Where in the Hudson Valley Contest: “Purr-fect Place” Cat-Shaped Roadside Museum
An unusual artwork doubles as a local museum
Courtesy of Matt Bua
Imagine coming upon this 15-foot-high feline while driving through a small Valley village — it would probably take your breath away. This cat-shaped structure has been perched in its place since 2010, and resides in an aptly named part of the region, the tops of its ears level with the neighboring buildings.
The idea for the unique edifice came from Matt Bua, a Brooklyn-born artist and builder who has since settled upstate. “I wanted to build something for the village, and I wanted a challenge. I had never built anything animal-shaped before,” said Bua. “And they like cats in the Catskills.” Indeed: Several local businesses and organizations helped to sponsor the project, as did the New York Foundation for the Arts.
The kooky kitty — complete with a nose, whiskers, and two paws — appears to be lounging. Bua built the structure using scrap wood and tree branches for the body; the eyes (which can be illuminated at night) are made from old plates and light bulbs. Inside this trailer-sized lynx is a collection of items that celebrate the people and history of the local area: Artifacts are protected in glass cases; maps, paintings, and sheets of historical information are displayed on the walls; and a mummified cat hangs out in the rafters. A mixture of donations from the community and local historical organizations, the shack’s contents transform it into a laid-back museum of sorts, and make it a pleasant roadside stop.
Do you know which town is home to this creative cathouse? Submit your answer in the form below; the first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!