Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ma Vie en Playmobil

Hello again. This week's mailbag is postponed until next Thursday as I'm waiting for questions to roll in following what I trust has been a hectic and rewarding holiday season.

At my house, one of the smallfolk received My Take-Along Farm (Playmobil).

As you can see, the good people at Playmobil have seen fit to include not one, but two Schubert cats. Kittens, actually, but you get the idea. Also, you see to the left a big orange cat (Seamus, anyone?) and a grey rodent (Henri). Murray's presence in our house is too new to have been included by the time My Take-Along Farm moved from design to rendering, but he is implied by the included bunnies (not pictured). So you see, playing with this set gives kids the world over a taste of what it's like to live in my house. To be sure, Mama sometimes feels like she's living on a farm with all of the fur flying and squawking and feedings.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays!

As a special holiday treat, I've mocked up a picture of what it would look like if, as has been discussed recently with my agent, the Animagic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" from 1964 was remade featuring yours truly.

As you can see, I've texturized myself through the magic of Photoshop so that I'd fit in with the other characters. I'm sure you'll agree that the presence of a Schubert makes this holiday classic even more special.

Happy Whiskermas // Merry Christmas // Happy Holidays


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Mailbag

Only two questions.

Are two cats in a house always better than one? How will I know a new cat will be able to get along with the older cat, and vice versa? Can I kick to the curb a cat with no personality in favor of a cat who has personality?
--Justin Evans

Two cats are better than five for sure, some would say. Better than one? Hard to say. It seems, though, like you don't want two cats as much as you want to get rid of Mr. Personality. I don't offer advice on getting rid of cats through this column. There is always the chance that you'll get another cat and find that he or she also lacks personality and then where are you?

Bailey, are you a rare feline college professor? If so, what are your course offerings for SP07, in case I would like to register?

Cher Penultimatina--
I'm working on getting accreditation to start up my own online university. Watch this space for further details. We will offer coursework in Hands, Backhands, Pans, Comfort, and Sass.

Reader questions answered each Thursday. Please submit questions in the reply field of this post.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Schubert Icon

How many of you have this poster in your home in some form or another:

I do. Magnificent, isn't it? In the case that you've ever wondered what this poster is all about, it's by Théophile Steinlen and advertising (obviously) Le Chat Noir, a famous 19th century French cabaret.

Now it's mostly a way for Schubert entusiasts to decorate their homes in a tasteful, yet Schubertastic way. Should you know such an enthhusiast who is without this image, it makes a wonderful gift and can be found as a print, t-shirt, and so on.

You're welcome for the shopping help.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm Back!

Phew! I feel recharged after a much-needed and much-deserved vacation. I sincerely hope, dear reader, that you've been well during our time apart. To catch up, here's what I did:

Wednesday for me was a spa day. I gave myself a thorough morning clean, tail-to-ears as we say. A pedi and a mani. I stretched out and luxuriated all day and let all of my cares go away. It was fantastic.

Thursday I woke full of energie (French for "energy" for those dear readers who are hamstrung by fluency in only one language) and, though I knew that I should hop online and write something, once I turned on the computer, I was moved to compose a poem instead. It's still a little rough and I've been having trouble getting meaningful feedback from my roommates, so it's not ready for posting. Seamus, for example, thought it was too long. Henri just blinked a few times at me after I read it to her. Murray gushed over it, but I can't take him too seriously as he's still kind of afraid of me. Charley, who truth be told is the true poet of the bunch, disagreed with some of the line breaks and thought the alliteration was a bit much. She began to clarify her position, but then Mama got home and she scurried off to commence her devotional pursuit of Mama. Based on what she did say, however, I know it needs polished. (Yuck -- I'm already typing and talking like an Ohioan).

Friday, I read all day. I finished rereading Dubliners (I could read the last few paragraphs of "The Dead" every day and never tire of it) and cracked open Flaubert's Trois Contes. Flaubert in translation is quite good. Flaubert in French is magical. If you don't read French, it's worth learning just to read Flaubert as it was written. The next time someone suggests to me that prose is lacking in musicality where poetry has strength, I'm going to smack them uspide the head with Trois Contes.

And now it's Monday and I'm back and blacker than ever. I've got some goodies in store for this week as we approach Whiskermas. See you soon.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Happiest Day of My Life

First, my sincerest apologies for not posting yesterday. I've been pretty busy getting ready for Whiskermas at home.

In the spirit of the season, I was counting my many blessings and reflecting on some of my happier days. The happiest of all of them came when I was a kitten of 12 weeks or so.

The day began like many others had to that point. I woke in a smallish room that I had all to myself. One of the walls was made of wire and on it hung two small containers, one with breakfast and another with water with which to wash down breakfast. I sat there counting faces as people walked by and peered into my little room. I tried so hard not to look cute, which, let's face it, was a real challenge. I had high standards at an early age and so many of the people walking by were not suitable at all (putting it as kindly as I can). Around the middle of the day, though, a new face looked into my room. A beautiful, smiling face. I upped my cat-itude as high as I could and the wire wall swung away. Two arms came in and picked me up, passing me to this new visitor.

"This one's a little fiesty," the other person said, the one who had passed me to the beautiful visitor. "We wouldn't recommend her if you've got small children."

Bitch. I nearly leapt onto her face and clawed her eyes permanently open for trying to sabotage me. I held still, though, knowing that such retaliation would only prove her point.

The woman in whose arms I snuggled wept. "I found my cat," she said. "This is my cat."

She held me a while longer. And then she put me back in my room and told me she'd be back for me.

Obviously, I'm writing of the day I met my adopted Mama. As I wrote earlier, when I count my blessings, this day stands out brighter than all the others. Usually, I'm not so sappy (let's face it, melodrama is better left for dogs, and Seamus), but I've been so lucky. I've read that a lot of adoptees eventually search out their natural parents, sometimes at the urging of counselors or social workers, but I've never had any urge to look for my fur-mother. Sure, if I met her, I'd thank her for the perfect hands and ears and so on, but she's not my Mama.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thursday Mailbag*

*Due to inclement weather, the mailbag was forced into a 24-hour delay.

As always, thank you for the questions. Let's get to it, k?

What's the best way to react when you're driving in inclement weather and your car starts skidding at a stoplight? Should you honk to let people know you're out of control? Or should you Bil Wau at them?
Love, Mama

My Dear Sweet Mama,
As you know, I travel by motorcade whenever I'm out and about, but I asked my driver and here's what he said: "Steer into the skid, of course. If you are travelling too quickly to regain control before the intersection, try to steer into a snowbank or something that's not as dangerous as another vehicle. Don't stomp on your breaks or you'll lock yourself into the skid. As a last resort, maybe a horn tap would alert other driver's to your trouble." So basically, he gave a non-answer. Please, though, take care, Mama.
Love always and forever,
Your Schubert

[eyes averted] Dear Bailey Schubert,
What is your pan-usage policy, and where may I download a copy of the Bylaws? If it's no trouble, that is.
[looking away]Murray

Get in and get out. I try not to overcomplicate things. The good news is that Henri is quite the little custodian and will clean up after you if you've been in too much of a hurry to properly bury things.

Attn: Bailey Schubert
Re: Christmas Trees
Do indoor cats know that artifical trees are artificial?

Attn: unsigned
Re: The Pope
Is he Catholic?
Allow me to rephrase your question: "Do indoor cats care that artificial trees are artificial?" No.

Why are cats so untrusting? I take my dog to the vet and she thinks she's going to a carnival or something? She'll do anything we want. The cats just don't trust me. Poor Voogaman cries all the way to the vet (5 minutes), and then cries all the way home.
Concerned, Terra

Should Voogaman trust you when you take him to the vet? I would say no. The dog is a dog. He doesn't know any better. Dogs appear to have no memory other than what's required to get a treat. Cats, on the other hand, hold grudges like the Irish. I heard of a house where one of the older cats was put to sleep (due to illness) and the remaining beasts didn't trust the people in the house for months. Cat's aren't stupid.

So it's not an issue of trust. He trusts that when you put him in the car, you're taking him to the Vet. He knows what time it is, as popular recording artist Flavor Flav might say. He's just not happy about it.

For the record, I don't cry on the way to the vet. My people know I don't want to go. I know I don't want to go. Complaining has never gotten them to turn the car around. Besides, when a cat reaches a certain age, he or she should really appreciate medical care.

My Dearest Bailey,
Why don't you return my calls? Is it Murray? I even bought a little sweater vest hoping to catch your eye.

How can I put this? The way to a Schubert cat's heart in no way involves sweater vests. Sweater vests might impress lesser creatures (e.g. I'm sure that lots of people have fawned over you in your dandy vest), but Schubert cats have higher standards. A Victorian Ruffle can be quite becoming, for example.

Reader questions answered each Thursday. Please direct all questions to the reply section of this post.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Cat's out of the Bag

So I've been busy on what had until now been a secret project. I've been contracted by Disney to adapt T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" for a screenplay. Tim Allen was attached initially, but he's since backed out due to other obligations. They're auditioning voice actors now and hope to have it cast fairly soon. Here's an early promotional poster.

The animation style is a bit of a departure for Disney, but it's got a nice classic feel that should really suit the material. I'll admit surprise when I was approached for this project. Who knew Disney was ready to tackle a story of spiritually exhausted people who exist in the impersonal modern city? Who could have figured that Disney's newest hero would be a vain, weak man numb to his sterile life, whose defining characteristic is his lack of will to change that life? Pretty heady stuff indeed.

You can bet, though, that the Happy Meal toys will rock.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Day in the Life

I'm sure many of you have been wondering what a Schubert cat does with her day. Dear Schube-heads, I present to you: "A Day in the Life of Bailey Schubert"

My day typically starts pretty early. I prefer sleeping with my people, but occasionally, I prowl. Here I am being woken with a small table lamp and a song to let me know it's time to begin my day.

From there, it's into the bathroom (above) for a bit of patting and then my sip (below).

Next up, a bit of breakfast. We eat the same food every day, which is kind of boring, but when our food is switched up from time to time, Charley has trouble digesting it and it's really awful for all of us. Poor Charley.

Usually, while I'm eating, the pan area is being scooped and freshened for me. I have provided an artistic rendering of our pans in the interest of keeping things as tasteful as possible.

You'll notice that we've got three pans. Five cats should really have five pans, but I don't fault my people for not wanting so many pans in the house.

After the pan, I head back upstairs to look out my favorite window. From here I watch the street and our yard. Occasionally neighborhood cats wander up and look at me in my window. They look the way people in the zoo look when they regard a lion -- glad there's a glass seperator.

I would have provided a picture of such a cat, but none were willing to stop by this morning.

to be continued...

A Day in the Life II

Worn out from my morning, I head back to bed. You can see Charley at the other end of the bed there. This is how I spend most of my day.

In the evening, people come home and I sit on my perch near the front door, as much for patting as for protecting them against intruders. Here is a view of the front door from my perch.

For the balance of the evening, I sit near the top of the stairs, waiting for passersby to engage in a game of Hands.
Throughout the day and night, I visit the chow and the pan and my windows. I make my rounds. A nice slow cycle. And then, mercifully, it's bedtime. I'm pretty worn out.

So that's pretty much how it goes. There are other things happening, but this is the outline. Should you wish to participate in a Bailey Schubert Fantasy Camp getaway, the cost is only $10,000 USD for 1 day. Not too shabby, eh.

Special thanks for photographic assitance to Frank.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Stay Tuned

Many apologies for having missed Friday. There's been some schedule rearranging around the new cat. He doesn't use the computer or anything, but I've had to lay down the law a bit.

At any rate, tomorrow I'll make up for it.

Same cat time. Same cat channel.