I saw him taking a photo of my painting so I went over to introduce myself.
Me: “Hi, I’m Giselle, the artist in residence.”
Man: “Ah yes! You are the artist. I don’t know why I didn’t talk to you yesterday. I saw you painting there in the lobby & I guess I must have been pre-occupied with parking my car & check in.”
Me: “It’s ok, we are meeting now.”
Firas: “I have to tell you this story. The other day, I went to start my car & while I was sitting there for 2 minutes, I heard this loud thumping noise. Then I got out of my car & saw a cat lying dead on the road beside my car. I was so sad for the cat. It must have been under the hood when I started the car. Then I heard this very small noise, so I opened the hood of my car & there was a baby kitten sitting beside the engine still alive. I felt so awful about the mother cat. (I could see retelling the story made him emotional ) “I had to take the kitten home with me. I checked her over to make sure she was ok. I’m a physician you see so I will know if she is ok. I have been getting up in the night with this kitten at 3:30 in the morning. I have 3 kids at home, and I didn’t even get up in the night with my kids. Haha! I just had to take her home & take care of this poor orphan kitten. There is so much pain & heartache in this world. The world doesn’t need more of it. I thought it was my duty to take care of this baby kitten. Now my wife says to me, ‘You leave me for a week with 3 children at home. Now you leave me with 4 children! She sends me videos of bottle feeding the kitten.”
….After a few more minutes of chatting & getting selfies together, my husband and son walked by. I asked Firas to share with them the kitten story.
Neil: “Why would a cat want to sit on an engine? Aren’t they looking for cooler places to go?”
Firas: "In Saudi when it is 6 degrees in the winter, it is like -20 degrees for you. The animals feel it too & are looking for a warm place to go.”
Neil: “And what did you name the kitten?”
Firas: “We have no name yet. If you think of any names, please share them with me.”
Me: “I think you could give it a name of a car part.”
Quinn: “How about ‘Axel.’?
Firas: “Oh yes, that’s a great name! I love it! Well, I must go, but if you ever find yourself in Lebanon, let me know.”
I offered to give him a studio tour if he was ever in Canada.
Acrylics on canvas
Painting and all art images © Giselle Denis Fine Artist
This painting is currently on display at the Raffles Hotel in Dubai
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