Really, I was charmed by the warmth in this cat's eyes~ can you tell why I decided to paint him? And below is his story!
Roscoe entered my life -- and that of my two daughters (Cadence and Emily) and then-wife (Lynda) -- back when we lived on the South Side of Chicago… probably around 1986. The Girls and I ultimately wound up in a bucolic little hamlet called Wayne, Illinois… and Roscoe was with us.
Roscoe was the fourth of four cats, his elder siblings being Hester Prynne, Dante Orfei Jr. IV (sic) and Silas McGee. They were all overseen by a tremendous dog named Mingus, who found me on the streets of Chicago in 1982. All the aforementioned have passed on, Roscoe leaving about four years ago around age 22. Roscoe was named for the remarkable saxophonist, Roscoe Mitchell.
Roscoe, the cat, has been immortalized (in my world anyway) in a song I wrote about all those furry critters back when they were alive. Said song is called "Cat Calls," and each cat has its own verse. Here is Roscoe's :
Then out from the corner, like Little Jack Horner,
A streak of gray rolls across the floor.
Just in from his roamin', he stops for a moment,
A still life, framed by the door.
It's that roustabout Roscoe, just in from his git-go,
He purrs and looks me straight in my eye.
With a smile that looks Cheshire, he's a feline of leisure
Who seems to sigh,
'What a good cat am I."
I am wondering if I could get Michael to sing the entire song at the Opening Party on April 4th.... what do you think?