The gardens a the Philbrook Museum of Art (courtesy Flickr via Phil Baker)

Dear Cleo and Perilla,

I heard that your home, the Philbrook Museum, is kind of a lonesome place to be right now. It seems to me that when even cats are getting lonely, that’s when we know we’re in dire straits. I’ve been lonely for weeks, but I’m an extrovert! I hope this letter helps, and that you’re getting lots of other notes from your fans across the country. I also hope that the US Postal Service gets the government support it needs, so it can survive and you can get all your letters delivered. Also because it is a 245-year-old service that is absolutely essential to life in our country … But now I’m rambling!

What is your routine like right now, while all the visitors and museum staff are stuck at home? Do you two hang out together for most of the day? Or do you have long stretches of alone time and then reunite for dinner and an episode of Seinfeld before bedtime? That’s what my boyfriend and I have been doing. You’ve got to maintain your independence at a time like this. But I doubt you have any problems with that — I’ve always admired feline autonomy.

Cleo and Perilla, resident cats at the Philbrook Museum (courtesy the Philbrook Museum)

I’ve never visited the Philbrook but the photos I’ve seen of the gardens are beautiful. What a nice place to live! I hope when all this craziness is over I can come and meet you in person. For now, I hope you are staying healthy and safe, and finding ways to entertain yourselves. Maybe you should stop by the Sharon Louden exhibition — the mirrored aluminum will make it look like there are thousands of other cats keeping you company!

Sending my gentlest belly scratches,


Send your own letters to Cleo and Perilla (2727 S. Rockford Rd. Tulsa, OK 74114) by April 26, and they’ll write back.

Ellie Duke was the Southwest US editor at Hyperallergic. She also co-edits the literary journal Contra Viento. She lives in Santa Fe, NM. Find her on Twitter.