Three cats consider a hole.

“If you see any bigger than this, just pretend you don’t see them.”

I hope you understand this cartoon. So far, no editor has.

Well, it is a little ambiguous, my favorite place to be. Originally, I meant that they should pretend to ignore any people, and since everyone is bigger than that, that would mean they ignore everyone. Which they do, anyway!

Then I noticed the mousehole – or I drew it, forget which – and so maybe the cat is referring to big mice. And that, too, is typical of cats – to ignore any fight they can’t win.

I guess I shouldn’t go into the story of how I was running around Silver Lake very late the other night and saw a mouse for the first time. I see coyotes, skunks, raccoons regularly, and hear Great Horned Owls. But I have never seen a mouse. So tiny and sort of helpless, running in short bursts to avoid my thundering feet coming up.   I had to smile.

Then on my way back, I noticed an animal dancing in the middle of the street. I suspected it was a cat, but I’ve never seen a cat bouncing up and down like that before. Then I saw that he had the mouse in his teeth. I screamed at him and clapped my hands, and he ran off, leaving the mouse in the middle of the street. I felt so terrible. He didn’t move. But I talked to him and told him he must get up and get out of the street, and I kept looking for traffic. I decided I would wave them around. Then I saw his eye twitch as he swiveled it up to check me out standing so tall above him. Yay, he was alive!

I was not about to try moving him with my bare hands, and I looked all around for something. In a nearby trash can I found one of those cardboard sleeves for a 12 pack of Coke (such wasteful packaging), and there was already a hole in one side. I stood above the mouse again, and he moved – a couple feet at a time, and I tried to herd him over to the other side of the street, where the park is. He collapsed against the side of the curb, and didn’t go any further. I think he was ok, but in shock. Still no cars, so we lucked out on that end but I saw the cat creeping closer and screamed at him again (Of course, he had no bell on. Asinine owner.) No cars, no people. Just the 3 of us in this old, old play.

The mouse was still hugging the curb, so I pushed the box right next to him, so he could go in the hole if the cat came back. I hope I saved his life, but I don’t  know.

Fortunately, this mouse hole is long empty. It’s just a cartoon mouse hole, after all.

This is for Illustration Friday, subject: Pretend. Hello, beautiful people!

The Drawing
Marty Murphy gave me a great gift: when I struggled to find out who I was, and what I wanted to do, with full expectation of being a regular New Yorker cartoonist, yet trying other projects along the way,  he said, “The New Yorker guys are stuck in certain styles. When you can’t change and experiment, that’s not being an artist. ” How true! They are terrified to change their style or look at all, and not be “them.”

So I’ve always felt free to experiment with different mediums, pens, papers, and styles. I have a couple different styles for different venues, and it feels good. This was done with soft conte or charcoal, and I love the smudgy look for these felines.  And I like the tint-type colors I threw on this.


  1. Oh, it’s brilliant Donna – I really love your style too, I love cat stuff, and you have cats sussed!
    Best Wishes,

    November 20, 2008
  2. Donna !

    I think you should turn the story into a children’s story with many more to follow. You already have a publisher.


    November 20, 2008
  3. Hi, Liz, thanks so much!

    Maria, I will definitely check it out. I agree, they shouldn’t live in the same place I do, but it’s not exactly normal for cats to torture them, either!

    Thanks, Scott. I’m sure Coke would be honored to be alongside my mouse in a book.

    November 21, 2008

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