Although it may seem strange, one of Detroit’s most beloved felines isn’t curled up on a windowsill or lazing on on the knees of some more or less unlikely cat lady. In reality it doesn’t even purr, and look at motorists shuttling down a fairly unremarkable service drive en route to the freeway.
It is a brick sculpture, with wide eyes and pointy ears, known as Monumental Kitty, and since 2010 has been charming drivers. It was created by the local artist Jerome Ferretti, who once worked as a journeyman bricklayer before venturing into fine arts.
The cat was intended to cheer up an otherwise anonymous stretch at the edge of the Corktown neighborhood. So, local residents enlisted Ferretti and crowdfunded the money to bring the kitty to life.
It’s an appropriate symbol of Detroit’s fighting spirit and civic engagement that such an inspired sculpture took control of the pedestrian overpass even as the old Tiger Stadium across the I-75 got blasted into rubble.
This overpass once served, in fact, as a direct pathway to Detroit’s old Tiger Stadium, for those attending baseball games, and it has been demolished, but the pedestrian overpass still serves as a gateway, connecting the two very active neighborhoods of North and South Corktown.
Street stories are that the Monumental Kitty works just like the Sphinx: if you don’t answer his riddle he gets to eat you!
Passersby sometimes pull over and scramble to stand on the cat’s domed head. Out of the ground rise also a tail and a paw, outfitted with nails made from strips of stone.
Even if the cat’s not as lively as some of the city’s other public art projects, it’s a much-welcome addition to the concrete rivers bisecting a city dominated by cars.
In April 2019, the cat has been largely destroyed. Only the paw and tail remain, but the rest is only as a pile of rubble. A handwritten sign reassures visitors that kitty’s ears, eyes, and mouth are safely stored until it can be restored.
The source is my brother. Images from web.