Sunday, February 21, 2016

Cat urn

My devilishly good-looking cat/son, Carl, passed away unexpectedly on the morning of the 8th of February. Since I always said I would get him either stuffed or cremated when he died and because I likely qualify for crazy-cat-person status, I went ahead and got him sent off to The Irish Pet Crematorium via Inishfree Vets in Sligo. Taxidermy was my initial choice but, because I'd expected Carl to live for another decade, I didn't plan on saving any money for stuffing :( I knew I'd need a nice urn but what was on offer wasn't suitable or simply cost too much. I set about finding my own.

After a long day of rummaging through a lot of shops in Dublin, I wandered into TK Maxx not expecting to find anything when I came across this pot/vase in the Easter section. It was perfect, was a good size, and had a rubber seal so it could be opened and closed without too much worry of the lid falling off! It retailed for €8.99 but because the little gold bird on the top had a chip the manager gave me it for €5. I had planned on finding a little cat model in another shop or ordering one online so that I could place it on top of the urn and paint it to look like Carl, so I snapped the bird off.

It was late in the evening so shops were closed and I didn't want to waste my creative streak to finish the urn, so I ran across the road to pick up some blu-tack to make a small model of Carl instead of spending another day looking for a suitable miniature cat model. It took about an hour to get the above sculpt just right, but I spent about another hour (in total, on and off) making adjustments to the model throughout the night. The head is a little too big compared to the body but that's okay. I think I got his stink-eye look perfected here!

For the next two days, until I got some acrylic paint, I gave the model a few (6 to 8) coats of PVA glue for strength. Expecting a model made of blu-tack to stay in shape is a dumb prediction, so this was the best idea for the situation. After it had totally dried I painted it up to look just how Carl did with his colours and various fur markings and finished it off with a final layer of PVA glue to lock in the colour.

After another boring all-nighter I came across some of Carls hairs on my coat (which wasn't a rare sight) and decided to make the model a little extra 'him' by poking holes into his cheeks and adding the hairs as whiskers.

And... this is pretty much how it turned out! The model has survived three bus trips packed away, so, so far so good. The rest of the urn needs some sort of decoration which I have yet to decide on. I wont receive his ashes until later this week, but at least I have a place to put them for now!

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