Behind every good business there is usually a cat. Well, that's what my cats tell me anyway and who am I to question such a philosophy since I've served as staff to cats my entire life. For 17 years, my furry associate was a Siamese named Napoleon. He was my friend, my confidante, my business partner, my art critic, my furbaby, and my sweet companion. On occasion, he was even a feature writer for the Greenleaf Gazette. He was the heart and soul behind Deb's Minis but sadly Napoleon crossed the Rainbow Bridge in September 2011.
He really loved that sledge hammer but I never could convince him that it wasn't exactly the right tool for dollhouse bashing.
Now there are two furry associates who help me with my mini-making (and everything else I do). Meet Frankie and Deano, the tuxedo twins. The boys are litter-mates and almost identical twins so you have to know them well to tell them apart. They take their reputation as half the Rat Pack seriously and are very expressive with their meows, chirps, and trills even when they're in the middle of getting in trouble. Their interests include sitting on window sills to watch the lizards and birds, crawling under blankets, playing with their favorite fuzzy toys, racing each other up and down the hallways and stairs, carrying toys around the house in their mouths and hiding them in fun places for the humans to find, catnip, and taking naps. Their favorite time of day is first thing in the morning when we all cuddle together in bed before breakfast and later in the evening when Dad comes home from work. When they were younger they weren't allowed into the studio because there are too many tiny things that an uneducated kitty can choke on but after spending supervised time in there for a gradual transition into mini making they've become quite good at making sure I'm doing things properly.
Meet the boys. Deano is on the left and Frankie is on the right.
They rule the house and go anywhere and everywhere (including places that they probably shouldn't go but no one will claim ownership of the paw prints in the dust on top of the kitchen cupboards).
These fellows started out their lives on the streets and were completely feral when a very nice lady took them in and got them the medical attention they needed, then gave them a wonderful foster home with other rescued animals. The boys were very happy there but they needed a forever home. Bruce and I were thrilled because we truly felt that these kitties were the ones we'd been waiting for to help ease the emptiness we felt after Napoleon passed away. We brought them home and they immediately took off to explore and we've been one happy family ever since. Frankie is the little cuddle bug who likes to be held. Deano is a little more reserved but he loves to be petted even more than Frankie--he just prefers it on his own terms and would rather lay next to the human's lap than on it. Both boys have a funny habit of standing on their head and then flopping over onto the floor with their paws in the air when we walk by because they know we can't resist the temptation to stop and tickle a furry tummy.
Most of the time when I try to take their pictures, I get shots that can best be described as "This is where the cat was a split second ago". Ironically, when I'm trying to take pictures of other things, I always end up with one or two cats in the shot. They tell me this is The Cat Rule of Photography and that I shouldn't question it. However, I do happen to have a couple of selfies of them proving that they do indeed appreciate a good vanity shot once in awhile.
This is Frankie:
And here's Deano.
This is a friend they invited over for movie night "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave."
Oh, and if you don't have a cat and wonder what it looks like to have feline associates watching over your work, this is it:
They usually like my dollhouses but sometimes they think I'm just a little too devoted to my minis. In this case, Frankie doesn't seem especially enthused about meeting his mini-me.
They do occasionally like to lend a paw when I'm building and that would be great except for one thing. It would just be so much nicer if they'd use a paint brush instead of their tails!