About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Friday, October 24, 2014

under the shelter of the moon

image copyright and by kindest permission
of the artist
A feral cat sleeps peacefully under the moonlight, in a bubble of safety and comfort. Artist Julia Jasinski writes of this original painting, "I am trying to focus on the nice parts of feral life, not the horrors that usually pass through my brain relentlessly and ruin my day."  In so doing, the sheer act of making the image can make the comfort happen:  after seeing this, will you give a little food on your porch?  Perhaps a box?  (You probably already do; show this to your friends.)  I was very attracted to the Symbolist flavor of this piece, with the branches making a tangled nest of space for the little creature at the image's heart.
This painting is over at Julia's Etsy shop, Schmoomunitions.  When you go, please notice her tagline.  It's a Nez Perce quote:  Every animal knows more than you.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

a lovely cat by natasha fine

copyright and by kindest permission of the artist
A cat has found an intriguing flower.  Perhaps it smells rich and delicious, or she likes the way the little blooms brush against her whiskers.  I remember watching moments like this with my own crew, delighting in what I saw as their pleasure.  Natasha Fine of Israel has captured that feeling here in her painting "Cat-My Lovely Cat."  That intense golden eye and fat blossoms are so immediate that I feel I could reach out and tickle this cat's snout.
"My life - it's my kids, my art and my animals," wrote Natasha when I asked her about her work.  "The children love my art and animals ... animals love my children. Art ''loves'' animals.  And I ... love them all!" No better statement could be made about the uplifting mix of art, pets, and the receptive heart and mind.  It's my mantra for today.  Meanwhile, have a look at Natasha's work at her Etsy shop, NatkaArt

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

vintage wordless wednesday

from the museum collection

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

beware of the dog

thanks wikipedia and contributor "britkemp" (PD)
At the 19th-century Chateau de Keriolet in Concarneau, France, pass warily.  The Neo-Gothic castle is protected by this faux-medieval guard, whose relief banner reads Cave Canem (beware of the dog).  A tidbit about this castle: it was owned by the widow of the Russian Prince Yusupov (one of Rasputin's assassins), who bought it as a gift for her new, young French husband, a fellow named Chaveau.  Imagine her surprise when he passed on not so long after their marriage, leaving the beautiful Chateau to his mistress.  Her great-grandson writes a bit about it on this page of his memoirs, and you may believe the Princess got her own back.  Hooray.  Meanwhile, I can't help but think the guard dog above should actually say Beware of the People.

Monday, October 20, 2014

the charge: teaching the dog french

In which for some reason one William Paget was brought to account for broadening his dog's horizons...(Extra fun with the period spelling.)
Among Lord Burleigh's papers, in the British Museum (and of a date between 1571 and 1598), there is "An abstract of the Depositions sworn, touching one William Paget," who "went up and down teaching his dogg frenche":
"Maria Carter, a gentlewoman, sayeth, that she did hear the said Paget saye, that he would teache his dogg to speake frenche."
"William Poyser, yeoman, sayeth, that he heard Paget say, that he would make his dogg speake as good frenche as any of them."
"James Hudson sayeth, that standing at his master's door, he did heare Paget speak to his dogg in a strange language, but what language he knew not."
"Edward, a groser, heard Paget say, 'I will teach my dogg to speake frenche,' and was talking to his dogg in frenche."
The result of this charge is not given.
From Dog Life, Narratives Exhibiting Instinct, Intelligence, Fidelity, Sympathy, Attachment, and Sorrow. (London: 1875) p. 239

Friday, October 17, 2014

a jolly reminder

thanks wikimedia commons.  (PD)
During WWII in Britain this is what handy Post Office reminders looked like.  (This one created by the design partnership Lewitt-Him.)  If only the PO would go back to having actual artists make posters!  I'd pay attention to them then.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

on dogs, particularly those wiry-haired aliens

In which some literary gent has a lot to say about those accessory-sized doglets (see, it's not a modern thing to have a tiny dog in your purse):
...the whole variety of French Shocks, and family and single Lap-dogs are obnoxious to my high opinions of dogs in general. I can never feel any thing but a bitter biped indignation when I see a wealthy and wellinformed woman lavishing that fondness on those ugly quadrupeds, who are thought handsome, which if bestowed on some little friendless orphan, whom they might comfort at less expense, and adopt and keep at little more than is wasted on those wiry-haired aliens. When I meet one of these fat and pampered animals waddling and wheezing it's panting way after it‘s fashionable mistress, l am much perplexed which to despise; but as I venerate all petticoats, I usually satisfy my spleen with despising the dog instead of his mistress. And when I have seen a tall manly fellow of a lady's lacquey hoisting one of these white enormities under his arm, and dogging the heels of his superior, I have felt something like indignation, that even a man in a livery should be degraded to so vile and unmanly an office. But when I have met, in the Mall some fair spinster hugging one of these monstrous affection-stealers to her fair bosom, I have, at the moment, wished myself bitten by a mad dog, that l might run about the Parks and polite places in an unsuspicious shape, and bite every dog’s tail that was caught dangling down from the dexter bend of a fair spinster’s elbows...
Original spelling and punctuation kept, as usual.  "Lacquey" - lackey; "dexter" - left side.  A "shock dog" is a very bushy-haired one.  From "On Dogs" from The New European Magazine, published in The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Volume 1 (London: 1823), p. 72.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

wordless vintage wednesday

from the museum collection, dated "may 28 1940"