If I had a white cat, it would be an actual animal with white fur, and maybe blue eyes. It wouldn’t be a Beatnik poet who isn’t black. It’s not that I don’t want to hang out with a white guy, I’ve hung out with a few, even a few who were cats. These cats were artists; they drank in artist bars, with other artists. They might have even worn berets and smoked a pipe. I mean a tobacco pipe with a curved stem, like the one Sherlock Holmes smoked. But Holmes wasn’t a white cat; he was more of a white detective—an English one at that. Does Britain have white cats? I suppose you can find some, if you go to the darkest pubs, where guys are making music on skins and whistles. You might find some white cats there. They will be grooving to the music, drinking whiskey, and keeping time—the smoothest cats in the city. You might say hello to them, and they will hug you with genuine affection, just like white cats should. And you will know you are their best friend, at least on that evening, and you might even curl up with them in the alcove where they are playing, and you may stay there long into the night, basking in the warmest sounds that white cats can make.
Thaddeus Rutkowski is the author of the novels Haywire, Tetched and Roughhouse. He teaches at Medgar Evers College and the Writer’s Voice of the West Side YMCA in New York. He received a fiction fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum and The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Since 2007 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 160 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn.