Essay / Avant-Garde

Attentive Cat, Mouse with Cheese

cat and mouse with cheese This cat (by an artist age 6.5) is all circles, curves, and friendliness. See how he extends his paws outward generously from his body. The only sharp corners on him are the points of his fuzzy ears. No claws on those teddy-bear paws, and no fangs in that sweet muzzle.

But conspicuously absent from the cat’s eyes is that trademark pointy-iris cats-eye effect, which might suggest that this image represents a night-time encounter taking place in such darkness that the cat’s eyes are open to maximum width. Perhaps the mouse (lacking such powerful night vision) doesn’t even know the cat is there. The mouse’s beady little eyes are not even worth representing.

But the cat knows the mouse is there. Two giant circles, big as his head, loop out from his eyes and show that a powerful visual or visionary experience is taking place. What will happen in the next instant? Only the cat knows, and he’s smiling but not telling. The initiative is all on his side. On the mouse’s side is nothing but cheese.

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