January 2, 2015

Allergy Cat

In recent blogs I addressed the issue of how to deal with a growing list of allergens that most likely were contributing to my woeful health. My list of chemical allergens and their alternate names/forms were overwhelming. A veritable laundry list of polysyllabic names was handed to me. I wondered if I should just slowly memorize the list as if it were an epic poem. To that end I started writing a poem about a cat with allergies, including some of the names on my long list. To illustrate the text, instead of using detailed pencil drawing as I did in my Book of Marvelous Cats", I made a sketch in charcoals and pastels in my quick and gestural style. The cat wears a dust mask and Apretec barrier socks. I suppose it is a self portrait of sorts.

The poem goes like this:

Allergy Cat

Allergy Cat’s snout swells out from fleas
But all his flea powders just make him sneeze
When he eats canned cat food he starts to wheeze
Diphenylguanidine in his catnip makes him heave

Dried cat food preserved with methylparaben
is Allergy Cat’s most volatile allergen
But the soap in his bath that he really does hate
is the one made with butyl-p-hydroxybenzoate

Allergy Cat improves in a pesticide free sweater
On a mite free cushion he does even better
His paws turn red from untreated wood
Hypoallergenic cotton booties do him some good

The sniffling kitty cannot abide
Kitty crackers with parthelinomide
When other cats come in wearing strong perfume
Allergy Cat will up and leave the room

Allergy Cat gets a rash from his collar
-the cheap used one he picked up for a dollar
So he reached into his pockets and pulled out some green
and purchased a new one made of polypropylene

His friends advise Allergy Cat not to be so neurotic
and to sit among flowers both colorful and exotic
Allergy Cat replies "I beg your pardon...
but I can’t swish my tail in a pesticide garden"

And thus begins the new "Book of Hapless Cats" 

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