Scooby Doo's Next Life
Updated: Jan 3
The three Purr Pods (Luna, Vega and Scooby Doo) have had quite the adventure so far. Built over the spring and summer of 2019 with hundreds of volunteer and reduced-rate professional hours (thank you for that!!!), they debuted at Burning Man in August.
I wasn't sure how they would be received or treated but we tried to plan for every possible scenario. People can be jerks and treat art like their personal property, sometimes vandalizing, damaging and even destroying it. Turns out, my biggest hope was realized and exceeded! Participants hugged them, petted them, climbed on them to sit and lay on them. They talked about their cats to each other, they summoned passersby to play with the sculptures. I saw people cry over the loss of a pet when they visited the Purr Pods. It was so moving. Toward the end of the event, I needed to come up with a plan to store the sculptures. Imagine having three, VW Bug-sized, giant, metal cats to herd! Luckily, my art shipper, Tom Breen, told me I could store the cats on his flatbed for a month while I figured it out. Whew!!!
Shortly thereafter, a plan was hatched!! I reached out to Point San Pablo Harbor near my home in Point Richmond, CA. I had noticed they had some Burning Man art out there and wanted to see if they would be interested in the Purr Pods. They directed me to We Are From Dust, a non-profit dedicated to bringing interactive art to public spaces, focusing on art that's been to Burning Man and supporting local artists. It was a match made in heaven!! Luna and Vega and glowing and purring their hearts out there in their own gravel litter box behind the awesome little diner, Nobilis. Read more about this great project here and here.
Now about Scooby Doo...
Even before Burning Man, Dr. Harold Sims had reached out to the organization hoping to find an artist willing to donate a cat-based art installation for his passion project, The American Museum of the House Cat in North Carolina. The proceeds from the museum support his no-kill cat shelter, Catman2. My project manager, Brody Scotland, and I started a conversation with Dr. Sims and we decided it would be cool to donate one of the Purr Pods to the museum. Scooby Doo has his furever home! The biggest challenge was getting a 13.5 ft. long metal cat across the country affordably! Initially, Brody and I had dreamt of a road trip with Scooby Doo on a flatbed or in a stake bed truck for all to see. We quickly learned that it was next to impossible to rent anything like that one-way. So disappointing! In the mean time, Scooby Doo spent months in my driveway waiting for his springtime journey to the cat museum. He became a recognizable fixture in our neighborhood. My husband, Will, and I even illuminated him with orange LED lights for Halloween!
In February, 2020, Dr. Sims was able to hire a flatbed to pick up Scooby Doo at a really good rate. We had to jump on it! So my friend, Wes Skinner (who played an essential role in the creation and the transportation of the Purr Pods!), my husband and I loaded the sculpture into a trailer and moved him to Wes' shop about 3 miles away. There, the truck driver had easy access to the sculpture and Wes used his forklift to load it into the truck. I felt a twang of heartbreak when I came home to an empty driveway. I put so much of myself into those sculptures and named them after kitties I have lost. But I'm excited for his new life as a purrmanent installation at a place that cares for other kitties. That means so much to me. The truck picked him up on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. I'm pretty sure I'll cry at some point.
Despite donating the sculpture, there are still costs involved in getting him there and I want to support The American Museum of the House Cat and the Catman2 Shelter as much as possible. Please consider donating to Scooby Doo's journey here. There is a donate button on the pages and all donations are tax-deductible. Thank mew! >^..^<
UPDATE: Scooby Doo arrived in North Carolina on Thursday evening, February 27th!
Got this photo in a text from Kimberly Crow who has been helping with the fundraising. Yay! The American Museum of the House Cat and the CatMan2
The American Museum of the House Cat in Forbes!
A photo of the Purr Pods is in Forbes as a part of an article about Jackson County, North Carolina. It's a lovely mention of The American Museum of the House Cat! Congratulations!
March 29, 2020 I had already booked my flight to go visit Scooby Doo at The American Museum of the House Cat on May 1st when California recommended its citizens stay home. With the pandemic taking hold of the U.S. I just felt it was wise to stay put. We don't know how long this is going to go on. So many people are dismissing the severity of this virus thus putting more people at risk. It's infuriating. Such a selfish act when simply avoiding crowds for a month is going to safe so many lives. I hope to reschedule my visit in the fall.
January 3, 2020
Well, we're still in it. It's scary. There are new variant strains, making the virus more contagious. We have a vaccine but it's rolling out slowly. We will have a new President soon who will, hopefully, shift things into gear. We wait and remain hopeful.