Monday, June 28, 2010

Sapph's Blue Cat

Unlike my perfectly good self, poor Sapphire is allergic to a lot of things.

Several very common grasses, dust mites, dogs (but only if Milly licks her) and cats. Throw in the classic trio of asthma, excesma and hayfever and mix in a seven month episode of Whooping Cough, ear infections and permanently puffed sinuses and we decided that it was worth a referral to an allergy specialist.

Four months after having her arm pricked and spotted with liquid allergens, Sapphire had eight fortnightly injections with tiny doses of those same evil beasties to reduce her symptoms.

Last week, the raised, itchy red lumps on her nurse-scratched arms didn't look promising. "Nope, that's just not good enough young lady," Dr S said. "You need two weeks of twice daily nasal sprays and then another visit here for your third skin test before we start your second round of injections."

Considering that Sapphire's 'nasal spray' is actually a little-known asthma inhaler meant for the mouth with a baby's teat stuck on the mouth piece and a sliver of rubber nipple snipped off, she's been impressively sanguine about it all.

Therefore, as interested - and determinedly non-purchasing - onlookers at a recent art auction, it was a bright and breezy blue cat partially hidden behind some recognised (read: price-of-a-new-Corolla-pricey artists) that caught her eye.

"Ooooh if I was rich I'd buy that one, Mum," she pointed, disdainfully ignoring the Clifford Possums, Blackmans, Dickersons, Picasso (!!!! etching), Bromleys, Norman Lindsay sketches, Pro Hart's oily shite and a couple of Whiteleys. "After all, it's probably the closest I'm ever going to get to having a cat of my own," she smiled.

My big brother Rob and his wife WC had clearly done their homework on Aboriginal artists and were there to bid. Sapphire and I were there to be entertained and after three hours, we were still sitting there utterly mesmerised as the auctioneer ploughed his way through hundreds of different pieces.

After a particularly beautiful central-Australian Aboriginal painting went for $20,000, the blue cat came up. It was by no-one famous, wasn’t a signed print: just a picture that no-one wanted in their office anymore. I grabbed WC’s bidding card and bid.

"SOLD to number Forty Nine for thirty five!" Woo Hoo!! I had never been to an art auction before, let alone bid at one....

Sapphire couldn’t believe it and because she’d spent several hours hearing the auctioneer say ‘Ninety five’ when he meant 9500, she said, “Oh Mum, thank you thank you thank you! But did you just spend $3500 on this picture for me – what will Dad say?”

I rang Love Chunks immediately. He could hear the ludicrously high prices being called out by the auctioneer in the background as we spoke and I said, “LC, I didn’t mean to, but I’ve bought a painting.....” I swear I could feel his heart stop beating from a postcode away until thirty five was revealed to be just that - thirty five dollars. "You can't buy a frame for that."

When we got Sapphire’s huge picture home she propped it up in the hallway, admiring it.

But only for a small moment. The next thing we heard in her disapproving nanna voice was, “Oh man – there’s boobs in it!” Sure enough, in the far right hand side of the picture, there was an upside down topless woman.

A week later, the picture was still out in the hall and the focus had shifted from the bright blue moggy to the upside boobs with candy pink nipples.

"When are you putting your boobs in your room, Sapph?"
"Geez Mum it's not boobs I'm allergic to!"

The blue cat is now above her bed and is the first thing I see when I walk into my daughter's room. After the boobs of course.


Pandora Behr said...

Oh, oops. I reckon you've spent the money well - superb piece - you're obviously meant to have it. Just hope it's not car insurance and rego month.

nuttynoton said...

we all have different tastes, I must admit I hate cats but never mind.Hope her injections help, allergies are getting more frequent and intensive and the theory about us being too clean may have some truth behind it.
We are suffering her in England with high pollen counts so hayfever is really bad.

word mativa - a cheap prima donna!

The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'day kath

and sorry for what I am about to write.

I'm afraid I don't like the painting.

Sorry again but, as Mrs PM says, I have no taste whatsoever - so you can probably ignore my crass opinion.




The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day again Kath,

If its any consolation, I suffer from hay fever too - bloody pollen!!!


Cheers again


Jilly said...

I love the painting - really, I would hang it in my house, boobs and all!

The Man at the Pub said...

I like it! The cat that is.

Boobs are good too. That goes without saying.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Nutty - I often wonder how Sapph would cope with an English summer - here's hoping that the next round of injections at least means that she knows what it's like to breathe through her nose!

That's OK, PlasMan, I'm not sure that I do, either. Still, there's an eleven year old who's now 'got over' the fact that there's boobs in the picture and loves having it on her bedroom wall.

Thanks Jilly - perhaps the boobs are a bonus?

Kath Lockett said...

Sorry Man at the Pub for not replying earlier - I think you perfectly sum up what the average straight male thinks: boobs are good. Nuff said.

franzy said...

All the best pictures have boobs in them. Look at those Brett Whiteleys. He was the master of hidden boobs.

Anonymous said...


River said...

When the page first loaded, I thought, WOW, Sapph's done a fantastic painting!. Then I read on and eventually got to the second picture where the boobs are visible. Still a great picture, but can it be reframed so the boobs aren't visible? Or have you all got used to it?
Sorry to hear Sapph's got so many allergies. I've got the grass and dust mite ones, also moulds and mildews, which means I cover my nose each morning walking to work up Queen St, passing everyone's mouldering mulched gardens.

Helen said...

It's a lovely painting, although I'd probabl frame it to cover the boobs...

I used to have appalling allergies but they got better over time, maybe Sapphire will grow out of them? I got rid of the excesma by taking evening primrose oil every day for a while...

Kath Lockett said...

Franzy even the SKY has boobs in it - early nerdy meteorologists have even labelled a particular cloud formation as 'Mammatus' !

Vanessa, if only the actual art work was priceless....

River, we've all got used to the boobs now. If it hadn't have been so securely framed I was vaguely tempted to unscrew it at the back and 'add' (via a brightly coloured piece of specifically-cut paper) a bikini top, but it would have meant breaking the glass.

Helen, we've been told that Sapph would 'grow out' of her allergies by the time she was six, but now it seems time to bring in the big guns. Not that Sapph ever complains about catching every single cold that's been known to man but it can weaken her a lot and to see her scratch at her legs in her sleep - sometimes until they bleed - is heart breaking.

River said...


There's a cream available developed by a parent who didn't want to see his small son suffering anymore with scratched, bleeding skin. I don't remember the name, starts with R, from chemists (maybe supermarkets). As soon as I read another advertisement for it I'll let you know. It's worth trying?

drb said...

The print suits Sapph's bedroom - the fat blue cat and girl relaxing in bed with apple-print bed sheet! The girl may be a violin/viola player judging from the violin scribbled ticket stump. Milly looking on with envy on the floor. :-)

drb said...

actually, the 'ticket stump' is a drawing of a girl playing a viola!

Deep Kick Girl said...

Speaking of boobs and paintings... I visited my (sort of) aunty the other day. She is a fairly famous artist (entered in Archibold 19 times, etc.). Above her bed is a series of 6 or 8 paintings she did of her own daughter (my - sort of - cousin) as an adult IN THE NUDE.

As you know, I'm not a prude but this was slightly weird, even by my (low) standards.

BTW I do like Sapph's cat very much, boobs included.

Baino said...

$3,500? Gawwd wish I had that lying around. It's a cheery painting though boobs or not.

Kath Lockett said...

No no no Baino - it was THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS!

....even then I had to think about it!

R.H. said...

I like it. Nice and bright.

JahTeh said...

Kath, lucky you not like me with loads of dodgy gemstones. I think a nice gem decorated piece of lace imitating a bra would cover up the offending boob but I love the blue cat.

R.H. said...

I see a Picasso influence. Dali as well. Basically it shouts 'Naive Art', which is not what it sounds but is in fact a valid movement. Anyway I do like it, there's humour as well: huge cat's body and tiny head.
It's endearing. Charmingly earnest. And most importantly, exhuberant.

R.H. said...