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back to back. [two artists tuesday]

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dogdog and babycat – back to back

in the middle of the night when i wake up – which happens every night thanks to the keeps-on-giving gift of menopause – i can hear them.

dogdog is gently breathing, sometimes punctuated by his paws running in a dream where he is doing laps around our pond, excitedly barking.  his even breaths, a dog in mostly-quiet slumber, reassure me, and my heart and i listen as he peacefully sleeps.

the peaceful-sleep bar is different for babycat.  he is not a stealth-sleeper.  well, actually nothing that babycat does is stealthy.   he’s not that kind of cat.  instead, his sleep on the end of the bed (he picks the side and you definitely know early-in-the-night if you have drawn the short straw) is noisy, fraught with snoring.  i’ve never heard a cat snore as loudly as he does; it is absolutely necessary to nudge him a little so that he steps it down a tad bit.  even with the snoring and the give-him-an-inch-he’ll-take-a-mile-bed-hogging, babycat’s presence sleeping on the bed is reassuring and i lay awake in wonder at how peaceful he seems, how content.

these two are buddies.  i was concerned at the beginning, having never had both a dog and cat simultaneously.  i needn’t have worried though.  they will lay napping on the raft back to back, with their people nearby.  perhaps at those times it is the two of them tuning in and listening – to our voices, our laughter, the rhythm of our day.  and perhaps it is those times that they are reassured.

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babycat in a box. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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remember when you carefully wrapped your toddler’s presents, expecting their absolute glee when he or she opened the gift?  and then, moments after the gift was opened, with wrappings and gift cast aside, you found them ecstatically playing with the box the gift came in?  well, welcome to babycatworld.

b-cat has lots of toys.  we struggle with keeping dogdog from devouring them.  we gave him fun new things for christmas, but he doesn’t seem all that interested.  however, the moment we put a carry-your-stuff-out-box we used at costco on the floor in the kitchen, babycat decided it was his.  no matter where we move it, he sits in it.  he has claimed it; it is his safe spot.  it would be impossible for him to lay down in it; his hulking “big-boned” body dwarfs the box.  but sitting in it seems to suffice for him.  i guess everyone/every creature has their special spot.  so for now, this crest box has become a part of our home.

i might add that it doesn’t match our decor in any way.   i’m wondering if he would still sit in it if we spray-painted it black…

read DAVID’S thoughts on this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

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dogga-chip-head [two artists tuesday]

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what you can’t see in this picture of dogdog, his gaze intent on me taking his picture, is that he has a chip on his head.  a tortilla chip.  a mission tortilla chip, to be specific.  gluten free.  dogga loves chips.  he loves to have chips on his head, staying perfectly still with the “leave it” command issued.  even more, he loves when “leave it” is released and he can bend his head down and eat his treasured chip.  he prefers it sans salsa.  good thing, because his aussie hair would be a total mess WITH salsa.  and i hardly think salsa is on his doggadiet (for that matter, neither are chips.)

i have to say, dogdog and babycat pretty much run the show here.  not just merely sponsors, they are producers, directors, screenwriters, actors and extras.  we laugh every time we wake up after a fitful night sleep because babycat has taken up 2/3 of the bed, snoring his way through his peaceful slumber.  we could move him, wake him up, nudge him, anything…but instead he just rules over his two-thirds and we deal with it, yawning and complaining about cramped legs all the next day.

dogdog, on the other hand, sleeps in his crate next to the bed.  he loves loves loves sleepnightnight (his word) time and makes sure that everything happens in the “correct” order.   he goes out.  he runs back in.  jumps on the bed.  and listens.  he waits to hear the water-in-the-fridge spigot filling the coffeepot.  waits to hear the coffee grinder.  waits to hear d put a small amount of nighttime kibble in babycat’s bowl.  waits to hear the container on top of the fridge opened from which d gets his cookie.  waits for his bellybelly (also his word) on the bed and kisses on his sweet head, chipcrumbs mixed in with his messy fur.   day’s end for a dogdog.

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my sweet babycat. [two artists tuesday]

bcat summer with frame

this face entered my life nine years ago now.  i had never had a cat before, but my sister and niece conspired when a kitten showed up on heather’s doorstep in florida.  my sister had asked me, maybe weeks before, what kind of cat i would want if i had a cat (which she insisted i needed.)  not having had sharing-life-with-a-cat-experience (for i know now not to call it “owning a cat”) i was less convinced.  but then this little (short-lived on the word “little”…babycat is BIG!) kitten showed up on heather’s doorstep.  after searching for its owner, it seemed fortuitous that i had answered my sister with the less-than-emotional-or-even-informed-but-kind-of-more-practical response, “i guess i’d want a black cat so it will coordinate with my clothing and i won’t always be using a rolly-thing to get fur off my clothes.”  it was a match!

and, indeed, it was.  after many trials, babycat was named “wilson” (a nod to The Boy’s tennis involvement) and we (The Girl, The Boy and i) drove him back to wisconsin, none of us quite sure how to handle his eating and relieving himself, a crate, food, portable litter box, water, toys and our laps handy.  he has never ever answered to the name wilson and he totally chose his name babycat, readily answering to one of his nicknames.  and so, his dominance over the household started.

babycat was one of those who-rescued-who stories you read about.  at just the right moment, he entered our lives.  he has been a big (no…BIG) presence ever since.  not knowing what cats really do, i taught him many a dog-trick, sitting and speaking on command, coming when called, sitting up to beg for a treat.  he was able and, more so, willing.  (if he’s not willing, there’s no way to make something happen with him.)

and then david and, subsequently, dogdog came along.  b-cat reined them both in, alpha to each of them.  a bit more aloof when younger, but never one to hide or totally ignore us, somewhere along the way, he became a cat who wanted to snuggle.

but that face.  it’s just too easy to read babycat’s mind.  and right now, i agree with him.  where DID the summer go?

babycat.  he’s a force.  and a big (no…BIG) part of my heart.

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the chase. [chicken marsala monday]

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dogdog drags babycat across the wood floors through the house with babycat’s head in his mouth.  at first, when dogdog was new to the family, it really frightened us and we admonished dogga for dragging the cat around.  but then we realized that it was a game.  if dogdog wasn’t playing, babycat would slap at dogdog with his claw-paw and make the chase start.  it mattered not who “won” the match, for there was no obvious winner. (although i must say that it appears that babycat is indeed the alpha in the house.)  most important for the two of them was the chase.  just having fun.

it’s the same with anticipation.  i can clearly remember having great anticipation for something-or-other, relishing that feeling, the adrenalin rush, the quickening of heart, the excitement i could feel.  when the actual Thing happened, it wasn’t nearly as delicious as what led up to it – the anticipation, the process, the chase to it.  the Thing was almost anti-climactic, a sort of denouement of all the details getting there.

albums are kind of like that.  the process of writing, practicing, the anticipation, the work, chasing the perfect recording.  and then, the tying up of loose ends, the post-project letdown. as much as i wish i could, there is no way i can control what the ‘catch’ will be, whether or not the music will resonate with listeners, whether or not the album will do well in the market.

as an artist, it is all the magic in the middle that matters to me.  the chase.

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it’s not the catch, it’s the chase that matters ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 


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everybody has their thing. [two artists tuesday]

so, we were trying to have a nice backyard.  the pond, the deck, the grasses, the hosta, the barnwood planting stand, the old piano….we were headed in the right direction.  but then there’s dogdog.  he has this THING.  every time we let him out and michele and john’s dogs are out, he races around in a circle, digging into the grass that was there, creating a velodrome (kenosha is known for its velodrome, only not this one.)  we tried various ways to address this, to try and dissuade him from running around in the circle, from ruining the grass that we had painstakingly planted.

finally, we decided it would be far less painful for us to just embrace it.  i went online and ordered an actual highway sign (the european roundabout sign, because he runs clockwise every time and the roundabouts in our country are counter to that.)  we planted a few grasses, put up temporary rope to help the grasses have a chance, pounded in our new sign and sat back to watch.

i mean, EVERYbody has their thing.  sometimes it’s just easier to not fight it.  it’s easier to just, well, laugh.

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enjoy the puddles. [chicken marsala monday]

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dogdog doesn’t like the rain much.  he pretty much avoids the puddles in the backyard…that is, until one neighbor or the other lets their dogs out.  then?  then he doesn’t care; all inhibitions are off and he runs like a maniac, his long aussie hair first flying, then clumping and muddy, joy joy joy on his face.

that’s probably a good lesson for all of us…inhibitions off and joy joy joy. despite the messy puddles and the bad hair day.  my sweet momma used to sign off her letters with “enjoy, enjoy!”  yes.  enjoy, enjoy.

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