Meep

Fluffy white cartoon kitten with large blue eyes and bushy tail. Text reads “Meep”.Meep is a character I drew for a role-playing game I was sketching out called Cats and Dogs Living Together.

Strangers rarely glimpse Meep, a shy, four-pound, six-month-old kitten with a fluffy mass of white fur, enormous blue eyes, and a perpetually perplexed expression. Though quick to startle and flee from anything new or surprising, once Meep has a chance to get comfortable, he’s boisterous and bold. When he’s not sure what to do, he compensates for youthful naivete by copying older animals.

Remembering the World

The king is dying,

memory fading.

Now honor is gone

now yesterday’s dinner

now mother’s hand stroking

the ermine collar

of her deathbed gown.

 

(For now, the world

flat and finite

like his mind. The ocean’s

crisp boundaries

spill over four corners

like memory, disappearing.)

 

The king orders

a fleet of glass galleons

set out to explore

the edge of the world.

They launch, crystal sails

aloft in the sun,

casting rainbows

through ocean spray.

 

(A century hence,

the world will be round

like a fruit:

one endless circumference.

Minds, too, become

deeper thoughts hidden

like icebergs

submerged in men’s souls.)

 

Sailing toward

the periphery

translucence deepens.

Ships pale, disappear,

til but one is left.

Atop the survivor’s mast

the king’s sole

remaining lieutenant

peers at knife’s edge horizon.

The world tapers

stretched thin. Sky bleeds 

navy, royal, azure

fainter  

to absence’s hue.

 

(World and man

exchange simplicity

for paradox,

linearity curving

swallows its tail.

The traveler’s straight path

leads home again,

in the end. His marriage

disintegrates

in childhood’s castles.)

 

Beyond, nothing

save slow cascade 

of water pouring nowhere.

King’s faded schooner

balances on edge

one moment neither

within nor without.

Heavy, stern dips

mast creaks and shatters.

Tipping over

she falls

following oceans

over precipice

to comprehension,

lost.

Fran!

image description: white dog with wagging tail on green background. Text reads: “Fran!”

 

Fran is a character I drew for a role-playing game I was sketching out called Cats and Dogs Living Together.

Fran is a medium-sized, white American French bulldog with an incessantly cheerful personality. She’s two years old, and a bit smaller than she should be at thirty pounds, due to puppyhood illness. She loves people and has broken her tail multiple times from overzealous wagging. She is always up for playing games with other animals, even if the other animals aren’t. She’s not very bright; if you put her under a blanket, she could probably find her way back out.

Pia

white cat with black and orange spots, unevenly sized eyes, and very crooked whiskers. Text reads: “Pia”Pia is a character I drew for a role-playing game I was sketching out called Cats and Dogs Living Together.

Pierrot (“Pia”) – The black spots around Pierrot’s eyes make her look like her namesake, a French clown–but everyone calls her Pia. The plump, thirteen pound, four-year-old does everything with gusto. She wants to be everyone’s friend. She’s energetic, risk-taking, and impulsive–smart enough to think through the consequences of her actions, but far too impatient. She’s always a mess; she has more interesting things to do than worry about her crooked whiskers and matted fur.

Suzie Q

Large grey cat with yellow eyes and a grumpy expression. Text reads: “Suzie Q”

Suzy Q is a character I drew for a role-playing game I was sketching out called Cats and Dogs Living Together. She is a sixteen-year-old Scottish Fold whose thick grey fur makes her look even larger than her twenty pounds. After years of indulgence by a previous owner, she has a constant hankering for table scraps. At her age, she can’t jump higher than a barstool anymore, but she can still get up to high speeds when excited. She is very clever, and very impatient with those who aren’t. She enjoys puzzles, mysteries, and not being pestered.