I’m not sure blogging is altogether healthy for me. This morning, for example, I find myself for the first time ever, wondering whether to alphabetise my books. Curiouser and curiouser, I know.

I have nothing against alphabetising books per se, some of my best friends do it, and one has met the practice in several of the more respectable libraries. But all the same, I’ve always thought it a bit of an odd thing to do. What if people noticed? What would they think of me? Maybe I could do it, but throw in a few Ws amongst the As to throw them off the scent.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against having a system. I have played with a chromatic system of shelving children’s books over the years, and the results were very pleasing to the eye, if totally useless in all other ways. And, of course, I have my fall-back system of book-sorting based on my patchily photographic memory, and common sense: smart books in the front room, vintage paperbacks in the kitchen, books I actually read next to the bed, age appropriate books in the various children’s rooms, and the good children’s books kept safely tucked away in my study.

But having spent a good 20 minutes looking for my old school copy of Le Petit Prince, just now, and having had to give up defeated, I find myself wondering. Might it be time to grow up?

You’ll realise instantly, the cause of these existential speculations, when you see Jones the Cat. He it is, who has caused so much angst after breakfast.

What a beauty.

A veritable prince among cats, you’d say, but with that first picture of Jones in his scarf, the phrase surely needs a little tweak: he is a veritable petit prince among cats.

You see. it’s the scarf. And that is why I was searching and searching among my books this morning. For having read a quick plot summary online this morning, I found that I remembered absolutely nothing of the book, beyond the scarf, and even that wasn’t on the cover. Nothing, not a thing, despite having definitely read it in French at school. Or perhaps because of that. Anyhow – that has never stopped me feeling extraordinarily fond of the book, and so, I think I should probably (re)read it. But first, there’s the odd blog entry to do, and cat portrait or two, or three.

Anyhow, to Jones. And after all that, the be-scarfed Jones wasn’t even the first photo I started work on. Nor was it the second, when the first one failed. But when the second portrait also went to the dogs, the scarf came out to play.

They’re good, those behind the scenes, peeks. There’s a kind of primordial, ur-cat, in there, if a little detached – neck and shoulders.

Here’s the front:img_8019And oh, how I love the scarf now.


[Footnote: as you can see from some of the photos above, the book did, on a second hunt, come to light. And it was with my children’s books in my study, next to some wartime rationing recipe books and the Festival of Britain catalogue. Obviously. Guess the alphabetising’s off then. Phew.]

If you are inspired to commission a portrait of your pet, do hop on over to my Shop.

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