Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Corrective Shoes

Jesse has been having a hard time dealing with our below zero weather this week.  He's a life-long outdoor cat who comes inside to eat and sleep and socialize a bit, but he really comes alive outside, and he has never used a litter box.  So all week we've been going outside with him for a few minutes at a time and then scampering back inside with him as soon as he gives up and races back to the door.  Today it finally warmed up enough for him to have an outside day.  Drawing 1301 shows him on a really cold day hunkered down on our screened porch looking woefully outside.  Drawing 1302 shows him from the rear looking like a meatloaf.

 Then this morning Ghengis sauntered into the backyard, and Jesse demanded to be let out.  Ghengis is really a gentle cat, but he and Jesse have had their differences, mainly over who gets to go inside Ghengis's cat door and who gets to sit on Jesse's porch railing.  Today they seemed to have reached some kind of accord.  The drawings on the right show Jesse watching Ghengis.
 Here's Ghengis on the left, and then Jesse on his high porch railing perch watching Ghengis stroll freely in the backyard.  We were encouraged that there was no hissing or growling at all, and also no torn up ears or tufts of hair missing.
 Switching subjects here, I spent some time tonight drawing Corrective Shoes, as they seem to fit into what is veering toward the general topic of Correcting the Flaws of Children, or, Dealing with Original Sin.  There seemed to be a big emphasis, when I was growing up, on straightening children up:  their teeth, their table manners, their handwriting, their feet.  Girls with straight hair were given Tonette permanent waves, really a torture.  Girls with curly hair had to put up with having their hair wound into ringlets.  No part of the child was left uncontrolled.  We were like little plants being espaliered or topiaried.

I found a picture of myself and three other neighborhood kids when we were around 3 or 4 years old.  We are all dressed in party clothes, fluffy little dresses and bows, but we're also all wearing heavy duty Corrective Shoes, those stiff, ugly, hot, embarrassing things that doctors told our mothers we needed and that our mothers hauled us down to Sears to the shoe department (with the fun fluoroscope machine in the corner) in order to buy.  We could never buy tennis shoes, regardless of how much we whined and moaned, because we had knock knees and vague other problems that made it necessary for us to wear Corrective Shoes.

On the right is my husband's actual Corrective Shoe, mummified.  His mother took his shoe and had it dipped in bronze to make a book end.  The outside is coated in a thin layer of bronze, and the inside is the mummified remains of the little shoe, and it is a Corrective Shoe!  It has an arch lift remnant as well as some other odd forms still inside.  The main features that it has, which all Corrective Shoes had, were high tops and laces, and the requisite leather uppers and sturdy soles.


  1. Thanks for giving news from Jesse and his neighbour Ghengis - it seems weather is too cold for a good fight.

  2. yes, sub zero weather makes it hard to sustain the requisite glares and posturing!