Meet The Budda
My name is Budda. I'm the gallery cat of my human's art business Wild Faces Gallery where I live.
There I provide many important functions such as greeter, entertainer of small children and bored husbands, massage therapist, stress reduction specialist and most importantly, I offer my wisdom on everything art and animal to all who come seeking help in my regular column Ask The Budda. I feel I have been blessed with the ability to help facilitate cat communication with their pets. Oops . . . I meant people. But because God didn't bless me opposable thumbs, my human handles all the typing.
This is a good life of many naps in warm sunny spots, plenty of people and dogs to visit with and a human who I am constantly reminding to take a break from her hard working schedule and just relax on the couch with me for awhile.
Mona Majorowicz of Wild Faces Gallery
My name is Mona Majorowicz I am a professional artist who has been making my living selling my work for some time now. I am an animal artist, (meaning I paint critters) who works primarily in Oil Pastel or Water Soluble Pencil.
I own and operate Wild Faces Gallery with my husband Mike in a small rural town in Iowa. There we sell my original artwork and prints, as well as do quality custom framing and offer Giclee printing for other artists as well as for ourselves. I have over 20 years experience in the art and framing industry, both as a business owner and as a working artist.
I write a regular column for Apples 'N Oats (an equestrian magazine) about painting horses. If you would like to see real life photos of Catch, or want to follow the painting's progress (with full story) from start to finish please visit my blog, Fur In The Paint
Animals are my passion and art is how I chose to express it.!)
How Budda Came To Be The Gallery Cat
When I opened my gallery I found my time there lonely. Our dogs are of the large variety and I thought they'd make folks uncomfortable so when I found a half dead stray kitten in a ditch in late October, he was promptly adopted into the gallery.This cat was not Budda however. This was Oliver. I loved Oliver for all his bad temper and equally bad customer relations. I often spend very long days in the gallery and Ollie was my faithful and loving companion. After 4 years he died suddenly on Christmas Eve. I was heartbroke. I mean, I really was. For weeks I stayed away from the gallery, only going in for a few hours at a time and often closing and leaving early. I couldn't bear the loss in that space.
Finally my husband couldn't take it any more and sort of demanded I take in a new gallery cat. I'm not really one who thinks replacing one animal with another it always the answer but I agreed. I selected Budda from a litter of kittens. I chose him because he was ever so careful not to bite and scratch while his siblings spent there time climbing me like a tree. Budda is absolutely loving. In many ways he's is the opposite of Oliver which gives me some comfort in that I can love them both for being who they are as individuals.
How Budda Got His Name
And yes I know it's spelled wrong.
Budda was so named because when he was a kitten he often sat up on his butt, and his little round tummy would stick out. (pictured here with his sibling Little Brother)
Since my blog is about my art and my animals his name was deliberately misspelled in the belief this would prevent a lot of grief for those Googling for enlightenment.
As it turns out, many of the people looking for enlightenment also don't know how to spell it correctly.
Ah well . . .
A Few Of Budda's Other Names
Fuzzy Butt Checks
and Paco (by my husband)
A Few Of Budda's Favorite Things
In Short: naps, food and love
* Crinkly paper or paper bags
* Cardboard boxes in which to make a cave
* Plants on which to climb and eat
* Water to splash in.
* Kitten treats. The tender fishy kind, not those good-for-you-but-tastes-like-dirt kind.
* Being held
* Snuggling and purring loudly on the back on my human's chair
* Napping together on the couch with my humans.
What Budda Most Wants For Christmas - well ... that and more kitten treats
We don't actually have one of these but this is definitely on the top of Budda's wish list. Nothing would make him happier than to be carried around all day. Frankly he doesn't care in what position this happens. Either slung over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes, held on one arm resting against my chest or upside down. Just as long as he's being held.
Budda On Stress Reduction And The Importance Of Stretching
Since you are reading this lens, it is a safe assumption you have some questions about your furry companions and it is quite possible that it's stressing you. So I thought we'd begin with just a little relaxation exercise.
So the first thing you need to do is find someone to help support you. You know, someone who you can rely on not to let you down.
Then you just have to take a deep breath, let go and relax. Thaaaats it. Feel the chi flowing throughout your body. Stretch just a little farther, hold and relax. Can you feel your chakra's opening?
It is good to note that stretching is excellent for the circulation and the back muscles. To avoid injury, stretching should be done as often as possible before any kind of activity is undertaken . . . including naps.
Cat Yoga: Fitness and Flexibility for the Modern Feline Cat Yoga: Fitness and Flexibility for the Modern Feline
Budda Is An American Shorthair (sort of) - Technically he's a barn cat.
Budda is of a mixed and unknown heritage. Which is pretty much known as an American Shorthair though he certainly isn't a registered purebred. Technically he's a barn cat, though he's never spent a day living outside or in a barn. He he comes from a long line of barn cats and has the ancestral hefty body type and double hair coat, perfect for keeping him fat and warm during cold Iowa winters.
Archeological evidence suggests that the original need to domesticate cats centered around the human need to safeguard grain stores from rodent pests. Today farm cats, also known as barn cats, are still common, and are cats kept primarily for the purpose of catching the smaller vermin found on farms and ranches, which would otherwise eat and/or contaminate the farmer's crops, especially grain or feed stocks.
Though farm cats may have a more wild temperament than cats kept as pets, they may be treated as house cats or derive sustenance solely from their job of lowering the mouse and rat populations. In the latter case, lack of guaranteed food supply, and the necessity of physical exertion on their part, may tend to cause these cats to be much leaner than their domestic counterparts. (more ...)
Budda On Why Play Is Important For Your Human
Truthfully just about anything makes a good toy when your a creative cat. Plants, rugs, bags, paintbrushes and silk scarves are all a bunch of fun to be had.
But when it comes to getting my human to play I find the best option to be one of those dangly type toys that I can lunge after and bite. My human finds this particularly amusing and is a good activity. Trust me, she needs all the exercise I can give her. Plus this is a great way to reduce the stress levels in your human after a long days work.
Budda's Human On Cat Shedding Issues
The Cat Cuddler - aka The Budda Box.
I've gone from Fur In The Paint, To Fur In The Paper, to Fur In The Everything.
Well the Budda is slimming down for summer. And by "slimming down" I mean dropping about 5 pounds of fur daily. It is everywhere. Rolling along the floor like some some bizarre cat induced tumbleweeds, sticking onto and into any fabric items, or floating like wispy snow flakes through the air. I often find a random hair in my mouth, up my nose or even less pleasant places. How can one little cat drop so much hair?
He is a double coated cat (as are nearly all of our barn cats) so we know this is what happens every spring. But somehow it is always a shock. The quantity is a bit mind boggling and even the vacuum cleaning is beginning to groan. It's not like he doesn't get brushed regularly. He does. And we even have a shedding comb that takes off enough hair to create a sweater with matching booties for an average sized Chihuahua. Despite all of these efforts there's still more.
The Allure Of Belly Fur
We had a friend stop at the gallery and scoop up Budda for a cuddle. (Which Budda really appreciated because Mike and I had been ignoring his pleas for attention. Mike was working with the printer and I was shrinkwrapping prints. Both jobs where additional cat hair is not a plus.) I warned her about the "shedding issue" and she poo-pooed it and rubbed her face in his belly fur. (Honestly his belly fur is particular hard to resist rubbing your face in. It's bunny soft and frankly how many cats not only let you, but "like to" have your face on their tummies?)
Well for the next 20 minutes and the rest of our conversation, she was wiping her face at phantom hairs.
Furry inventions (sort of)
Feeling badly about not giving Budda nearly as much attention and cuddles as he's used to, Mike and I pondered a cat holding smock. Something to put on in order to cuddle the kitten and remove when done. This seemed like a pretty straight forward idea but lacked any real defense against the "floaters."
Upon more serious discussion, we then came up with the idea of some sort of hermetically sealed box where you put your hands through the gloves to pet the cat. Thus containing all the cat hair that is set free from said petting. We dubbed it The Cat Cuddler (trumpets sound) aka The Budda Box
In the end we decided we'd continue to do as we have done, which is cuddle the cat at the end of the day. At least until his fur issue is brought under control. None-the-less we claim all rights to this idea. So I don't want to see a bunch of cat boxes popping up in pet supply chains. You know I'll be watching for them.
Note: I imagine The Cat Cuddler is "technically" not hermetically sealed since it has air holes. Hmmm . . . I may have to do some rethinking on that.
Tools For Helping With That Shedding Problem
We actually have a furminator for Budda. It definitely helps but doesn't completely control the problem. Maybe if I used it more?
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."
Peeping Tom (cat)
A Story From Budda's Human
I am working diligently at the gallery when nature calls. I wander over to my bathroom feeling safe because no one is in the gallery and on the whole everything is quite. I enter the bathroom and close the door.
I should mention here that my gallery building is nearly 100 years old. Most doors don't really latch well unless you concentrate while closing the door and listen for the click. Also the toilet can be seen from front room of the gallery when the door is open so you'd think I would be more careful and actually pay attention to the click noise. But my gallery is located in a small town and frankly there are some days when no one comes in. So I tend to get a little careless.
So there I was, minding my own business and concentrating at the task at hand and just about to get really comfortable and the door trembles and shudders. I can see a shadow moving under the door. Startled, I tense up and babble something like "I'll be right out!" I listen. . . No response. The door shudders again and this time the nob jiggles.
Suddenly swoosh . . . the door swings wide and there sits Budda, looking smug. I swear softly and say "Geez Budda, you scared the (deleted for inappropriate content) out of me." Good thing I was already sitting down. He meows lazily and ambles in.
This has become a daily occurrence (thus the photo of him breaking and entering) and I have yet to learn to listen to click of the latch. Unfortunately he has realized that this is an excellent place for him to get petted. (because like an idiot, I picked him up and petted him the first time. After all I am just sitting there.) Plus he is obsessed with the toilet. His own private splash bowl whenever Mike or I forget to close the lid.