I found myself looking down into the moss green eyes of a tiny white -and -black cat. He gave me a quick sideways glance, then turned his back and started doing that thing that cats do, winding himself through my legs, arching his spine and sticking his tail straight up in the air while extending his front paws, not toward me but away from me, offering me his butt to scratch as well as a nice view of his puckered asshole and his giant furry white balls. Basically, when a cat offers you his butt to scratch you have to do it and not mind the rest of the package.
A Tale for the Time being by Ruth L. Ozeki
The character Nao from Ruth's book is not the only one to observe a few ifs, ands or cat butts. I asked my Mom once, "Why do cats have tails?" She replied,"To cover their butts!" Well, I think there is more to the story than that. Hmmm. What other services do tails provide?
1) They help cats achieve balance on kitchen counters, narrow book shelves, ceiling fans, fence posts, tree branches and curtain rods. Basically, wherever they're not supposed to be.
2) They puff up like feather dusters to show fear, anger or surprise. This is my personal favorite.
3) They swing wildly to display fits of irritation or feisty spirited moods.
4) They swing and sway into your popcorn bowl, swipe across your peanut butter toast, test the temperature of soup or drop into anything you happen to be eating while watching T.V. Because as soon as you start eating, suddenly, cats find your lap irresistible.
5) They might, on rare occasions, cover their butts with a meek tail display. But, if you're a cat owner, you know that cats purr-fer to proudly raise their tail, sticking it sky high towards the heavens; their full moon beaming like a bright head light in your face. It's a cat thing.
As an artist, I paint it like I see it. Anything else would be a cat-tastrophy.