art appreciation // 2

I had these two cats growing up…well, I actually had four cats….actually WE (the family) had four cats. They all lived very long lives with us and I still dream about them often.

The first was Alice. My mother saw this litter of white kittens that the local shelter had up for adoption on a morning talk show and went to adopt one. When she got there there was only the runt of the litter left which was a tiger-striped brindle, American Shorthair. She lived to be 17 years old.

Then there was Sasha who was found by our neighbors. She was named by a Norwegian exchange student named, Thor, who was living with them at the time. She was long-haired and black and lived to be 17, as well.

Then my mom found some abandoned sibling kittens - a male and a female. They were probably just a month old. She had seen them around the neighborhood for a while with their mother but, one day the mother cat was gone - we suspected a coyote. The female was a calico (white with peach and grey markings)

and the male was a bi-color (white with grey mask and mantle markings).

Our neighbor initially caught them and he and my mother tamed them. She decided to give them some generic names because she planned on trying to find other homes for them. She named them after a pair of paintings that used to hang in the entry of her high school - one named Blue Boy and and the other, Pinkie.

The paintings, of course, were copies of two very famous paintings by two different British artists who painted them a quarter of a century a part. They’re often paired together thanks to Henry Huntington who purchased them together in the 1920s. They now hang at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA.

Get this - I’ve driven past the Huntington almost daily for the past 4 years and had no clue. I only just discovered this about a week ago and plan to see them ASAP.

"The Blue Boy" by Thomas Gainsborough, 1770

and "Pinkie" by Thomas Lawrence, 1794

RIP Pinkie (1986 - 1998)

RIP Blueboy (1986 - 2003)