Venus (or Bernie) in Furs

Venus in fursVenus of Urbino - Titian

(Venus of Urbino by Titian)

I am a humble pussy cat
my fur is red and white
I’m not a Renaissance painter’s dream
or a swordsman of great might

I lived with my owner till she died
then they put me in a cage
I lived there forever, it seemed
I wondered if I’d be saved

Now I have lots of furry friends
and good (diet) food to eat
scratch posts and mouse toys to play with
my world is quite complete

So don’t forget–it’s never too late
for good things to happen to you
don’t ever give up, be steadfast
and your dreams can come true


Being There

Now that the die has been cast, and the “presumptive” GOP nominee–in the guise of Donald Trump–has been anointed, I’m going to offer up my picks for a preferred nominee. I was moved to write this after learning that artist Illma Gore, who created a nude portrait of Trump,  was assaulted by a group of his followers. She has also received death threats and is unable to show this piece in the United States, but it has been displayed at the Maddox Gallery in London. priced at $1.87 million.

illma gore

(google – Ilma Gore / “Make America Great Again”)

My picks:

(1)  Chance, the protagonist from the film (based on the Jerzy Kosinski novel) Being There, brilliantly portrayed by Peter Sellers.

Chance is a simple-minded gardener who tends the garden of a wealthy old man in Washington, DC. When the old man dies, Chance is forced to leave the old man’s house and makes his way into the “real” world for the first time, ending up at the home of an elderly business mogul who is also a confidant and adviser to the president of the United States. Chance unwittingly becomes enmeshed in politics but has no real awareness of what is going on around him.

I think Chance would be a better Republican nominee for the simple reason he has no malice or guile, and could do no harm.

(2) Bernie the Cat.

Bernie 1

Bernie is a five-year-old domestic shorthair feline. He believes in equal rights for all, particularly the abused, homeless and disenfranchised  (very un-Republican) and is fervently against fat-shaming. He himself weighs 24 pounds and is currently on a diet. He feels the abuse suffered by the overweight in our society is cruel and not based on science. He would like his future constituents to read this New York Times article on the plight of the obese, citing former contestants from the TV show The Biggest Loser who regained much of the weight they lost after leaving the show.

(3)  Your next-door neighbor who is not a psycho.

I’m certain that many of you have neighbors who are hard-working, decent people grounded in reality. I know it would be a sacrifice for them, but perhaps we can ask our neighbors to run for office. Being independently wealthy or having lots of wealthy friends would help.

(4)  Lucy.

We need more female warriors.



Who are your picks?



Lone Crow

crow 1caution tapecrow plaquecrow 2
photos by E. Herd


Caution tape feathers
for the super-sized crow
what shiny things does he seek
in the city that never sleeps
he bewitches us and flies unseen
returning to his post
to protect and serve
a loner, but
not by choice
no one to roost with
in the dark glitter
in the city that never sleeps

* * *

To learn more about the “Avian Avatars” who have landed in NYC, click here: article.

Matisse, MoMa and the Art Witch

witch drawing

timies art

Lorin’s Mom was in town over the weekend and invited us to see the Matisse exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (“MoMA”). We had a great time with her and her friend “B” who were visiting from Savannah, Georgia. It was a welcome respite from grimmer tasks related to the passing of Lorin’s father; after the museum excursion and brunch, we would head back to his dad’s apartment in Corona to continue cleaning, packing and throwing things out—he had a lot more stuff than we expected.

Lorin and I hardly ever venture into the city on weekends, tired from the weekly bus commute and general mayhem of the city. But when we do venture in, like most things in the Big Apple, it is never dull.

We arrived early, at Members Only hour, since Lorin’s mom is a member. Nevertheless, the Matisse exhibit was packed; in fact, the museum was going to be open 24/7 throughout the weekend so art aficionados could view the artist’s later works, including cut-outs from La Chapelle du Rosarie de Vence in France.

chappelle de VenceLa

Chapelle du Rosarie de Vence. Photo: Carmen y Marco

Scanning the crowd, which was sometimes panic attack-inducing, I felt myself entering a Woody Allen movie, with different camps emerging:

(1)  cultured Upper West Side couples of varying ages with / without children,
(2)  young hipster males in skinny pants and sweater vests with shabby chic coifs and glasses,
(3)  art curators and/or critics, and
(4)  eager-eyed young artists and art students.

Leading camp #3 was the Art Witch (“AW”), with a sleek silver bob and piercing gray eyes, a black pointy witch’s hat (excuse the stereotype), a large silver pin impaling the rim, black leggings, wrap and booties. Her entourage consisted of a silver-haired gentleman with an nose and suspicious air, as well as sycophants of varying ages and types. AW glided from room to room, the entourage always a hair’s breath away clinging to her every word, taking her emotional temperature, so as to remain useful.

The Swimming Pool

In the late 1940s, Henri Matisse primarily used cut paper as his medium, and scissors as his tool; these new works came to be known as “ cut-outs. A cut-out of grand scale was The Swimming Pool, taking up an entire room at the exhibit. I found it soothing, with the blues and tans.

the swimming pool

Photo by Jonathan Muzikar 

While in The Swimming Pool, Lorin overheard another patron say, “I could spend all day in this room just turning around and around.”

Hmmm. Personally, spinning around in that room all day would make me nauseous and dizzy—that goes for any room. That guy must have real stamina or else he’s full of shit.

Forrest Gump’s mom said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” I say, life is an art show. You never know what or who you’re going to see.

Frida Kahlo in the Window

FridaKahloin window
(photo: Erica Herd, outside art gallery in Beacon, NY)

Frida Kahlo in the window
eyes skyward
such power in a single gaze
hold tight, Frida
your eyes climbed the trees
if your body could not

I gather strength from those eyes.


Her last diary entry read: “I hope the end is joyful – and I hope never to return – Frida..”

When asked what she wanted done with her body, she said, “Burn it…I don’t want to be buried. I have spent too much time lying down… Just burn it!” ( 

Gerard Depardieu, Grave Robber: The Feline Perspective

“We got elegance, if you ain’t got elegance
You can never ever carry it off.”
–Jerry Herman

The Weirdest Celebrity of the Week Award goes to French actor Gerard Depardieu. Currently in tax-evasion exile in Russia, he disclosed in his autobiography Ca C’est Fait Comme Ca (It Happened Like That or That’s The Way It Was) that he was a former rent boy and grave robber and that he drinks 12 to 14 bottles of wine a day. He also claims to be friends with Vladimir Putin. All I can say is: TMI.

Our guest today is feline advice columnist Quincy M. Fuzzman, aka “Quincy,” who will be sharing his thoughts on Depardieu and other matters.

Quincy, Dramaturge

Mr. Fuzzman . . .

Please, call me Quincy.

Quincy, what, if any, are your thoughts on the recent revelations about Gerard Depardieu?

To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought, Erica. I mean, he’s not very well-known in the Feline Community.

I see, but as you are well-versed in film and the arts in general, what is your response? Do you think he should have brought these bizarre skeletons out of his closet?

Frankly, I find it déclassé. I know he had a difficult childhood, what with his mother trying to kill him in the womb with knitting needles and such, but some things are better left unsaid, especially the grave robbing.

What bothers you most about that?

Well, you have to understand that I grew up on the streets as well, so I’m no stranger to hardship. I contracted an eye infection as a kitten, which went untreated and resulted in complete loss of vision in my right eye and 70% loss of vision in the left. Then I developed asthma.  I ate out of trash cans, slept under cars and in garages in all kinds of weather, but I NEVER robbed a grave. Besides being illegal and invasive, it simply isn’t sanitary.

Point taken. And what about the prostitution charges?

You do what you have to when living on the streets.

And the heavy drinking – he claims to drink 12 to 14 bottles of wine a day in order to sleep.

Live and let live, but I don’t see how he’s still alive. We in the Feline Community have a credo, as do most non-human animals, “Take only what you need.” It’s how we survive in the wild. Perhaps he needs to do another film.

Now, Quincy, I realize that Depardieu is not well-known in the Feline Arts Community, but who do you and the rest of the puss world respect and admire?

Hmm. Steve Martin used to be a favorite, until he became an art snob. Of course, Eartha Kitt. Sarah McLachlan, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jackson Galaxy—he really gets us.

Oh, Jackson from My Cat from Hell?

Precisely. As a whole, we are tired of being misrepresented in cinema, popular literature and other forms of media. I mean that horrible movie Cats and Dogs was very damaging to us, and from my point of view, it seemed like anti-cat propaganda.

Can you offer any solutions?

I don’t want to jinx it, but I do have a project in the works.

We certainly look forward to that, Quincy.  Any final thoughts?

Yes. Please support your local no-kill shelters and fostering agencies, and adopt disabled pets whenever possible.

How can our readers contact you if they’re in need of advice or have any questions?

You can email me directly through Suburban Hobo, on the “Contact” page, and I will respond as soon as I can.

Thank you, Quincy, for sharing your thoughts and experiences, and shedding some light on the concerns of your community.

Always a pleasure, Erica.