Sunday, 17 August 2014

Fifty shades of black...

Some of you already know that besides 'Guru-Mooch' and painting abstract paintings, I also write the Moo-Chi Diaries. Obviously, both Guru-Mooch and the Moo-Chi Diaries are inspired by our well-pampered cat, Moo-Chi! While I am fond of writing these stories, there is one factor that slows me down no end: the illustrations! That might sound a bit strange from someone who is trained in painting instead of writing, but there is the problem: Mooch, as he is often called, is jet-black. (Oops! Correction. I have the problem. It's an artistic one. Mooch, being feline perfection incarnate, cannot possibly have any problems!) 
Nevertheless, when I envisioned a bundle of funny stories with lovely water-colours, I was thinking of something like this:


or this:


Yes, stripes and patches! Or at least a darker face, paws and tail, like a Siamese. This is much easier to paint. If I'm not careful, Mooch ends up looking like a blob of ink with two triangles on top. I am counting my lucky stars that he is not all white though.... Ever heard of fifty shades of white?! Well, neither have I. So, how did we end up with a bundle of glossy, black fur? 
Over a year ago we went to the RSPCA, 'just to have a look'. A volunteer asked us what type of cat we were looking for, and David said that in his experience it was the cat that chooses us, not us choosing the cat. Famous last words. The first kitten I wanted to hold was a little black and white tom. According to his description, he would lie in the sun all day, and sleep on your bed at night. That sounded good to me. I hunched down and reached into the enclosure. Mr Black-and-white didn't respond and stayed well out of reach, whereas his brother, called Midnight, tapped my hand with his paw, looking at me expectantly. 
I ignored him. 
Black-and-White ignored me. 
Midnight tapped me again, with a bit more force. 
I still ignored him. 
Midnight wiggled his bum and jumped straight into my lap. Now he had my attention. I went like: 'Oh, look at him!' I handed him to David and Midnight just flopped in his hands and started to purr. Loudly. We both turned to mush. 'Well', said David, 'I think we have found our cat!' To be fair on the other cats that needed a good home, I decided to have a look at some. All cats that day must have decided to join the dark side of felinity: aloof, uninterested and unaffectionate. A feline conspiracy that day? It wasn't much of a choice in the end. Two hundred bucks lighter, we walked away with a cardboard box containing a gorgeously cute, black inspiration called Midnight; soon to be renamed Moo-Chi!