You’ve come to expect insightful commentary and hard-hitting reporting from No Country for Old Interns on Glasstire.com, and this post is no exception. The Chinati Foundation may house permanent installations by renowned contemporary artists, but the museum is also home to six cats, all former strays. Up to this point, no serious scholarship has been conducted on the provenance of Chinati’s cat collection. With this post, I’ve set out to remedy that.
Age: At least 16
Distinguishing characteristics: Looks like a puma
Hang-out spot: The chair on the porch next to Apartment 7
Personality: Friendly and loyal
Favorite pastime: Waiting by the doors of the intern apartments in the hopes that someone will let him inside
Fun fact: Puma has been known to go hunting and bring back “gifts” for his favorite interns.
Bruce...Photo by Grace Davis
Distinguishing characteristics: Desert camouflage—Bruce’s coat blends in with grass and dirt
Hang-out spot: All over
Personality: Fun-loving and adventurous
Favorite pastime: Following collection tours
Fun fact: Bruce may have a masculine name, but she’s a female cat. With her lithe form and athletic lifestyle, Bruce couldn’t be more different from her sister, Marie, the resident fat cat.
Distinguishing characteristics: Annoyed look
Hang-out spot: Visitor services desk
Favorite pastime: Being petted by museum visitors
Fun fact: Marie positions herself for maximum petting by museum visitors—usually on the visitor services desk or in one of the bookstore windowsills. With her gray and white fur, she matches the austere aesthetic of the bookstore, with its blank white walls and gray concrete floors. Marie is a plus-sized fashionista—she once was featured on notable fashion blog Sea of Shoes.
Emma...Photo by Andrew Fulcher
Age: At least 16
Distinguishing characteristics: All-black fur
Hang-out spot: Development offices or underneath the table in the office courtyard
Favorite pastime: Sleeping, eating
Fun fact: You don’t have to worry about this black cat crossing your path. Emma doesn’t move much these days—she mostly walks from her favorite napping spot to the food bowl and back.
Distinguishing characteristics: Tortoise-shell fur, torn ear
Hang-out spot: Will occasionally join Marie on the visitor services desk
Favorite Pastime: Wandering
Fun fact: Salvy is the only Chinati cat who dares to leave the museum property. Maybe that’s how she got that torn ear.
Buster...Photo by Aurora Tang
Age: At least 2
Distinguishing characteristics: White with black- and gray-striped spots
Hang out spot: Near the apartments
Favorite Pastime: Rolling around in the dirt, pouncing
Fun fact: Buster is technically the associate director’s cat, but he also lives on the museum grounds.
Bonus photo: Marie Catoinette
Photo by Leigh Arnold
Disclosure: I am an intern at the Chinati Foundation, hence the blog name. No cats were harmed in the making of this post. In fact, they enjoyed the extra attention.
If you’ve visited the Chinati Foundation and met one of the cats, feel free to share your story in the comments section.