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Merle Addison

Artist Merle Addison has been showing his own work and documenting the work of others since the early days of grunt. His sharp eye and gentle presence have witnessed some amazing moments of performance art in Vancouver over the last three decades and we can’t overstate the value of his contributions to the grunt archive. We have prepared an introduction to Addison’s practice as a research resource and tribute to his work. Thanks Merle! For research inquiries or more info about grunt’s archives please contact Dan Pon, Archives Manager, dan[at]

Merle Addison first came to grunt in 1985, soon after we started. He worked as a member of the volunteer collective that ran grunt at the time. He worked in administration and communication in the late 1980s. His greatest contribution was his documentation of our performance program from 1990 to 2010. From 1990 – 2005, using black and white photography, Addison would create amazing documentation in difficult settings in low light creating an amazing archive of Vancouver Performance over the period. During the LIVE Performance Biennials from 1999 – 2005 Addison documented over 150 performances.
— Glenn Alteen, grunt gallery Program Director 1984-2020

Merle Addison is a graduate of the Experimental Arts Department of the Ontario College of Art. He received his official artistic license there but has been scribbling and making things as long as he can remember. Back then he thought the best job to have would be a TV news announcer. They worked 15 minutes a day and got to keep the pencils and paper. He started working with grunt in 1988 and has been doing so ever since.

He is best known for his photographic documentation of performance art but his personal work utilizes any medium that you can use to make a scribble, from photo processes to soapstone on fine sandpaper to his favourite, a pencil on paper.

His performance art photos were taken in the kind of small spaces where the intimacy of the space allowed a close up of the artist’s piece. His drawings and abstract photo pieces are more of his own journey, that personal experience that defines us.

Merle Addison Artwork & Performance Documentation.

Image: Merle Addison, Quiddity, February 22, 2003.

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Pet Peeves: Blackberry and Hedy

Dear readers, 

The time has come, the final installation of Hedy Wood’s Pet Peeves is here. Now, dry your tears and read on as Hedy turns her investigation on her own pet, Blackberry. 

After about a year of talking to the pets at grunt, and seeing all those lovely relationships between pets and people, something dawned on me. It seemed like the only place I was truly going to find any complaints, or peeves, was probably right in my own home. I’ve noticed Blackberry sometimes has quite a peeve-ish little look on her face… not that she isn’t the nicest cat in the world, because she is. Still, I felt I could likely uncover something

The two of us often go for quite a long time without talking too much. I might ask,

“How about some lunch?”

And she’ll say, “Yes, I believe I mentioned that three hours ago.”

Or, I can say, “Isn’t it about time we trimmed those claws of yours?”

And she’ll respond with “I’d better go and hang out under the bed for several hours…”

We can go on like this for ages. But I liked the idea of interviewing her. We have a cute story about when we met that people might like to hear….

Me: Remember, Blackberry, when I rescued you from that cage at the PetSmart store in North Van? Was it 10 years ago now?

Blackberry: Aren’t you kind of leaving out the part where you were online dating another cat!? And then you went to meet up with that cat, and she bit you?

Me: Oh right, yeah, I forgot about that…

Blackberry: Then she got a bad case of diarrhea! And you were all scratched up! And it was about then that you saw me, and realized how great I am… and since we’re talking about it, why exactly do you always tell this story as though YOU rescued ME? More like the other way round in my opinion… and what actually is it that makes you think this apartment is so much larger than that cage anyway? Ha ha ha. Ha.

Me: Gee, I’m so glad we’re doing this.

Blackberry: Ha. Snort. Heh heh…

Me: Okay, okay, don’t cough up a hairball! Let’s try talking about something nice… Or at least not too diminishing for me…

Blackberry: Sounds good. What did you have in mind?


Me: Well, how about if you answer the age-old question, why do cats follow people into the bathroom?

Blackberry: Well, ha! It’s just so FUNNY! You’re in there with no proper litter box, only a bit of paper and a big flush-y thing! Ha ha ha!!!

Me: Hmm, I see, I may never go again now that I know that. I mean, I don’t laugh at your litter box.

Blackberry: The flushing!!! The paper!! HA!

Me: Well, try not to lose control completely… none of the other cats I talked to mentioned any of this.

Blackberry: Did you ASK them?! Oh my big aunt Betty! What a hoot.

By this time I was sort of struggling to achieve an interview with some dignity while Blackberry continued rolling around on the floor and giggling. She was acting like a person with a bad case of the sillies, and I feared that any subject I mentioned would only bring on more hysteria. But I still had a couple of questions on my list.

Me: And what is it with cats and toenail trimming anyway? Why not just sit quietly and get your nails clipped? What’s the big hairy deal with that?!

Blackberry was using her paw to wipe a tear from her eye. Remember when I BIT you so hard when you tried to trim my claws?! The BLOOD?! Ha ha ha!!!

Me: Right, so funny I forgot to laugh. I’m beginning to realize why we don’t always talk that much!

Blackberry: Ok, ok don’t get your fur in a knot. I’m just trying to have some fun. What is actually on your mind anyway?

Me: I’m just trying to find out if you have any complaints, you know, anything we could improve on around here.

Blackberry: So glad you asked! For one thing, what’s with the nicknames? Is there a being on the planet who would enjoy being called Bumblebooby? Or Boobleberry? Or Binkybumbles?

Me: Got it, I thought that was kind of cute.

Blackberry: Fudge! It’s about as cute as the complete and utter lack of FOOD around this place!

Me: Well, there IS food, and the vet said…

Blackberry: Vet, shmet!

Me: The vet said that 15 pounds is too large. He said you were registering in at a nine on the cat obesity scale, which, by the way, only goes to nine…

Blackberry: Nonsense. I am a full-figured cat, and I have big hair, period. And that reminds me, have you actually been cutting my treats in HALF?! Who DOES that?

Now, I do that, and had been doing it for months because of the cat obesity thing, but I wasn’t ready to admit it…

Me: Of course I’m not doing that! Who would do that? You must be paranoid.

Blackberry: Maybe, but at least I don’t go to the bathroom in a big vat of water.

Me: You’re not being very mature right now.

Blackberry: Ha! That’s probably because I am starving to DEATH around here. How about doling out one of those miniature treats? I hear that when other cats are interviewed, they get treats by the handful, like the actual sized ones…

Okay, I couldn’t really lie about that to her. So I gave her a few half treats, and then we stopped talking. We just went back to our regular amount of talking, and that seemed for the best. I still had a few unanswered questions, like why SIT in the box of pieces when I’m working on a jigsaw puzzle? Or, what is so great about burrowing under the bed covers and staying in there for hours? But maybe those were best left for another day, Blackberry seemed to be trying very hard to subdue her fits of giggling… and I had to go to the bathroom…

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Pet Peeves: Jackson and Nellie

As we near the end of the Pet Peeves series, Hedy Wood introduces us to Jackson, a blue-eyed bad boy, and Nellie, another grunt curatorial intern.

I met up with Nellie and retired bad boy Jackson Pawluck at their place, and I have to admit, I was so taken with the apartment, it hardly registered how thoroughly Jackson was ignoring me. It is a beautiful apartment. It really made my apartment look like a bunker in a ghetto… the windows! The light! The fireplace!!!! But, professional that I am, I tried mightily to stop staring at the claw foot bathtub, and focus on the interview at hand.

Now, Nellie had told me about Jackson’s badass past and his history of aggression. I mean, he’s basically under house arrest these days and not allowed to go outside due to the damage he does to other cats. Apparently, he would chase them across the street in an attempt to get them hit by cars!! You can imagine how tentatively I was rattling the treat bag, I was expecting to be assaulted by a snarling mass of aggressive cat fury.

The thing is, Jackson really is retired these days. At 15, he’s a senior cat. It was easy enough to see this when he finally emerged from under the bed wearing the cat equivalent of old brown slippers and a white cardigan with little pill-y balls on it. (See pictures.) He also has a couple of habits that made me wonder if his hearing is going a bit. He did not respond at all to the treat bag rattling, and he had a tendency to YELL when he was talking. Before he emerged from his napping area in the bedroom, I could have sworn he was hollering about “not wanting to meet any more goddamn PEOPLE, because what is the POINT of them?!” But of course, I could be wrong… And he did greet me in a friendly enough fashion.


Me: Hi there Jackson, treat?


Me: Oh, of course, we all do really…


Me: So, I hear you’ve got a bit of a reputation as a badass? Bit of a brawler? You can tell me anything you know, this is a completely non-judgemental environment right here.

Jackson: HA! If I did ever beat anyone up, and I’m not saying that I did, they certainly would have deserved it. Allegedly, of course… ANY MORE OF THOSE TREATS? They are a lot better than I thought they’d be.

Me: Yes, yes. Oh, I hear you’ve also been known to attack people as well. Do you have anything to add to that?


Hey, those treats are making me thirsty, get Nellie to turn on the bathroom sink, will ya? I don’t like drinking out of that CAT FOUNTAIN! Whose idea was that thing anyway?! It’s so SILLY.

Me: Well, Jackson, of course, I have no proof whatsoever that you attacked other cats. I just met you and you seem a lot less cranky than most of my friends….

So, tell me, it’s my job to discover if you are having any problems at all, living here, in this beautiful apartment that is so much better than my place. Any problems with Nellie at all? Or her mum?

Jackson: I do not have a single problem! Everything here is just peachy keen, Nellie is wonderful. However, I fail to see why the pate cat food is doled out in such skimpy portions. Cats in retirement need to keep their strength up! And, frankly, since I’ve given up my alleged brawling, eating is one of my main pleasures… you look pretty old, so I’m sure you can understand… got any more of those treats on you?

Me: Of course.

Jackson: You want to know what else I think?

Me: That’s why I’m here…

Jackson: Any couch or chair is ALWAYS improved by a bit of cat scratching! That’s where I do some of my best artwork… I think people are just too uptight about keeping things in the same condition they bought them in…

I began to realize that anyone that ages and matures is bound to have a lot of opinions. Jackson is no exception to this rule. Over the course of our brief visit, I heard his take on many subjects before he returned to his nappy area.

This is some of what he had to say.

First, and foremost, any violence done by him to other cats or humans is ALLEGED. Period.

Also, why did Nellie have to go to university for FIVE years?! Too long, and STUPID.

Paté cat food is far superior to that chunky stuff.

And, last but not least, why do they plant large trees on top of buildings? Stupid!

Jackson followed all this up with the quintessential cat complaint, where is the FOOD?

Me: Well, now Jackson, you look quite well-fed, what exactly is your complaint about the food?

Jackson: Well, girly, WHERE is it?! Don’t you try to tell me that I’ve already eaten a bowl of cat food today! Or that I may or may not have short term memory loss! Bananas! You think I’m standing by that food bowl yelling for absolutely no reason? Phooey! Don’t sass me.

I hated to leave that lovely apartment, I really did. But I had begun to fear that Jackson might return to his bad boy ways, and I was slightly worried he might chuck a slipper at my head…

Me: Jackson, this has been great, but I’d better get back to my own cat now. Would you like a treat for the road?

Jackson: Yeah, yeah, I could use a bit of a nap now anyway… don’t forget to talk to Nellie about leaving the bathroom sink running for me. I’m not standing in there screaming for my health ya know…

Me: Of course, great to meet you… I’ll tell my cat Blackberry you said hi…

Jackson: Why the hell would you do that? I don’t like talking to strangers… you shoo now! Don’t make me take off this slipper!!

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Pet Peeves: Chi and Whess

Dear Readers, We are sadly nearing the end of Hedy Wood’s Pet Peeves and from this point on it’s 100% cat content – feline friends only. We are pleased to introduce to you, Whess and Chi.

You can’t imagine my delight at finding a pet/human relationship that was not formed online.

I don’t know why exactly, but the fact that Whess (grunt gallery’s curatorial intern) and Chi, (handsome cat), met through mutual friends made me happy. It’s so old school and very unusual nowadays.

I met up with Chi at Whess’s downtown apartment, armed with cat treats which turned out to be completely unnecessary. Chi is an extremely friendly being, who is happy to pop up on your lap and purr. Pretty much the polar opposite of the type of thing I experience at my place. Blackberry thinks of that kind of behaviour as “mushy” or “soft” and she wouldn’t do it if her last treat depended on it. But I digress. And I also plan to interview Blackberry soon, so you will hear all of her (numerous) complaints then.

While I found Whess to be lovely, I spent most of my visit curled up on the bed, feeding treats to Chi. That’s how I learned that he and Whess got together about 6 years ago when Chi’s original owners moved to Australia.

Me: Another snack Chi?

Chi: Don’t mind if I do. Anything else you’d like to chit chat about?

Me: Well, I was wondering if you have any complaints at all? Anything about Whess? Living arrangements? Food?

Chi: As you can see, Whess is just fantastic, however, it took me quite a long time to get them buying the proper type of food. I like GRAVY, the pate cat food is too gummy!

Me: Hmmm, I see……doesn’t sound too awful…..anything else on your little cat mind?

Chi: And I do believe that if a person, who lives with a cat, gets a tattoo, it should really be a picture of the cat! IT SHOULD NOT BE A PICTURE OF SOME STUPID FISH!!

Now I had heard that despite all his charming ways, Chi could be a little intense. I hadn’t realized this intensity would take the form of loud yelling.

Me: Yeah, I see your point, but it’s a nice tattoo.

Chi: NONSENSE. It’s a FISH! So annoying. And what’s with all the TRAVELLING anyway?

Whess is always darting off someplace, leaving me with other people!! And travelling in cars makes me INCONTINENT!!!

Suddenly, I was in pet interviewer heaven, because it seemed as though I had actually found a pet with a few complaints! Oh, joy to the world!

Me: So, actually, Whess is sort of a terrible companion for you? Not too good at all?!

Chi: Are you completely INSANE? Whess took me in when my former people moved to AUSTRALIA! Whess is the kindest, best person I know! I LOVE WHESS!! You must be a cuckoo nut head!

Of course, being called a cuckoo nut head is not exactly unfamiliar territory to me. I just let it bounce right off me, I am made of rubber, you are made of glue, everything you say bounces off of me and sticks right onto you. That’s pretty much my motto.

Chi: I also LOVE Kathleen!! Whess’s friend KATHLEEN! I get so excited when she comes over, I start to hyperventilate!!!

It was around this point in the interview that I noticed a strange habit of Chi’s. You know that sound when you pick up a cat unexpectedly? It’s sort of a squeaky noise similar to accidentally sitting on a bagpipe. Well, Chi is able to make that noise at will, for no apparent reason. He can also make it pretty loud.

Me: Of course … do seem to have a lot of love to share…..


Whess: One time Chi pooped in his cat carrier when we were 20 seconds from our own doorway!


Me: Well now, always best to try to remain calm Chi…..that’s what we cuckoo nutty heads always say…or maybe that’s the British…same thing really…

Whess: Yes, Chi always poops a bit, especially in taxis…..He’s scared of outside, and the sky. And he cannot stand it if I close the bathroom door! Ha!

Now by this point, Chi had climbed into the bag I brought the treats over in, and was continuing to screech. I was yelling at him to “keep his hair on”, and Whess was coming out with even more entertaining incontinence/bathroom stories. Sometimes, you can get the feeling that an interview has gone a bit off track and sort of derailed, really. The only thing a good pet interviewer can do when this happens is make an excuse, and leave the premises ASAP. Always best not to look as though you are actually running, if you can help it.

I managed to extricate Chi from the bag. He calmed down significantly once Whess stopped telling the poop anecdotes, and he could see that I was leaving. Now, some people might say that my nonchalance was slightly exaggerated but professionalism is everything to me. I certainly did not want Whess to think that all pet interviews ended so chaotically. Or that all the cats I talked to ate quite so many treats. No, I was sure things would go much more smoothly over at my next cat rendezvous. Nellie had mentioned that her cat is 15, too old probably to get very excitable…..and me, of course, I’m always calm, and sort of the strong silent type really.

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Pet Peeves: Toby and Mary Ann

The July installment of Hedy Wood’s Pet Peeves is here and brimming with positivity! 

Everybody seems to meet online nowadays. It’s just not like it used to be when a simple handwritten note and a trip to the nearest haystack resulted in a new pet… or partner…

No, no, these days a lot of relationships begin with a bit of online dating…. That’s how Toby (distinguished Fox Terrier) and Mary Ann (grunt gallery’s consultant and grant writer since 2006) began. And honestly, I do a bit of online cat dating myself sometimes, when my own cat, Blackberry, is getting on my nerves. I will go and look at adorable kittens and wonder if I would end up bloody and maimed after trying to trim THEIR toenails… I wonder if THEY would give me any respect… if THEY would not simply regard me as some kind of food dispensing, litter box cleaning, slightly slow-witted, slave kind of person…

Mary Ann and Toby do not appear to have any of these issues. They seem to be living it up in an atmosphere of mutual love and respect!! Of course, this is just the kind of relationship that gets me feeling curious. Undaunted by my utter failure to find any malevolence whatsoever in any other grunt/pet households, I sat down with Toby for a little chat.

Me: So Toby, how long have you and Mary Ann been together now?

Toby: About a year, and they just recently got me this new house! Don’t you love it? It’s right across from the park!

Me; Well, actually, I think that’s a cemetery…

Toby: And I’ve got a bed in almost every room!

At this point, Toby caught sight of himself in the glass front of the gas fireplace and began to dance, round and round in figure eights.

Me: What are you doing there Toby?

Toby: Oh sorry, sorry, I get distracted by reflective surfaces, and I have to dance. It’s something I’m practising for my podcast.

Now, I had noticed a complete absence of mirrors at doggy eye level in Mary Ann’s place, even the mirrored bedside tables had been covered up with pillows. Apparently, Toby cannot resist the urge to dance in front of them.

Me: Podcast?

Toby: Yes, I’ve decided to expand my online presence with a little something extra, Tobytv. It’s an inspirational dog channel, for fox terriers who have fallen on hard times. There will be dancing, motivational speeches, and I will be posing for some pictures in my beautiful new home. But I think the dancing may be the most popular part.

Me: Hmmm, that all sounds good, but maybe that’s enough dancing for now. I feel a bit dizzy watching you. And what do you mean expand your online presence?

Toby: Well, of course you’ve heard of Fox Terrier News? And Fox Terrier Nation?

Me: Oh, of course, yes. Always looking at those things… constantly… can’t get enough of them…

Toby: Well, I have a lot of followers on there, not to brag or anything. And I want them to know that no matter how dark things might look, it can all work out in the best possible way!!

Me: Well, I can see how that’s true. Actually, my life would probably be pretty much improved if I could only talk Mary Ann into adopting me… nothing like a bed in every room to make a person feel comfortable.

Toby: I KNOW! So relaxing. And you know that I have epilepsy, so I really do need a lot of soft surfaces around the home.

I think it was right around then that I realized what a lovely and sympathetic dog Toby is. It seemed like the perfect time to share a few of my own health problems. I only stopped talking when Toby appeared to be drifting off to sleep. His gentle snoring rose and fell around the story of my last visit to the rheumatologist…

Toby: Oh dear, so sorry, I drifted off for a moment, probably because of my medication, of course, and you have such a relaxing voice. You could be an influencer like I am, I think. But you really need to keep on top of your posts. Once Mary Ann didn’t post anything about me for 2 weeks! Well, all my American friends were very worried. They like to know that I’m alive and well and chucking my treats around the room… and dancing…

Me: Well, Toby, we all like to see that. It’s always good to see a dog like yourself enjoying such a perfect life. Yep, always good… but I probably have to head out now. Blackberry gets quite hungry at this time of day, and she does not like to be kept waiting. It makes her irritable, and scratchy….

Toby: Come back any time! And look me up online. There’s a very good video of Mary Ann cleaning my ear with a Q-tip which I enjoy more than I can even tell you!

Me: Yes, don’t want to miss that one. Goody.

I headed out after a few more moments of ear scratching and chest rubbing with Toby. Please do not listen to any little stories Mary Ann might tell you about me trying to sneak out of the house with him! These are complete fabrications on her part! What kind of person would try to stuff a Fox Terrier into her purse and take him home?! Ludicrous, and he didn’t actually FIT into my purse anyway… not that I tried…

As I was heading home, (without Toby) I realized two things. The number 8 bus goes REALLY fast, like, much faster than most buses in this city, AND, if I wanted to truly find some juicy pet complaints, I would have to speak to Blackberry. After our 8 years together, I’m pretty sure she’s got a lot to say… most of it probably fairly complain-y…

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Pet Peeves: Alfie and Linda

Salut! Pet Peeves continues with Alfie, a Burnese French Poodle cross with a taste for an unusual delicacy…

I had heard through the grunt grapevine that Linda’s Alfie was a bit of a bad boy, and what woman doesn’t enjoy that? I was looking forward to some of that bad boy charm when Linda Gorrie, (grunt’s business manager of 14 years) and Alfie, (Burnese poodle cross) dropped by the gallery for a visit one Saturday. Now, if any dog wants to tell me that he is European, even though I know darn good and well that he actually hails from Surrey, B.C., in Canada, and has no relationship whatsoever to a lecherous, mid-century cartoon skunk, who am I to argue? I just would not argue. I’m not that kind of person. No no no noooo, if Alfie wants to have a fake-y, Pepe le Pew accent, and swear that it is because he is a Burnese, French Poodle cross, well, so be it… I just like to roll with these things, it’s my way.

Now, I did not notice any spectacularly bad boy-ish behaviour during the visit, apart from a bit of basically uncalled for barking. But, I was determined as always to dig up some kind of dirt. As you might know, I had pretty much given up ages ago on finding out anything troubling about the grunt staff. They are all just so consistently nice, it’s sickening really. But surely Alfie was harbouring some dark secrets. He originated in Surrey after all. If I was lucky, maybe there’d be gang involvement!

Me: So, Alfie, how long have you and Linda been together?

Alfie: I do not care for zees details! I bark at your silly, silly questions!! Bark Bark!

Me: Alfie, have you got a little bit of an accent?

Alfie: But of course, mon Cherie! I am European by breed! Zoot Alors! Do you know nothing at all? I must bark!! Oh, sorry, I did not mean to frighten that poor visitor to the gallery… I feel so bad that she is running out ze door! Zese humans, they are more like big chickens? Non?

Me: Well, Alfie that was actually fairly LOUD barking…..but tell me, how do you enjoy life with Linda and her daughter? Anything about them really getting on your nerves? Just any little thing at all…

Alfie: I adore Linda and her daughter!! Zey are the most beautiful women in ze world!!! Every night I creep from one bed to the other, I love them so much, I cannot decide!! Zey like, a bit too much, ze HUGGING! I I must BARK every time! Too much with ze hugging!! BARK!

Me: Right. Hmmmm, so, Linda is giving you the right kinds of toys and food and everything? Lots of walks and things?

Alfie: Yes, of course! My favourite toy is ze hamburger, made of rubber. And Linda has taught me fifty of your English words for food! Although some things Linda does not understand too well. I zink she does not know the European ways…like ze poo bags for example…

My ears perked up at the mention of poo bags. I was pretty certain this could be that bad behaviour I’d been looking for!

Me: Ummm, what exactly is it about the poo bags Alfie?

Alfie: In Europe, dogs like to eat ze poop. We take ze leetle bags full of ze poop, and we TOSS them up into the air!! We eat ze poop! I do not understand why all of ze humans at the dog park hide ze poop when I come over. Zey run, but they cannot hide! I will always find ze poop!

Me: Well, that is kind of gross.

Alfie: Pah! What do you know of ze poop?! You are like Linda, you have probably never even tried la poop! So, how do you know? It is more delightful than anything you could imagine! Viva la poop!!!

Now anyone who has ever lived with a dog knows that they do enjoy smelly things. They like to rub themselves on smelly things, and sit in your car, happily stinking up the place. And I can honestly say that my old dog, Rhonda, had a habit of snacking on the kitty litter. So, I guess this is a doggy thing, I’d never met one who deliberately went after poo bags in the park… and I did not entirely believe that this was a European dog trait, but I thought it showed a lot of focus from Alfie. Dedication really.

Seemed like it might be time for a bit of a change of subject.

Me: So, Alfie, you are a Burnese, poodle cross? A Burna-doodle? Is that right?

Alfie: Gah! Stupid, silly, silly name! Are you a human doodle? What is zis DOODLE!? It is so silly, I must CHEW on zis rubber doorstopper, until it is RUBBLE!!! DOODLE!! PAH!!!

At about this point in our interview, It occurred to me that Alfie might be getting a little over-excited. He began to talk about ART, and how much he loved it, and how delicious it is, while wandering into the gallery…I’m happy to say that no art was actually harmed during the making of this interview, but I was a bit worried that the show might meet the same fate as a tasty little bag of poo.

Me: Well, you are probably getting ready for your walk now? And maybe a bit of a snack? I’m sure Linda is planning to take you somewhere really nice today. Thanks for coming in to meet with me, Alfie, and if anything at all comes to mind, just anything you might have a complaint about, you have my number. Don’t hesitate to call….

Alfie: Yes! I must go out for ze refreshing walk!! I seem to have a little bit of rubber doorstopper temporarily stuck in my throat… gack, cough, petoooey!

Me: It was lovely to meet you, and always great to see you Linda.

Alfie: Gurk, silly door stopper! I must go!!! Immediatement! Where is my hamburger?!!

And with that, my brief time with Alfie and Linda was over. I did hear that he recovered completely from nibbling on the doorstopper, and that he and Linda went on to have a lovely outing… I did not hear if any poop bags were consumed during that walk, so I can only imagine…

Despite his bad boy ways, Alfie charmed me completely, and Linda? Well, what’s not to like?

No, my only hope was to talk to Mary Ann, and her dog, but really, I should probably rename this whole project, from Pet Peeves, to Perfect Pets and Pukingly Perfect Owners. Really, that’s how it actually IS! As Alfie would say, PAH! Silly!

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Pet Peeves: James and Hillary

Welcome to the May edition of Hedy Wood’s Pet Peeves! Read on as Hedy chats with grunt founder and current editor, Hillary Wood (no relation), and the investigation takes a turn toward the possibly paranormal…

Of course I believe that Hillary has a part-time cat named James. I also believe that James comes to visit by walking across two balconies, and that he stays for a couple of hours and naps on the bed and all the rest of it. Hillary Wood is a founding member of grunt gallery and is currently the editor there. She is definitely not some crazy person making up things in order to get me to write about her and some imaginary pet. And, I would like to add, you don’t see me standing around with my index finger pointed at my temple making that little twirly motion. You just don’t! I believe in James completely!

I believe in the existence of James, the part-time cat, so thoroughly that I went over to interview him and see what he had to say about Hillary.

Food bowls left out for the elusive cat-like creature, James.

After standing around on Hillary’s balcony for about half an hour, yelling for James and jiggling my bag of cat treats, I felt like it might be time for a drink……there was no sign of what I was beginning to think was a mere fig newton of Hillary’s imagination and I had a powerful thirst building. Also my yelling JAMES, JAMES!!! was starting to annoy the neighbors.

The interview went something like this:

Me: So, how about we crack open some of this pickle juice, and you tell me all about James who I believe in and know exists?

Hillary: You’re starting to make him sound like God or something! He does exist, and he comes over here every single day! I think all of your yelling has put him off, that’s all.

Me: Ha ha! Where are the glasses? Oh JAMES, you can come over any time now!!! Because I know you’re real!!!



Me: Come on James!!! Sit on the bed, eat some stuff, come and visit. Oh JAAAAAAMES!!



Definitely, it was time to crack open a bottle of wine. If nothing else, I could ask Hillary about James, and how he has come to be her part-time cat. Apparently, James is actually owned by a neighbor two balconies over, but he prefers to spend a lot of his time at Hillary’s. He’s sort of a cat-share cat, like a timeshare condo I guess….

So Hillary and I settled in and had a glass or two. Occasionally I would get up and go and yell for James out on the balcony. I only actually stopped doing this when I could see that it seemed to be causing Hillary psychic pain.

Hillary Wood and James the cat? Photo by Merle Addison.

I also began to make little jokes and then laugh at them really loudly, then explain the jokes and laugh some more. You know, as you do. When I reflect on it, Hillary really must have the patience of a saint.

The afternoon wore on, and there was still no sign of the alleged James. He was beginning to seem like Bigfoot or Ogo Pogo, I mean, maybe there’d be a sighting or maybe not…..but I do tend to believe in them, so what could possibly be the harm in hanging about for a bit longer? Also, around this time, another bottle of wine kind of fell out of my purse. Maybe it would be smarter to take a different approach to this particular pet interview. I decided to direct my questions to Hillary and stop yelling and treat rattling for James.

Me: So, what would James likely have to say about you? You know, if he actually existed? Oh sorry, I mean, really, what would his complaints be do you think?

Hillary: Well, he doesn’t like it when I move my feet when he’s sleeping on the bed. It makes him attack my feet.

Me: More wine?

Hillary: And he’s very protective about the balcony. He doesn’t even like it when I go out there!

Now this was beginning to seem like a pretty detailed description of imaginary cat behaviour. It was like if someone was saying, But no! The unicorn’s horn is actually sort of a pearly colour!! And the hooves have rainbows!!! Sooner or later, you have to suspend your disbelief.

Me: So how did you and James first meet then?

Hillary: James started coming over for visits when he was a tiny, shy kitten. He would creep around the corners of my place, but now, he feels very at home here. He’s here every day, usually. Probably he is scared of you being here…..and all the yelling…..

Me: Well, I never! Yelling indeed! I’ll show you YELLING little missy. JAAAAAAMMMMEEEESSSSS! JAAAAAMMMMEESSSSS!

Hillary: Would you please shut up?

It must have been around this time that I realized I had better go home. I still had no evidence that James actually existed anywhere on planet earth, and Hillary and I were on the verge of our first fight. Plus, I had the hiccups.

As I was collecting myself and preparing to leave, did I see a flash of white fur whisking by out on the balcony? Did I hear a faint and slightly ghostly meow? I can’t say for certain, but when I got home and the drinker’s remorse began to set in, I found I had a different feeling about James. I believed in him truly and I knew he really did visit every single day and all the rest of it. Honestly, I don’t know why I ever doubted him……now the only thing was to check in again with Hillary and see if she was also suffering from a kind of big headache….

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Pet Peeves: Freddie, Moe and Kate

The fourth installation of Pet Peeves is here! Can you believe it? Join us as grunt’s Gallery Assistant, Hedy Wood, continues her investigation of the grunt gallery staff by interviewing their pets.

Pets prefer a Scottish accent, period. You can say, “Whooooooo’s got those dog pants? Whooo’s got those PANTS?!” until your head expands like a melon, but really, it’ll get you nowhere. Likewise, “Where’s that pretty kitty cat CAT?!” Totally useless.

No, if you want to befriend any pet, any time, a simple Scottish burr is the way to go.

Example: “Och, aye, what a bonnie wee laddie/lassie ye are.” Boom, done, they melt like butter.

I was putting this theory to the test when I went to visit Kate Barry, Freddie and Moe. Not that I was exactly in the greatest mood for belting out a bunch of fake Scottish lingo, due to the heatwave, fifth-floor apartment and broken elevator, but I was doing my best.

Now Kate Barry is a bit newer to grunt, her job title is Screen Coordinator for the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen, and I have to say she is one of the few interviews that I’ve done where a refreshing SNACK was provided. I think other pet owners might want to have a little think about that…

Freddie greeted me when I arrived at the apartment. I was sweaty, breathless, and talking a bit too much about arthritis. He was actually so adorable, my Scottish theory went right out of my mind.

Me: Oh hi Kate. Now who’s THIS? Is that the Freddie dog?! The little Freddie dog DOG! Whooooo’s the pupparazi? Well, that’s you, yes it is!

So, as you can see, pretty much a total failure of interview technique AND nothing Scottish whatsoever. I have to give Freddie extreme credit for rolling with all this nonsense in a very gentlemanly way.

Freddie: Why hello there Hedy, how charming to meet you, please, have a seat. Yes, that’s good, right there. I will jump up and sit right beside you. What could be more pleasant? Well, a small dog snack would really make this a perfect moment, wouldn’t it?

(I found out that Freddie, who looked perfect to me, is on a doggy diet. Some cruel and unusual vet has decided that Freddie needs to lose 3 pounds!)

Me: So, Freddie, how did you and Kate meet? How did she get so lucky?!

Freddie: Well, actually, I was on an online pet dating site, looking for a positive change in my relationships, and that’s how I met Kate. I didn’t know at the time that I was to become part of this beautiful, blended family, here with Moe. I LOVE Moe so much.


At this point in the interview, Kate did a little cat conjuring magic with a can of tuna, and Moe appeared from his upstairs man cave.

Me: Hello Moe! You are a CATLY cat!! Who’s got those whiskers?!!

(As you can see I had by this point pretty much gone completely cuckoo because Freddie and Moe are just so exactly the kind of pets anyone would love to have. Moe is a large luxurious tabby, and Freddie a perfect mix of Shitsu and Poodle, what’s not to love?

Moe: Are you by any chance here to interview me about that dog? Maybe you would like to talk about my perfect lovely life before SHE brought HIM home?! Everything was perfect until he came along, and now he just LOVES me so much all the time! He’s all LOVE LOVE LOVE every day, all day! What is wrong with him?! It gets on my very last nerve. Honestly, why exactly does he live here? We were FINE before he came along. AND he’s getting fat.

Me: Oh…….

Moe: And what kind of breed is he?! A Shit Poo, that’s what I call it, heh, heh, heh…..get it? Shitsu and Poodle.

Me: Oh………dear……well, now Moe, surely there must be some benefit to having Freddie around? He seems like a very sweet dog to me. Surely you must have gotten fond of him over these last couple of years?

(I think it was at about this point in the interview that Freddie jumped out of his chair and ran over to lick Mo’s nose. That sent me into cuteness overload, and I swear I saw a tiny Cheshire grin on Moe’s face.)

Moe: There! You see? That’s just a perfect example of what he’s like! LOVE! Barf! If he wasn’t so darn cute, I’m sure I would have killed him by now….little cutie….little shitty poo poo….

I began to sense a bit of a game or pattern going on between these two. Much as Moe repeatedly stressed his general loathing of Freddie, I could see a real bond and genuine caring between them. This, combined with the gracious hosting by Kate, and the general ambience of warmth and happy pets and all the rest of it, began to annoy me. I ended my little visit as politely as possible and went on down the five flights of stairs and out into the summer heat. Always easier going downhill, that’s what I say….

The thing is, I was thwarted once again in my quest for pet peeves. My quest which had in actual fact, mainly become about discovering bad behaviour ANYWHERE at all, on the part of any of the grunt staff, or their much loved pets! Everything was just a bit too peachy keen everywhere I went, and, as Moe would say, it was getting on my very last nerve!

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Curator Interview: Tarah Hogue on #callresponse

#callresponse, co-organized by Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard, began at grunt gallery in 2016. The exhibition has toured across Canada and the US for two years and recently came to a close at TRUCK Contemporary Art and Stride Gallery in Calgary. To mark the end of the tour, grunt’s curatorial interns, Whess Harman and Nellie Lamb, chatted with Tarah about #callresponse and the roles of collaboration and mentorship in her practice.

Ursula Johnson with Charlene Aleck and Cease Wyss performing at the #callresponse opening in 2016. Photo by Merle Addison.

NL: Can you start by briefly describing #callresponse?

TH: #callresponse takes as its starting point five projects that were commissioned by Indigenous women-identifying artists based across Canada and into the US. The invitations were extended to these artists in particular because they are all very much enmeshed in working with community in different ways and their practices are all quite diverse, ranging from performance to ceremony to new media. The context that we asked those initial five artists to respond to was around reconciliation but in a roundabout way. We thought about how the projects that these artists are already committed to working on have a really transformative capacity, and looked at that as a starting point in order to turn that settler-nation-state-to-Indigenous relation within reconciliation on its head. We then asked each of those artists to extend that invitation to a collaborator or respondent to create these dialogues between practices. We were thinking about this call and response structure, but the artists took that in so many different directions. Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch decided to work together and position the land as their respondent, so there’s different degrees of collaboration or mentorship or response throughout the project.

WH: I was just reading over everything on the website again and the initial outset of how the project was described and, as an artist and someone at grunt now, it stood out so much how present these questions still are, not just as institutions but as artists. One of the questions I had about that is, how do you think institutions now are responding to this idea of reconciliation? Do you think that’s changed a lot or do you think #callresponse could just keep going until institutions responded in a meaningful way?

TH: [laughs]…until decolonization?

WH: [laughs] Yeah, until we achieve decolonization!

TH: That’s an interesting question because the experience of working with all of the institutions that we partnered with was very different and demonstrated where different organizations are in that relationship-building process. Like at Blackwood Gallery, we were in the context of an academic institution—they’re at the University of Toronto Mississauga—and part of what we did when we were there was to meet with university faculty and talk about their efforts to indigenize the academy, which is something that was a relatively new path for them at that time, or at least was new in terms of the university recognizing the work that Indigenous faculty were already doing in a systematic way. And then at a place like AKA Artist Run Centre in Saskatoon we were building upon work that they had already been doing within the community there, so it was really just about how we could give our resources over to the work that was already happening. I think that because the project doesn’t centre that settler-Indigenous relationship within reconciliation in the same way, that it could keep going on for a long time. Not that I don’t think that other projects that privilege that relationship aren’t important but it’s also like, who’s benefit is that for?

WH: It’s a heavy load on Indigenous artists. I feel, again speaking as an artist, being asked to do that, it’s like, I don’t have the answer and that’s what so many of these projects seem to frame like: “We’re going to have a reconciliation project and we’re going to have an answer!” But you are not! It’s going to be exhausting and I might be kicking and screaming by the time you’re finished.

TH: I asked Maria and Tania to work with me because they’re two people who I look up to immensely, and we further invited other artists who we looked up to immensely. A lot of the artist-respondent pairings had that aspect woven into it. Some artists chose to respond more directly to that context of reconciliation, like Christi and Isaac saying we’re not ready for reconciliation; we have to reconcile ourselves with the land before we can do something else.

WH: On the [web]page there’s a little thing where you’re quoting Leanne Simpson that was something that stood out to me about the whole process. With reconciliation are tied in these concepts of recognition and those concepts of recognition are so different when Indigenous people are working with other Indigenous people—it strengthens those bonds.

TH: That idea of living as if, as if we have realized the realities that we want on the ground. I love Leanne Simpson.

NL: I really like this web-like, looking-in-multiple-directions-at-the-same-time idea. When I originally read about the project I understood it as starting with you and hopping over to these artists and then they hop to these [other] artists, but listening to you talk about it now, it’s not so linear.

TH: No it’s not. That web of relationships, I’m coming to realize, is part of my curatorial practice both unconsciously and consciously. Translating that way of working to working at the Vancouver Art Gallery is a little bit complicated. How do you maintain that? How the institution responds to that methodology is interesting.

WH: It must be hard with larger institutions. I imagine there is this unspoken thing about making things palatable for an audience but a project like #callresponse is asking, well, what’s palatable for an institution?

TH: That’s something that I’ve puzzled over about the exhibition in general as it’s travelled to different places, because the story of the project is so rich and all of the different in-person interactions and experiences are at the heart of the exhibition, and then you have a series of works that stay the same, that travel to each place with a few changes, like when Ursula did a new song line that would go into the gallery instead of the initial one that she and Cheryl did together. A lot of the works in the show point outside of themselves. Maria’s felt bag is an object that’s activated in performance and the plywood cut-out buffalo robe points to the fact that that original object is not there any more. I’ve always been curious throughout the process of the exhibition about how people experience that pointing outside of the gallery through these objects that are inside of the space. Allison Collins, when the show opened here, said that the role of imagination in looking at the exhibition was something that stood out for her right away. Thinking about what the stories of the objects were outside of the space. She said something along the lines of imagination is not valued as much in exhibitions as it should be.

WH: Initially I also had the same idea that this is a very linear project in many ways, but did you find overall that you were enmeshing more into things, into networks?

TH: Yeah, I would say so. It’s interesting to re-install a show over and over again and see how it shifts in every location and every context and what kinds of conversations come out of those contexts. The most enmeshed aspect of the project was me, Maria and Tania working together. That kind of coordinating but also curatorial conversations around each project—it was really thinking about, in each context, what projects we could activate or what artists we could bring in that would speak well to that context. Really it was about being responsive to that set of conditions, but sort of diving deeper into the projects each time.

NL: Do you have an example of one install or experience of install that changed really drastically or in an important way?

TH: Ursula’s project is a good example of that. Her project, The Land Sings, was in existence before #callresponse started. She had already done three or four song lines, so the project was a way of building on that work and acknowledging that work. We did song lines here, in Mississauga, New York, and Halifax. It moved from the East Coast to the West Coast and then back again over the course of the tour. In each case Ursula is working with singers, hand drummers, and language speakers in that area, and thinking about the relationships between the gallery and the closest First Nation community. That project shifted each time. In New York the song line was mapped onto the skyline of the city as something that’s such a defining feature there and is overlaid on top of Indigenous space and closely follows historic travelling routes that Indigenous Lenape would have travelled along.

NL: That site-specificity seems like such an integral part of the project.

TH: I think so. The initial five commissions were asked to be “locally responsive”; we didn’t really use the term “site specific.” I guess it started by thinking about how all of these artists are committed to doing the work that they’re doing in their own communities. That community is differently defined by everyone. It’s not about an ancestral or reserve community. It can be a shifting context that the artists are all responding to. Also, when we approached galleries for the first time we always asserted that this is a partnership. So the galleries need to take the lead, developing programming that makes sense in their context. We’re not just going to parachute in and do this exhibition; it wouldn’t be in line with how the project began or how it developed. It’s all the context; the responsiveness to context has always been a really central aspect to the project.

WH: Did you find some resistance from some places that didn’t understand where the project was coming from?

TH: No, luckily our partnerships were formed well in that way. Certainly some institutions had much more active, or ongoing or in-depth conversations than others that just rolled with it in their own way. Or [with] some people, it was a really collaborative coming to understand what needed to happen. I think that most of our partners understood for the most part what we were trying to do. There were challenges along the way. I think once we had done the first few, you kind of figure out what questions to ask, what kind of conversations need to happen at the beginning in order to get to what needs to happen. There’s always going to be a set of possibilities that we are responding to and another set of considerations that can be discussed with the partners.

WH: It seems like a difficult thing to do something like an exhibition, which is very administrative just by nature of being attached to an institution, [and] to also have it sincerely engage with the people that are going to see it. A thing I think about a lot when I’m asked to do a workshop is, well, what’s actually beneficial to you? To stop you from just dropping in and being like, “These are my ideas!” and then peace-ing out and ending the dialogue.

TH: I think that a lot of relationships were formed through the project. The participating artists are variously involved in communities where the show went to, so we were able to build upon those relationships a little bit.

WH: I was never able to make any of the performances just by nature of always travelling myself. I just remember each time there was a performance there was a spike in the hash tag and just feeling this intense feeling of FOMO. But also, going through the comments and seeing everyone else who couldn’t make it, there’s this weird outside community that wasn’t able to attend.

TH: Speaking of spider webs and networks, right? The amount of people who have followed the project online and through its various iterations has been pretty spectacular. It’s been really heart-warming in that respect. All of the artists, especially the five initial artists, they’re all such powerhouses. Huge amazing forces to be reckoned with. That was apparent always throughout the exhibitions.

WH: What curatorial projects are you inspired by outside of your own?

TH: Because I’m now working at the Vancouver Art Gallery I’m looking more intensively at what other large-scale institutional work people are doing and always puzzling to myself how they pulled that off. The work that Jamie Isaac and Julie Nagam are doing at Winnipeg Art Gallery, it’s very clearly connected to the community there and has enlivened the space when they activate it through their work and also their ethic and methodology. The way that they work together is really something I admire. And one of the best shows that I’ve seen in the last couple of years is We Carry Forward by Lisa Myers. I saw it when I was in Ontario. It was a group exhibition that just really floored me. She’s a really smart curator. And Lorna Brown at the Belkin, I was thinking about Lorna and Lisa together because they both play upon the meaning and structure of language and then extrapolate that into the artworks that they include.

NL: I’m just thinking about #callresponse ending: it recently wrapped up at its last stop at Stride and TRUCK Gallery in Calgary. Is there a story or a feeling about the impact of the project—maybe something in your own practice—as it comes to a close? How are you reflecting on the project?

TH: Two things come to mind: the scales of intimacy and really public-facing discourse that have both been really fulfilling. I think that’s encapsulated at Stride and TRUCK Gallery in Calgary. We worked with youth from Tsuu T’ina First Nation, which is a program already established with those galleries. A dozen kids came from the rez and we had pizza lunch,we gave them a tour of the show, Maria let them mess with her performance objects, and then we did a pirate radio broadcast in the gallery at TRUCK, which would have a radius of about a block. And the kids, like, played Drake songs and told jokes and we ate chips. It took a few hours before, right at the very end, everyone’s warmed up to each other and we’re chilling and it’s natural. It’s a little different with kids, but there’s a number of moments throughout the project that are small scale and focused on that kind of moment. And then there’s a moment, like opening the exhibition in New York and doing a round table to a packed house, attended by arts workers from around the city. And you recognize that you’re part of a dialogue that people really need to be hearing there and need to be having, because it doesn’t happen enough and the ways that [it] happens aren’t always Indigenous-led. It is a small moment, but you just feel like you’re connected to something that’s wider and urgent. Those nodes of the project are what will resonate with me for a long time to come.

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Pet Peeves: Atom, Hank, and Vanessa

The third installation of Pet Peeves is here! Join grunt’s Gallery Assistant, Hedy Wood, as she delves further into her investigation of the grunt gallery staff by interviewing their pets.

After all of that British swearing from the Hounds of the Barkervilles over at Meagan’s place, I planned to go and visit Vanessa and her partner and their cats. Their nice delightful quiet cats, that’s what I was in the mood for.

Vanessa Kwan (grunt curator for the last 4 years) and her feline friends were to be my 3rd pet interview, and I have to say that I had already pretty much given up on finding any dirt. I know Vanessa to be consistently lovely, and I highly doubted that her cats were going to shed any light on some other shadowy, dark side of her personality that was completely made of evil. It just didn’t seem likely….

There was however, a millennial cat (Atom), and like a lot of people of my generation, I had a few questions about technology that I wanted to ask him. So I headed out, with my trusty phone that I barely know how to make an audio recording on, and the obligatory pocket full of cat treats. I figured Hank would enjoy a treat, being the older cat, but she preferred to sit on the other side of the room, working on her best stink eye.

Now, everything would have gone really well at Vanessa’s, if only I hadn’t sat down on the couch. THE COUCH!!!! It is the BEST goddamn couch I HAVE EVER SAT ON! I can’t stop yelling and swearing just thinking about it! That couch is dreamiest, comfiest, cushiest, softest, most cloudlike thing I have ever had the pleasure of lying on in my entire life!! I LOVED their COUCH! So, of course, that was a bit distracting when it came to trying to conduct my interviews with the cats. I mean, how did they meet Vanessa? Where did they come from? I DID NOT CARE! All I wanted to do was sit on that couch until the day I die…  by the end of my time there, I was completely horizontal and ignoring the cats entirely… I tried, but honestly, the couch won out.

Here’s a small sample of what was in my notes…

Me: So, Atom and Hank, do you two actually get to lie on this couch every day?! Don’t you love it?

Atom: Well, I DO enjoy the couch, when I feel like sitting still and watching a bit of television, but normally I am too active to lie around… I like to play computer games, and things like that that Hank does not enjoy, Hank is quite old, JIC you didn’t notice…

Hank: I, wait a minute, what was the question? I don’t think I like you, but I can’t remember why, exactly… oh, the COUCH, yeah that is good…

I found out that Hank suffers from some short term memory loss, which made interviewing her a bit more difficult. She also only likes Vanessa, no one else, only Vanessa. There was something about that I could relate to. It so exactly mirrored my feelings for the couch.

Atom: Did you know that Hank hates technology so much that she puked on the iPad? What kind of a person does that? She’s so jelly about that iPad!

Me: Aren’t you being kind of a snitch right now? Come and sit on the couch with me? Be nice!

Atom: I feel more like running around the place!

Hank: Yep, I still feel like I hate you Hedy….can’t really put my paw on the reason why… well, you’re not Vanessa for one thing… hey, wait, was there another question? Lot of questions…

Me: Well, yes, how long have they had this couch? Where did they get it anyway? Might have been expensive… must have been… sooooo superior to that old piece of lumber I’m sitting on at my place, I might as well be lying around outside on the concrete, that’s how bad my couch actually is… hmmmmmm, I think a short lie down would be good…

Atom: Hedy! HEDY!!!! Look! LOOK! Hedy, LOOK! I got a new game on my phone!!!! Come and look!! I can play it while I’m hanging upside down from this chair!!!!!

Me: Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Hank: Gack! Barf! Excuse me, hairball…

It might have been around this time that Vanessa began to talk a lot about having to get to work. I tried to check around, sort of surreptitiously, to make sure I hadn’t left any drool on the couch, and prepared to head out.

Once again, I had not actually uncovered any real vices in the grunt staff… I mean apart from the fact that Vanessa literally SHAVES Hank on a regular basis. Hank is really a long haired cat, which you would never know at all from looking at her. The thing is, Vanessa shaves Hank as an act of kindness, (so annoying). Otherwise Hank would continually chew on and eat her own hair, then throw it up all over my couch. Then, she would forget that she’d done it because of the memory thing. So, you see, Vanessa is not doing anything mean at all by shaving her, or even anything particularly memorable… And Atom? Well, he is just a sweet young Devon Rex who would enjoy more screen time, if only the humans of the household would turn the darn thing on and watch a nature show or two… nothing very sinister lurking there either.

No, no, no no no, these pets weren’t pissed at all! Possibly there would be something at Kate’s place, but I was beginning to despair, AND I already missed that couch.

** Since this interview was conducted Vanessa’s cat gang has grown by one, Prune is pictured with Hank and Atom above.

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