87_PF05_Scott_Jungen_Habitat 04,
Brian Jungen Habitat 04, installation view, Fonderie Darling, Montréal, 2004.
Photo : Guy L’Heureux, courtesy of Fonderie Darling, Montréal and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

Ottawa’s Parliament Hill is home to a large number of commemorative bronze sculptures. In a scenic location not far from these statues, there once stood two crudely built, miniature mansard-roofed plywood houses. Within them, you might have seen a tabby cat sleeping in an old rocking chair and another sitting perfectly still, watching wildlife. These cats were understood to be descendants of feral specimens introduced in 1877 to counter the local rodent population. On one map of the city, this compound was identified as “Cat Condos”; the Government of Canada’s Parliament Hill website referred to it as the “Cat Sanctuary.” This unusual community functioned as another kind of monument until early 2013, when it was dismantled and its few remaining occupants relocated.

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This article also appears in the issue 87 – The Living - The Living

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