuesday morning I bagged 5 of them!

Blue Jays make me very happy. I must have Blue Jays in my life.

You might have heard that this past Tuesday morning it was bitter cold here on the north shore of Long Island. Temperatures were in the single digits and, with wind chill and all, conditions were arctic and the governor warned all New Yorkers to stay inside or else your eyeballs would freeze instantly it you ventured outside for a split second.

So this is Taffy, doing his thing in his favorite patch of dirt on the coldest day:

His eyeballs are just fine, thank you. And Thank You, Dear Readers and Commenters, for your concern over Taffy’s limp last week. The vet did not find any wound or any broken bones in his front leg, but she did feel some muscle damage which, taken into account with two small, healing head wounds, made her conclude that Our Boy had been in a battle and had over-extended himself. Did you know the a cat has 6 muscles in his foreleg? Taffy has blown out one, or all six, of them. They will heal, but in the meantime they are going to be tender and he should stay out of fights.

But the reason we all love Taffy so much is because he is so much more than a fighter. You all remember that last week his mama cat, Candy, came home from the vet, having been knocked out so the doctor could pull an in-grown claw from the pad of one of her front toes? It was the first time that I have ever handled her in the ten years we have known each other, the first time she’d been put in a carrier, the first time she’s seen a vet. It was a very stressful day for the poor kitty.

Well, as you can imagine, Candy was pretty wrung out and shaken from the experience, so she curled up on her bed in the living room to recuperate.

So this is what her dear boy did:

Taffy is impossibly sweet.

Last week I showed you the plan for my latest Book Art:

Illustration from Where The Wild Things Are, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, 1963.

I do not know how I failed to correctly assess the impossibility of doing this scene. You have to make five trees, each one with different leaves, with all those limbs, and all those limbs intertwining, with all those limbs coming out at the correct angles so you can hang the critters correctly.

Nope. I did not see any of that coming. No wonder it’s taken me almost two weeks and it’s still not done. But I’ll show you the Work-in-Progress:

And this is where I made fake arms so I could glue the paws of the critters onto the tree limbs:

And here are the different ways I made tree leaves:

The Palm Tree was, by far, the most fun tree to make.

Next week I will show you the finished forest, with all the ground vegetation that is shown (or hinted at) in the original illustration. Does anyone want to see a short step-by-step photo essay of The Making Of The Impossible Thing?

But wait, there’s more, because my life is just too exciting to stop here.

We got in a strange donation at the used book store that I co-manage, and this is just one of the strange books that was part of this strange donation:

Can you guess what this book is? No? Then let me show you:

Printed in 1932 by Simon and Schuster.

This book, much like Where The Wild Thigsxare, is also illustrated by the author.

But Mr. Van Loos is a strange guy:

I do not know why Mr. Van Loos needed to express the Ile de France (the part of France that contains Paris) in the form of saucers, but he did, and now you’ve seen it, too.

And then there’s this:

I don’t know how well this shows up if you are reading this blog on a phone, but this is a portrait of Ireland (?) and the text above it is a very patronizing take on the Irish people, and their love of fairies.

For a geographer, Mr. Van Loos was an extraordinarily lousy cartographer. Here’s his map of Europe:

And this, this (below), is just weird:

The North Pole. Of Asteroid B-612, that is.

Why would someone write such a book? Why would anyone publish such a book? And why on Earth would anyone buy such a book??

I don’t know if I love this book, or if it gives me the creeps.

I can’t think straight because this has been another exhausting week in America and I can’t tell if this is the beginning of the end for our union, or if it’s the end of the beginning of the end of our republic. There is no where to go from here but dissolution of the United States, so the Blue States can unify in liberal democracy and the Red States can unite in their racist, misogynist, and evangelical delusions.

I just hope that ,when the time comes, no shots will be fired.

But let’s not dwell on this unpleasantness.

Because no matter what goes on in Washington, no matter how many MAGA hats the jerk-face future Kavanaughs from Covington wear, no matter how long the government stays shut down, this is what I come home to:

Have a great weekend, Dear Ones.

 

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