Thursday, June 12, 2008

Can a Cat do Christina's World?

Have you ever seen a cat “do” “Christina’s World”? I'm talking about Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting. And whether or not a cat could pose as Christina.

I think most everyone is familiar with the famous portrait of Christina. She's lying on her side in a field of grass, gazing into the distance at a weather-beaten farmhouse on a wind-swept New England hill.

Christina holds the upper half of her body upright, one arm extended out to support her weight.

Her face is hidden from view. It’s hard to say whether she’s young or old. She has long hair and she’s wearing a pale pink dress.

The painting has a brooding, haunting quality to it.

In real life, Christina, was suffering from muscular deterioration that paralyzed her lower body. But she refused to let her handicaps stop her from moving around – she insisted on crawling through the grass.

Anyway, Mittens, my resident cat, often adopts a posture that reminds me of Christina. The basic position goes like this:

Mittens is lying on my comforter (almost always), and her face is turned away from me (as always). She’s either gazing into the far wall or resting with her eyes closed (as always).

She extends one front leg out, while tucking in her hind legs underneath her haunches. Her fur has a kind of wind-swept look.

She looks like she’s gazing out into the distance across the empty field under the empty sky.

It’s almost like having a real-life “Christina’s World” in my bedroom.

Uncanny, this cat.

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