Monday, March 28, 2011


This is a very difficult posting. Not because of any particular weirdness in my life,
or anything going wrong, or the old career zooming sideways. No, nothing like that
at all. It shouldn't be hard to do, just spit it out. But I find it so.
I wish that it wasn't. I truly wish this was an utter joy. But it's not.
I started my life in public with a book called "The Puma Blues". Some of you may remember
those days. It was dubbed, A book about "ecological responsibility" and I suppose in many ways
it was. Few if any of you know that I spent the years previous to "Puma" as a rather commercial wildlife
artist of sorts. Fewer still know that I was raised Roman Catholic, and that my Confirmation name is Francis.
What does that mean? Well, "Francis" is the name of a Catholic saint known for his profound connection to the natural world, the "birds and beasts" if you will.
I took it very seriously then. It was supposed to be. This should be starting to add up.
To tip the scales, If you have been following my bullshit for a few years now, you'd know I was until very recently an owner, shower and friends with big name breeders of very fine Bull terriers. Over the decades I have used my talents for free, quite happily and very seriously to Bull terrier rescue, and canine rescue in general. If there is anything on this earth that makes me almost literally burn, it's animal cruelty.
I loath the people who feel they have divine permission to rape abuse and pillage the natural world.
This post is about that. It's also about the possibility of redemption.
And brothers and sisters, we, each and every one of us, myself included, needs redemption and expiation
of our sins against the natural world.
All of us.
So. Even though at the moment I have little or no food for my own table, even though we are a month or so from foreclosure on our home, even though I can barely afford the basic supplies to work with, I am jumping in again with both feet, into the world of rescue and sanctuary. I need to because my heart will not be still. I want to because I hope to one day be able to look at myself in the mirror and like what I see behind my eyes.
While out in Los Angeles I was hosted by the astonishing Cat Mihos, Neil Gaiman "merch Queen" and left coast assistant. She told me a story, and showed me evidence of a sanctuary on southern Wisconsin for animal that have been the brunt of some our,(human.) most devastating cruelty. The place is called "Valley of the Kings". A not for profit 501(c)3 sanctuary and rescue organization run by Jill and Jim Tomasi, dedicated to providing the lifetime housing and humane rehabilitation of everything from Tigers to Pigs.
You can see for yourself at It's utterly and absolutely astonishing what they have done with nothing but massive love and private donations. I have in all my years of rescue, never been more impressed than by the work they do with such love and devotion.
But, and there is always a but, they run by the skin of their teeth. People, I know how that feels. So, to that end I am very shortly going to be doing a massive piece for them to be used strictly for fund raising so that there just might be a bit of breathing room for them now and then. The piece and the best prints possible will be available at as soon as we can bring them to you. I ask you as fellow humans of good faith and understanding to please, please help support this effort. Not for me, not for Cat, but for the magnificent animals that have suffered so terribly at our hands, if not directly then by tacit disregard.
At least just think about it.

Dear god, please.



Margaret said...

Hi Michael. I loved meeting you, glad I found your blog. I thought your art was the best at the show, but I , too, am a semi starving musician. It is great that you are promoting Valley of the Kings.

Kitty Cat said...

ah! that's my Mother-in-law commenting above!
i loved your post, Mr. Z, i can attest to your love of all creatures, as witnessed by my big scared kitty Batman, following you around and headbutting you, like you were a big brother to him. Not only will this piece make the world of VALLEY OF THE KINGS more livable for these royal creatures, it will make our human world a better place. I now take the spell of poverty off you, kind human. It is time, you have suffered enough.
Remember, lined in copper! Your vision is amazing.

CatDoc said...

As one of VOTK's volunteer veterinarians, you have a personal invite from me to take as close to the same tour that Cat had as I am capable. Pictures are one thing, movies are better, but spending time around them, feeding them chicken-on-a-stick, and feeling a lion's roar through your chest from 10 feet away is, well, talk to Cat. The offer doesn't expire, as long as I have a key to the front gate, you're welcome to arrange something with me. "Time" being life's most precious resource, if you can't make it, and if I can answer any question, give any perspective, or take any other pictures from any angle(s), let me know. -DrChris aka CatDoc

Michael Zulli said...

Thank you all for writing. If all goes well, I will begin sometime late this week. I may also to a "working" blog on this piece so that any one who is interested can watch me make progress.

And Cat, please try that spell again, I think the universe was otherwise engaged. *heh.