Somewhere around here are two drawings of our cats' butts. My twins drew them and showed them to me and I immediately whipped the drawings from their little hands, ran downstairs, and placed them on my scanner, delighted to have something to post on this blog for once.
That was three weeks ago. I have no idea where the drawings are anymore, which is a shame. They were amazing. Like our actual twins, the cats are twins, too. Both black, both the same size, both completely indistinguishable from the other. We've never called them by names because none of us can tell which is which. We just call them "the cats." Like "the neighbors" or "the police." For the longest time, our girls didn't even know the cats had names, didn't know that naming cats was something people did.
It's probably a twin thing, but now that Lila and Victoria are older, they have decided it's important to tell the cats apart. Maybe, as the other set of identical twins in the house, they see the writing on the wall, that it's just a matter of time and indifference until we stop using their names as well. That, unless one of them gets a visible tattoo or loses an arm, they will be the next ones in the family to be identified by shrugs, embarrassed laughter, and a handy group name. So they drew the only thing they could find to tell the cats apart: Their buttholes.
The wrinkles in their buttholes, to be exact. One cat, they determined, had a distinct "Y" shape to the wrinkles in its backward-facing belly button. The other, more of a star. They drew each one on a sheet of white paper, blown up to about the size of a drink coaster or small cereal bowl. And they were so very proud. They had finally cracked the code. Each drawing contained carefully labeled arrows helpfully pointing out distinguishing features and though they were simple, just pencil and paper, they were painstakingly shaded in techniques surprising in artists so young.
And they are not the only example of butthole art in our house. Right above our living room mantle is a far larger, though less useful, set of squinty-eyes.
Vonnegut fans should recognize them instantly. Hand-signed by him, they are representations of the butthole Vonnegut drew in his preface to Breakfast of Champions. Vonnegut included the drawing as a testament to his immaturity even at age fifty. We framed them and put them on the wall for much the same reason. It's pretty much the only piece of Art we own. Art with a capital A, that is, because of course, there's cat butt art around here somewhere, too.
And there's also this I found when looking for the cat butts: