There are some things that go so well together that you know it was meant to be.
Like shoes and socks, Bert and Ernie, or the sweet and salty crunch of this delectable white chocolate Oreo popcorn, a well-balanced pair can be extremely satisfying.
On the other hand, there are some things that will be at odds no matter how hard we try to make them coexist, for example… cats and mice.
And if those Tom and Jerry cartoons taught us anything, it’s that these two types of animals have and always will be mortal enemies, each constantly battling to keep the other one from taking over its territory.
Sculpture artist Jeff de Boer decided to use this timeless feud as inspiration for a series of works that have spanned his entire career.
Using materials like steel, silver, brass, bronze, nickel, copper, leather, fiber, and wood, de Boer crafts incredibly intricate — and tiny! — suits of armor that a cat could wear into battle. (And, yes, he makes them for the mice too!)
Scroll through below for a look at this amazing medieval armor, perfect for any cat or mouse.
At first glance, de Boer’s sculptures look like something you’d find in the medieval section of a history museum.
But if you look closer, you’ll see that this helmet is far too small for any human head — and it seems to be designed to accommodate pointy ears.
de Boer says on his website: “By 1985 I had completed seven full suits of armor for people. I had been studying the history of armor for many years and had an extensive collection of books on the subject.
“At the same time, I was just in my second year at the Alberta College of Art and Design, majoring in the jewelry design program. In truth, I made a suit of armor for a cat first. I did it as a project for a sculpture class.”
Impressed by how well the sculpture turned out, de Boer decided that he wanted to make more animal armor, this time using real metals and the delicate tools he had access to as a jewelry designer.
On his website, de Boer reveals that it can take anywhere from 50 to 200 hours to make a full suit of armor for a cat.
He says: “Depending on the kind of armour I am making, I simply work with what is appropriate. I haven’t explored all of the possible materials yet, but I have no problem incorporating whatever is available.”
Even though they’re an odd size and shape, each suit of cat armor that he makes looks incredibly authentic.
Many different cultures and time periods are represented in his collection, from the “White Knights” of Arthurian legend to the ancient Samurai of feudal Japan.
Perhaps most incredible is that de Boer hasn’t stopped with cat armor. He creates armor for the mice in this hypothetical battle as well.
de Boer says: “…as a result of having made armor for a cat, I felt that I had created an imbalance in the universe. The only way to fix it was to do the same for the mouse.”
de Boer says that if there’s one question people ask about his armor more than anything else, it’s “Have you ever put a mouse in a suit of armor?”
“I have not put a mouse into a suit of armor,” he says. “I have, however, tried it with one of my cats, and have the scars to prove it.
“Yes, it can be done, but that’s not the point. I think the fact that this question keeps being asked has more to do with a wish to fulfil the image in some way. The image of armour for a mouse stirs our imagination in a deep way. We look at it and try to imagine what would happen if we did try to fit it on a mouse… I think in our minds we will have a perfect image of what it would look like; to actually do it may not be as fantastic.”
de Boer doesn’t make as many cat and mouse suits of armor these days, but they’re never very far from his mind.
He says: “…the making of the first armor mouse was the first time I was able to put the sum total of my being into something. I have learned in the years that followed that I can do the same with many other things. I have moved on to work on these other things, but I still feel the need to return to build a few mice or a cat each year.”
If you’re already wondering what your pet cat (or mouse!) would look like in a suit of armor, you had better be ready to dig deep into your pockets.
de Boer does not frequently sell his work, but when he does, a full suit of cat armor costs as much as $25,000! A helmet alone costs $3,000, and suits of mouse armor start at $1,500 and go up from there, depending on the complexity of the design.
(Cats everywhere may be breathing a huge sigh of relief right now).
For more of his incredible animal armor, visit de Boer’s website here.
Please SHARE this unique animal art with pet owners everywhere!