Kitten in the Studio
kit·ten (ˈkitn/): a small, soft curious creature who thinks everything is a game for its amusement, favorite prey is various art and craft supplies such as ribbons, paper, and palette knives. Have been known to sniff out ribbons from closed craft bins.
These furry beasts will snatch handmade bracelets if given the opportunity, such as when the artist is trying to take a photograph of a bracelet. They can be difficult to track unless they have just jumped into black paint. Artists might spot the kitten’s distinctive shadow before an attack.
Once a kitten is spotted in the studio, the artist has very little time to react before the kitten attacks its prey. When kittens find a particular activity to be amusing, such as knocking drawing pencils behind the desk, scratching plastic tarp, shredding paper, or attempting to hide under canvases, they are likely to repeat the action whenever the opportunity presents itself. While a kitten in the studio presents certain challenges, the rewards make it all worthwhile.
“As boring as watching paint dry” did not become an idiom by accident. There is nothing exciting about waiting for paint to dry. While using the drip painting method, I can be working on several paintings and still need to spend a majority of my time waiting for paint to dry. Add a piece of elastic cord with scrap leather tied to the end and one kitten (a safe distance from drying paint), and I have an entertaining distraction during drying time. Another option is a laser pointer, a hallway, and a wall at the end of the hallway. Point the light down the hallway at a brisk pace and then up the wall. *Thud* (Yes, I can be mean like that, but she loves it.)
I take precautions to protect my projects from playful paws. Jazzy is more interested in some of my projects than others. She seems to confuse paint drizzling from a palette knife with yarn at times. The sides of a finished drip painting seem to be especially intriguing to her. The threads of colorful, dried paint probably does resemble string to her. Everything is a toy to a kitten. My polymer clay pieces are especially amusing to her. Apparently, she thinks my Steampunk Owl must die.
When I wake up in the morning, I never know what I’ll find. Some days, she pulled twine from my craft bin and must have had fun weaving the twine over, under, and around my chair and her scratching post. I like to think that she’s having as much fun being the kitten in the studio as I love having her in my life.