From: Bougarabou O. Hooligan (“Bugs”)
To: Ms. Alice Walton
Re: Acquisition Required
Date: Dec. 29, 2011
The other day, my human came back raving about your apparently excellent new museum. I have learned to take her with a grain of salt. I asked whether she brought back any pictures of my species, which is Cat, which is the whole point of anything as you probably know and if you don’t, you should. She, however, had to admit that she failed me. So I sent her back yesterday, to rectify this omission.
She came back way too late last night, after spending way too much time over at your place. It has a restaurant in it, I believe? You should not have restaurants in museums, because my human may take up residence there and then I will be out of luck.
But my point. You can guess what happened: She failed to bring me my picture.
She brought me this one instead.
She tried to explain that while this creature is not exactly a Cat, it captures my cheeky spirit pretty well.
I cannot agree. I am not amused by being compared to this creature, whatever it is.
She tried to explain that I should be satisfied with this approximation, because there is apparently no picture of my species in your apparently excellent museum. I could not believe this. But my human insisted that it was true.
She told me she sat for a long time in front of a big picture of all kinds of animals, searching in vain for Cats. In WonderWorld, I believe you call this place. I wonder why. There are no Cats in it. She overheard other humans – ignorant creatures – admiring what they thought was a Cat in the foreground of the big picture. My human was too overwhelmed with the apparent excellence of your museum to explain to these poor creatures that the animal was actually a bear cub.
I myself am OK with being mistaken for a bear cub, because I share many attributes with them, for example my claws. But my human is a stickler for these kinds of things and she got all in a lather about her own species’ failure of discernment.
Anyway I think you can see where I’m going with this.
You probably read the review in the New York Times? The one that criticized you for not having any folk art? I think you could kill two birds with one stone here (and I can dispose of the corpses). Why not get a folk-art picture of a cat?
It says it’s at the American Museum of Folk Art in New York. My human has been to that place and likes it a lot. I think you know how to get there too? Kindly do so and straighten this thing out once and for all. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see any Cat in that picture.
pic by David Shankbone
My human would be writing this memo except that she is overdramatizing an incident that occurred in the kitchen this morning. She was preparing the sweet potato-oatmeal base for my organic chicken breakfast and the blender exploded. She couldn’t decide whether to call the Burn Unit or her therapist. I had a look at her and she’s fine, so the therapist it is. She’s lying down in the other room, gathering strength to make the call. My guess is the two will spend time and money, which should be spent on straightening out our problems here, trying instead to identify the Jungian archetype that best fits this situation. I would say it would be The Klutz but maybe Jung doesn’t have one for that.
I had another idea. Do you know a folk artist you could pay so I could sit for my portrait? I would think that would be a great solution to our problems. What do you think about this pose? I feel it expresses my cheekiness much better than the other thing.
Ms. Walton, everybody says what a nice person you are to do this for the community. I’m sure that’s true. They don’t realize, though, how important it is to play to the Cat lobby also. Please don’t take this personally, but between the omission in your apparently excellent museum, and the shocking missing Cat in the Ammi Phillips, this is getting to be a forensic legal police matter. Please take my request very seriously.