I don’t consider myself a collector. The idea that I purposefully go out seeking cat objects is ludicrous. Yet when I look around me, at my desk, my shelves, my bookcase, my jewelry, even my clothing, I have to wonder. From every side, round furry faces with pointed ears and bright gem eyes stare back at me. Plush, wood, ceramic, paper – there are cats. Cats everywhere. But I’m not a collector.
There is something about the fluid shape of a cat, the perfect symmetry (or in some cases, perfectly imperfect) that pleases the eye and soothes the soul. When I am sad or lost for words, I run my gaze over the long back and shapely tail. When I am anxious, the serenity of a sleeping cat calms me. And when I’m just here and present, I enjoy looking at their form. To me, cats are flawless.
I’m picky about the cat items with which I surround myself. I can tell whether the artist has a true affinity for cats or he is just doing a design job. Cutsie kittens or uncat-like caricatures are not my preference. On the other hand, I enjoy the strange colors of the whimsical post-war MIJ figures, the Oaxacan carved totems, and the Japanese maneki-neko, because the pieces embody the personality of a real cat.
I have many pictures of cats, portraits of cats-gone-by, photos of my beautiful current cats. There is an original wood block print by San Francisco artist Louise Gilbert and a linoleum print made by an unknown child. In my office is a wall calendar, a day planner, and cat-a-day. Over my living room couch hang 6 photos by Best Friends Sanctuary photographer Clay Meyers. I once sent him a snapshot of my kitty Harry lounging on the couch back in front of his work.
Though I don’t keep them on my bed like a starry-eyes teenager any more, I have a number of stuffed plush cats, One growls when pressed; another walks, driving my real cats crazy; yet another is in itself a cat toy. I also have a tribble who trills, given to me by author David Gerrold, but that’s another story.
There is more – much more: cat lamp, cat needlepoint, cat tile, cat vase, cat cup, cat salt and pepper. But I assure you once again, I do not collect cat stuff. Ask me about my Star Trek autographs. Now that’s a collection!
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