A Dutch artist has found an unusual way to keep the memory of his pet cat alive, by turning the furry feline posthumously into a remote-controlled flying helicopter.
"When he was a kitten, I bought him and his brother together because we had a terrible mouse plague – it was unbelievable," Bart Jansen told Carol Off, the co-host of CBC's As It Happens.
Jansen wanted to name the pair after prominent brothers, and eventually decided to name them after the famous aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright.
Jansen had his cat Orville stuffed after it was killed by a car.
"I prolonged his life. Cats have nine, so people say — mine has 10. Right now, he's with the birds. And he always jumped at birds and missed them."
The so-called Orvillecopter was put on display at the KunstRAI art festival in Amsterdam and features propellers on each of the animal's paws. Jansen teamed up with radio-control helicopter flyer Arjen Beltman to get his project off the ground.
Video posted on YouTube shows a rocky first flight on March 9 as the dead cat — reportedly named after famed aviator Orville Wright — struggles to get airborne. But the Orvillecopter appears a little more steady in a second test flight video captured two months later.
"We have him flying quite successfully," Jansen told CBC. "We had him out here in the fields chasing cows, and flying with the birds. He's doing fairly well."
But Jansen has also promised to improve the feline's flight characteristics.
"He will receive more powerful engines and larger props for his birthday. So this hopping will soon change into steady flight," the artist was quoted by Sky News.