Two months after I moved to Chicago, my cat was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease which is heriditary and irreversible. Kit was a Himalayan cat and had very thick fur which I had to brush often and shave in the warmer months. The fur was so soft and woolly that I always kept it after a grooming session. During the final days of her life, I stayed home to spend time with her and started spinning the fur into yarn.
The day after her death, I presented the object - a cushion made of the knitted yarn - to my studio mates as a way to honor and remember her. The cushion was weighted to be 4 pounds, Kit's weight at the time of her death. I silently turned to each individual with this strange but familiar object in my hands. Some held it with me, sometimes taking it off my hands entirely to hold it, experiencing the heavy feel of something that looks soft and light. All of this was purely a cathartic response to the death of my pet. I will never perform the work again, but intend for it to exist as an object to evoke the quiet but weighty presence of pets in our lives. It rests on a hand knitted rug that was one of Kit's favorite sleeping spots.
The work was installed at The School of the Art Insitutute of Chicago during Creature Comforts, a campus wide exhibition exploring the relationships between animals and people through art, panel discussions, and animal visits. Visitors were allowed to touch but not otherwise disturb the object.