Chloe the Celestial Cat

“Yes, thanks,” I said and accepted a perfect martini from my hosts.

I’m not sure that’s how it began in my friend’s place, but it would have been quite typical. I stepped out on the small porch overlooking Lake Pontchartrain and stared at the Causeway bridge to the west. There were tiny cars and trucks moving in lines like migrating ants across the twenty mile span. I had to squint because the low-lying sun was reflecting off the quiet water.

“You wanted me to paint the scene with the parrot?” I inquired. “I suggest warm colors to brighten the room’s interior.”

I said this fully intending to paint the piece the way I wanted to. Larry had trouble distinguishing colors and I wanted to use complimentary colors to emphasize contrast.

Georgia hesitated. “I won’t say anything about that. I’m interested in Chloe the cat.”

And that’s how Chloe the Celestial Cat came into existence on a canvas in my studio. I’ll always remember Chloe, and this is how I imagined her in later years, still sitting patiently waiting for the stuffed parrot to fly off its perch. The years have passed, and I don’t even know if the buildings survived the devastation of Katrina as it passed through New Orleans. But Chloe remains.

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