Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Travels With Casper

On The Roof, Eastern State Penitentiary

I was gone most of last week running a little errand.

In The CellBlock

Last year my wife and I went to Philadelphia on vacation. One of the things we did was visit the Eastern State Penitentiary. It is an old prison in downtown Philadelphia that is no longer used and is now a museum. It is a very interesting place. If you want to see and read more about our trip last year click here.

Philadelphia Subway Station

One of the exhibits at the prison were the "Ghost Cats". This is an art installation commemorating the 40 cats that lived in the prison when it was operational. When the prison closed, a retired prison guard returned each day to feed the cats (who couldn't escape...it is a prison after all) until they all passed away. The art exhibit consists of 39 unique hand made concrete / plaster cats that were placed throughout the prison. A link to the artist and the exhibit is here

Philadelphia Subway Bench

Since my wife and I live with 5 cats in our home, we inquired what would happen to them when the exhibit was over. They were to be sold to patrons that wanted to buy one. We put down a deposit on one and it was to be shipped to us at the end of 2007. When it arrived via FedEx, we discovered that one of the FedEx warehouse gorillas had destroyed it and the cat was in pieces inside the shipping box.

Inside Pennsylvania Station

After arguing with FedEx for a month regarding the value and insurance on the cat, we decided to accept another cat from the Penitentiary, and let the Prison deal with FedEx regarding the value of the destroyed cat.

Fort Worth, Texas

So, I flew back to Philadelphia, picked out another cat from inside the prison (Casper is the crouched one on the roof in the first photo) and hand carried it back to Phoenix on Amtrak,.... a 4 day train trip.

Living Room, Phoenix, AZ

The last photo shows "Casper" in our living room, where he now resides. I saw and did a lot of things on this trip. It was an eye opening experience in more ways than one. Look for more glimpses of this cross country journey in the coming months.