“What part of meow don’t you understand!?”

“What part of meow don’t you understand!?”

From 2004, here’s one for the Cat People. Well, the first 24 hours of The Arlo & Janis Summer Art Show and Sale was a big success. Thank you! About half of the cartoons have been sold already. Among the remaining offerings are some of my favorites. No, I’m not going to tell you which ones, but I am not surprised. For the 34 years I’ve been drawing Arlo & Janis (come July 29), I have often been flummoxed by the taste of my readers. Strips I think are terrible will be well received, and the ones I believe are touched by genius might very well be met with a shrug. But I don’t care! Your opinion is as good as mine. If you haven’t been to the art show and sale already, please come visit. All the artwork still is visible, including the ones that have been sold. It doesn’t cost anything to look!



48 responses to ““What part of meow don’t you understand!?””

  1. I’ve used the term “little buddy” to describe my various cats for the last 30 years. My wife got home before me the other day and as soon as the car pulled into the garage, the cats woke up and ran to the door to greet me. Often I will sit in my love seat and all three cats will draped themselves around me. Sometimes they can be quite annoying!

  2. The wall at my office at Butler Snow in Jackson is decorated with two of your cartoons, one about an open meetings suit and another about open records. I continue to enjoy them, and Arlo and Janis is a real bonus. My wife and I feel like you must be reading our mail. Keep up the good work.

  3. Jimmy, you seem to have two copies of “The Young and the Stupid” in your sale catalog, on two different pages. One is showing as sold, and the other is still available. (I’m afraid that one you intended to add is not being shown).

  4. I have not owned [or, “been owned by”] a cat for about 18 years, more or less, so you current owners will have better knowledge about this.
    When a cat is intrigued by a sound of unknown origin, doesn’t it point its ears toward the sound in an effort to locate same?

  5. “When a cat is intrigued by a sound of unknown origin, doesn’t it point its ears toward the sound in an effort to locate same?”

    If the cat perceives a possible threat, the tendency is to fold the ears down to protect them. YMMV.

  6. Yesterday Jackie asked, “Rather than cheer me I came out of the circus tent sadder than I went in. Where are the clowns? Send in the clowns..”

    They’re clearly on the city council of Berkeley.

  7. Just bought an original from you! A long-time reader of the strip, so this is an opportunity I can’t pass! And the strip you posted is a delight, but it has Ludwig in it.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a 29-year old cartoonist who still inks traditionally (although I do roughs digitally with tablet, which I print out for inking). There’s something “zen” about inking traditionally that I think suits me well. Although my lettering are done digitally, like how you do it.

  8. Ran across this in today’s Delancey Place email. Elaine & I visited München’s Alte Pinakothek [sp.?] in the ’80s. Don’t remember this; maybe just passed by thinking “another romanticized Jesus.” [JJ added that umlaut!]
    M.A.P. is where I got fascinated by still-life technique [no, I do not paint]. Those exquisite reflections on bottles are just little daubs of white paint. Marvelous!



  9. Jimmy, I’m still waiting for two pieces (and the book) from your 2016 kickstarter campaign. Any update for me and your other very patient fans?
    -Rick Drury

    • I always cringe at that JFK statement. To do something because that something is difficult is the height of illogic. One does something – or tries to do it – because that something seems worth it; that benefits will accrue therefrom.

      This is not a political statement.

  10. Ghost, did you see the story about the Englishwoman who bought two swimsuits from an online retailer, one black and one white. When she got into the pool wearing the white one, her friends got quite a show. She complained to the seller, and the customer service rep asked her to send a video illustrating the problem. Instead she took stills of the suit lying on her hand, once dry and once wet, to show what happened. They gave her a refund, but noted that suits were designed for posing at poolside, not actually wearing to swim in. Maybe you could get in a stock of those?

  11. c x-p: And I, whenever my candidate Adlai Stevenson referred to “an ever-expanding economy” or when his successful opponent said “nucular.” Think “the Decider” said that, too.


  12. Jimmy, I remember the strip you’re using for the background image on your art sale, and I wasn’t surprised that you’d be a Degas fan, too! I saw a huge exhibit of his work at the MFA in Boston a few years back.

  13. Today’s [Mon.] A.Word.A.Day is “solecism,” which we “9 Chickweed Lane” fans will remember a pre-teen Edda scolding mother Julie for last Friday or so.
    Yesterday’s 0701 “Anon.” was emb.

  14. emb: Perhaps you could explain the bit about the “E Flat Alto Horn” mentioned in the Chickweed strip? I’ve seen the instrument, but as a woodwind player I’m unfamiliar with the joke.

  15. TR and emb: I checked the 9CL cartoons regarding the question about the “E-Flat Alto Horn”. Perhaps the joke is that she obtained proficiency on the horn due to being (although unknowingly) “horny”. At least, that seems like the type of “joke” McElDowney would be likely to pull.

  16. EMB, semi serious question… notice a bright male Western Bluebird this morning singing it’s pitiful little song. Then heard the mockingbird breaking loose on the rooftop. Caused me to wonder if there is a correlation between lack of color and complexity of birdsong?

  17. Re the 7-22-19 real-time cartoon: Yes, falls can be funny or not funny, as the case may be. (As Amy once said on The Big Bang Theory when reporting the death of one of her lab monkeys, “He slipped on a banana peel, fell, and broke his neck. It was both tragic and hilarious.”) But when we reach a certain age, falls usually fall (no pun intended) into the “not funny” category.

    A couple of weeks ago, I stepped outside to check the water level in the Jackie Canal following one of our recent downpours. Unthinkingly, I walked across the very end of a wooden ramp leading to a wooden walkway. Due to moisture from the rain and, I suppose, some accumulated organic material, the incline was as slick as glass. As soon as I placed my left foot on it, the foot flew out from under me, and I fell sideways onto the ramp on my left side. Fortunately, I have not forgotten how to take a fall, and my head only glanced off the wooden handrail, so I shook it off and walked away from it. But the incident could have easily resulted in a broken hip or broken ribs, or a head injury, or all three.

    That said, Arlo’s mishap was a “cartoon fall”* involving a cartoon character (as well as being about the failure of modern technology), so I saw the humor in it. But in the immortal words of Sgt. Phil Esterhaus “Let’s be careful out there.”

    *Otherwise, the first time the Road Runner made Wile E. Coyote fall off a 500-foot cliff would have been the last time, and the end of the cartoon series, wouldn’t it?

  18. You’re right about the unfunny falls, Ghost. At 6 foot 5 and well over 250 pounds I can tell you that the saying “the bigger the harder they fall” is all too true. That’s how I managed to get a Colles’ fracture a few years ago when I not only fell, but managed to land with my hip bone across the left wrist. Not an experience I care to repeat, ever.

    • that should have read the bigger they are, the harder they fall. I backed up to correct a spelling error and left out part of my thought. Oh, the old gray matter ain’t what she used to be, many long years ago.

  19. My worst fall so far came in February last year when a friend whom I hadn’t seen in many months shouted my name from across a parking lot as I came down some outdoor stairs. I quickly learned that taking my attention off the stairs was a very foolish thing to do. In the future I’ll stop and then look about while clinging to the handrail.

  20. Thought for the day / Anu Garg’s A.W.A.D. ” Chandler, Raymond Thornton, writer. (23 Jul 1888-1959). Television’s perfect. You turn a few knobs, a few of those mechanical adjustments at which the higher apes are so proficient, and lean back and drain your mind of all thought. And there you are watching the bubbles in the primeval ooze. You don’t have to concentrate. You don’t have to react. You don’t have to remember. You don’t miss your brain because you don’t need it. Your heart and liver and lungs continue to function normally. Apart from that, all is peace and quiet. You are in the man’s nirvana. And if some poor nasty minded person comes along and says you look like a fly on a can of garbage, pay him no mind. He probably hasn’t got the price of a television set. 190723

  21. David: Re bird song, that sort of thing often runs [but not always]. Mockingbirds are members of the New World family Mimidae. Eastern USA’s related Brown Thrasher has similar, if more limited, skills. Color? Mockingbirds are pretty, and Brown Thrashers a rich chestnut, about like a Chipping Sparrow’s cap.

  22. Just Sunday night, my daughter in law missed the last step going into the basement and fell. Fortunately it was the last step but she she let out a piercing scream. My Grandson was very upset about this, as you can imagine. They took her to urgent care and the doctor said that it was a fracture. When she called in yesterday, the radiologist said that it was not broken. So she got another opinion and this doctor said that he could see why the Doctor might have said it was a fracture, but it was not.

    Not knowing this, I asked if I could make them dinner. Of course they said no at first, but since my son had to pick up our Grandson at daycare and her from work, it was a good thing that we did. When I drove up I saw my son showing my Grandson the engine to his F-150 (my grandson is truck obsessed) and then I saw my DIL emerge from the house limping, but with no cast. She then explained her diagnosis, Since we plan to go the lake up North in a few weeks, we were relieved to see that she is getting around.

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