When I asked him why he was in such a melancholy mood, he denied it.
He said he'd been thinking about art history (I'd lectured Wendy and him on the essentials when they were kittens), specifically Jacques-Louis David's painting of the Death of Marat (1793, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels). He said he was trying to capture the mood, if not the pose, and proceeded to show me:
I think he does capture a certain, well, je ne sais quois from the original, but his big white feet sticking up wreck the mood. Admittedly, he has a hard time holding paper and pens, he refuses to wear a turban, and he's too big for his "bathtub." I don't think Marat would have looked nearly so pathetic if he'd committed suicide in a sink. But Possum's attempt is original, and his lack of success is probably more due to my inability to teach art history to kittens than to his dramatic skills.
I'm not sure how much art history Wendy absorbed, since she refuses to talk to me about it. She is much less flamboyant than Possum, posing like a ladylike cat instead of a French Revolutionary War hero:
But I'd never say she is not artistic. Her crazy-quilt fur is a tribute to Jackson Pollock: an "explosion in a cat factory."