Thursday, 28 April 2016

30 Blogs of Night: Why Paint Cats

Day 28

I have a theory, a piece of whimsy really, that all cats are decorated before they're born. There are great production lines where angels, or spirits, or whatever, paint designs onto pure white cats. They check ear and tail sizes, put big paws on little legs and so on. Sometimes they get mixed up, adding ears far too large to a kitten head, or a tail that's too long or short. Too many mistakes and Quality Control will get involved but 'God works in mysterious ways' covers most contingencies; certainly enough maintain good P.R. on Earth.

Their real work, however, is in decorating and here we find the great production lines coming into play as cats are sent down the various conveyor belts to be painted.

Some remain as they are, pure white. Others are simply painted all one colour, black, or grey, or any number of other kitty shades. They are simple paint jobs, the kind awarded to the newest members of the team. There's no real art to it, just a quick run over with a brush and the cat is ready for delivery.

The next lines are reserved for pedigree cats, one for each specific breed. These animals are painted with great finesse, each mark painstakingly positioned whether it's a Siamese's point or an Egyptian Mau's dots. Most of the angels never master the art, they try but fail and it's a mark of high honour to become the shift leader for the pedigree teams.

And so it goes, on and on through the vast factory complex, a never ending river of kittens, sitting perfectly still as they're painted.

At the end of the hall, the moggies are decorated in a far more freestyle fashion, Tabbies are left with white patches, or with black bits filled in. White tips are added to tails, paw pads transformed to resemble humbugs; black with a pink stripe. The angels here alternate between tools, painting with fine brushes one moment and with rollers, spray paints and the most bizarre instruments the next. Running a pasta roller over a cat's flanks to provide a specific pattern, or pressing cookie cutters dipped in paint against the animal's back to produce a particular shape.
They take their work seriously, knowing they are Heaven's true artists that while the other team might be craftsmen, it's easy to produce identical copies all the time; their work reflects the creature's soul and to look at one of their works of art is to know the animal's nature. Or so they claim.

The last production line sits at the very end of the factory floor. It is cloaked with screens and stains run down the walls. While the pedigree belts are harmonious oases of calm and concentration, and the moggy ones a bustling hive of creativity wth conversation and excitement often rising to fever pitch, the last line's angels' voices are drowned out by the squidge of machines and the sound of splatting paint.

If you were to peer inside, you would see paint guns and sprayers. Angels just launching globs of paint to splat against the cats' sides, creating chaotic markings that clash and look more like a child's scribbles than anything else. These angels are the drop outs, the washouts; the ones who have no skill but can't be fired because the Associated Brotherhood of Seraphim and Cherubim would walk out if the Archangels, AKA the Bosses, tried anything like that.

After all, someone has to decorate the Tortoiseshells.

Image result for cats on a conveyor belt
cats ready to be sorted and delivered.
And as we pull back from the factory, through the warehouse where kittens are dispatched to the living world, side by side with other animals for the first time and ascend above we can see the huge factory complex that churns out all the creatures of the Earth, all the animals, all the humans. We travel higher and in the highest reaches of the vast white city that we call Heaven, there is another factory; producing angels in exactly the same way.

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