Even when I was playing marbles as a kid, the cats-eyes were my favourites. I had a number of them in turquoise boulders and prized them above all when playing to win (as we all did). There was a quiet cut-throat atmosphere as we knelt on the playground asphalt summer or winter, often laying our cheeks on the ground to set up a shot. Our mothers had often warned us all about sitting on cold things and chilling important parts (as yet unidentified) but the spirit of the game trumped caution and besides, our mothers weren't there. I often went home with a comforting heavy clinking in my pedestrian marbles bag. It was plain navy cotton and I lusted after the Crown Royale bags some of my friends used but saw no prospect of ever having one, as my parents didn't drink. Still, life goes on, and now I want one for our Scrabble set but again.....
I haven't seen my marbles for a long time (and, yes, thanks all of you who completed that thought by confirming that I had obviously lost them some time ago). I might have donated them to the Goodwill because the urge to hold and admire them only strikes once every few years and the clue to divesting myself of "stuff" in general is to take advantage of the periods between such urges. Now I satisfy my love of clear globes with depths of colour by painting real cats, who possess them in spades.
Maya, the owner of these eyes, is the beloved family member of Lyla and Andy. Originally a rescue from who-knows-what unhappiness, she is now a princess. Befitting her royal status, whenever Jewell visited for any length of time Maya attempted to maintain a haughty distance; generally, however, she fell short of her goal. While she may have prided herself on maintaining the fiction of aloofness, everyone else could see that within a few days Maya was lounging within a paw's reach of our amiable girl.
Those fabulous turquoise eyes with flashes of amber and ultramarine were a joy to paint. Now a cat may look at a queen, provided that the painting is hung low enough.
As a catty side-note, if you have not yet found the "Simon's Cat" shorts on YouTube, do have a look. Elegantly spare in their cartooning and spot-on in their understanding of cats, they always make me laugh out loud.