Coasting on a Trend

Everyone who’s visited our shop or read Little Bookstore knows that I crochet items to support cat rescue. During the winter when we don’t have fosters in residence, we support PAWS of SWVA by getting feral cats neutered and spayed. In the spring Jack and I open our garage and mystery room to nursing mamas and their infants, getting them adopted to loving forever homes.

DSCN0288It gets expensive, but it’s worth it looking into those little whiskered faces.

spay and neuter afghanLast fall I started making SPAY AND NEUTER afghans, based on a free pattern called Rows of Cats. “This is what you get if you don’t spay and neuter,” I declaimed via FB (and ok, it might have been slightly self-righteous, but what’s a little smugness between friends?) and sold 20 of those afghans. They were fun and quick and cheap to make because I burned through a lot of my stash, so it was easy to sell them for $67, the cost of a spay on the Margaret Mitchell van (a mobile animal clinic for low-income areas.) They’ve gone up since I depleted my stash and have to buy yarn.

jack with chickensAnd then the chickens came home to roost….

Somebody posted the Swanky Chicken Trivet by Sarah Moss, it went viral, and I bought it for $7 and sold about 96 chickens for $7.50 each, branching out into pigs and penguins somewhere along the way.

And the pigs were fun and the chickens were fun and lots of people bought them and we got lots of cats looked after and gave some money to another group, In His Hands Small Animal Rescue, because they’re trying to help get a feral cat colony down the way under control, and life was good. Except there were chickens and pigs everywhere.

chickens in chair mark with penguin chickens and pigs

One day about three weeks ago I started my 97th chicken and thought, “No.” My hands just stopped moving. There are limits. So the Great Chicken Crochet of 2014 ended with a whimper. And that was fine. Jack and I have eight fosters in the house and chickens have covered three of them, so we just needed to fundraise for five more, including three girls (which are double the cost of boys to render non-producing).

And then…..

cat butt coastersa lady out East somewhere makes cat butt coasters, and somebody posted the photo from her Etsy store, and in the past 48 hours no fewer than nine people have posted them on my timeline with a note equating to “You should make these next! People would buy them!”

And yes, they have gone viral. The lady who makes them actually tracked their popularity:

But here’s the thing: I saw the coasters weeks ago when I was browsing for something to replace those *&%^$# chickens, and thought “Nobody’d buy those” and went on looking for new items with which to raise money.

I ask you, can I spot a social media trend or what? No wonder my agent and her assistant are so proud of my Twitter feed! Marketing genius, me.

So now I’m making coasters, $20 per set and yes you can specify colors, up to one month to deliver. PM me on FB with your address if you want a set.

But wouldn’t anyone like a nice dignified SPAY AND NEUTER afghan?!


Porthos Speaks

athos and porthosHi! I’m Porthos an’ I’m the only girl in this family. We came to live here at the bookstore ‘cos the shelter was gettin’ crowded. Mom didn’t come with us ‘cos somebody wanted to ad- uhdot- adhop- somebody wanted her to come live with them.

That’s what we’re hoping happens to us. My brothers are silly, but I’m very sensible, so I’m sure I’ll get a furever home first. People like sensible cats. Plus I’m really pretty. Everybody says that when they see me, so ‘s okay for me to say so.

My brother Athos is my twin. He’s smaller than me an’ he has a white bit on his neck. HE says it’s a cravat. I says, “What’s a cravat?” an’ he says, “I dunno but it makes me sound smart.”Porthos dances

See? They’re eejits, both of ’em.

Athos likes to play, like me, an’ he loves to be held. D’Artagnon looks different from us. He’s stripy and he’s more scared of stuff. One time I saw him jump straight in the air ‘cos he saw the shadow of his own tail.

I dunno. Maybe I can’t go to a furever home first ‘cos they’d kill themselves doing stupid guy stuff if I wasn’t here. D’Artagnon dove headfirst off a bookshelf yesterday. Didn’t get hurt at all. He’d hafta have a brain to get hurt, right?D'Artagnon

I love my brothers, but it might be nice to live someplace that had a lap just for me, and not hafta keep saying “Don’t climb that rope; it’s not tied to the ring! Don’t stick your claws in that electric thingee! Don’t put your head UNDER the food!”

Ser’usly, the other day, Athos stuck his head IN the bowl of water. Like he was tryin’ to blow bubbles or somethin’. Then he comes up screamin’ blue murder.

porthosI didn’t touch him. I swear.

You can come visit us at the bookstore. We love feet, follow ’em around all the time. And we like bein’ carried, even D’Artagnon, but you kinda hafta let him get used to you first. He talks to your feet, and then you sit down, and he gets in your lap, and then you pick him up. Athos an’ me, we just climb straight up to your shoulder the minute we see you. View’s better from there.

athosOur foster mom says after we get our furever homes the boys will get tutored and I’ll get played. That sounds like fun.  Come visit us so we can get started! We’re ready to go home!