Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Tale of Budge

"The View Outside" 6" x 6" acrylic on Gessoed Hardboard, SOLD

Mewing.  There was mewing in the vicinity of our back door, a pleading chorus.

Where was it all coming from?  We didn't know.  It was a curiosity, nothing more.

But then we found them - a litter of newborn kittens in the shallow space beneath a cabinet in our garage.  We left the garage door open so that the mother could come and go freely. And eventually, one at a time, the mother removed the kittens from the garage.  The mewing lessened until only one voice remained.

The mewing of the remaining kitten was loud, desperate - needful.  But the mother did not return.

What to do?  My wife was very upset.  She lined a shoebox with papertowels, and then with hand towels.  We didn't know anything about cats.  She tried to feed him.  Nothing.

He was a beautiful black.  She named him Licorice.  He could fit on the palm of her hand.

She called her sister, who rushed over.  She and her niece brought Licorice to the Humane Society, where they were summarily informed that because there were too many strays, if they left him there he would be put down.

So my wife's sister brought Licorice home.  That name wouldn't do.  His name became Budge.  She and her husband brought him to the vet, who told them what they had to do.  He told them there was perhaps a 40% chance that Budge would survive.

But they were determined.  They bought cat supplies galore.

Her husband, my brother-in-law, stepped to the fore.  Around the clock, including all night, for days (weeks?), he had to feed Budge through a dropper every two hours.  But not only that.  He had to rub Budge's belly constantly.  It is not just for affection that a cat licks her kittens.  It teaches them to feed.

It was touch and go for a while.  There were times when Budge wouldn't eat.  There were other times he had to be rushed to the vet.

But against the odds, he survived.  And he lived the pampered life of a favored cat in their household for years.


One day I saw him sitting on the windowsill, and snapped the shot that the above painting is based upon.  I liked his silhouette against the lively background, and the shape of the large palm frond that seemed to shelter him.

And that is the story of Budge.


Critics.  There are always critics.



49 comments:

  1. I'm so glad Budge found a family to love him, he looks lovely framed by the window.
    (dogs just don't have very high opinions of cats, that's just the way it is!)

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  2. Nice painting, Dan. And, as usual, a lovely story to accompany it!

    xoxo

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  3. So sweet! What a lucky kitty- I'm glad everyone pitched in to save him. Wonderful.
    The puppy at the end is darling too. I'm sure she approves!
    Cats love windows and all that goes on outside. Nicely rendered.

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    1. We are going for kitties and puppies here - no half-hearted attempts to lure readership here, nosiree!

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  4. Great work and lovely story Dan.....and very funny dog picture

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    1. Thanks Debra! I told the dog "stick out your tongue" and he did just what I wanted!

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  5. Great work and lovely story Dan.....and very funny dog picture

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  6. Dan I love the story - I am a big soppy thing
    and I like the red window sill against the green wall in the painting - I am not sure I would have been game to do that

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    1. Well it is a reddish wood - probably the computer didn't transfer the color just so. Big soppy things are always welcome here - thanks!

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  7. Great painting...there is something so sweet about a cat in the house! People can't understand until they own one. I agree "Budge" is a good name..and the doggie at the end is a cutie too.

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    1. Thanks Celeste! I have never had a cat in my house, 'cept the very young Licorice (and his family in my garage of course). I think it would really be wonderful to have a cat walking across my desk when I work though. The doggie at the end is named "Cricket" (not critic) and is my mother's dog, quite a cutie indeed!

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  8. Budge has got it made. Such love.

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  9. What a lovely story and a beautiful painting to remember him by. I guess the 'humane' society is less than aptly titled in this case, at least.

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    1. It seems whenever there is a moniker with one term, it really hides something else, yep. Except I understand that in the "big" picture, it really is the humane thing to do. I suppose. I have trouble with it too.

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  10. Its funny how many of our beloved pets are brought to us in the most peculiar and unplanned way, in the end of things its always ends up with "it was meant to be" and Budge was meant to land right there and the sounds of it he brought a lot of love with him (he sure was a lucky guy to have such a army of happy belly rubbers).
    I like that painting, its calm and sweet. And I like the brush strokes and colouration/shading of the fur. Very nice!!!

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    1. Thanks Mari! I come from a family of happy belly rubbers!

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  11. What a lovely story, but why Budge?

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  12. Should have named him 'lucky' because he is one lucky cat to have been born in your garage. Great story and very nice painting, will you give the painting to your Sister and Brother-in-laws?

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    1. Ok. Well I was going to sell the painting, see, and then I got a flurry of texts after they read my post wanting to buy it from me for $100! How could I do that?! I said I would give it to them for free. I think we have settled on sale for $1. (Hence the "SOLD" indication above.) I hope so. Life is so darned complicated.

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  13. Lovely story and painting; animals are worth all the trouble, they give back so much more than they take. Sure hope nothing happened to mum and the rest of the kitties; glad Budge was saved!

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    1. I think we have seen them around here and there. I don't think that they ate quite as well, and they certainly weren't as spoiled!

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  14. Great story and nice painting, Dan! The foliage makes it lively, I can just see him switching his tail in anticipation. We have a black kitty at our house, and his tail-switching is magnificent. (And don't worry, I didn't scrap any of my latest a gusty paintings....my daughter made the same cry of alarm tat you did.)

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    1. I'm so glad you kept the paintings! My tail twitches just thinking about it.

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  16. A back-lit black cat--you don't pick the easy ones. A wonderful painting; good dimension in the window sill and I like the way the view says "Florida." (Well, that's what it says to me.)

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    1. Hah! It didn't occur to me that it was backlit. I just painted what I saw. And coincidentally it IS Florida!! :)

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  17. Hi, Dan, thank you for sharing the touchy story and the wonderufl painting. Congrats on the sale!! I hope your paintings will tell stories and people will love them all.
    Best wishes, Sadami

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    1. You are always so sweet Sadami, thank you.

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  18. Hi Dan! Your critic at the end was just perfect! I had to laugh out loud; great expression. I also thing you did a wonderful painting of Budge. The name seemed apropos to me since the kitten wouldn't budge from your garage! Smart!

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    1. Yeah. His name is Cricket, not critic - they misspelled it. I like your theory of Budge's name - I have no idea! I think the name is hideous! (Don't tell 'em.).

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  19. Great painting Dan. It has an endearing quality to it--not because the cat was special, but because it reminds me of Matisse's home scenes. The painting is as special as the cat.

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    1. A comparison to Matisse. I think I'll sit with that a while. [Sigh] :) I'm glad you think the painting is special. Thanks, Linda.

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  20. Love the story as well as the painting!

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    1. I need to do three good things and get a home run!! Thanks Barbara!

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  21. I was afraid this story wouldn't have a happy ending, but it was heartwarming. I love the painting and the whole story, even the critic at the end. My cat would be very offended if out stuck my tongue in her presence...she's the queen, you know.

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    1. Did you ever wonder if all cats are kings and queens, then who are the peasants? I am glad my story had some suspense to it! (I love the critic too - don't tell anyone).

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  22. yoooooooo hooooooooooo.....yodeling a greeting .........what are you dooooiiiinnnngg? your fans want an upppdddaattte!

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    1. Ah I love a good yodel. Yodelayeeooooo!! Refreshing and, so frendly.. So sorry Celeste, things have been topsy turvey, and I am just now getting a mental handle on it all. I have a lot of stuff to show, some art, some illustration, some humble sketchbook sketches -- where to begin? It will be soon, because I can't resist a good yodel. It is almost enough. Now if I only had streudel..

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    1. This is probably computer generated, but I like it so much I think I'll keep it! It's like a haiku..

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  24. A great capture of the way cats like to sit and view the world. I like the story of Budge as well.

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    1. Thanks Deborah! I like to sit and view the world in exactly the same way.

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  25. Don't feel any pressure. Your fans are waiting on pins and needles but we're a tenacious group so the stinging isn't too bad.
    Who am I kidding? These needles burn. The pins prick and hurt like burning match tips.
    It's painful. But I don't want you to feel any pressure to post anytime soon.
    We can wait. Your fans will wait. No pressure.

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    1. Aye! I hurt just listening to you! I am posting really soon, and hopefully will never have a gap like this again.

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