Drawings by Gary Michael Dault, Text by Malgorzata Wolak Dault
#49. Against Writing
Arrested in the middle of a field of writing, a cat
tries to define himself against it. He utters his ancient
meow, as old as a rock.
#48. Cat Flower
in the garden, flowers grow animated--radiant and soft, like cats looking to be caressed.
Sometimes, as in the drawing, the flowers come to assume the heads of cats.
This cat looks as if it were made from scraps of paper.
It sits in a dark space like a moth in a closet
#46. Blue blue
A vast open space--a space as big as an ocean--is a cat's invitation.
It returns him to his wild self. In a sea of blue air, a cat drifts like a sailing ship.
#45. In a Mist
Here is a cat becoming one with darkness.
A cat likes to lose himself in the dusk
--as if he were mist.
Strolling in the evening breeze, a cat is suddenly surprisedby a passing bat, who is fluttering through the same breeze.
Their eyes meet. The cat looks into the bat's eyes and sees two
streetlamps. The bat looks into the cat's eyes and sees a pineapple.
#41. A Stretch
Stretching, for a cat, is a language. We can hear in it the creature's comfort and confidence. A stretch is as concise and as lyrical as a haiku.
# 40. Ghost
There is something of a ghost's nature in every cat, in the way a cat
can dematerialize his presence by being still. A cat, like a ghost, can master silence,
to the point of losing his third dimension. He can appear to our eyes as the
silhouette of a porcelain figure in which one blue eye blinks.
Here, a cloud, blown by the wind through an immensity of blue sky,
has assembled itself into the shape of a puffed white cat.
This is a cat like a pond enclosed by night,
in which elements float. A tiny fish and a beaver
swim to the beating of the cat's heart.
#36. Pinot Clairvoyant
Our cat Pinot possesses an extra consciousness. He always anticipates
any upcoming situation. It's uncanny how he seems to know what I know.
We meet in the eyes of the other.
# 35. Chocolate
Here is a cat wearing a shawl made out of evening breezes. Its eyes, like holes in a sieve, are straining the blackness of the night, his body smoothing out the winter.
#30. A Disappearing Tale
The most visible part of a cat it its tail.
A cat is veiled by the fabrics of the house.
When a car disappears under the curtains, bedspreads,
tables or armchairs, it is his unfurled tail that,
like a puppet in a theatre, is left to
# 29. Grigio
When Grigio is being curious, it is not only visible in the sudden roundness of his eyes.
Every muscle of his body is tensed and waiting. Even the tip of his tail is attracted, like a compass needle, to a presumable mystery.
Lately, we have grown so accustomed to our cats, that we see them everywhere. We see them in a wrinkled purse, a pulled rug or a fallen hat. They dominate our space even if they are absent from it. So as in this drawing, the busy ink lines constitute a cat.
# 27. Colette and her Cats
French writer Colette always lived close to animals, as if they provided a passage to a different territory--an animal realm, where, for example, she could get lost in the eyes of her cats.
#26. Pinot Depending
Pinot loves unpredictability. He is always in search of amusement, which everyday objects can provide if only looked at with fresh eyes--which Pinot possesses Yesterday morning, I had to drag him out of a bathroom sink where he was napping, and scrape remnants of toothpaste from his fur. I'm not surprised, then, that when night descends, he walks--as in the drawing--upside down, disregarding gravity like a brilliant magician, ably assisted by velvety darkness
Our cats find it amusing to listen to our old kitchen clock striking the hours.
Because they stretch out beneath the sound, they get know time with great intimacy
#24. The Snowy Owl
Grigio, in one of his quixotic modes, disguises himself
as a Snowy Owl, in order to join a nocturnal party for birds.
A cat is a born artist, a wandering pierrot at heart, pondering the nature of butterflies and moonflowers
# 22. SEAL
Gary says this is more drawing than cat, nevertheless the drawing possesses, for me, a cat's spirit, as if it were one of the Chinese written characters, soundlessly announcing a cat's most distinguishing features: mystery, independence, and wisdom. For me, the drawing has the power of an old wax seal.
#21. Pinot Asleep
Our cat Pinot loves stretching out. Even while he dreams, he finds endless pleasure in elongating his body as if he were a strong
swimmer reaching for a shore. He adapts himself to surfaces, to the point where he disappears into them. Or, as in the drawing,
he becomes part of the landscape; he inhabits it as if he were a rock on a hill, before a yawning horizon.
A cat's readiness for amusement is inexhaustible.
And when a cat's tail is up, it is obvious that, in a moment, something will release its exuberance. Exuberance like a soap bubble
A Cat listening to the moonlight becomes, in itself,
a shiny, silver planet--a luminous sphere in the darkness.
# 18. Tiger Cat
A cat is like a tiger in miniature. In his dreams, a cat enlarges himself
into a wild, fearless beast. He possesses a tiger's silences. He can conquer the air.
# 15. Grigio
Because we found our two cats at a garden centre, and because as brothers, they were inseparable, and because they both shone with silver-grey fur, we gave them the names of the wine—made with silvery-grey grapes—called Pinot Grigio.
They are as opposite in personality as night and day. And, as a consequence, they have lately come to enjoy very different toys—that seem to accommodate their different natures.
Pinot’s favourite toy is a piece of dried pasta—the spiraled fuseli—which, on a smooth floor, he bats about in a fast, noisy, speedy, unpredictable game like floor hockey.
But Grigio favours the light, crunchy paper balls which I make for him by scrunching up sheets of computer paper. They are now everywhere (he plucks them deftly from a basket, to which he never returns them). Grigio adores his paper balls, of which he has hundreds, scattered throughout the house. The balls are light, soft quiet—which seems perfectly to suit his poetic nature.
He usually delights us with one of them at three o‘clock in the morning, when he wakes us up to present us with a paper ball, dropping it on the bed with an air of triumph, as if it were a conquered prey.
In the drawing shown here, the ball Grigio plays with looks shiny, with an almost porcelain quality, though it is, in truth, nothing more than a crunch of light, semi-translucent paper. Which is consistent with Grigio’s delicacy
An alert cat keeps his body in suspended focus. It is with an attentive repose that a cat awaits the indefinable.
When a cat stares, he becomes a temple. His body, solidified by his attentiveness,
can hear the internal melodies of the objects he is gazing upon.
When a cat strides through a space it is not only with his legs. His entire body, not to mention his ears, and particularly his tail, extend into territories of the unexplored. The cat becomes an emblem of his own reassurance and the inhabitant of a self-possessed excitement
There were three silver-grey kittens, almost Russian blues, abandoned at a garden centre not far from where we live.
There were three, but the third had been given away to live on a farm.
The remaining two welcomed us with luxurious purring
Their warmth and curiosity appealed to us so muchwe felt we'd be lost without taking them home with us.
But something is always missing. It is the mysterious third who, like a shadow of the other two, moves in a strange proximity to them.
When a cat glows and steps into the night, he is as entirely self-possessed as a lantern. He is as red and hot as if he carried within him a burning iron ball
A forlorn cat's large experience comes from a realm of unpleasantness. Withdrawl is for this cat
a most natural condition. It radiates from his eyes, as if the cat were a sorrowful, solitary florescent lamp.
It is easy to mistake a cat for a teapot in the dusk. A cat is glossy and a teapot is glazed,
and both breathe slowly and luxuriously, extending their warmth into the space around them.
In a cat teapot, bubbles and purrings are the same thing.
Lightning reveals a cat's true nature, which is blue like the sea. It hides itself in the colour of its fur, until this sudden moment of illumination comes.
#5. Heavy Cat
A Heavy Cat knows what clover tastes like and loves lemon poppyseed cake, ice cream and buttered toast.
This Heavy Cat was fond of a solitary brown bat that used to hang in the attic
There is a certain uncanny silliness in cats. It comes on a fresh breeze, usually in early mornings--like a bubble in the air. It lands on the cat's whiskers, and murmurs. That's when a cat can put on trousers.
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