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The Mouse

The Mouse, 4" x 6" in Cray Pas Expressionist oil pastels on white ProArt wirebound sketchbook page. I just drew the first thing I noticed on my desk, trying to finish before midnight -- and succeeded. So this is my third artwork for the 2nd.

If I want to finish a sketchbook in a month I'd have to do at least three every day and four on some days. Or more if I was using a large sketchbook and had room for more than one sketch per page, but I think using up one of the little ones is a stage on the way to that. It's starting to tickle me as an idea and I think it'd be fun to try it sometime. Especially if a lot of them are detailed and shaded rather than just filling 80 pages with fast overlapping gesture scribbles.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
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Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2009 12:45 pm (UTC)
When I first saw "The Mouse" as the title of your entry I was thinking the four legged variety, one of which my cat has corner behind the stove in the kitchen, evidently injured if the splattered blood on the kitchen floor is any indication - and I can't move the stove. Poor little thing.
Apr. 3rd, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
When Ari was a kitten he loved typing. He got a little too large to strike just one key at a time and went off typing in chat rooms -- and went to swatting my computer mouse with his tail. At one point I had two desktop computers next to each other so I could go online on one of them and write novels or play games on the other at the same time. Both mice were on a typewriter tray on my desk.

Ari would sit on that side of the desk and swat the mice with his tail. He could open new windows on both a Windows machine and a Linux machine at the same time. It was hilarious. He loves playing with computers and to this day will reach out occasionally to swat the mouse or press the button and watch what happens on the screen.

When we moved to Colorado in 2004 we got a mouse in the rented house we were living in. We had one housemate, a young guy who was pretty cool and easy to get along with. Ari saw this odd little animal and got confused when both of us humans were saying "Ari, go chase the mouse!"

He stared back at my computer and back at me a couple of times like "Are you nuts? Why do you want me to play on the computer when I could chase that interesting little animal?"

He had no idea it was a mouse. But he did stalk it and play with it, ignoring the suggestion to geek instead and got some applause for chasing it around. It got away from him and we thought that was the end of it.

But on the following morning (late, neither of us liked to haul out of bed much before noon), the mouse was deposited, dead, carefully between my housemate's room and mine in the hallway. He had done his job and killed the mouse, protecting us from a mouse-infested house. He had completed his Cathood Rite, his coming of age to be a hunter.

He did enjoy all the cheering-on we gave him while he was chasing the mouse. But it took him a while to understand that wasn't the same thing as what he thought of as a real mouse - it didn't plug into anything and nothing changed on a screen when he swatted it.

Cats evolved to hunt small animals like that. Well fed cats tend to stash them for later by instinct. I suspect some cats like Ari wind up not recognizing that mice are actually food, because they got acculturated to nothing but cat food and mommy cat didn't go giving them prey parts to help wean them as kittens. But the instinct to hunt mice runs true in all cats.

I think that it's because to this day a whole lot of working cats are kept as rodent control no matter how loved, petted and appreciated they are as companions. Bookstore cats are there to keep mice from ruining the books as well as to guide people to the genre shelf of their choice. Barn cats keep mice down so the grain for the animals isn't stolen by hordes of mice.

So congratulate your cat and don't worry about the mess -- it happened several times that I found old stashed mice in apartments that had them when I had hunting cats. They dry up and don't get nasty if you can't get them out. Also your mouse may have had an escape path behind the stove anyway.

Edited at 2009-04-03 06:03 pm (UTC)
Apr. 3rd, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this wonderful story!!! Rocky has been congratulated, but you should have seen the look on his face when the "rodent squad" came to the rescue! Two husky construction workers - one determined not to hurt the mouse and the other jumping - literally - on the couch when the mouse made his escape. It was hysterical. Rocky looked annoyed/asounded and walked upstairs while they continued their antics. The braver of the two finally opened the door and the injured mouse had reentered the great outdoors. He certainly could move inspite of the injury!!!
Apr. 3rd, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
Awww thanks for the postscript! Cool that you got Mouse Rescuers onto the scene. Poor Rocky, I can see why he was so frustrated. Funny that one of the husky blokes jumped on the couch when the mouse ran for escape.

I remember one day in New Orleans when I had several cats that I saw all four of them slowly coming across the room in a group, facing inward. They had a mouse. One by one each cat would swat it and then wait for the cat on its left to take their turn. I watched this for about two rounds, they weren't even using claws. It was like a ceremony.

I walked up behind them, watched them go around the circle, then waited till the cat next to me if I were between them had gone and reached in with a handkerchief. I was concerned about rabies and the cats getting bit by the mouse so was careful in handling it.

I picked it up and the mouse fainted in my hand. I think it thought I was the biggest cat and the one that was going to eat it. But I carried it outside and set it under a tree and watched till it came around. It wasn't even injured, it had just fainted in terror when I joined the cats at their Mousing Circle.

They were a little miffed at me that I took the mouse, but I made it up to them with some chicken giblets in butter and within minutes they'd gotten over it.

I think your mouse will probably recover from its injuries if it was running that well. I'm pretty sure mine never, ever went into a house with that many cats again. lol

Edited at 2009-04-03 07:01 pm (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
Heheh, first "techie" thing I've ever seen you draw :)
Apr. 4th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
LOL yep! Most of the time what I draw is going to be natural things or animals, occasionally things like glass or marbles because they're beautiful. You're right that I don't do techie things often at all. But this time it really worked.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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