Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Muse

I think every artist has a muse, or perhaps several. Mine is in the form of a small furry little creature with a silly face and a sweet nature. Delirium (Named after the character from the Niel Gaiman Sandman Series) will be a year old in July, but in the short time I've been graced with her presence she has already given me what feels like limitless inspiration. Something about having a cat in my life has always given me so much to think about and write.

My first cat was Gummitch, who found me when I was one and who was like a fuzzy little sibling to me. She died a few summers ago. It was quite devastating for me, like having a cat shaped hole torn from my chest. I remember the grief I felt was unlike any I'd ever felt before and it was accompanied by the usual misinformed or naive comments from people who simply didn't understand that she was not just a pet. "When are you getting a new one, then?" "Is your family going to wait to replace her or go right away?"

Gummitch was no more replaceable than my brother would be had he died. So I waited to get another cat, knowing I could not fill the hole because Gummitch had been so much more than just a cat. She was a wise old woman who graced my life since childhood. She was my sister, my first best friend and the constant soft comfort I'd grown so accustomed to.

When it came time to find another cat that might choose me, I knew I was ready because I no longer felt quite so hollow when I thought of Gummitch. As Gummitch chose me, so did Delirium. Of the dozens of kittens I looked at in the four months prior to finding Delirium, she was the only one that purred. I scooped her up and she began this deep motor thrumming inside. I knew it was right, then and there, and within an hour I was driving home, with one of my best friends holding a cat carrier with this little creature inside.

Unlike Gummitch, Delirium feels more like a baby to me. Gummitch was my equal, Delirium is more my dependant. She sweet and silly and so very different from Gummitch, but so very right for me.

Today she ate a fly that was too big for her. I came outside to find her pacing and looking quite queasy. After a moment she threw up and there was the fly, lying in the little puddle, still buzzing a bit. This filled me with such love and joy...a sweet little kitten with eyes bigger than her stomach. I could just about burst at the thought and immediately I wanted to write it down. I've already begun a painting of her, one of many artistic interpretations that I'm sure will follow. As I filled a sketchbook with Gummitch, so I will fill one with Delirium. A sweet purring creature to sit upon my lap as I type, or to rest at my feet and play with paintbrushes as I sit before a canvas.

So I found my muse.

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