Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Pets (or Keep It Simple, Stupid)

Apparently, the Internet is good for two things. One, well, I won't discuss that here. But the other thing is cat videos. And I really cannot argue the point. There are few things that calm me more than watching a video of a cute kitten doing cute kitten things. In fact, you could show me nothing but cat videos for hours on end, and I'd be perfectly content with my lot in life.

Needless to say, I'm a fan of cats. I'm a fan of pets in general, cats specifically. We always seemed to have some sort of pet while growing up. Whether it was the various cats that would find their way to the farm, or animals that we would adopt, there was always something. We tried hamsters for a while, but it turns out that they are actually quite a lot of work to take care of properly, so that didn't last long. We had fish for a while, as well. Unfortunately, that ended when the fish tank didn't survive the U-Haul move from Minnesota to Nebraska my senior year.

We had a few different dogs while growing up. The first one I remember was a huge Doberman Pinscher who was less of a pet and more of a guard dog for the hog farm we lived on at the time. My brother and I had a pair of Australian Shepards for a while. I had a Cocker Spaniel who, while a sweet and wonderful pet, was not the most intelligent of dogs. My brother had a Rat Terrier who was super smart (per breed).

There were only a couple of occasions growing up where we actually had cats that were proper in-the-house pets. Most of the time, as I said, they were cats that decided to take up residence at the farm. Of course, we fed them, and actually built a little house for them, but they were firmly outside cats. I don't know why, but I became a cat person. When I was finally able to get a pet of my own after college, it was always going to be a cat, no question in my mind (and Johnny was the best boy). Even today, my wife and I are decidedly cat people.

There's a human need to love something, and have that love returned. Pets are the perfect vessels for that purpose. And not just cats and dogs. I've known people with ferrets, rabbits, rats, even knew someone who owned a chameleon. All loving their owners, unconditionally, in their varied ways.

Pets may not be for everyone, but I think that everyone should at least investigate the possibility.

Strip 83/166 - Spike, the living asterisk

Furble's nemesis, the Admiral, has brought his own pet to the show. Named Spike, he bears an uncanny resemblance to an asterisk, that little star character that exists about the "8" on your keyboard. When I decided to introduce the little guy in the strip, I considered many options for drawing some sort of small creature. I've already discussed my illustration prowess (or lack there of) on numerous occasions, so no need to elaborate, other than to say I figured it would be best to come up with something that I could easily recreate. Implementing the concept of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), I chose a simple star-like creature. Four intersecting lines that could be bent around as needed. I think it came off pretty well, given the design aesthetic of the rest of the strip.

Strip 84/166 - The blame game

Furble and FC play the blame game while sining the jailhouse blues. I assume that Spike managed to shut the cell door somehow.

Strip 85/166 - Deus ex whistle

Furble is supposed to be blowing into something similar to a dog whistle to summon the "time machine", which is why all you can hear is the "FFFFFF!" of him blowing into it. It may not have come off exactly like that in the end product.

Strip 86/166 - Punishment protection

PSA: don't punish your pets by hitting them. Only evil Admirals do that.

Hug your pets extra tight (unless they are fish, that could have adverse effects), and see you next week!