Referential Rats

If you like this kind of thing—and who doesn’t?—you might also like Bellaratta’s Rat Masters in the Virtual Squeaks section of the RMCA. These are famous paintings, redone with rats in the leading roles. In fact you may never return; she’s a much better artist than I am.

The Birth of Venus

Botticelli’s Venus as a rat

Trivia: The model for Botticelli’s Venus may have been Maria Vespucci, sister of Amerigo. Isn’t that interesting? At least a little bit interesting?

Can’t help but wonder what her husband would have said if someone had told him that, centuries later, everyone would know what his wife looked like with no clothes on, while nobody would even remember his name.

Cirque des Rats

Circus of rats

For those who have slept through the last twenty-odd years: The Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian circus that uses no animal acts. Just human trapeze artists and high-wire acts and acrobats and clowns and . . . well, all the stuff you go to the circus to see.

Besides, a tightrope walker’s cage rarely needs cleaning.

This all sounded perfectly reasonable to the rats—except for the “no animals” part.

Sunday in the Park with Rats

pointillism in the park

Poster paint on paper is not the ideal medium for pointillism. But one does what one can.

And then what did he say?

rat talking on telephone

A Rat In Need

poker-playing rats

When I went to look up the original painting, I discovered there isn’t one: there are lots and lots of them. C. M. Coolidge seems to have made a career out of painting dogs playing poker. This is probably not what his parents had in mind when they named him Cassius Marcellus, but what can you do? A few pictures are especially well known, and A Friend in Need is one of the classics.

Not the rats you were looking for? You may be thinking of the similarly inspired picture by Jin Wicked. It’s a few years younger than mine—but definitely worth the wait!


rats in the style of Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks”

I Outlived Them

a rat with malice in his heart to none

The preacher gave a sermon on love and forgiveness. At the end he asked if anyone in the congre­gation could truthfully say that he held no malice in his heart towards any man. An elderly parishioner rose slowly to his feet. The preacher, beaming, asked how he had done it. The old man replied:

“I outlived the sons of bitches!”

What do I Need with a Husband?

the old lady has everything she needs

The old lady was asked why she had never married. She replied:

“I have a dog that growls, a parrot that swears, a chimney that smokes, and a cat that stays out all night. What do I need with a husband?”