• Posted on September 12, 2010

Random Acts of Catness

I watched a flock of geese soaring overhead in V-formation the other day. Practice runs. It’s too soon for the birds to flutter off to wherever they go in the the winter. Calgary? Hard to say, but bird or human, in a northern city, September is autumn. Early September still looks like summer, but late September, when the cool air has moved in and the branches that aren’t entirely bare hang on to the last few curled leaves, summer seems months ago. And by the first week of October, people look out their windows, in full expectation of the first fat flake.

In Patrick McDonnell’s South, a little bird wakes up from a nap to discover his peeps have moved on without him. It’s autumn, and he is alone. Well, not quite alone. His friend Mooch (the cat, from the cartoon strip Mutts) offers his paw to the weeping bird, and they set off in search of his flock. In a similar situation, I’m not sure my cat Molly would do the same thing, but I like to think she possesses one or two ‘better angels’, buried somewhere deep in those 22 pounds of furry flesh.

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  • Posted on March 02, 2010

Guardian of My Being

You know, I’m really having trouble with this post.  First of all, the Olympic hockey finals are on and the American team just scored a goal in the last twenty seconds of the third period, tying the game. Cheese and crackers!  Now we have to go into overtime. However, as distracted as I may be by a little rubber puck, the real reason this entry is proving so difficult is that Patrick McDonnell is my hero, and I don’t know how to write about heroes.

One could argue that all of my posts thus far have been about hero worship, but my feelings for Patrick McDonnell go beyond an admiration for his extraordinary talent as an artist and humourist. This is a man who exemplifies kindness.  It informs and connects all of his beastly projects, from his comic strip Mutts to his work on the board of the American Humane Society. And it’s kindness that permeates his latest book, Guardians of Being.

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