I envy those potters with studio critters. That orange cat who curls up in the flawed and forgotten bowl. The dog that claims the mat inside the sun-filled door. Studio animals lend a certain warmth and sweetness to the business of a studio. It’s hard to get stressed about a lid that doesn’t fit with a dog snoring at your feet.
And then there’s Petey. He’s a stray harlequin cat who wandered up the hill one day and decided to stay. He wasn’t chipped and there was no response to the signs we posted around the neighborhood. So we fed and fixed him and now we’re his. He doesn’t hang out in my studio. It’s too confining, I suspect, and he despises being in the presence of indoor physical activity. That said, he does like to sit under the mulberry tree outside my studio door and meow loudly at me. He’s quite chatty—opinionated really—about everything from the scolding squirrels to the sharp wind. Yet he doesn’t like to be left out of the action if I am carrying an armload of pots or taking photos outside. Then he shows his attachment by stalking through a photo shoot or by curling around my ankles while I’m walking.
Oddly enough, Petey and the foxes cohabitate with ease. They hang out on the deck together and nap, pretending to ignore one another. My neighbor, however, has seen them wandering around together like old drinking buddies.
Petey may not be a studio cat but he’s a charmer and an excellent ratter, and he’s the only critter I want.