Inktober continues to whoosh along. Here’s Hidden.
On Sunday nights I used to help feed feral cats who lived in managed colonies not far from my neighborhood. There were four stops, and on any given night, I might see from 5 – 30 cats who came to the feeding areas for food. There were a few cats who would get close enough for a quick scruff, but the majority of them would hang back until the food was in a dish.
My Inktober interpretation for SAD is based on my experiences with the colony cats. I would worry on nights when I didn’t see a regular visitor, or if a cat was clearly in distress. But, at the very least, these cats were spayed or neutered, and got a meal once a day. Occasionally, there would be a sick or injured cat, who, if it could be safely trapped, received health care. When kittens did show up, they were carefully captured, and placed in forever homes.
I dedicate this drawing to all of those scrappy cats who survive in the streets, around dumpsters, drainages, and parking lots.
This gallery contains 6 photos.
This is what I call fun!
Tick….tick….tick….tick….I am awake. It is the middle of the night and my brain has gone into monkey mode. No position is comfortable. No amount of yoga breathing will distract my busy mind. No amount of sheep counting sends me into dreaming.
I have a cat firmly asleep on my legs. When I try to move, said cat goes into noodle mode and protests with a tail twitch. The last time I looked at the clock it was 3:42 a.m.
Eventually I drift off. In what feels like only minutes, I am jarred awake by my husband’s alarm, a song by Queen about bicycles. I groan. For a minute, the bed cat remains a full impact noodle. Another cat thinks it’s time for breakfast. Cat number three starts clawing on the cat tree. Full noodle cat is now walking on my chest. My husband is now snoring and oblivious.
I give up any hope of more shut eye and lurch downstairs to rectify the urgent dish bottoms issues of the cats. Maybe tonight will be better.
Finally! As Drawlloween is almost ended, I’m excited for the Skulls and Skeletons prompt! With this Dia de los Muertos tribute, (the Mexican Day of the Dead,) I celebrate the nine lives of Cleo, Emily, Garfield, and Spooky, by memorializing them in this drawing of hearts and bones.
Powerful and mysterious, the moon tugs at the oceans, determines our calendar, and causes mischief when we see the sun’s reflected light during the full lunar cycle. I always welcome that illuminating glow and the moon’s transformative luminosity. The succession from full, to waning, to half, to waxing is a comfort and a beacon, connecting me to my friends all over the world because we all gaze upon the same moon. So, today’s prompt, Beware the Full Moon, is more like an invitation for contemplation than a warning against danger.
Whoo-hooo! Pumpkin Palooza is on! Okay, so the only place pumpkins really gather is at an orchard or in a parking lot where they’re organized into rows to await the Halloween transformation that is the jack-o-lantern. I am not sure how enthusiastic they are about this slaughter as pumpkins are not particularly communicative. But, here is a crowd of those ubiquitous, orange gourds, and one interloper.
Drawlloween countdown. Only 6 to go!
If you’re paying attention, you might notice that I’m a day behind. Never fear! I might have missed a day, but I won’t miss a drawing.
Panama City is sprawling and modern with amazing architecture, stunning tropical vistas, and a lot of history. Panama City also has an alarmingly high stray animal population. With lazy, unkempt dogs visible in every part of the city, I knew there had to be stray cats, but where?
I’d seen a single, sneaky cat in an alley near a grocery, one under a car near the fish market, and a couple of scrappy cats in the old part of the city. But, it wasn’t until our final night that I found the lair.
We were strolling in the linear park along the Pacific Ocean looking for raspa when I saw a petite, mewing white and calico kitty perched on the seawall, along with at least 20 of her friends! There were feral cats sneaking in the bushes, lurking on the rocks behind the wall, and many just out in the open. They were looking for handouts, endeavoring to be approachable in hopes that someone would toss an edible morsel. Some of the cats were people-friendly and would scruff on someone’s leg or take a pet on the head. Most were dubious, and darted a safe distance away upon being approached.
I discovered that these cats are part of a managed colony run by kind people at an enormous city marina. When I asked the night guard how many cats he thought lived at the marina, he laughed. Too many to count.
Too many to count. That basically encapsulates the stray population, in general. Too many dogs. Too many cats. A problem that humans created, and are now trying to manage through education and sterilization, while struggling to provide basic food and care for the uncountable.
And yet, help comes. Of all of the cats I encountered, I could tell they were being fed, as evidenced by piles dry cat food scattered on the pavement. Almost all had a clipped ear, the sign of having been spayed or neutered. A cat here or there needed serious personal grooming, but mostly they seemed adjusted to their lives in the tropics, resting on a seawall, enjoying the cool ocean breeze.
About ten years ago, I decided that I wanted to improve at drawing cats, so I followed some art advice from a teacher. That is, if you want to get really good at drawing something, you must draw it at least 100 times, so I am celebrating my 100th blog post with 100 cats. Okay, it’s maybe not exactly one hundred cats, but it’s A LOT of cats, all of them drawn, or painted, or printed by me over the last 5 or 6 years, almost all from my sketchbooks. Thanks for celebrating with me!