Monday, September 15, 2008

Charmkin Shangri-La

As many of you know, I'm a rat nut. To me, there's just nothing cuter. It's the beady eyes, the goo, the little feet -- those little faces! I go nuts. I love all rats -- yes, even the "yucky, scary" wild rats that roam the streets. In many ways, I'm rattish: I love food, safety, affection, warmth and according to my husband, I'm also prone to random fits of insanity.

The piRats are the mascots of The Boat, and I gotta say -- "dressing up" ratties in pirate clothes with Photoshop® is just too dang fun. Speaking of The Boat, the Summer issue has left dry dock! Phew -- it feels so good to get another issue out, though I've already started work on the Winter 2009 issue. Can never start soon enough with these puppies. I'm so proud how this publication has shaped up now that it's in electronic format. The hard-working proof-readers (Irenne and my Mom), the fabulous regular columnists and the special guest writers all do an amazing job to make this ezine really special and totally unique in the world of equine art. In my opinion, one of the greatest joys of knowledge is in its sharing, and watching it grow and evolve as each mind puts it to work.

Anyhoo -- Who's that in the photo? That's Scruffles! He's peeking up at you from his daily snooze. "Scruff" is a little rescue I scooped up about three weeks ago. He's a curly-coat and the poor little guy had lived his whole life in a stupid tiny aquarium tank -- skinny and dying for affection. Of course he came home with me, and started to fatten on the real food I give him (I've yet to meet a rattie who doesn't love scrambled eggs or tofu boiled in beef broth), and has turned into a "scruffley" ball of love, thriving on the attention he gets from us. Such a wonderful little character! He goes bananas on the "rat couch," the shredded, dilapidated couch dedicated just for "Rattie Super Funtime." Speaking of going bananas, I also have three babies I got a few months ago -- Epi, Wuzzle and Jeepie -- but they won't sit still long enough for me to take their photo -- stay tuned. When I got them, they looked like tiny mice with biiiiiig feet, but boy, they've grown! They've also turned into irresistible love bugs -- such a joy! They're black and white hooded, and so remind me of The Three Amigos, plus they're prone to the same insane antics. Rats are the only other mammal documented to "laugh," and if I listen hard enough, I hear them giggling -- a lot!

My little Charmkins instill such whimsy and happiness in my life -- I can't imagine a life without the sound of little rattie scuffling! Give your critter a hug today, and maybe a special treat, too. The caring bond between species is a rare thing, and we are truly blessed to peer into the glimmer of "The Bigger Picture." So back to work in the studio for me, to again express that bond through my work. Hopefully, I'll have something fun to show you soon!

"A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, Overflows, and bubbles all around" ~Carolyn Birmingham

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