I am currently working on illustrations to a modern version of the Owl and the Pussy Cat poem by Sarah Pickthall. Hopefully when the work is completed it will be published!
Here is the poem;
Is Gravity Repsonsible for Falling in Love
On land, I had often spied her, 3 floors up, on the sill of her tortured chamber sitting sadly, weeping tears, licking her paws after another unruly night of nonsensical feline brawl .
It was after one such night, she had part of her fur: saveloy-ripped from her pretty scalp and took flight or fright in an adrenalin frenzy - throwing away her 9 lives in one leap of faith and madness from the window
And I seconds later, swooped down with feathers outstretched to catch her, in a bid to soften her fall, snapping my wing in the process. She opened her tiger eyes and smiled up at me through her concussioned fuzz
Is gravity responsible for falling in love? It had its part to play, for in that fallen moment, we twit ta woo fell.
A motley pair of creatures we must have seemed, scurrying through the night, across the cobbled twitterns, her raw bald patch smarting in the salty air, holding her under my good side, her paws limply tapping against my side.
It had only been a matter of time, that I too, would take the plunge and leave behind the tamed raptor side of myself: raised by humans as an egg caught in an unruly cycle of tit bits and tricks.
At the quay, we managed to charter a small fishing boat.
The boatman was clinically indifferent as he used plyers to release the golden pea from her incisor, and my alloy band as renumerating spoil for the year long charter, (give a day or two).
As he cast us adrift in the egg white moonlight, he handed us a pot of molasses, that his mother had made and a wodge of readies and we made swift exit from the land that had become for us so perfectly untenable.
Those first few months at sea were the happiest for us both, set adrift in a swirl of infinite possibility. By night, I strummed against my broken wing, set in an unlikely harp-like form at the mercy of its left-alone healing, singing her to sleep. By day I laid back and watched as she slapped fish senseless, exorcising her demons and landing our daily catch. Her fur returned, softer than before, bleached white by the fright and the scorching sun.
From our mossy bottomed boat, we spied lands but only docked once to sit under trees to feel the land underneath our claws and paws, but not to stay
And we were lucky to wed with the aid of a flying pig – for pigs can fly, defying gravity who gave us his nose ring to clinch our deal and as I feather pen this tale, I look across at her lying there, her tummy fat with love and marriage lying out on the boat bottom, glistening drops of sweet stuff set on her whiskers I say…
‘Are you happy Puss?’ ‘Ppprfectly, Owly dear, tho I do fear I’ve eaten too much of that turkey mince!’