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My Cats and Bottger

 

Before I nuked my social stuff, I downloaded the file Facebook offers. In the past, when I was just pissed off, throwing my hands up over it all- I’d just delete without thinking. This bums me out a lot, in retrospect as I had actually amassed some neat, on the fly photos- which, I didn’t consider upon “God, what the hell is wrong with people, BLOOP!” style tantrum-throwing. This time, however, I did, and in sorting them for a project I am working on wherein I’m printing a bunch of photos:

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Wyatt Derp’s Gotcha Day

Writing about my cats involves writing out some situations which, as you read, your eyebrow may quirk a bit. Such is life, particularly, mine. Make no assumptions- I’d be the first person to nod and go, “Yes, I know. I know.” In case you stumbled here for goal setting, history, or nootropics information- you might wanna look around. I’ve been on something of a hiatus from woo- actually, it may be a permanent shift towards something else entirely- but: man, my life has never, nor do I anticipate it ever, being “normal”.

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Also, if you are at all interested in partaking in what it is I originally set this whole thing up for- now is a really excellent time to order and you can do so here.

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For instance, however it has managed to shake out- I have always kept a black cat. I am frankly rather stereotypical that way- though it hasn’t been intentional. I’ve had several significant cats: Nuisance, Akira, Lucifur, (Intentional) and Samael. I tend to acquire such cats in odd ways- I can’t remember how we got Nuisance. All I really remember was that my roommate at the time deeply felt that we were all some sort of re-born cosmic deities. He would sprinkle conversations with what I had dubbed “odd Edward Kelley-isms.” He said that on some other plane of existence I had in fact, trapped yet another cosmic deity inside of my cat- so that was why I named him that. Truth was, Nuisance got into my paint and had tracked it everywhere while I was trying to figure out his name- so..  anyway. Akira, she..(Yes, she.) was completely insane and quite violent, but, when I went out to the weird old cat lady’s place to help with a trap, spay and release- this feral little black fluff ran straight up my leg and wouldn’t let go. Lucifur, they were going to kill at the shelter my late husband worked at- he was huge, mean as hell and they thought feral- but, just turns out he was pissed about being in a cage. Samael happened, to be frank, when I needed him. Okay, on that one, let me fandom:

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Well, it is. Lucifur had FIV. His death completely broke my heart and combined with the stress of a move directly after- I wasn’t really keen on “replacing” him. My son Aidan was around 2-3, and there was a daycare next door to our new house. It was pretty convenient. One day, I go over to pick him up and there’s a bucket of cats. All these fluffy white GLORIOUSLY adorable kittens. Out of a mass of what looked all the world like some kind of “cute kitten” photo squirms this ranky little black runt. I pulled him out and sat him down on the ground in front of me where he attempted to come running when I tch tch kitty, kitty at him- and he promptly ran square into my crossed legs. The scrawny runt was blind- hence, well, Samael. Not that being blind ever, ever stopped him from doing anything. (And point of fact: I do also tend to wind up with the “lost causes” because while my reality is often strange- lost cause does not exist in it, nor has it ever, nor will it ever.)  Sam had these wild gold eyes that seemed to see nothing yet- weirdly, I was obsessed with. I absolutely love all of my pets and rescues but…

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I know that’s a tiny video- but that was Sam. One day, he just vanished and it hurt for a very long time. As messed up as it may sound, I would return to that house several times a year for several years- just hoping he’d come running. We had to move and had moved about 3 hours away shortly after he’d gone missing.

When I was living with Jim, out on the compound- he had many, many dogs. And though not all of them had a strong prey drive- one of them did and when she went, the rest went. I lived in a basement apartment and once I decided things were secured enough- I was scrolling through the Kitten Division Facebook page and I saw this cat. This cat had all these splattery, fun markings- and I missed having cats.

So, Kurt and I grab the cat-crate and we go in, presumably to adopt this cat.

Except, while we were trying to find that one, this skinny, one eyed black cat makes himself at home in the crate. Long story short: yet another black cat had adopted me.

What the fuck’s that got to do with Bottger- and for that matter- who is Bottger?

I’ll take, alchemist and street magician who invented European porcelain after being locked up by King Frederick I of Prussia who was trying to get him to turn base metals into gold for a 1000, Alex.

Basically. Frederick claimed that it was “protective custody” and he claimed it was “For his safety” but, uh…

It was 1700 and Augustus The Strong said: Well, I mean, you’re not in any trouble but if you leave without doing this, you die. I’m broke, asshole, you’re an alchemist, so…alchemy. You’re not in any trouble but I’m gonna put you in a dungeon until you do this. You’re okay with this, aren’t you, Johann? 

So, I mean, yeah, kinda on house arrest before the days of the ankle bracelet.

He was 18 and had been to his family’s horror- performing these weird magic tricks on the street wherein he was turning random coins into gold. He would try to escape his Dresden confines many times- and in some crazy ways- but they’d always bring him back and they did not kill him because, well, why in the fuck would you kill a dude with such interesting skills before he gave you what you wanted?

Again, that’s..basically.

In about 1705, Augustus is getting kinda pissed as all of his demands of Zeig mir das Goldmachertinktur! haven’t gone anywhere.

So, he calls in Tschirnhaus to essentially babysit him- who was a philosopher, mathematician, physicist and physician. Man of many hats, you might say- but back then, really, they all were. Johann was like, “Uh, how about no?

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Shockingly, no, Tschirnhaus did not invent hair metal or Aqua Net. I know, I was just as shocked as you are.

Thing is, when you are a teenager heading into your early 20s who got yanked up off the streets because a very powerful individual bought your con- you’re kinda screwed. Actually, very screwed- alchemists who couldn’t produce for nobility usually wound up dead. And at that time- Europe had another obsession which was bringing in the money: beautiful imports from China and Japan that up until this point- nobody had any idea how to recreate.

So, if he couldn’t create gold from things- in about 1707, he figures he would team up with Tschirnhaus to create something which would bring in gold. Next best thing, right? Actually, in Europe at that time- it wasn’t just the next best, it was on par with. So, figuring which side his bread was buttered on pretty quickly- he works with Tschirnhaus and they get shit done.

Again, basically. In December of that year, they make it out of the dungeon into a lab. They begin to make serious progress but then in 1708, Tschirnhaus…

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Bust of Bottger’s “I am so very screwed” face.

Enter Steinbruck in March of  1709. Fortunately, as executor of the estate, he got ahold of the formula- he said. This apparently turned out to be true, because by the end of the month they told the king they were ready to rock and roll. At least, this was what Bottger told Augustus who, at this point- is kinda pissed off that nobody’s re-created the beautiful work they called white gold.

Look, they told Augustus, We need more space.  He obliges, moving them to what had been a fortress in Saxony, in Meissen. They would bust out the first attempts in 1710 but…though a hit, they still weren’t the beautiful, delicate works highly prized. In a sense, Martin Schnell probably saved their asses by painting these- making them beautiful luxury items in their own right. Originally though, the plain pottery that came out- people didn’t like it. It didn’t look like the popular stuff they’d seen coming out of China and Japan. It wasn’t as decorated nor was it as delicate.

Until they figured out you had to fire the kilns at a much, much higher temperature. They also brought in a goldsmith and other help and by around 1716- things were going wonderfully. The stress of keeping all these company secrets- well, it got to Bottger. He was drinking heavily and hanging out with a bad crowd. At 37, he dies. The year was 1719 and everyone was scrambling to keep the secrets.

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By now, Europe is pretty well done trying to reproduce the works they’d loved out of China and Japan. Instead, they have come up with beautiful styles all their own. By now, the man widely held responsible for the improvements to the kilns that made that possible is pretty well respected. Stoltzel brings on Horoldt and though they were already tremendously popular- suddenly, everyone wants the creations from this factory. They had to bring on a bunch more people to work there and, also they decided to start creating little busts, statues, and other wares so they also bring on Kirchner to help with that.

The King is now a VERY happy and VERY wealthy man.

He is also a serious freaking brat, like most nobleman. He demands the factory and its artists create him all manner of things like no one had ever seen- because he wanted to deck the newly purchased Hollandische Palais in all ceramics. We’re talking the church had ceramic altars and a ceramic organ. He also had life sized animals and even Saints.

Dude was a little nuts and obsessed with the Japanese- he remained the place the Japanische Palais. He’d come a long, long way from the Swedish wars essentially breaking him- and wanted to show this off.  Kirchner hooks up with a sculptor called Johan Joachim Kandler and, well, they become well known for making the most beautiful busts of spoiled rich people with more money than sense.

You can also thank Kandler for the creepy ass clown figurines- which, incidentally, is how this ties in to my cats.

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Porcelain Commedia dell’Arte figurines, by Kandler for Meissen, Germany, about 1740-43. Museum nos. C.15, 11, 10, 13, 9-1984  Also….fucking terrifying.

I can’t deal with clowns. Over the years, people who either think I am kidding or otherwise are just assholes- will gift me with clowns or leave them in my house. Nobody’s ever left a Kandler clown- which is fortunate, because, my black cats have been incredibly defensive of my hatred for the vile creatures: and they break them. Every time. No one hated them more than my blind Samael. And somehow, he always found a way to break every single one that came in to the houses we lived in.

No one, that is, until Wyatt Derp.

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I had completely forgotten this thing was in my window…

The thing about Wyatt- the gross, absolutely nasty thing: when he gets upset, he shits. Like, literally, turds come out of his ass.

This morning, he was repeatedly smashing into that window, which happens to be in the corner of the living room. He’s crapping as he does so.

What in the fuck is wrong with you, cat?!

I go over, and there it is. Staring up at me like glazed evil.

Long story not so short, the first words that came to mind were Damn you, Bottger, this clown and this shit are all your fault! 

Because, well, sure. That’s rational.

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