Where have all the Travel Kitties gone?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Travel Kitty News Spreads to Germany! [UPDATED]

German Newpaper Article
Here's the interview I did with the great Heike Unger from the Amberger Zeitung
in Amberg, Germany. You can click on the article and head over to Flickr to see a larger size and read it if you know German. That's me and my wee little boy in the middle. Now you know who made that cool little kitty of yours. Oh, and the boy, he's hugged every one of those kitties before they left, so I figured he needed to get some credit too.
Pretty neat! Thanks Heike!

[UPDATE 2/14/08]
Here is the English version of the interview via email (sorry for any strange formating, I just cut and pasted) from Heike! Some of the language is a little off after the translation to German and then back, but you'll get the gist of it.

From the Amberger Zeitung:

The Internet as a forum for art

She calls herself a professional Wiffle-Ball-Player (a kind of Baseball, played on the street), apart from that she is a teacher and a mother of a three year old son: But Lisa M. Dalton (33) from Long Island/NY is also an artist, she draws, writes, sews and she is a passionate blogger since she's on a job break because of her son. If you combine all these passions, you'll end up at Lisa's blog www.travelkittyproject.com: The online diary of a very inventive and interactive project, Lisa started last year: the travelkitty project.

Kitty greetings from all over the world

Travel Kitty: An interactive art project - Lisa Dalton talks about an idea that even reached Iraq Lisa M. Dalton is exploring the world - but doesn't have to step out of her door for it. The 33 year-old from Long Island/NY started an unusual interactive art project: She's making little felt cats and sells them worldwide - as ambassadors for her project "travel kitty". What exactly is the travel kitty proejct?Travel kitty is an interactive project that I started in october 2007. The participants are being asked to take one of my kitties out traveling with them and take photos of them in interesting places. Then they submit the photo and a jourrnal/narrative of the event to me and I publish it all at the travel kitty project blog. How did you come up with the idea for that? The beginning was a drawing I made: a little, skinny, pensive kitty one that I figured might have places to go to and people to see. One day I sewed my first kitty. The idea for that came up in summer of 2007 - originally with the thought in mind to teach my little son Eli some geography. He's three years old. We've got relatives all over the country which was very abstract for him. Looking at a map and telling him that we were going to send a kitty to California and then being able to show him pictures of that same kitty in California started making it more understandable for him. By now he knows a lot about the States and the continents. Why did you chose a cat as a character? Back then I was working on another project: 100 scribbely kitties - a compilation that I want to print as one big piece of work. Therefore I was constantly drawing cats. I chose cats, because we do have two cats at home which are always around when I was looking for something to draw. How many travel kitties are traveling around the world at the moment? At the moment there are 48 out on the road and I have another 15 orders from people who want a travel kitty. And where are the travel kitties located? They live all over the States, a couple in England and some in Australia. Did you have some extremely amazing reports already? One of the most interesting and unexpected reports for me is the kitty that is going to Iraq. His owners told me he would be acting a an embedded reporter for the project, which I thought was hilarious. As for the other kitties they they are taking vacations to sunny places, but also reporting in from their neighbourhoods and telling us about their place in the world. It's a unique way to explore the world from your computer. Have there been any VIP-encounters so far? I don't usually participate in the project, but I did make a special kitty to take it to the David Letterman show. I got a picture of this kitty with a man named Rupert Jee, who works at the deli next to the theatre where they film. He's on the show periodically. I'm hoping with the US presidential race in full swing that someone can get a picture with one of the candidates along the way. Did you expect the project to grow that big? No, not at all. I'm thrilled that it has... Now I even do an interview with a german paper! I look at much of what I'm doing artistically as successful if someone actually sees it. Do you own a travel kitty? No. This was a conscious choice to see where the project would go without any examples being given from me.I was pleasantly surprised when everyone started writing these hilarious narratives from their kitties perspective. It really cracks me up to open my email everyday and read the letters I get. Where's the whole project going to? Most simply, I hope that I can get people to participate in art. To look at their surroundings and life and deicde to share whatever they are doing through taking pictures, writing, making something or whatever else they come up with. I love the idea that people from such diverse lifestyles are telling the world what they are up to and are less inhibited because they are speaking for their little travel kitty. Additionally, I hope I keep getting picture submissions and that I can get pictures from all over the United States and at least one picture from every continent. I'd eventually like to show the project as an installation in art galleries with all the pictures and letters I've received.


  1. Whoa, that's really cool. Did you actually do the interview in Germany? Do you speak German or did they translate it after interviewing you?

  2. I wish I got to do the interview in Germany, but, no...all credit goes to Heike Unger who sent me interview questions via email and then translated all the answers.

  3. Toots Malloy is in a German newspaper! He's quite proud of his accomplishment (though he didn't have anything to do with it!). It would be great if Heike Unger could translate the article back into English for you.

  4. Yep, well done Toots! I gave Heike access to all my flickr pictures for the article and that's the one she picked. She is going to translate the article when she gets a minute. So I'll put it up as soon as I get it.

  5. Nice article and so glad to see your project getting recognition in different parts of the world! I bet Eli is really learning a lot and having fun with it!


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