Lisa Neher

Lisa  Neher


Wrangling the Menagerie

Once upon a time two old dogs and their pet cats came into a small house in which lived three cats who were transitioning from feral into domestics.

The small house was really small. And for the first month of their new living arrangements, the new dogs and cats were confined to a bedroom. Several times a day, the dogs were hustled from their room, through the main living room, and out the front door, where they went on long and interesting walks through their new neighborhood. Their pet cats were kept confined so that they would learn to accept this new small house as a permanent home before they began to explore their new yard and neighborhood.

No one was happy with this new living situation.

The three cats transitioning into domestics were particularly unhappy. All day and all night, whenever they wanted to sleep their cat lives away, the new cats were complaining at being locked up (the new cats had freely wandered their old neighborhood and did not like being confined).

And finally, despite the obvious problems awaiting, the lockup had to end.

The new cats moved into the big house, and the three unhappy previous-inhabitant cats moved outside again. They were no longer, however, completely feral, and thus were not happy being forced into the heat of summer without their cushioned realm and their anytime-they-wanted-it meals.

Very slowly, the various cat factions began to find accommodations with each other and with their situation.

The dogs remained a complicating factor. Loyal as could be, they bristled and charged, barking loudly, whenever they saw the original-inhabitant (OI) cats approaching the door.

And so, the household settled into: the dogs were closed away in their back room at night. At that time, the OI cats would slither in through the kitty door and settle into their cushions and poufs. The new cats would pretend they couldn’t see the OI cats, and vice versa.

So, not happily, but grudgingly, the household began to settle into everyday life again.

The only problem: the feeders and walkers were busy around the clock with the various requirements of the different realms within the small household.

Thus, the title and theme of this art show. All of these paintings have been produced during times of great upheaval and furious effort. The rare moments available for painting have been wrenched from days of constant attention to the wants and needs of so many diverse populations of four-legged family members.

Celebrating the power of our beautiful world to heal, comfort and soothe the most frazzled mind.

 Wrangling the Menagerie.docx