Friday, July 6, 2012


One Afternoon in Williamsburg

Deana Sobel draws Philip the Sea Lion, lives in Brooklyn, and is allergic to cats. Follow her @deanasobel.  

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Wait did this actually happen??


@MalPal I choose to believe that it did happen, in Williamsburg, one afternoon.


@MalPal In Williamsburg, I've seen so much perfectly good pussy thrown out the window. Just a shame.



I'll be walking around with my face pointing up just in case.


@atipofthehat You win. I just snorted water out of my nose.


@MalPal My friend has video of it! So yes, it did happen. The guy caught the cat -- or really, broke its fall, because it immediately jumped out of his arms, but then he picked it up and held it tight. The owner came down, ushered him back in to the apartment, and that was that. My friend (the one who filmed it) saw him later that night, walking around, COVERED in scratches.


@littlestcabbage That's magical. Well, not including the scratches.


wow thank you so much for putting this up...he is electric! I wanted to shout out "our King is German!"@t


OH MY GOD. How did the cat get even get on the outside of a window of a highrise? If I witnessed this happen to a stranger's cat, I'd have a panic attack. If it were either of my cats, my heart would stop and I would die.



A few years back, a stray male cat appeared on the 6th-floor windowsill opposite me. I tried to rescue him, but he leaned forward and made the jump down into the airshaft. There was no way to get to the cat—the basement was locked. I ran to the roof and looked down: after a very long time, I saw movement. I lowered down tuna and water and called the landlord.

Turned out there was a female cat living in the basement, and she was in heat. ANOTHER male cat had already made the jump, met the lady cat, and died of his injuries.

The lady cat had kittens, the cat I tried to save survived, got taken to the vet, and lived happily with us for years. As I told him many times, "Look: I've done crazier things for exactly the same reason."


@atipofthehat Oh man, I wonder if this happened in my apartment's basement (there is also a lady cat who had kittens down there, who often scares the shit out of me when I take the dog out and I don't see her).


@atipofthehat Ok, this is the story that needs illustrating.


@atipofthehat ...you lowered down tuna and water.

That's amazing.


This morning at about 6am a stranger kitty jumped up on my open first-floor bedroom window sill and said, "MOW," then jumped down. I was all, "Whuh?"


@laurel Please tell me you mean US first floor, not UK first floor.


@laurel Oh man if I ever marry someone whose last name starts with W and I add their name to mine my initials will be MEOW this seemed like the best place to put that I've been excited about this for YEARS, MEOW, the end.


@melis OK 'pinners with last names beginning with W, who would like to propose to melis? Let's make this happen!


@Verity Ground floor! Single floor house!

@melis As sound a reason to marry as any, as far as I can tell. (I said it before, but I think Ortberg-Werdiger is as good as it gets, surname-wise.)

evil melis

if you want her



@laurel Thank goodness! If a cat appeared at mu UK-style first-floor window, I would be horrified. HOW DID IT GET THERE? WHAT IF IT FALLS?


@evil melis /SCHWING!


@evil melis

pity melis
don't let felis
on her trelis


@melis My current initials are MEW, and if I added my beau's last name they would be MEWO. So, yea. That's my story. The end.


Was the cat trying to get the balloons when it got stuck outside the window, or are the balloons just there because it's Williamsburg?


Deana, your illustrations are so whimsical and sweet! I love the distraught hipster and the control freak yelling for the firetruck.



I love the Don Martin-style title!


@SuperGogo The face on the kitty has as it's falling! As if it has accepted its fate :(


@atipofthehat a million likes for the Don Martin shout-out. Now I'm picturing Mr. Fonebone in the Williamsburg crowd.

fondue with cheddar

@SuperGogo I don't like the yellow-shirted guy. WHAT IS HE THINKING? :(


@jen325 Agreed! He's a jerk. @SuperGogo The distraught hipster was the best to draw!


@jen325 But! I do think some people laugh when they're nervous/uncomfortable...

fondue with cheddar

@deanasobel Maybe. But he's got such a big smile!

I will distract myself from that horrible thought by (again) imagining the sound of the crowd cheering when the kitty was caught. :D:D


If it's between 1-4 stories, there's no reason to freak out. If it's between 5 and 9 stories, freak out. Higher than that and you can stop freaking out again because the cat flattens itself out like a sugar glider. At least according to Radio Lab.


@limnupon Yeah, my cat growing up would always jump off of the roof of our (3 story) house, and she's still alive. Though every time I saw it happen, my heart dropped into my stomach.


@limnupon If I've learned anything from Life After People, it's that cats in cities will eventually grow skin wings and soar around like flying squirrels.


@meetapossum Cats are freaks. Also, in looking this stuff up, I found out that the righting reflex develops at 3-4 weeks. I just decided to test it with the 6-week-old kitten I'm babysitting by dropping him 5 inches onto my bed. It works!

And if you hold him on his back for long enough, he uses his tail as a propeller to right himself. I can see this flying cat thing working really well.


@limnupon That blew my god-damned mind when I heard it.


@limnupon Sorry, I just got distracted by the fact that you're on a bed right now with a 6-week-old kitten. I want to go to there.

fondue with cheddar

@limnupon On the one hand, my cat might survive an above-9-story fall because she's got a lot of loose skin (I sometimes call her "flying squirrel"). On the other hand, she might not survive because she's very clumsy. Fortunately my house only has 2 floors.


When I saw the title I thought this was going to be about Williamsburg, VA, and I got excited. Then I realized it wasn't, and I got less excited. Then looked at the whole post and got excited and happy again!! What a roller coaster of emotion you just put me through.

New Hoarder

@TheMongreloid Me too! I was just going to post: "THIS HAD BETTER BE ABOUT BUSCH GARDENS. WHY ARE THERE CATS"


@New Hoarder Where is Felicity Merriman?

New Hoarder

@travelmugs Yeah, why don't the cat gawkers have tea cozies (cosies?) on their heads?

New Hoarder

@New Hoarder Sorry, doilies!

sudden but inevitable betrayal

This comic is making me a little emotional.


The illustration of the cat hanging off the screen reminds me of the one of the funniest things I have ever seen my cat do. My husband and I were sitting on our back deck, and our [indoor] cat was whining to come out with us. So we thought, what the heck, and let her out. She very apprehensively came out, sniffed around a bit, and decided she was terrified of the outdoors. So then she turned around to face the back door, ran at it full speed, and launched herself at it so that she ended up just hanging by her claws about halfway up the screen door. We couldn't stop laughing, so we just let her hang there like a tapestry for a minute or two.


Is Philip the Sea Lion anything like Philippe the Otter ?


@remargaret THESE PHILIP(PE)S!

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@remargaret TOO SOON, PHILIPPE. (but this comment is too late.)


Speaking of living things perilously hanging from buildings in Brooklyn...

I live in South Williamsburg by a lot of Hasidic Jews, and what really freaks me out is they let their very small children (one time I saw a crawling baby in there with its toddler sister) hang out in the window grates, like children in suspended cages. Sometimes from very many stories up! I've taken several photos of this as my balcony faces the back of a Hasidic building. I guess they're safe? But it's terrifying to me.


@ajayne Something like this?



@Ophelia Exaaaactly like that. But caged at the bottom to provide holes for children to slip through. Why?!?!


@ajayne I...yikes.


I dunno, I think that sounds nice! If I lived up high in a city, where it was kinda a hassle to get all the way down for some breezes, I'd love an air cage. Also, the higher you go, the more wind you get! Also STORMS WOULD BE AMAZING. It's like a shark cage for storms. Storm cage.


...I thought this was going to be about Williamsburg, VA and was all prepared with a The Best Time I Visited My Cousin at College story but now I am just happy the cat is okay!


Could I have this on fabric to make curtains out of, please and thank you? I want this as curtains SO HARD.


That guy must've been a real good kickball player. (Catching style.)


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