Song And Dance

Orange Tabby Cat Mouth Open Singing Dance Top Hat Can Watercolor Illustration

For Day 14 of World Watercolor Month and our optional prompt of “Dance,” I sketched a little kitty performing a song and dance with a top hat and cane. I was trying to recall my own time, decades ago, when I was a singer and dancer. I don’t think I ever had the chance to dance with a top hat and cane and now it feels like a missed opportunity. I think a top hat was involved once, but I can’t quite recall. It’s been over 30 years now, and a million other life experiences have edged out many of those memories. It’s my mother who typically recalls every performance with acute clarity, while I nod still failing to quite remember the moment. It sounds like something I’d do, but I simply can’t recall actually doing it. It was super fun to do all of the things I did all at once when I was young, but it makes it extremely difficult to remember all of it.

It’s fun to visit my mother with Philippe as she still manages to bring up stories that I’ve never mentioned to him. It’s actually impressive the varied number of stories that she can conjure up. His eyes will widen and he’ll look at me with a questioning glance. It’s not that I’m trying to keep big secrets from him, it’s simply because I couldn’t recall them ever happening. Most of the time, though, I can jump in and add some additional details once the memory floods back to me. I did love dancing, but what I think I loved most during that time was teaching kids to dance. It was wonderful to see their confidence grow as each time step or pas de bourrée was performed with greater skill. Indeed, while I knew the techniques, many of those kids became way better dancers than I could even dream of becoming.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about all of the things I’ve tried in life and what I’d like to try next. This, while doing the usual daily routines that don’t stray terribly far from one another. It’s not that I’m bored, but I am getting a bit restless. That’s usually a sign that I need to delve into writing and illustrating a new book or starting some other big new project. Yet, our little evening routine is a beautiful thing indeed. Just after I finish painting, I clear everything off the counter and do the dishes. Then, Philippe and I will have a little snack and watch something on his iPad at that same kitchen counter while our pup Elliott naps on his pillow behind us. He’s just waiting for the walk that comes next, but he’s finally learned to grant us a bit of peace before that happens. In those moments, my restlessness subsides and I’m able to simply enjoy time with my little trio. It’s nothing amazingly new or terribly exciting, but sometimes, it’s really quite good when life gives you that same song and dance.

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Orange Tabby Cat Mouth Open Singing Dance Top Hat Can Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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22 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Adorable, Charlie!!!

  2. Laura Hale 1 month ago

    Why do I suddenly hear, “Putting on the Ritz” playing in the backround? What a happy sketch Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Hehe! Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 That would be a great song for this one!

  3. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    It’s funny how memories from our childhood work. My brother is six years older than I am, and he’ll bring up a memory, and I’m like — I remember that time, but none of what you’re saying, and I’ll come up with an entirely different set of details. The image I get when thinking about top hats and dancing is the ‘Putting on the Ritz’ scene from Young Frankenstein. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      That’s a great scene! lol 😃💕 And yeah, memories are so funny. It’s interesting to see what another person who was there comes up with years later.

  4. scrittoralinda 1 month ago

    Char-lie I had to look up your pas de bourrée and Google which immediately responds with a plethora of new words for me to have never heard. Not a music afficionado although I do love to play a lively tune such as Bobbi McGee (my latest love) and dance backwards around the place. Or listen to church music and sing along (my neighbours likely think a turkey got its beak stuck in the balcony door). But those other words…?!

    Elliott is smart. He wants to go where the action is!

    • Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

      Hola, Linda! How are you? Just wanted to say hi. I hope you are well. Sending you hugs. We’re melting down here. We were 107*F a couple of days back. Yeowza! Hope you’re keeping cool.

      • scrittoralinda 1 month ago

        Hey Marisela! I don’t see you here much these days? Iam well thanks and hope you are as well. Yes it is warm here in Canada’s hot spot, has been in the 30s C, reached 35C (95F) a couple days ago. So. I stomp around the neighbourhood earlier and then stay inside. People smile/smirk at me wearing the mask when someone approaches but the new variant is at hand and I refuse to take chances.

        Take care.

        • Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

          Hi, Linda! I’ve been coming later than I usually do so that’s why we’ve missed each other. I’m glad that you are well and still wearing your mask. I still wear mine and the new variant is getting bad here also. I don’t go anywhere with out my mask. Great to hear from you. Sending you hugs!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      I’m glad I could add to your vocabulary! hehe And it’s an easy dance step really… you should try it as well! 😃💕 And yes, Elliott definitely wants to be where the action is!

  5. Prior... 1 month ago

    Wonderful post

  6. Gary Middleton 1 month ago

    Great doodle, Charlie.

  7. Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

    Charlie, what a cute kitty! You know, my parents were obsessed with dancing. Like a disease. I don’t think broken legs could keep them from hitting the dance floor. Me? Meh…not so much. Don’t get me wrong. I love music and I do love dancing to good music, but do I NEED to dance? No. And I don’t understand my parents’s obsession, but it can be wonderful. 🏵 Wow, I bet Philippe loves storytime at your mom’s house. I think I would, too. 😂😂😂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Muchas gracias, mi amiga! 😃💕 I love that your parents loved to dance and were obsessed with it! That’s really fun. And yeah, my mom has an amazing memory… so many more stories than I can ever remember! Hugs to you!

  8. Karen Sliwinski 1 month ago

    A real song and dance man! Adorable!

  9. Mugdha 1 month ago

    Hello Charlie,

    The kitty looks like she is thoroughly enjoying herself. And your sketch brought back the memory of a poster my cousin used to have. It featured a bunch of dogs wearing different hats and playing snooker while one of them – I used to think he had won – was wearing a top hat and dancing (umm that’s why I thought he had won). I’ve looked and looked for a similar poster but haven’t been able to find it yet. Hopefully some day soon…

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Aww that poser sounds awesome. I used to have one of dogs playing poker on velvet. So fun! Much love to you my friend!

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