Arjen Beltman and Bart Janson have finally topped Orvillecopter, their 2012 cat drone, creepily created from the body of Jansen’s cat Orville, who died in a car accident. The latest from the Dutch artist-inventor duo is a rat-copter, which transforms and memorializes a Dutch schoolboy’s pet rat.
The rat, named Ratjetoe, the Dutch word for ratatouille, had to be put to sleep after being diagnosed with cancer. His owner, 13-year-old Pepijn Bruins, was heartbroken to lose his pet, saying in an interview that “when I learned he had cancer and the vet had to put him to sleep I was very upset. I had seen Bart and Arjen and their flying cat, and I asked my dad if it would be possible to have the rat fly.”
Luckily for the boy, the artists were more than up to the unusual task of turning his deceased pet into a flying machine.
“When I heard how upset he was, I just knew I had to help,” Beltman said in an interview. “Technically, it was very different to the cat, it has three rotors instead of four, and being a small rodent, it is extremely lightweight, so prone to being blown by the wind.” Mounted on a specially rigged flying device, Ratjetoe is now capable of soaring through the air thanks to three noisy, bright red propellers.
While preserving a dead rat may seem creepy to some, it’s made the loss of a beloved pet that much easier to take for Bruins. “I loved him very much,” the boy said. “He always liked to be cuddled and he would run up my clothes and hide.” And, as Jansen points out, “flight is man’s greatest achievement, so why not give it to more animals? The world needs more flying animals.”