There are many ways to remember a beloved animal, but Dutch artist Bart Jansen has truly taken things to a whole new level.
See, Jansen’s pet cat Orville, named after pioneering aviator Orville Wright, died when it was crushed beneath the wheels of a car.
After a period of mourning, Jansen told the United Kingdom’s Sky News he opted to pay tribute to his beloved pet the only way he could think of, by turning Orville into a helicopter.
He built the Orvillecopter — his words, not ours — as part of a visual arts project. The half cat, half machine — again, his words, not ours — is currently on display at the Kunstrai art festival in Amsterdam.
Anyone who Googles Orvillecopter will come across some pretty startling images of the cat turned remote control helicopter. Orville is splayed out like a bearskin rug, with little propellers attached to each limb. Landing struts are attached to the belly.
There’s also a YouTube video of Orvillecopter in flight. The cat has trouble keeping altitude, so Jansen intends to install more powerful engines and larger props as a birthday present to his late companion.
Few can argue that pet owners love their pets and the loss of a beloved Spot or Tweety bird can be on par with the death of a family member.
As a way of remembering a pet, some people will adopt a new dog or cat and name the animal for the deceased, carrying on the pet’s legacy. Others bury it somewhere in the yard where he or she will always be visible from the kitchen window.
All these are perfectly logical and acceptable ways to honour a dead animal. But forgive us for thinking that turning a cat into a helicopter is a bit much.
The act has meaning to Jansen but, to anyone else, there’s a chance it comes across as cold and, dare we say, inhuman. A living thing has been turned into a child’s toy. It’s hard to see the sentiment in that.
Hopefully Jansen’s project doesn’t inspire other pet owners to create more remote controlled taxidermy projects. The world doesn’t need dogs with tank treads rolling across lawns or birds with jet engines zipping through the air.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.