Thursday, September 1, 2016

Occasional Flowers


One of the occasional gifts of wind and/or rain
What I cannot claim to have planted, neither can I identify
In the course of thirty years, this almost spectacular lily (?) flower has come up overnight, bloomed (lasting several days), and disappeared .  Once a friend identified it until (unless) it came again late in summer.  But after my Picasa files lost their classification, of my own devising, among so many thousand images I cannot find the earlier one, in whose caption ("title") or File Info (not come over from Photoshop!) the data for this plant is lurking.  What is worse, I cannot find it in Wikipedia.

Yet these are seen all over town in Baton Rouge, LA.

The current snapshots were taken on the last day of August.  I opened the back door to feed the cat, and, like red lamps that had shot up overnight, there they were, and I hastened to document them and, this time, post them in the blog, rather than just asking all my friends what they are.

I am, as you must realize, no gardener, but I am grateful for whatever I get.
And I thank anyone who can identify this (otherwise than as "firecracer") for me.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Industrial Pennsylvania


 STEEL: Pittsburgh and Bethlehem in Literature
Walker Evans, 1935, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, from hill, across cemetery, to steel mills and furnace chimneys.  Large negative.

Retired persons, especially if they are not just tempted but compelled to use eBooks for their zoomable fonts, have the time and open schedules to follow ideas and motifs and recall novels and pictures that made an impression fifty and sixty years ago.  Sometimes it seems that motifs recur significantly.  For example, the adolescent girl, bound to become a protagonist, goes into service or takes a wearisome job, at only fourteen or so.  Even Isabel Allende uses this Type and I noticed it emphasized in the campaign film as the key idea in the youth of Hillary Clinton's mother.  Surely, in real life, it was not always the most important fact in a whole adolescence.  To me, as I'm sure to many others, the necessity to do whatever one could find at that age was commonplace and belonged to melodrama, as in the plays produced by David Belasco.  A real Girl of the Golden West, however, had plenty of self respect.  Early in this blog I wrote about San Pablo Poultry Company; I rather gloried in it.
Immediately I remembered Mary in Marcia Davenport's The Valley of Decision.  This novel made a great impression on me, though I never saw the movie.  I remembered the steel mill at night (though the photo that I chose, and it's only a little less than a decade earlier than the novel, and is of Bethlehem rather than Pittsburg), which is wonderfully described.  Ever since wherever I was traveling in the vicinity of steel-working I thought of Davenport's verbal picture.  I know that she did live in Pittsburg before writing about it.  She may not have been our greatest novelist, but her firsthand knowledge and sound research are pervasive in this book as in her first success, Mozart, and in her operatic novel, Of Lena Geyer (her mother being the soprano Alma Gluck).
But I need the electronic edition to re-read so long a novel, and having read The Valley of Decision while myself a teenager, and before I even was self-supporting, apart from the steel industry, the parts that remain vivid are the love interest!  I am certain that Davenport did all her homework, but the Kindle, for the first time, cannot help me.  I don't know why it is available only in hard copy, since it is, at least, as good as Gone With the Wind, and far more valuable for all its background. I'm sure it's worth reading, though I've moved on to George F. Kennan and Julian Barnes, which are really more rewarding!
But have you noticed, e.g. in the 1930s,  that there seem to be 'meaningful' recordings, usually Gramophone Society, and usually of Bach?
And I do think that the Poor Little Match Girl stereotype in political footage has been overdone (not that I hold it against the candidates themselves).

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Again, fixation on Light as the Photographic Medium




Three of a handful taken the morning of August 23, 2016
These are not pictures, such as would illustrate a catalogue, of cheap porch chairs, but of the light that the late morning sunlight happened to create, so that I can only apologize for the burnout at lower left of the second one.  Photography has been for me, from my first permission to work, under the red safelight, over the development trays in my father's darkroom, the art whose medium is light itself, just as its early practitioners realized in calling it Photography.  The objects themselves are not its interest, just as line drawings in an early mail-order catalogue are not at all the same thing as drawings and prints made in their own right are not the same thing.
If I were a better photographer, let alone a great one, the images would be more interesting—but I continue to take them anyway, the reason for continuing to own cameras.
The light was especially welcome, though, after a solid week of rain and the dreadful flooding (but not where I live: I had done my homework before buying a house; no house in Louisiana "lives on a hill" but, as everywhere, it is wise to live in the oldest neighborhoods).

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Coal Miners

Bill Brandt, Lewis Hine, D. H. Lawrence
Bill Brandt, Miners a generation later than D. H. Lawrence's father.
Once again, works of art (photographs in this case) have brought me to re-read a novel that made a huge impression on me while I was still in high school, so probably not more than 18 years old: I was still doing my browsing and reading from the Berkeley Public Library, the one in Egyptianising style on Shattuck Avenue, and my ideas about photography were still derived from the camera club work of my father and grandfather.  As for literature, not only did I very quickly become impatient with D. H. Lawrence, so that I never did read (still haven't) Lady Chatterly's Lover, even though it would soon become publishable, but I acquired friends who would have discouraged my admiring him.  I mean, by the time I had taken a course in ancient art I judged Etruscan Places of, at best, negligible value. You will see that I had not yet learned to judge things for myself, but several decades later I thought no better of it.  From Taos I had gotten, besides, strong prejudices regarding the art colony clusters there and, rightly or wrongly, for half of my life would not take seriously writers, painters, photographers, et al., who took to it.

Anyway, what about Sons and Lovers?  I'm afraid that barely after graduating from re-reading Louisa May Alcott, I was smitten by an early (though not the earliest, except for its subject) novel by D. H. Lawrence.  It shares most of the flaws of Miss Alcott's Jo's Boys.  The descriptions of the mines, of their dangers, of the black coal dust, are still worth reading; more recent collieries are bright and clean, though, as we know from West Virginia, nothing seems to be able to make them safe.  The old ones, with old flash lighting, remain among the most photogenic of inhumane work places.  The greatest improvement is the elimination, in most regions at least, of child workers who ought to have been in school.  That was not only in coal: Has anyone read, for example,  The Five Little Peppers, and How they Grew, just to mention one piece of formula fiction that present-day octogenarians avidly consumed?  Yet coal was the grimmest, perhaps.  The first chapters, dealing with the pits, are the best things in Sons and Lovers.  Evidently, autobiography brought out the worst in D. H. L. (they say that he was remembering how he felt and dealt with Lady Chatterly).  One learns that 'gin' with regard to cotton as well as coal is short for [en]gin[e], and dozens of other words, with the dictionary on the desktop, are no longer just skipped over as vernacular jargon.  When D. H. L. must characterize persons and their relationships, he just repeatedly gives us their eye color and their clothing and the like.  Only from the wiki did I learn that he just added the setting and the social study to Paul Morel (himself) and published the result.  Adding in his boyhood memories of his mother is the coup de grace.  Yet this is the novel of his that for me remains, on the whole, memorable.

Memorable as Bill Brandt's photos from the 1930s are, it is Lewis Hine that remains the greatest of the pre-WW II documentary photographers.  He records early 20th century labor so that we cannot forget the weary and hopeless ten-year-old girl, the crowded bench of breaker boys, and eventually his last work, the men in high steel building the Empire State Building.

It was not to belittle Lawrence that I couldn't praise him any more than I could some 30 years ago.  Go ahead and read him (though I don't think I'd have liked him as a lover, either: you might).  But as I pulled out the picture books I found that I wanted to study them—and Paul Strand, too—all over again.  I took over teaching History of Photography just because we lost our specialist, and at least I had some grounding in it.  It was with great profit and pleasure that in that last decade of my career in teaching I could learn more and more of it.


A few references:
  • Naomi Rosenblum, A World History of Photography.  Page and figure numbers differ from one edition to the next, but there is a whole "album" for Lewis Hine.
  • The Google sources are almost inexhaustible, but see Coal Photography, et sim., and svv. Horace Nicholls, Lewis Hine, Bill Brandt (early work), and of course D. H. Lawrence, though his is not Wikipedia's best article.
  • A note: as with all the other illustrious Lawrences, I am not related to D. H.
"Coming Home".  One of Bill Brandt's most famous photos of working men.





Friday, June 10, 2016

Heard that Song Before...

Though History does not quite repeat itself…

As the USA approached the astonishing climax of its 2016 primary presidential campaigns, I began wondering whether someone, somewhere might get killed or drop dead.  I mean, I can't forget (in our internal history) that annus terribilis, 1968.  Yet I was comforted a little by the new biography of Joseph Pulitzer, of whom (shame on me) I knew nothing, even that he was born Hungarian, except that the Prize is named for him.  Surely he was mentioned in one of those Social Studies textbooks that in high school I merely skimmed?  Surely, on the occasion of the prizes, someone had said something memorable about him?  Surely, more important, someone had tried to teach me about the decades following our Civil War, about the politicians that opposed Grant's presidency?  About the expectation that the Republican Party would not survive but split?  Was it really a consolation that our politics had been fraught from the beginning?  Rather, has our teaching of history in secondary schools always been such as apparently mine was (and I graduated, in spite of poor attendance, in the top ten of my class)?  Elsewhere here I have recorded my delighted discovery in old age of the generation of Hamlin Garland.  Surely, as certainly is the case with science and mathematics, today we do better?  I don't think so.  Maybe worse.  The curricula have so much to cope with!

Anyway, as these realizations began to dawn on me, I remembered a great old popular song, with Helen Morgan as Harry James' vocalist.  My mother had the record, but so have the Library of Congress's American Jukebox and, of course, YouTube.  But for two weeks, though I named this Post, alluding to the song, and knew what I wanted to say, I put it off.  You see, I have sworn not to take sides on the stuff that bombards us during a campaign, only to record that its takes its toll on me: I am not usually depressed.

Really, is it true that Thucydides reveals the effect of campaign speeches while democracy was still young?

Speaking of my darling Greeks, though, their rhetors made public speaking a fine art.  Occasionally, one of our politicians must confess to having absorbed the principles of classical rhetoric.  I confess that they make campaigns tolerable, even memorable for me.  You may choose your own, but the first to affect me (since I was too young to pay such attention to FDR's) was Adlai Stevenson.  Recently Barack Obama did, first in the convention speech that made him famous.  And Elizabeth Warren perhaps takes the cake.  It seems to take the combination of very good schools on top of native intelligence?  Is it a similar congruence that made John Coltrane and Miles Davis in his prime such great jazz musicians?  I mean, is that what jolted me to attention when I first heard their recordings, so that then I listened closely?  Certainly it was those monaural LPs of Beethoven Lieder sung by Dietrich Fischer-Diskau that addicted me to him and to Lieder.  The Attic vase paintings (though taken from Gerhard's Auserlesene Vasenbilder) that illustrated Greek myths in the Junior Classics volume?

Oh, well, maybe it's just as well that some persons have that sensibility as a compensatory gift.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Berthouville Centaur Cups (moved)

This post has been corrected and revised and moved to Opera Nobilia, where it belonged from the beginning.  Formatting was wrong and impossible in some operating systems.
A visit to the Cabinet des M├ędailles. 


Paris, Louvre.  Miniature mosaic.  Eros harvesting wine grapes.  Constantinian, from Carthage.
Paris, Louvre.  The Borghese Centaur.
(The color photos are my own)
Centaurs as a synopsis of Greek Art


By the later 2nd century and thereafter, the "Dionysian and heroic styles were different parts of the same stylistic or expressive spectrum":  R. R. R. Smith, in The Oxford History of Classical Art, OUP, 1993, edited by John Boardman, pp. 204-205.  R. R. R. Smith is also the author of Hellenistic Sculpture in the World of Art series, and both texts are worth reading.  The Furietti Centaurs, from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, are in harder stone and more academic in their treatment; besides, Hadrian's Old Centaur has no baby Eros.  When I was a child, I wondered whether the Eros was part of the original, though, of course, compositionally as well as iconographically, he had to be.  C├ęzanne was right to love this statue.  The head of anguish on the old centaur is similar to other anguished Hellenistic heads, but the Eros is uniquely masterly.  There are some contemptible 20th century centaurs reproduced in Google Images (though the Disney ones in the original Pastoral Symphony in "Fantasia", even if they may be too cute, do have real charm, and, of course, centaurs of both sexes and lots of sentimentality go back at least to the Classical period), but I won't discuss the latest ones, evidently less than a half century old, which look as if they came from SciFi or Fantasy Fiction.
If you would like a fine catalogue of Centaurs in their prime period, the Archaic, I recommend the Princeton University exhibition catalogue edited by J. Michael Padgett, The Centaur's Smile.  Perhaps you will agree that centaurs play a different role after, approximately, the Peloponnesian War.  That is, they provide something different for viewers to relate to.
Anyway, that's how I came to use the baby Eros in lieu of my high school photo for myself on line. In art history courses, 60 years ago, I was actually discouraged from admiring this art, and of course it is not because Eros is erotic that I love it; I rank it right up there with Verrocchio's in Florence.



This coin shows that an eros, full of energy, but with the attributes of Dionysos, expresses the same enthused joy as a winged Eros.  Habitually, I like to keep the Greek names but capitalize the name of Eros, specifically.  As the vintner eros (top of page) shows, by the late Antonine  period, the use of wings is not quite proof of its being Eros himself.

As R. R. R. Smith said, these works dwell in an artistic expressive realm where Bacchos and Eros dwell alike.  I'd love to know the immediate source of the dancing infant with beribboned thyrsos and kantharos on the copper coin (above) that Thracian Philippopolis issued for Marcus Aurelius (it is my favorite coin).
*******


*******

This is the realm, of course, of the Berthouville cups, which recently came to the Getty Museum for technical study.  Anyone who had doubted whether the Old Centaur properly had the Eros, and anyone who doubted whether centaurs dwelt in heterosexual families was just wrong.  We have, rendered in micro-mosaic, a Hadrianic copy in the Berlin Museum of the Centaur Family, pitiably attacked by a predator, copying evidently the famous painting of c. 400 BCE.*  My modern period favorites are Winsor McCay's of 1921, but I shall refrain from discussing them here.  There is too much else to consider concerning centaurs.
* a list of illustrations, pro tem, of famous works for which I do not have adequate images is given at the end.
I cannot recall, or find, even in Asia Minor, among all the exotic combined creatures that Greek art preserved and transmitted to us through the Romans, any centaurs.  I think that, after all, they must be really and truly Greek.  The only doubt in my mind that I tried to pursue came from the fact that the very earliest one is the 36 centimeter, c. 900 BCE, centaur with a wheel-made body from Lekfandi in Euboia.*  Today it is illustrated in every textbook, but it has such 'presence' (to use the art critic's favorite epithet) that it reminds us that power, nobility, humor, etc., etc., are not due to realism or expressive faces but solely to the artist's vision and ability to imbue his work with it (OK, I cannot prove the gender of the artist, but...). And though 36 cm is nothing like lifesize, it is no figurine; in fact it looks bigger than it actually is.  Now Lefkandi is Greece, but by ship it is close to the Aegean islands and indeed to Anatolia, yet I cannot find any early centaurs farther east, even though I cannot find, either, a bona fide Greek origin for satyrs, griffins, pegasoi, and all the rest of the orientalia that, thanks to Greece, are still with us.  The Images that I have found on line include many creatures that are not centaurs.


--Kenneth Lapatin, ed., "The Berthouville Silver Treasure and Roman Luxury",  Los Angeles, the Getty Museum, 2014.
--Jon Van de Grift, "Tears and Revel, The Allegory of the Berthouville Centaur Scyphi", American Journal of Archaeology 88, 1984, pp. 377-388, 386-387, ills. 1-2, pls. 51-53.



Naturally, I cannot use the brand-new photographs from the 2014 catalogue, and the generous supply of photos s.v. Berthouville in Google Images are mostly of the the most winsome centauress (chosen also for the catalogue's dust jacket) or are small and poor images, while the photographs used by Van de Grift probably were made for Babelon's 1916 monograph and, even though the reproductions are small, they are useful.  However, I must say that the Getty Foundation has priced their reasonable and very beautiful catalogue quite affordably, and Amazon has it.  Indeed, I learned of it, here in the deep south where I live, thanks to Amazon's very well programed servers which, when I ordered the book on Hellenistic sculpture (also published by the Getty Foundation), instantly suggested the Berthouville book as well.  As for Jon Van de Grift, his article, abstracted from his dissertation (its committee eminently well chosen for this work), is the only thing he has published, or taught, on Greek and Roman art, as I learned from my Google searches: I wanted to make sure that he had not died.

I had forgotten how much I must have forgotten (if, as I doubt, I had ever thought through the subject) about the representation of centaurs in Greek art.  But if I am ever to complete this blog post, as such, I must do so now.
Here I shall illustrate only a few of my favorites, which also are good examples, I think, of what I've been mulling over.
For example, on the cusp from Archaic to Early Classical art, the attack of the centaurs on the goddess Iris by the Kleophrades Painter,* whose indomitable joyous energy prevents his rowdy image from being merely typical of its time.  Or the centaur on the Broomhall krater,* still essentially Late Geometric, a vigorous man-beast, a wild creature with anthropoid potential to educate heroes.  Here Greek art verges on the utter humanity of the Ram Jug Painter's amphora in Berlin, just decades later, where Peleus knows to hand over the infant Achilles to the wise centaur Chiron, the tutor of heroes.  There may have been folklore about Chiron for generations, but here an innately empathetic artist brings us to the dawn of literary storytelling: it consists of fragments of a huge vase, but, between Beazley's description* and the early-digital photos that I tried to get, you can make out the infant in his short-sleeved chiton handed over to Chiron:
Chiron, like the Broomhall centaur, still shows himself the Hunter.

Carefully reassembled, using the curvature as well as the story, we see infant Achilles (with his hair in a layered-wig format) proffered on the palm of Peleus.

I have searched, so far in vain, for a reproduction of the Pompeian copy of the famous Classical painting showing Chiron earnestly, charmingly, tutoring the boy Achilles: it introduced the four-legged Chiron comfortably seated on his hindquarters!*  This wonderful addition to one centaur's urbanity exists, usually fragmentary, in sculptured copies, too.  It is important here to document the ever-increasing (since the Pompeian copy, in this case, is very fine) humanizing of the centaurs by about the early fourth century BCE, reminding us, as so often, of the virtuosity and beauty of the all-but-wholly lost Greek painting, which was as famous in its time as Renaissance painting of the 16th century in its turn.  Indeed, of course, it was the tantalizing ancient descriptions of famous Classical paintings, both mural and, especially, panel paintings that at least as much as statuary brought about the European Renaissance: our temptation to recover, somehow, what was lost forever, though mistaken wishful thinking, is itself an important element in the individualistic emphasis that makes our art seem alien to most Asian traditions: not so much our centaurs, et al., as our humanizing them.  Here we come to that stream of art styles often called Hellenistic Rococo in handbooks (because it seems in the eighteenth century to follow Classical, as if there were some inherent sequence at work) which, again, recurs and this time must have been due, indeed, to surviving Early Roman Imperial workshops and treasured collectibles.  The styles used for heroic centauromachies, never equaling the west pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia* and the centaur metopes of the Parthenon all
are different, and the story of the wild horse-men of Thessaly itself, in surviving works, is less popular than the sentimental stories.  Of the heroes, in Archaic and Classical art, it is Herakles that most often deals with centaurs, such as Pholos.*

The silver-gilt dedications from the sanctuary of Mercury (using the Latin name for the local cult) are not all of the same date; the scyphi are dated by comparison with those from Hoby, which are, say, a couple of generations earlier.  The Louvre has a fragment of cameo glass that reminds us that the Portland Vase and the Hoby cups do not limit cameo glass to epic subjects.




Garland bearers of the highest quality (this fragment may be from the Forum of Trajan in Rome), being architectural, are similar in spirit but sturdy in style.






Among the treasures in the wonderful gallery entered opposite the Cafe Richelieu with the bronze equestrian statuette of Charlemagne or one of his successors, shown explicitly imperial holding an orb (though his horse has rather rubbery forelegs), are ivory diptychs and, mounted (as a medieval treasure)° with a gorgoneion cameo at the top, Bacchus and Ariadne, shown frontally, in a chariot drawn by centaurs.  From such objects in cathedral and monastic treasuries (the historical predecessors of Cabinets ancestral to the Cabinet des Medailles itself—see the excellent chapter on the CdM itself in the current Getty catalogue) late Gothic and early Renaissance artists will have found many of their models (as well as in printed texts which were just proliferating), but the Berthouville Treasure was discovered not much more than a century ago.  Such a celebratory frontal bilateral composition occurs on a large bronze coin of Pergamon (which I shall add to this post if I can locate the image 
file), as well as an elaborate front of a large sarcophagus.




Now, the whole range of subject matter, of centaurs of both sexes, of their involvement in wine and sex, of their message of intoxication relate them very intricately with the Borghese centaur, with the Furietti pair and the micro-mosiac picture from Tivoli, of the perfect understanding and mastery of this 'rococo' style, and place the scyphi in a class by themselves.  The motifs, of course, are Bacchic (theatrical).  This post is less than I should wish, but I hope that the centaurs' continuity and its consistency with the general history of Greek art and its Greco-Roman dissemination seem plain, though I have used only a very few illustrations here.




There is so little work of such sophistication surviving to compare.  Cicero's Verrines shows that silver-gilt table ware was a treasure for the unscrupulous to die for (or, they hoped, not to die).  Babelon and today's specialists have devoted lifetimes of study to this rare treasure, and, of all the treasures in the Cabinet des Medailles, the Berthouville silver was the one I was most surprised to find spending more than a year in America.  When I first saw it more than 30 years ago I had gone to see the Brygos Painter's kylix with satyrs dancing ecstatically around Dionysos,* a work of genius if ever there was one (his contemporary Makron, a wonderful vase-painter in his own right, used the same composition but it is static).  I had never heard of Berthouville, but I never forgot it.  

________________________________________
* The Centaur Family from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli  In Beazley's abbreviated translation of Pfuhl's, Masterpieces of Greek Drawing and Painting, fig. 119.
* The Centaur from Lefkandi  A different view: Hampe & Simon, The Birth of Greek Art, fig. 377.
* The Centaurs attacking Iris, by the Kleophrades Painter  A detail in Boardman's (World of Art), Athenian Red-Figure Vases of the Archaic Period, fig. 139.
* The Broomhall Krater Sir John Davidson Beazley, The Development of Attic Black-Figure.  For this vase, the original 1949 editon is better.  Plate II.
* The Ram Jug Painter's Peleus handing Achilles to Chiron  Idem, pl. II, as a supplemennt to the color slides (photos made before reassembly of fragments).
* The Seated Centaur, instructing Achilles  (illustration not yet located, but will be found)
* The West Pediment (Centauromachy) of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia In the Traditional Art History Blog:  https://draft.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3192706135770676794#editor/target=post;postID=8408145176433190674;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=10;src=postname  (Prints A89 and MA 86)
* Herakles and Pholos  T. H. Carpenter, Art and Myth in Ancient Greece, fig. 185.
* The cup with Satyrs dancing around Dionysos in the Cabinet des Medailles by the Brygos Painter  In Beazley's abbreviated translation of Pfuhl's, Masterpieces of Greek Drawing and Painting,  fig. 40
° Besides the Commodan coin of Pergamon (from the Athens Agora excavations) with this kind if composition, consider an elaborate sarcophagus (with a late Empire portrait in the place of Bacchus and Ariadne, suggesting eternal bliss) has just this composition.







Saturday, March 26, 2016

Feeding cats, January 2002 and March 2016

Young Buster with Famdamily and Old Buster with ginger cat
January 21, 2002.  One of the first photos taken with the Nikon 775, my first digital camera, days before I left on my last sabbatical leave.  The mother cat, calico Iris, and one of her last large litter, famdamily, of kittens (lower left), is joined by a new arrival, the still lanky and adolescent male that I came to call Buster.  Though as an alley cat, house raised but left behind by student house-renters when they moved and during my last travels before I retired cared for only by the friends who cared for my house, he has become one of the most affectionate and dependent elderly neutered cats imaginable, now nearly 15 years old, which the digital camera's data records.

21 March 2016.  Though it was very overcast, I relied on the Nikon 1 v2 to record Buster, who never learned NOT to share food on the side porch, though he is as territorial as can be about his yard and the sanctuaries around and under it as ever.  One of my wisest friends warned me of the wisdom of letting neighboring cats in for company but NOT (repeat NOT) feeding them, since they aren't mine and I don't want to be adopted!  Buster, ever semi-feral, with Spring weather, insists on eating outside, unless it's raining.  Well, you see what has happened.  The ginger cat (less orange than Buster but without any white extremities, not even on his underside or his chin) evidently is house bred (neutered and clean and well nourished), but Buster still wants to eat outdoors in fresh air and doesn't mind company, though if he stares too hard the ginger cat will back away, then sneak back in a couple of minutes.  They act as if the kibbled food were a carcass and they were taking care to pick it safely.   I do not want a young cat to adopt me, but no one claims him so far.  


2 March 2016.  Solid-color, or even striped cats free of white points and bellies, are rarely seen hereabouts; this is the only one I've seen within walking distance of my house in all the thirty years I've lived here.  I notice that he does have white whiskers and wonder if show cats of this sort must have tan whiskers, too.  He has amber eyes.  Note that he is a 'pure' shorthair; Buster has a short but fluffy undercoat.  He is very timid of me, but that is because I make it plain that Buster owns me.