Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Cat's Meow

I wanted to share this truly amazing present I received for my 51st birthday.

Daisy painted a birthday card for me that honored all the cats that have come through our lives in the past few years, mostly when we were living in the village of Černý Vůl, west of Prague. (We just moved back to Prague 6 in December.)

You can read about some of these cats and our efforts to rescue them in some of my previous blog posts, such as "Farewell, Little Friend," "Pussy Galore," "A Home Sweet Home For Chaz," "Looking For A Home For Pee-Wee," "The Funny Things Is, I'm Really A Dog Person," "Remembering Zhenya," and "The Cerny Vul Cat House."

The 12 little faces that Daisy painted perfectly capture both the physical characteristics of the cats, as well as their personalities.

Chicho's manic guilelessness. Zhenya's caramel sweetness. Oscar's trusting innocence. Moussa Koussa's fierce independence. Flakey's adventurousness (and one weepy eye).

The card was inspired by a handmade quilt made for Emma by Daisy's mother, Robin, out of handkerchiefs that belonged to her mother and Daisy's grandmother, Christine Crouch. The quilt hangs in our flat. You can see it below.

"Christine -- or Grandmother Crouch, as I always called her -- lived in a large house in Dutchess County, New York, and probably had a hundred or so cats over her lifetime," Daisy says. "I remember hearing stories of there being up to 25 cats living in and around the house at a time, although by the time I came around there were probably fewer.

"The quilt depicts some of her most notable cats. The names reflect her weakness for Russian literature (Nikolay), Soviet space achievements (Sputnik), American jazz singers (Blossom Dearie), and whimsy (Twinkletoes!)."

What amazes me is that the quilt is, well, quilt-sized. Daisy's card is only 17 centimeters by 22 centimeters.

I'm astounded by Daisy's talents. Definitely taking this one to the framers.

Thank you, honey.

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