The King of Cats, 1935, Balthus
This is a self-portrait of me with my human, Balthus the artist, you may have heard of him though he is something of a recluse, he prefers painting to almost anything else and likes to be perceived as an enigma. He is an intovert, occasionally visited by poets, writers, painters too but no other cats are ever allowed over our threshold.
I am the King of Cats as you can probably tell from my proud bearing, size and strength. I am known as H.M. or King for short. It was very good of Balthus to do this painting of me and because of his supposed talent with the brush I condescendingly allowed him to be in it. He does in fact try and make out I painted it, (I ask you, who would believe that cats can hold a paintbrush?). He tried to take over the image somewhat but my beauty and regal bearing reign supreme. I don’t think much of his outfit but he has a uniquely odd dress sense. I think his legs look overlong in this picture and he seems somewhat out of proportion but that may be intended, you know what these artists are like, (what do you think?).
I am Balthus’s guardian of being (this phrase is very ‘in’ at the moment so I thought I would throw it in). Without me he would be a nervous wreck but he has learned to watch me and tries to be like me; spiritual and soulful but with an independent streak.
I shall leave you with a poem, just to prove that Balthus is not the only artistic one in this family.
My Self-Portrait by Balthus
Lithe and long of limb, eyes as wide as his ego,
hair as dark as his imagination.
Dressed in his best, as familiars go,
Balthus is a superior specimen but
he has to be to match my royal bearing.
I allowed him to be in my self-portrait
but he tries to hog the frame, centre stage.
He presents me rubbing up his leg in
hero-worship mode; (if he only knew,
it is not about affection, just a
hunger for fish).
aka HM King of Cats
(Another Magpie Tale exercise).