Today we're sharing the ninth of twenty-two paintings (all of them views of The Bronx) by Bronx artist Daniel
Hauben for the new Robert A. M. Stern Library on the Bronx Community College campus. The panel is titled
"Cat on a Rail" (below) and is based on an earlier painting of the same scene.
"For many years Canvas (our white cat) amused himself by giving my wife Judy and me heart attacks because he would walk along the railing of our 10th floor balcony.
He would take a running start from inside the apartment and scramble directly up the side of the railing, somehow managing to stop himself before catapulting off into the air. He would execute a
balancing maneuver worthy of an Olympic finalist on the 2-inch-wide metal railing, turn himself right or left, and then casually saunter along as if his feet were on solid ground. Judy and I
learned early on to just turn away and hold our breaths - or shake the dry cat food so he’d come down and come inside.
Sometimes he’d hang out up there for a while, crouching down and watching the birds fly by. Occasionally he’d manage to snag one – we never actually saw it happen, but enough strange birds have
ended up in our apartment that we knew he had to be the culprit. Luckily, Canvas is now in his golden years (he’s 18) and he has outgrown this fiendish habit. He now passes his days in the more
moderate pursuits of napping, lap-sitting, asking to be fed, and eating.
Canvas' ubiquitous presence in our lives is illustrated by his reappearance in a second panel of this commission: Howard's View."
That's one brave cat! I'm sure Canvas is honored to be included.
We're up to panel number 9 of 22 and they keep getting better and better. Make sure to read our previous entries to see them all. Do you have a favorite so far? Which is it?