Geez, what the hell is that? That, my friends, is a cat stool from my dad’s workshop. For the sake of perspective, I should note that it measures about 14 inches from nose to tail. Well as you can see, it has no tail, which I believe makes this a Manx stool. And I doubt that it will see much duty as a functioning stool; I expect it to serve as both an objet d’art and likely as not, a perch for Tick Tock, one of my cats. OK, here are the details:
Sometime in the first half of the 20th century, my father’s father, who was a carpenter and furniture repairman by profession, designed a little stool in the form of a cartoon dog. He made them for many years. After grandpa died, my father picked up where his father had left off and continued to make them in much the same style. I’ve had one of my dad’s doggie stools in the front hallway for many years. Last year, my dad, who has abundant carpentry skills of his own, decided to design and produce a series of cat stools to match the doggie stools, and this is the result. I’m sorry to report that I don’t have a photo of the doggie stool to post at the moment, but the two are virtually the same size, shape, and overall aesthetic, and they frankly look adorable next to one another. I mentioned earlier that this stool might serve as a perch for Tick Tock. Many times, when there was too much hubbub and rushing around by the humans in my apartment, Tick Tock has reacted by going to the corner of the hallway and sitting on the doggie stool as a place of refuge. I have a photo of him somewhere doing precisely that. As further testament to my dad’s woodworking skills, note my posting of 1/30/06, “Two different corners of my world” and the accompanying photo of a table designed by Dad.
Today’s FedEx package was delivered to me at my day job, so a number of coworkers had a chance to see and admire Dad’s handiwork. One went so far as to ask what he would charge to make one of a gray cat. I can’t speak for my dad, but I’m fairly certain that he’s never charged anyone for any of these stools. Whether he would make one for someone he’s never met, or what he might otherwise set as a price are questions I can’t answer, nor am I certain how or whether to broach the subject. But this stool certainly brought a smile to the face of everyone I showed it to!
I’ve mentioned before that I love having friends and relatives who can make things, who have highly evolved skills in disciplines far removed from my own pursuits. My father is one such person. Another is meryddian, whose photographic skill has brought us the above images. A tip of the plume to both of them!