When is a fur ball not just a fur ball? When it’s a necklace or a tote bag.
The cat world has been buzzing about next week’s publication of the book “Crafting With Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make With Your Cat,” by Kaori Tsutaya. The book has been translated from Japanese.
Japan, of course, is the mothership of the Hello Kitty phenomenon. When they say “make with your cat” they mean it literally. For $14.95, the little DIY book shows how to take clumps of your cat’s fur (acquired by brushing it gently on a regular basis) and felt it into usable objects such as pin cushions or mittens.
The question arises: Why?
Kitty bloggers around the country, some of whom have been saving plastic bags of their cat’s hair for the book’s release, says the book is like catnip for them.
“I think it’s interesting because it’s something quirky and different,” says Stephanie Harwin, 29, who writes the cat blog Catsparella, (all cats, all the time.) “It’s a kind of way to keep your cat around when they are not. Looking to the future that is. People have cat hair everywhere and it’s something to do with it.”
Harwin says she herself tackled a pet project from the book — she made a finger puppet out of her cat Priscilla’s hair. “Yes, it’s kind of weird and different and quirky,” she says. “It's a little controversial, some people think it’s kind of gross. But to me, how is this different from using wool?”
This cat stuff is not just for people who follow @TidyCats on twitter. If you don’t have your own cat to de-hair, turn to Flora Davis. She collects the fur of her Ragamuffin cat and tuns it into jewelry, for sale on Etsy.
The cat craft book’s publisher Quirk Books, a small independent Philadelphia publisher that also produced the iconic bestseller “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” sees the trend growing beyond cat lover circles.
“Yes, it’s a bit bizarre, but it fits in with what we’re all about,” says Mari Kraske, a spokeswoman for Quirk Books. “It combines spending time with your cat, crafting and memorializing your cat. And it’s environmentally friendly. We are in a phase of cat hair jewelry. It seems to be steamrolling to a trend thing.”
Look what happened to zombies, after all.