The Monsters

by | Feb 15, 2020 | The Hungry Eye

Before the Monsters there was Feather. Feather was beloved by everyone, even dog lovers.  She stayed with me for 18 years, quietly keeping me company throughout a hurricane of interesting times.

After she died I waited almost a year before going to a shelter and finding the Monsters. They were tiny then, less than a pound each. Jade was very forward and playful but Ghost I feared was autistic. He was a cute bobble-head.

This didn’t last. They both progressed rapidly to adult bodies and teenage brains. They stole my supplements and bit them open, leaving tumeric paw prints on the pillow and sprays of white powder on the floor. The kitchen sponges were dragged under the bed and dismembered. Cabinets were opened and entered. My body became a nocturnal wrestling mat. They wake me up every morning at 5:30 with vocalization and cheek taps. They are glorious. They are Monsters.

One day I mentioned to a friend that they had saved my sanity. As sometimes happens I knew that that statement should be a painting. And so it came to be. Although not easily. The multiple portraits (many Monsters & one Feather) and myself, coupled with the representation of my leaking brain made for several difficult months. And all that fur! I can do water pretty well but fur is hard.

Saving my Sanity

(48 X 60   oil on wood):

Its not the first time cats have starred in my paintings. Feather was in Fairytale (35 X 40 oil on linen):

Waltz (49 X 56  oil on linen):

and also in the documentary about me by Laura Checkoway:


After finishing Saving my Sanity I became entranced with the pink that invaded my hair and subsequently did the same to my actual hair. Life imitates art:

So now I’m a crazy cat lady and I have rainbow hair.
Since finishing Saving my Sanity I have turned my back on fur and embraced feathers. Lots of feathers. Stay tuned to see how that turns out!



  • Emily Levine
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