Everybody’s a Critic

“Ugh, what utter pablum.  Technically proficient, yes, but what exactly is the artist trying to say here?  The whole ‘sad, soulful kitten eyes’ thing is such a cliché, darling — where’s the originality?  I’m looking for something that screams ‘YES! This is real!  This is art!’ and all I’m getting here is ‘mew.’


I guess we can just skip the “Dogs Playing Poker” retrospective, Matt M.



  1. DaytimeDeb says:

    A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world.
    —Edmond de Goncourt (1822 – 1896)

  2. I recognize that kitten.

  3. linguafranka says:

    ear nubbs!

  4. linguafranka says:

    BLURRY ear nubbs!

  5. OMG it’s that wine glass/kitteh drawer kitteh again! MORE, MORE, MORE!!!

  6. gravyboat says:

    Those are officially the tiniest ears on the planet!

  7. Brian Sewell is looking cute today.

  8. “The smallest feline is a masterpiece” – Leonardo Da Vinci

  9. Beauty_Without_Cruelty says:

    Somebody! Anybody! Please, get some good art to this kitteh…or one of us will get fired…

  10. I don’t care what this kitty says. There is a place for soulful kitty eye artwork ala Gig and Keane. I am a painter who took myself far too seriously, and after a tortured three year block in which I couldn’t produce anything, I saved myself by doing a big eyed kitty painting. It’s tacky, it’s gloomy and kitschy and will never hang in a legitimate art museum, but by gum it got me working again and it felt *good*. Don’t let the hipster art school dropouts look down their noses at you! Sing the praises of big eyed kitten art!

    PS it’s the only big eyed painting I will ever do in my career, lest I too become one of those people who paints soulful eyed kitties. It’s not as though I could ever compare to the incomparably tacky and enigmatic GIG anyway; http://besmirched.tripod.com/gigology.html

  11. There is no wrath like teeny, tiny, threadclawed kitten wrath.

  12. marthava says:

    What’s REALLY going on in this picture: Cats Know How to Control Humans, Study Finds – http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,532303,00.html?test=latestnews

    No news to me…

  13. GingerBean says:

    “…all I’m getting here is ‘mew.’ “

    “Mew” is all I need. I’m content with “mew”. I don’t like when art screams at me.

  14. haha, everyone’s their TOUGHEST critic, of course. Poor marble. So beautiful and just has no idea.

  15. Cambridge_Rat_Mom says:

    So young, so small, so artistically sophisticated.

  16. It’s Memebon!

  17. Von Zeppelin says:

    I think I took that kitten’s art history class in college. He was always grumpy in his lectures, too.

  18. BenPanced says:

    Perhaps “mew” is all that needs to be said.

  19. Leslie (not the author!!) says:

    ….Isn’t pablum a nutritive supplement fed TO kittens & such ie it’s a GOOD THING???
    Curious & mischevious ….

  20. apotheosis says:

    “This piece speaks to me in the voice of my inner mews.”

  21. I’m trying to post something pretentious about art here, or at least anything I can remember from my art class, but..
    The ears!
    The weeny mouth!
    The weeny paws!
    Brain…melting…College edumacation…down the drain…

  22. apotheosis says:

    What’s REALLY going on in this picture: Cats Know How to Control Humans, Study Finds

    Pfft. That mixed-meow is just a suggestion. Control is when they get up on your bed and pat your forehead repeatedly until you get up and feed them.

  23. SoCalSis says:

    Well, I don’t know Art, but I know what I like, and “Mew” will get me every time. And, isn’t that thing hung upside down, anyway?

    Oh, and Apotheosis? SNORT. You gave me my first guffaw of the day. Thank you!

  24. Trabb's Boy says:

    Oh! Zanna! Oh! Oh! I can’t believe this! I had one of those puzzles as a little girl! It wasn’t one on that site — it was a black cat by a garbage can — but so obviously the same artist. I can’t tell you how the thing haunted me through the years. I think it made me into the hypersensitive, guilt-ridden, cute-adoring thing I am today, forty-something years later. Now how can anyone say it isn’t art when it can have such a strong effect on people. Thank you thank you thank you! Off to track the thing down and offer obscenely large sums to get it back in my possession again.

    Hmm, gotta work on that oversharing thing . . .

  25. 260Oakely says:

    Hmm, looks like something from Picatso’s Fuzzy Period.

  26. Apotheosis: your pun was very a-mew-sing!

  27. Katrina says:

    Damn, the ‘mews’/muse thing already got used, grumble, grumble, merphertickermerkle. Sweet babay, though.

  28. apotheosis said (#22): Pfft. That mixed-meow is just a suggestion. Control is when they get up on your bed and pat your forehead repeatedly until you get up and feed them.

    Or gang up together and have six or seven of them sitting on the bed staring at you, doing mind control – get up… food… get up… food…

  29. Obvious, but still needs to be stated firmly:

    Kittens are cute.

    I mean, really REALLY cute.

  30. apotheosis says:

    Or gang up together and have six or seven of them sitting on the bed staring at you, doing mind control – get up… food… get up… food…

    I never have more than two at a time, and it seems to always end up like one’s taciturn and the other’s a psycho. So I’ll have one whacking my forehead like “FEEDMEFEEDMEFEEDME” while the other’s on the footboard like “yeah mac, what the kid said.”

  31. Memebon!? Is that you? I thought you grew up!

  32. Katrina says:

    Oh, we need someone to fund us the Simon Tofield (is it Tofield?) cartoon cat series for reference here- the truest chronicler of cat behavior ever.

  33. Katrina says:

    “find” *sheeesh*

  34. apotheosis says:

    Simon’s Cat:

    All very true. 😀

  35. Blondie says:

    Baby!!! *mew*

    I had two for the longest time. The girl (Maggie) would yell like crazy when it was time to be fed. The little boy (Zaphod) would just sit there and watch – knowing he didn’t have to do anything. When I had to put Maggie down I thought – now feeding time will be quiet. Well, it took about 3 days before Zaphod figured out that Maggie wasn’t there to make sure he got fed. From there, he picked up where she left off…

    I had to put Zaphod down last October. This past January I adopted two 4 mo old orange tabbies from the same litter, a boy and a girl. They haven’t learned the ‘yell until mom feeds us’ technique, but they do squeak when they realize it’s feeding time. 🙂

  36. I am lucky, my last two guys have been very gentle about waking me, but Tiny Mimi was merciless. She used the Isaac Newton Method of hoomin-rousing– pushing everything off every table and counter to crash on the floor, until I moved my lazy @$$. This included things that were bigger than her. Small light things, she would push with a paw. Bigger things– she would get behind those with her head, and used her whole body to push them off. The look of satisfaction on her face when the object crashed to the floor was hilarious.

  37. Mud Bug says:

    Fuzzy kitties front & back just gave me a CUTE ATTACK !!!

  38. @260Oakley “Hmm, looks like something from Picatso’s Fuzzy Period.”

    Good one!

  39. @Daytime Deb– running second would be the security guards in the museum. I’ve heard some doozies– I’m still scratching my head over things I heard at the big “Art and Love in the Renaissance” exhib at the Met last year.
    But I still gotta give people credit for going to the museum in the first place.

  40. skippymom says:

    Five to ten minutes after his dinner has been served and consumed, Edward begins to yell at me that he needs more. He keeps this up periodically throughout the evening. When Eddy starts yelling, Skippy immediately and silently appears, since he knows that Mom is likely to get so annoyed that she will give Eddy more food just to shut him up, and if Eddy gets more, Skippy will get more. Sometimes I swear Skippy encourages Eddy to beg so that he can get in on the windfall.
    When Mom is clearly at her wits’ end, Edward switches to the tactic of sitting quietly by his dish looking desperately sad.

  41. Maybe he is Hobbs from Calvin and Hobbs always causing trouble.

  42. No mew needed. Just a look at the ridiculously cute fuzzy calico head and I know what this kitty is saying.

  43. DaytimeDeb says:

    RE: The cat control thing, I agree, this is old mews. My 18-lb boy, Hyde gets up on my nightstand, and paws at the closet door — it’s mirrored and on a track, so it’s not solid and it makes a great noise at 5 in the morning. He does NOT do this at any other time of the day. I do not get up, but I do push him off the night stand. (Note to self: Remember to bring a squirt bottle to bed tonight!) Anyway, he’s been doing this every night for about 6 weeks now. Argh. A couple of hours later, when it really IS time to wake up, he starts sniffing my face while purring loudly. This, he has done for years. Not sure if it’s the purr/meow described, but it could be.

    Did everyone see this site with the kitty/purr/control sound clips? http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/cmvcr/Domestic%20cats.html

    BTW, Hyde was not named for Jekyll/Hyde but it fits him just the same!

  44. My Melanie does polysyllabic meows when she’s trying to get my attention.
    Meow-wow is Yellow Alert
    Meow-ow-OW! is Red Alert
    Meow-ow-ow—OW! means “Your ankles are about to be bitten.”

  45. “Polysyllabic Meows” – wow. Great Bond girl name.

    Aw, this warms the schlockles of my ‘art. Someone got an on-line degree at the Art A-Cat-emy.
    Yes, wee one, I do agree. (Haughty harumphing all ’round.)
    We’ll be leaving now wont we!
    Ya got a little paint there on ya, well, all over ya really.

  46. kibblenibble says:

    Reading all your cat stories makes me appreciate how unique and special each one is! 🙂

  47. Yep, my Percy cat is a nocturnal noise nagger too. Worse than the early bird.
    He wants fudz, not worms. Well I put out fudz at bedtime, and leave the door open (his fudz are kept out of pup-snarfing range), “buuut noooooo!”. Not good enough! Percy wants me to *escort* him to the fudz. Whereupon I do, and promptly shut the door on his butt and go back to la-la land. Sigh. That cat. I tell ya.

  48. Blondie says:

    LOL skippymom! I used to think that Zaphod encouraged Maggie to start hollering for food. Maggie also knocked things over to get attention. If you ignored her, she’d go one by one thru each item that was near you, displacing it. *tink* then look at mommy. Nothing? *tink* then look at mommy. Only a glare from mommy? *tink* The worst part – she knew I’d grab the spray bottle 2 or three items in, so she always knocked that off the table first so I couldn’t reach it. Too damn smart, these kitties!

    PS: My Maggie was a calico/tortie. She looked just like the baby in this post. Brings back very fond memories…

  49. Noelegy says:

    Zanna: *GASP* I have a reproduction of one of those GIG (I didn’t know the name of the artist) pictures! It’s the teeny, starved-looking black kitty looking over its shoulder. It’s reproduced on a piece of cardboard, and someone gave it to me years and years ago, and somehow it’s survived the years and several moves. I keep meaning to get it matted and framed, because it’s so darned pitifully cute, and because it’s a black kitty, for which I have an especial soft spot in my heart. Thank you for giving us the name of that painter! Now I want to see YOUR big-eyed kitty painting!

  50. FanofCute says:

    I love this site; cute animals and witty commentators are the perfect combo!

  51. 5^^now8ing says:

    Zanna – sometimes kitsch is what we need — and it’s far better than taking oneself too seriously! Love your little tale 😉

    apotheosis — “inner mews — snort! And that cartoon is one of my favorites!

    Blondie — Yeah, it’s amazing how when you lose one pet, another will step into the void. When our first kitty, Smudge, died, our other kitty’s personality just blossomed! All those years (17!) we thought she was just shy, but she was really being squelched by bossy Smudgie! And our Aslan used to follow me to bed every night and lie between me & hubby’s pillows & want pets. The night after we put him down, Francis, who had *never* done this before, appeared between our pillows! It was like he knew we needed our bedtime kitty fix.

  52. OMG kitty looks sooooo much like an art critic I know!

  53. 😈 What kitty will get is being stuffed inside my warm shirt just before I run out the door with the sweet little kitty 😈 with Matt M. running behind trying to get the kitty back 😈

  54. liloaktree says:

    effing squeeeeeeeee!

  55. Subhangi says:


  56. Katrina says:

    Isn’t it wonderful to have such interactions with our animal companions? It makes all of the worry and money and toys and stuff so worth it. ROI, people, ROI. (Return on investment.)

  57. Katrina says:

    apotheosis – thanks for the link.

  58. Noelegy says:

    5^^now8ing, we had a “Smudge,” too. She was a lynx-point Siamese mix and had a personality that was insouciant and lovable by turns. As a kitten, she survived an attack from a dog that left her with a punctured lung and cracked rib. After that, she was pretty much fearless. 🙂 Unfortunately, she was a “dump” kitteh–someone dumped her off in the country at my husband’s house (before we were married, obviously, and before he moved in with me) and she always thought she needed to be an outside kitteh part of the time. We would let her outside for short periods of time and she would always come back. I could NOT get her to wear a collar–she figured out how to stick a paw in and pop the safety clasp–and I was just about to get her microchipped when one day, a couple of years ago, we let her out and she did not come back.

    I put up signs around the neighborhood and someone went around the very next day and took them down. The city kind of turns a blind eye to these “lost pet” signs, so I’m pretty sure whoever took them down also took her. 😦 I also put up signs at all the local vets’ offices, but nothing ever came of it. I hope whoever took her is taking care of her. I miss my Smudgeness.

  59. Katrina says:

    Noelegy-I’m so sorry, what a sad story. I bet you miss her. I hope she lives a whole and happy life, you prepared her well. Let’s think the best.

  60. lexi (lindsey) Ragsdale says:

    HOW CUTE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. The cat could have also just said, “Too Emo”