“parts-paw to paw” is one of my series of pastel drawings titled “parts”.

I believe many people admire or even worship(!) some extremely adorable animals body parts, and I myself is one of such people. So I decided to establish a pastel drawings collection which deals with a variety of cute animal parts. And cats’ paws have been selected as the first work of this series.

When I initially thought of the idea of drawing cats’ paws, placing a big and a small paw was already in my mind. I think I was hoping to express some desirable relationship between the strong and the weak. Especially because I was feeling so depressed to hear about a recent heart-wrenching child abuse case. It is not only about child-abuse, but there are so many cases where the strong oppresses the weak. There are, and sadly, there have always been. For such a long, long time, and so many that we have been perhaps too much accustomed to it.

I wonder why if it is so hard for the entire human race to reach a consensus that everybody is to be treated as an individual, not as somebody’s belongings. For me personally, it is not comfortable to see someone in a weaker position being treated at the discretion of persons in a stronger position. Physically, financially, socially, and organisationally, some are in a weaker position, but that does not mean their right to live as an individual is also weaker. But for some people, it does and perhaps they take it for granted that stronger people can control the weaker people. Furthermore, they are not equipped with a sense of shame. Probably not.

As I write this, I cannot help but remember an old episode which my mum told me a long time ago. When I was a kid, she was habitually hitting me, which I don’t remember fortunately, but she stopped it completely with one small incident as a start. Which was that when she hit me as usual, I glared at her in silence as if to say “what a pathetic fellow you are”.

Then mum was appalled realizing that what she was doing there was indeed such a pathetic and shameful act. I was perhaps very lucky to have someone as my mum who has a sense of shame. If not, what could have happened? It is not difficult to imagine. Probably, my unchildlike attitude towards her would have fueled the fire. “Who the hell do you think you are, looking at your mother in that way?” She would have shouted and hit me even harder. And that is the reality that many, many people, not only kids, who unfortunately have their superiors who lack the sense of shame are currently facing.

A bigger paw and a smaller paw are described in the work. The smaller paw is proud and assertive in its own way, and it does not show the slightest hint of obsequious attitude to the bigger paw. I think I was this way when I was very young, and my parents took no repressive measures toward it. My parents were physically much stronger than me, they had more money and way far street-smarter than me, but they did not use their advantage to control me. They did not want my paws to be bent by fear, or withered by damaged self-respect and lack of confidence. Neither did my teachers I met at every school I attended.

So I must say I was very lucky.

I wish people who are currently in a weaker position will be able to maintain their small paws sturdy and proud, until they find the way out of the situation, and those who are in a stronger position who are currently using their powers in an abusive way will have a chance to learn that smaller paws have the equal right to exist as an individual in this world.

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