Sunday, June 20, 2010

Possum

And he wonders why his nickname is "Bug Eyes."

Possum's leggy pose reminds me that cats imagine themselves as very tall, long-legged creatures. 

Pierre Bonnard understood cats very well. Here is The White Cat, which shows you exactly how cats think they look:


When I first saw this painting at the Musée d'Orsay, I had one of those "Aha!" moments. Look at that smug expression. This could be a cat self-portrait. Suddenly, I understood why cats like to jump up to high perches and climb trees. It's because they desperately want to be tall, and they feel more like "themselves" whenever they can look down on us.

Cats' opinions of themselves haven't changed that much since this was painted in 1894, although some of them now imagine themselves to have fierce computer skills along with their dashing good looks, intelligence, and general coolness.

Possum, of course, really does have all of those fine attributes, along with very long legs — at least when he's posing like this. His rather barrel-shaped mid-section tends to camouflage his graceful limbs when he's standing on the ground. If he lost a few pounds, he might look just like The White Cat.

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