Every now and then a collector shares the story of how they came to choose their sculpture. These stories never fail to delight me, and they've become my absolute favorite part of what I do (so keep them coming!).
Lisa and her kitty, Sydney Crawford, gave me one such story after Book Rest went to live with Lisa. Sydney recently passed away, and Lisa chose Book Rest to commemorate their time together (you see why these stories often leave me in tears). She's permitted me to share her story with you, along with some wonderful photos that I think you'll love.
Thank you, Lisa! Sending virtual purrs and head-butts your way.
How did Sydney come to choose you as his human?
Well, Syd lived at a no-kill shelter called Operation Kindness
for over four years. I was looking for a companion cat for [adult kitty] Babbitt at the time, and mentioned I needed an older cat with no aggressive tendencies. They replied that they had a cat that fit the bill, so I made an appointment to meet him.
When I entered the room, I saw the largest cat I had ever seen walking around the cat room. I thought, "Wow, he's beautiful!!" And lo and behold, that was Syd. About thirty seconds later a kitten pounced on him, and began to bully him mercilessly. Syd ran away and hid in a bed, and I just knew I had to get him out of that place. So while I may have technically picked him, I'd like to think the universe gave me a really stellar example of why he needed rescuing.
How did Sydney get his fabulous name? What favorite nicknames did you have for him?
When I adopted him, the shelter was calling him Spot, which I thought was wholly unoriginal. On the way home I happened to notice a billboard with the photo of a rather famous supermodel, and I recognized that "Spot's" spot was in the same place as her beauty mark. I didn't want to actually copy the name...and I thought Sydney Crawford was a perfect compromise.
Other names? Well, my favorite was Boo Kitty (from Laverne and Shirley), as well as Sydney Vicious. That, of course, is a takeoff on Sid Vicious. My Syd was a fighter whenever I tried to cut his nails or medicate him, and so he certainly earned that name too.
How did Sydney like to spend time with you?
The reason I chose the "Book Rest" statue is that Syd was a total lap cat. It didn't matter what I was doing...if I stopped moving, he was on me. He would get particularly excited when I was going to go to bed each night. I would say, "Let's go in the bed," and he'd take off running for the bedroom. By the time I made it through the door, he'd be sitting on the edge of my bed waiting for me.
When I would climb into bed, he'd wait until I got comfortable and proceed to make himself comfortable, regardless of what I was doing (I usually was going to read). Syd and I probably spent 5,000 hours reading together over the course of our time together, and that is why I chose that particular piece to commemorate him...it exemplified our best times together.
Where does your sculpture live now?
I had a photo of Syd that I particularly loved on my phone. You know how we never have photos printed any longer and they are all digital? Well, the day after he passed away I decided to have it printed. I picked it up and purchased a beautiful frame for it and put it on a table in my living room. My statue lives there next to it, so I can see my guy and remember all those countless hours we had hanging out together and enjoying each other's company.
Anything else you'd like to share?
This isn't perhaps specific to Syd only, but I'd like to say that I wish people would adopt more adult/senior animals. Syd was almost eight when I adopted him. He was miserable after living in the shelter for so long, and seemed so grateful for being taken out of that situation. Every day he'd meet me at the door when I came home and head butt me (he gave the BEST head butts) when I would feed him and love on him. Perhaps I didn't have as much time with him as I would have had with a younger cat, but I think we more than made up for it in the quality of the time we spent together.
Now it's your turn, gentle readers
In honor of Sydney Crawford, Head-Butt-er Extraordinaire, Small Company Artworks
will donate has donated 10% of sales to Operation Kindness through May 31, 2017.
Small Company Artworks will also match your donation to Operation Kindness through May 31, 2017, up to $250. This organization received a rating of 90.11 out of 100 from Charity Navigator, and they spend almost 73% of their budget on programs and services delivered.
Operation Kindness has a handy online donation form here.
Just send me a copy of your donation receipt via email.
Do you have a story of your sculpture in the wild? Send me an email, tag me on Instagram, or ping me on Facebook.