Three Shape Mouse Hover Warping?

Greetings. THREE newb here and am seeking some advice on a particular interaction I am trying to achieve.

I’ve imported an svg file and turned into an extruded THREE shape. The design isn’t too complex and consists mainly of slightly more complex rectangles lined up on top of each other (like stripes). I am trying to create the interaction that on mouse hover, the connecting sides kind of spread open like an eye or an unzipped portion of two surfaces, kinda like the crude drawing below.

My inclination is to absorb and modify the cloth example and somehow apply cloth like dynamics to my shape and essentially make the mouse cursor an invisible ball that creates the opening (from underneath).

I cant help but think there might be a more efficient way of doing the above (I’m thinking the shape to cloth will take some time). Shape morphing perhaps?

Thanks for any assistance or direction on where I should go with this.