November 7, 2013

So Its Whiskers You Want? Try a Shaman Cat

The illustration for my poem about the “Culinary Cat” that I had posted earlier had been making its rounds to cat lovers on line. One very discriminating aficionado of cat illustrations noted that she could not see the whiskers on that cat. The comment touched a nerve of consternation in me because I do sometimes leave out obvious whiskers on my cat drawings. The reasons for this are that the drawings are small and detailed. Whiskers are very fine and often white. Not really possible to make a white line in a pencil drawing without the use of a pencil eraser - which I kept finding was too thick. Black lines either got lost in the cat body or were too thick when enlarged.

But to satisfy the audience desire for whiskers on a cat, for my next illustration, I gave the cat very long, animated whiskers.

The cat pictured above is for the poem “Shaman Cat.” It was inspired by a Romanian homeopathic doctor with rather dubious practices. One technique of hers was ostensibly a method for determining radiation contamination in her patients. She apparently did this by seeing if a gold chain she held in her right hand would swing around in circles as she held the left of her patient while the patient held a bottle of “radialgen” in his or her right hand. That was indirectly was influenced my drawing of the cat spinning a mouse around in circles above her patient’s head. Everything else is pure maniacal imagination except for Shaman Cat’s basket of herbal goods. I really do have a woven African basket which I drew into this composition.

Now comes the superstitious part of my Shaman Cat illustration story. After spending a few days on this drawing, I turned it over to write the catalogue number on the back and noticed that what I had drawn this on was not a piece of acid free drawing paper but the reverse side of a hotel menu. For some reason it had gotten into my mix and was the same dimensions of the other pieces of paper. Now Shaman Cat will have to be done completely over again on proper paper. Did a witch doctor sense what I was doing and put a hex on me and my drawing? Oh well.

The poem for Shaman Cat does indeed poke fun at the plethora of alternative medical practices that seem on the wild side. There may be validity to some of them. I’ve had Chinese herbs and acupuncture with some success in the past. Crystals, auras, and swinging chains go a bit beyond my comfort zone of rational thinking. But if it works for you........

The Shaman Cat Poem:

Forget about your exercise

Shaman Cat will exorcize

your evil spirits and bad blood

They’ll leave your body with a thud

Shaman Cat can see your aura

and change its color with fauna and flora

And he can fix a broken bone

just by warming up a stone

He’ll cure the swelling in your eye socket

with magnets from his mystery pocket

He’ll place kitty moss between your toes

and blow healing crystals out his nose

Shaman Cat knows that pussy willow

will help you sleep well upon your pillow

He’ll clean your liver and kidneys too

Do you believe all this is true

If you do then Shaman you.

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