basement cat / attic cat
this page is a continuing document of the lives and stories of basement cat and attic cat. marc poljak photography, and our two friends suggest you come back on a regular basis to see what they have been doing. on occasion cameo appearances from the likes of: ghost cat, mr. meow, outside lucy, pseudo-garfield and yojimbo! will make their way to these pages. those are special treats you won't want to miss. return early and often. don't miss out!

marc poljak photography basement cat roger
roger, also known as basement cat. he's known as basement cat because of bladder control issues and a propensity to be bullied by attic cat. he is generally an agreeable soul with a kind disposition, except when ghost cat is lurking outside.
letters to the basement

dear basement cat,

first off, long time reader and basement lover, but this is my first time writing to you. i bet you've heard that before. anyway, love the column. can't wait for the new book to come out. here's my problem. and it's a bit embarrassing... i'm allergic to cats. sorry. i can't believe i'm writing this. i've been everywhere. no one can help me. do you have any advice?

b, from washington d.c.


dear b,

you know, b, i really appreciate you taking the time to write. it means a lot. this is my food you know, the kind words of other basement lovers. they sustain me through those damp and drizzly november's in my soul. you know what i mean. so a heartfelt thank you.

now, about this allergy thing. tough luck. i don't envy you. look, the first thing to do: not despair. this can be fixed. but it will take time. a tolerance is what you lack. here's what you need to do...

over the next twelve months, visit a cat, preferably one in the city of pittsburgh, pennsylvania, every other third thursday of the month for no more than two minutes during a given eight hour period. doesn't matter what kind of cat so long as it's not of the attic variety.

follow this up with a freshly brewed pot of earl gray tea, no sugar, no milk, and stirred not once, not twice, but thrice!, with the whisker of a grey tabby. and your problem will be solved.

b, i wish you all the best, and look forward to hearing from you in the future.

best wishes from the basement,

basement cat
rogers world cup group play recap

as group play is over, and sudden death knockout time keeps basement cat up at night, pacing the rickety stairs that descend into his lair, roger shares his thoughts on an interesting first two weeks of football in brazil.

while the rains fell mainly on the plains of spain, and the brits stiff upper lips were beaten only by their stiffness on the pitch, the azzuri are surely a bit blue, but not the same blue as costa rica who came through.

and speaking of robins - or rather,  robben's, roger's roars reverberated rightly round robbens right boot at the thought of an orange lion's retrieving their rightful revenge.

now, nowhere is to be seen, russia, except in a dream. or in crimea absconding with the loot.

greece grabs a piece and france makes a feast but no doubt will go hungry in the end.

viva argentina at least until brazil who we've all had our fill - of.

chile was hot! and cameroon? not.

and while he could go on - and on - roger is not one to insist upon himself. well, yes he is but not when it concerns football.

the round of 16 recap remains to be written. please come back then, when, in the end, the old us, he must confess, will probably descend into a mess.
in the basement, everything is fine
ottoman empire

basement cat understands that the easiest path to take to build an empire is through the soft underbelly of europe. after his victory over attic cat at the second battle of western avenue, he took a moment for a portrait atop his favorite mount. history may one day forget what happened here, he was overheard saying, but the attic cat will not.
basement cat attic cat marc poljak photography
homicide: life in the basement

turning the corner from the kitchen after retrieving a snack of popcorn, and a refresher glass of ice for a soul-soothing tumbler of wigle aged rye whiskey, we stumbled upon tragedy. has basement cat finally met his end?
marc poljak photography basement cat aimee mann ted leo
good bye basement cat, you're my favorite faith healer
5, may 2014. mr. smalls, millvale, pennsylvania. basement cat, through some unknown force of will and courage managed to sneak into the the both show with aimee mann and ted leo this evening. he would not be deterred. nor frightened. even by the chap standing in front of him wearing a david bowie jacket of all things. well, we know basement cat's thoughts on mr. bowie as noted below. but what of ms. mann? well, ms. mann is his favorite. they share a similar sensibility, if not a basement. if only she would have signed his paw. perhaps next time.
marc poljak photography basement cat roger
basement cat in repose

basement cat lives with his contradictions intact. that's why it's so hard not to like basement cat. he makes you want to be his friend and simultaneously want to kill him. in fact, some people have told us that he insists upon himself. we're not sure what that means, but we like the sound of it.
marc poljak photography basement cat roger
basement cat dream of the upstairs world

basement cat will break your heart. that's just what basement cats do. if only he could mend his ways, basement cat could join the upstairs world more frequently and gaze out the picture window that brings him his happiest moments.
marc poljak photography basement cat roger
basement cat silently judging you

a spot of good luck saw basement cat in the right place at the right time, caught in the rays of sunlight streaming through the plantation shutters. he knows he's got the looks to make big things happen. if only he had bladder control. someday, there will be a pill for that. someday.
marc poljak photography basement cat roger
pleading for freedom

basement cat frequently tries to negotiate for additional time in the upstairs world. he needs to work on his technique. one simply cannot get what one wants based only on one's good looks. discipline and practice are what it takes to make it to the first floor and remain there
marc poljak photography basement cat roger
all work and no play makes basement cat a dull boy

basement cat has been starring in a remake of stanley kubrick's the shining. this is a still photo from the shoot, of the famous "here's johnny" scene. the frenzied and delirious energy jack nicholson displayed has been replaced with a more sinister and silent approach. of course only an idiot would try to remake a stanley kubrick film. basement cat is not known for his good judgement.
marc poljak photography basement cat roger
a distinguished gentleman

ready for a night out, basement cat sports a touch of grey which is most becoming. it's a fact that attic cat is secretly jealous of his sheer beauty.
marc poljak photography basement cat roger
the inner sadness of roger

all joking aside, the tragedy of a basement cat can sometimes be hard to hide. in his most quiet of moments, basement cats' eyes reveal to those who know him best a deep melancholia that no amount of sunshine can cure.
roger basement cat marc poljak photography
the i's have it.

if you look closely - well really closely in this frame since it's so small - you'll see the goldfish pond reflection in basement cats' eye as he gazes out the window wondering just how secure that screen really is. warm, sunny days sadden basement cat the most.

roger basement cat marc poljak photography
straight, no chaser
roger attic cat marc poljak photography
the unbearable softness of being

it might have something to due with the relative humidity in the basement that makes basement cat so soft. whatever the case, attic cat is jealous to unimaginable degrees. she's pretty soft herself but can't even get close to the silky smoothness of roger. one note of caution though, he's kind of stinky. nobody's perfect.
roger attic cat marc poljak photography
god's lonely cat

at the depths of his loneliness is where basement cat draws his inner strength. he's sad. yes. it's all over his face. but it does not consume him. he has a higher understanding of the benefits of suffering.
basement cat marc poljak photography k2
savage mountain

in 1981, while on his third attempt to summit k2, tragedy struck the basement cat expedition. his friend and longtime climbing companion, eliot rosewater, suffered a  fatal fall on the northeast ridge. arm out stretched in vain, basement cat was left to helplessly watch rosewater disappear over the edge of a snow and cloud-shrouded precipice. he would leave k2 and never return for another attempt.
basement cat marc poljak photography pittsburgh
i saw a basement cat drinking a pina colada at trader vic's. his teeth were perfect

untitled #821

sometimes there are no words. or rather, sometimes there should be no words. sometimes you should just shut up and let the basement cat do the talking.
basement cat, marc poljak photography, through a screen darkly, marc poljak photography
through a screen darkly

basement cat at his bergman best, listening to the voices in his head and wondering from where do they come

basement cat marc poljak photography pittsburgh
a point on which to break

unable to bear his torment any longer, basement cat unleashes his inner fury in an uncharacteristic outpouring of emotion. every man has his breaking point. has basement cat reached his? are the voices in the basement winning?

attic cat marc poljak photography principles essay understanding
an essay concerning basement cat understanding

there are, to the patient observer, a set of key principles from which all understanding of the basement cat may be derived.

key principle # 1: basement cats are the loneliest of cats. just like the number 1.

key principle # 2: because of their inherent loneliness, basement cats have a tendency to insist upon themselves whenever not in the basement.

key principle # 3: there is a struggle at the core of all basement cats where the rage and bitterness of sequestration fights tooth and claw with their inherent happiness. only time will tell you which side as won and which version of the basement cat you have.

key principle # 4: basement cats are resilient creatures. spending so much time alone in the dark, damp cellars of their minds breeds a certain kind of stoicism that few can match.

key principle # 5: a soft exterior often times covers a jagged and scarred inner-self -- like a moss and lichen covered rocky outcrop at moderate altitude in a temperate rain forest
basement cat marc poljak photography marcellus wallace
marcellus wallace, is that you?

basement cat is, for reasons unknown, sporting what appears to be a band-aid type apparatus with - laughably - a fish-shaped design meant to cover up some kind of wound or scar or some other such nonsense. perhaps he's been blemished in a duel with the attic cat. or perhaps he's just trying to aggravate people with non- consequential set decoration. who knows. who cares. can we just move on, please?
basement cat marc poljak photography
my heart's in the basement, my weekend's at an all time low

basement cat would like to thank david bowie for penning those words on his behalf.
basement cat zombie cat marc poljak photography
they're dead, they're all messed up

we've locked ourselves in the second floor bedroom. i fear that it's only a matter of time before zombie basement cat breaks through and exacts his revenge. i knew giving him that chemistry set as a christmas present would lead to ruin. his clawing and insistent meowing too much to bear. i've saved my last bullet. now we wait. and pray.
basement cat is back

the first sighting of the basement cat in sometime. my has he grown. now a full thirteen pounds and about 3 feet head to tip of tail. you'd think the tables would have turned against the attic cat but her ferocity is more than his size can handle. seen here in his native basement, considering an attack through the stair case, much has changed. he's calmer, slightly less stinky, and has not soiled any items in the house in nearly a year.
saturday aftenoon at the bijou

today, basement cat lounges enjoyably on a sunny spring saturday afternoon while taking in a triple feature of kurosawa classics. starting early on with stray dog, then moving into a little throne of blood, and finishing late, with the late masterpiece ran.

basement cat knows to get his fix of japanese cinema when the opportunity presents itself.

rear window

your narrator, stricken by an injured foot and unable to walk inadvertently witnessed the attic cat trying to dispose of the basement cat in a murder for hire plot. doing my jimmy stewart best to ward off attic cat with my cane, but having little success due to the vicoden. attic cat looks at the feeble weapon with contempt.

marc poljak photography attic cat lucy
lucy, also known as, attic cat. she suffers from anger management issues and a general negative attitude towards the world of man. the love of her life is mr. string. as far as lucy is concerned, roger is a sometimes food, not an all the time food.
letters to the basement

dear basement cat,

this summer has been quite damp and drizzly. my tomato plants have not really produced the expected yield i was hoping for. with only a few more weeks of summer left, any ideas how I can finish off the season strong?

seedless in seattle

dear seedless,

if that is your real name...

thanks for the letter. i'm not sure i can really help you that much. the growing season here has been about as miserable as you can imagine, unless of course you are a moss or shade loving bog plant. just terrible for our tomatoes. and don't even get me started about the zucchini and squash. powdery mildew is kicking everyone's butt this year.

your best bet, hope for a mild winter. start your seeds early in doors and get a jump on next year. have you tried grafting before? could be a good way to go. if all else fails, pray.

yours truly,
basement cat

basement cat roger marc poljak photography pittsburgh
basement cat's copa 2014 full disclosure fußball farewell

it was the best of cups, it was the worst of cups.

really, we're going to do it this way? i'm not playing ball. learn to type yourself then. sodding cats.

anyway, as in all things in life, and football, it's not that simple. basement cat's lineage supports, simultaneously, mind you, four separate, yet unequal football powers: the us of a (better, better), england (sob. you fight with the strength of many men brave sir make me sad.), italia (mangia, mangia. at least they got tuscany going for them), und deutschland (prost!).

and this doesn't even take into account his natural love for the orange lions. you can't escape your genetics or you destiny, which is really to say the same thing, no?

for a first world cup not to shabby for a simple basement cat. it's unfortunate that the rog of men in blazers fame is trying to co-opt the rog of basement cat fame. basement cat was here first mind you. perhaps they can coexist at copa twenty eighteen? either way we're not trusting that putin as far as we can throw a crimea.

to recap, simply, roger says:

  • cost rica! ole! (i'll be back)
  • orange lions! (meow)
  • the goalkeepers (we stand together!)
  • james (with an h)

  • brazil (worst. football. ever. )
  • italia (too much mangia)
  • england (what are you gonna do, bleed on me?) [now that's funny!]
  • spain (worst. football. ever. ever.)

so, now the bloods in the water and basement cat's got a taste. euro sixteen, copa 'merica, fulham football club? that's right, basement's cat's a fulham fan. any wanker can root for united.

a fond farewell to football fans far afield for now.

-roger (basement cat)

cellar dwellers: basement cat reports on the copa semi's spectacular savaging

seven against thebes?
nope. seven against brazil!

brazil looked just like ole oedipus rex, stumbling round the pitch with no eyes or ears. to the basement they go. remember this well basement cat. tell your great grandchildren what you saw here today.

semi's late edition: or, the subtraction of the dutch

nooooo. the orange lions are out on penalties. a heart broken roger sinks into basement cat despair. don't cry for him argentina. cry for yourselves when mueller & co. go for the golden globe on golden boots.

roger's round of 16 recap redux, or: drawn and quartered

close quarters are coming soon. and, of course, without the us. they're just not there yet. but basement cat can't bear to watch. after all this only is his first world cup. but your narrator's ninth. the sheer scale of the spectacle is much more than the  basement cat bargained for.

but roger's still roaring for the dual golden boots of robben and robin and the orange lion crew.

when we get to four he's pretty sure that brazil, france, and belgium will be no more. and while basement cat's paws wave frantically for another, he can't help but pull for a costa rica end all cups.
roger's round of 16 recap

on the edge of his ledge... navas saves!

it's costa rica in the quarters!
in an enjoyable manner, lounging
basement cat attic cat marc poljak photography
let the stormy clouds chase...

attic cat senses a coming rain storm and is on high alert. soon after this, she'll make a dive under the ottoman and not be seen until the sounds of the last drops are but a distant memory.

meanwhile, basement cat performs some antics in delight.

she's afraid of a little rain. someday basement cat hopes we move to seattle.
marc poljak photography attic cat lucy
black cat, black heart

this has a certain film noir quality to it. attic cat prefers the shadows and a heavy dose of film grain for atmosphere. she's a huge fan of the actor sterling hayden, as well as marcel duchamp's ground breaking nude descending a staircase.
marc poljak photography attic cat lucy
attic cat emerges from basement

as a general rule, attic cat does not like venturing into the basement. there are spiders and strange, feathery-legged insects that move very quickly. incidentally, they do not taste very good. aside from basement cat, the subterranean world also is home to shop vac monster and the creature from the black sump pump.
marc poljak photography attic cat lucy
attic cat as gargoyle

sometimes attic cat must perform gargoyle duties. it is my under-standing that one day she hopes to climb the stairs of notre dame and study  proper gargoyling techniques.
marc poljak photography attic cat lucy
terminate the basement cats' command?

every minute lucy stays in this room she gets weaker. and every minute roger squats in the basement he gets stronger.
marc poljak photography attic cat lucy
terminate, with extreme prejudice

caught off guard. attic cat shows no mercy with her pursuit. she's a killer, through and through and absolutely will not stop until basement cat is dead.
marc poljak photography attic cat lucy
roar of laughter, howl of victory

perched on a rocky outcrop high in the attic, attic cat takes delight in the just sufferings of the damned. well at least in the misery of basement cat. her laughter is at once gruesome and magnificent. there are those that rule and then there is everyone else. attic cat makes no apologies for herself or her strengths.
marc poljak photography attic cat lucy
the confessions of lucy, confidence cat

the savage nature of attic cat, is, ironically, tempered with an almost insatiable love of the written word. she counts among her most revered authors: thomas mann, aeschylus, melville, celine, o'neill, and nietzsche
fearful symmetry

like the dorsal fin on a great white patrolling the coast line for an easy meal, the attic cat's tail cruises silently as she stalks the shadows. only fleeting glimpses are seen. until it is too late. the last memory of an attic cat encounter is a flash of tooth and claw. and then there is only silence.
attic cat marc poljak photography pittsburgh silhouette
attic cat silhouette in black

something's caught the attention of attic cat out front. perhaps it's outside lucy. we work under the assumption that lucy and outside lucy are similar to matter and antimatter. should they ever come into direct physical contact, they'll annihilate each other in a burst of gamma rays and black fur. consequently, we've acquired this old 1900 victorian house as a containment vessel. while it's quite good at keeping outside lucy outside, its uninsulated exterior walls are no match for a northeastern winter wind.
attic cat marc poljak photography pittsburgh
the self-reflective stare of  attic cat

when no one is looking, attic cat let's her guard down. and thinks. what would it be like not to be attic cat. as we all know, that's the biggest problem with being able to contemplate our own existence. it leads one to an inevitable sense of dread. even attic cats' know that the thought of non-existence is both irrational and incomprehensible, and liberating.
attic cat basement cat marc poljak photography pittsburgh
we're just a minor threat

there are times when attic cat and basement cat put aside their differences in a show of unity against their imprisonment, and the society that put them there. their stares belie their inner nature, hardened by the cruel tyranny foisted upon them. when the time comes, their revolution will be swift and brutal. oh yes. there will be blood.
attic cat marc poljak photography pittsburgh
kiss me once

attic cats' eyes are one of her best features. here we find her in a rather complicated, yet pleasing composition while watching one of her favorite films, kiss me deadly. as we've stated before, she's a fan of all things noir. and ralph meeker really gets her tail all puffed up.

basement cat, by all accounts, is staying out of it.

attic cat marc poljak photography pittsburgh
under cloak of dark. and fear.

attic cat, and an unidentified sinister two-legged apparition appear to be in concert together, plotting some kind of evil towards the basement cat.
attic cat marc poljak photography pittsburgh
a position of familiarity

attic cat often stakes out the doorway across from the basement door in an attempt to ambush basement cat on his way to fix him self a bed time snack in the kitchen. in this instance, her patience will not be rewarded. such familiarity breeds contempt. mostly of basement cat. he's not here. but he should be here. how i hate him.
attic cat marc poljak photography pittsburgh sergio leone
a close up that only sergio leone could understand

attic cat stopped me before i headed out the door to work yesterday. she had stayed up all night watching once upon a time in the west and wanted to know if she had what claudia cardinale had. i thought for a second and said, well, that's a tall order for any cat, but you sure could give jack elam a run for his money any day of the week. 
basement cat marc poljak photography pittsburgh
untitled number 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd

i keep imagining tiny little attic cats pouring out of her mouth and down the tongue like a sliding board. one at a time they slide and fall in a most delight arc, plunging down across the grey abyss to i know not where.
attic cat basement cat marc poljak photography ts eliot
eyes i dare not meet in dreams

it's unfortunate that our good friend t.s. eliot never had the chance to meet the attic cat. i can only wonder what lines he could have conjured around this most powerful of the feline persuasion. those eyes, those magnificent eyes, would have delivered us yet another waste land of an epic.

attic cat basement cat marc poljak photography
watching. waiting. wondering.
untitled photographic exploration of an observation of an everyday affair

the basement cat sits and stares into the alley. the new rose bushes grow silently below the window. new pink blossoms have appeared. several attempts to rid the area of a common ants nest have failed, including the use of chemical and biological agents. armistice terms are now being drawn up. meanwhile, the figure in the shadows lounges in an enjoyable manner but is wary of the observer and his motives.
attic cat is back, too

attic cat in full noir glory. grainy has hell and that's just the way she likes it. oddly enough, this was shot with a tshirt stretched tight over the camera lens. i shouldn't give away my secrets but, if you can't share your secrets with your friends, what kind of friend are you? well, you're no friend of the attic cat, that's for sure. and just to prove her sincerity, about a month ago, attic cat had some dental work done resulting in the extraction of her prized upper fangs. let that be a lesson to all you toddlers out there to brush your teeth twice a day. and, ABF. always be flossing.
the power of attic cat compels you. the power of attic cat compels you. the power of attic cat compels.
a cheshire cat, of sorts

having lost her upper fangs to dental misadventure, attic cat's grin has gone missing. but those eyes are still there. those penetrating, hypnotizing, and mesmerizing eyes that belie -- what, perchance? a mystery? a riddle?? an enigma???

is a cat without fangs really a cat? is her essential essence in question? are we now in the midst of an existential crisis that threatens to shake the very foundations of what it is to be - and be of?

stay tuned for our next exciting episode: pardon me but your fangs are in my neck.