There is a line. And I’m not sure if it’s been crossed but maybe we’re standing on it?

I’ve had a lot of people send me links to this auction where a woman is selling a purse made out of a dead cat (it was already dead if that makes it less awful for you) and half of the people are like, “THIS IS AWESOME AND I TOTALLY THOUGHT OF YOU” and the other half are like, “THIS IS SICK AND HORRIFIC AND I TOTALLY THOUGHT OF YOU” and either way I can’t decide if I should be insulted, or just happy that you all know me so well, so I’m sticking with the latter.

Via Trade Me
Via Trade Me

And although I do appreciate the thought, this is one of the few times when I looked at terrible taxidermy and thought, Um…maybe not.  First of all because of the shedding, secondly because it’s looking at me reproachfully, third because it looks a bit too much like Hunter S. Thomcat and I’m pretty sure it would give all of the cats nightmares.  Besides, I already own an easter basket made of a 100-year-old armadillo, an antique coin purse made of a frog, and hat made out of an ethically taxidermied raccoon face, and I suspect there’s a limit to how many animals you can wear at one time, even if they did all die of natural causes.  Also, the starting bid is $1400 which is just ridiculous, especially considering that I could probably make it myself.  Not that I would.  Unless someone I really hated was allergic to cats.  Then maybe I would make one just to keep them away from me.  But it seems like it would be easier to just put Hunter S. Thomcat in a Baby Bjorn and carry him around strapped to my chest.  Except he has anxiety too so he gets scared when we travel and gets AWFUL, explosive traveler’s diarrhea.  Which would probably keep even more people away from me, now that I think about it.  So technically I think I just found an inexpensive way to make sure people don’t get in my personal space in airports and I didn’t even have to use hot glue to seal a cat’s corpse to a pocketbook.

Life hacks, y’all.

182 thoughts on “There is a line. And I’m not sure if it’s been crossed but maybe we’re standing on it?

Read comments below or add one.

  1. What about Baby Bjorn made from a dead cat, in which you could put Hunter S. Thomcat?
    (That’s probably too fucked up. But so’s the purse. And this entire train of thought. I’m disembarking now.)

  2. Um…kitty’s face says, “I will carry your things for you ma’am,” or more likely, “I WILL BIT YOU IN THE EYES!!” No thanks.

  3. But did you see the terrifying unicorn? And the catbirds? Because you should really have seen the terrifying unicorn (it had feathered breasts). The catbirds were kind of cool though.

  4. Nope, this HAS crossed the line! What if this became a “thing” like fur coats (ugghhh) and cats were sacrificed for the purses? I gotta say huge NOPE to this trend.

  5. I had an awful, awful, awful (seriously, super terrible, possibly the inspiration for any evil old lady character in children’s books) great aunt who was terrified of cats, even just pictures of cats. So when my grandfather passed, I knew she would be at the funeral, so I carried a picture of my cat in my purse, like cat mace, just in case she got out of line. But having an actual cat purse would have cut out the middle man all together.

  6. Yeeeeaaaaaahhhhhh. Nope. Big NOPE on this one! That is a purse that is haunting, and not in a “hauntingly beautiful” sort of way, rather it will haunt your dreams and posess your pets sort of way……

  7. Clearly somebody was way too preoccupied with whether or not they could, and didn’t stop to think if they should.

  8. If you think YOU’RE nutty, read some of the question and answers with the listing! Yikes! Betcha feel down right normal huh.

    Also considering its a listing from ” Canterbury ” ( england??) I’d stick with being impressed that people literally all over the world love and think about you…..

    And maybe change your address where people can’t send you links like this.

  9. i don’t like it. i know you said it was dead already, but not sure you could wear this out without people throwing things at you (i would). we have fur that people (still) wear, but at least they don’t have faces (not that it makes it more acceptable that they don’t) what a mind field.

  10. I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say NONONONONONONO. Pets should not be made into accessories, while living and especially while dead. It’s very close to stuffing your dead child and making a purse.

  11. Brilliant post!
    You should write a book about creative ways to keep people away, and then we’ll buy it, love it, and come crowd around you at your readings!

  12. No!! I had to look at the comments here, though, because I knew some of them would be amazing, even funny. I am feeling very guilty over laughing at them.

  13. Okay, so I have a very obese cat that resembles a pillow pet, (she actually looks like a rectangular box laying down) I suggested that when her time is up, we taxidermy her into a pillow. Needless to say I was told no. But what else would one do with a dead rectangle cat?

  14. I see two problems with this item:

    #1 if you own cats, they will 100% try to fight this thing. If you own dogs, they will 100% fight this thing and somehow lose.

    #2 It is absolutely judging you. It’s looking at you and judging you and you have been found wanting, particularly in the style department. Because it’s a cat, and that’s what they do. (It would probably also find a way to knock your glasses off the nightstand, but I’m not going to go so far as to call it haunted.)

  15. It’s the face…and the eyes…I just can’t go there, especially because my own cat Romeo is sitting on the bed next to me. I know you love taxidermy and all that, and I’m fine with that, but there’s something about cats (and dogs, too) that just crosses the line for me…and yes, the dead cat drone squicked me out as well. I’ve loved all my kitties and wish I could have kept them with me, but this is NOT how I would have wanted to do it; I’ll just settle for keeping their ashes in wooden boxes on bookshelves, thankyouverymuch. (Not an attack on you, Jenny–just wanted to make sure you knew that–it’s just that this really creeps me out.)

  16. I’m not sure the choice of beading works with this cat bag. I’m speechless actually. That’s all I got. RIP kitty.

  17. The square cat thing is freaking me out too. Also the whole I’m gunna make my cat into a purse is also freaking me out. However totally approve of Hunter S. Tomcat baby bijorn thing go for it.

  18. Wow I think that’s going a little too far but thin again I don’t know if you look at that cat its like its looking at you like really you want me to be your purse or I will carry everything for you as I look at you lol

  19. Yeeeeaaaah, no. I like cats and all, but they have to be alive. After that, they get buried or cremated or something like that, not made into purses. I wear leather boots, so I know that I am being hypocritical in this, but I don’t live with cows as pets, so I think I can afford to be.

    Besides, it would be watching me the entire time and judging the hell out of me. I get enough of that with living cats, why would I want to add one that doesn’t even close its eyes?

  20. I am still trying to figure out how that poor rectangular cat was able to get around while it lived. Even if it had a little cart with wheels, it would have had to use it’s face to push it around….

  21. Since I don’t understand the whole dead-animal-head-mounted-on-a-wall thing, this purse has me curling back my lip. Would we make a purse out of grandpa if he died of natural causes?

  22. The cat purse = OMG Horrible! As for travelling cats…..I have one. She’s still a baby but she made the 2600 km (1615 miles) drive to Arizona in April. She shouted and called us names for the first two hours, then she spent the next 6 hours just cursing…graphically, theatrically and continuously…..and finally she relaxed and enjoyed the ride. To be fair, I DID threaten to make her ride on the roof in her carrier if she didn’t stop. And we’re about to make that trip again next week. I’m expecting better cursing, louder shouting and professional theatrics now that she’s 5 months older. I will be blogging the trip. :o)

  23. No but have you thought about walking into a store carrying that thing? The aisles would be so clear and you’ll be the only one in line every time. In other words, you would have established dominance with a sad cat bag.

  24. I REALLY needed the laugh this morning. I woke up to discover that my destructo cat (who is on Prozac but won’t always take it) had peed a lake on our new-to-us couch. Which was from my mother-in-law, over 50 years old, and in pristine condition. It completely ruined my morning so it was nice to have a reason to smile. Although now that I know I can just make a purse out of her…

  25. Um, no. Put me in the “this is horrible” camp. Maybe if it hadn’t included the face and been just a fur purse.

    Nope. Still no.

  26. Oh LAWDY! Is it weird that I saw this and the thought of doing this with on the verge of rainbow dancing cat. He’s small so might only be able to get a coin purse from him, but then he sheds so horribly I’m not sure that’s a good idea. #thestruggleisreal

  27. And here I thought I had discovered the end of cat-themed Western Civilization when I found a container of pumpkin spice kitty litter.
    People are weird, y’all. Super, super weird.

  28. Call me crazy but I kinda like it! You have a beloved pet and it dies and you can’t bear to just bury it or cremate it so you have it made into a purse so it can be with you. Granted, people are gonna freak when they see it, but if you have the courage to use it, I see it as more of a tribute than a freak show. But I am a rebel at heart so maybe that’s why I like it!

  29. In regards to Jen’s post about her mother-in-law and her couch — was the mother-in-law 50 and in pristine condition — or the couch???? And, would Jen make a purse out of her cat or her mother-in-law??? I love the importance of use of pronouns when writing!!! This one made me laugh. Whether it was on purpose or not – it was great! Thanks, Jen.

    AND my vote on the cat purse is NO. Eeuwww!

  30. You know, I’m a total cat person, and generally speaking corpses weird me out, but I would totally rock this. Just to freak out my husband. I am seriously considering showing him this post just to see his face.

  31. Hasn’t this auction to demonstrate that you DO have standards. Or self restraint. Or impulse control. Or tell Victor that you were totally GOING to purchase this but you knew it would be upsetting to him ( and the rest of the world. It’s the cat’s head. That is where the horror lies.) and so you refrained because you are thoughtful and loving and you have self control and then use that as a guilt trip for something you really do want.
    ALSO- I thought of you when stuck in traffic – by that I mean sitting at an utter stand still on one of the main roads around here. Why was traffic at an utter stand still you may wonder? Because two adult ducks ( apparently daddy duck didn’t have a fear of cimmittment like most ducky baby daddies) and about 10 ducklings were playing chicken in the middle of the road. How fucked up is that? Ducks playing chickens. Or they may have been impersonating squirrels because they were all “let’s cross to this side- no. Kidding. I mean this side. ” and the two adult ducks would start going one way and all the little baby ducks would waddle their little selves around and start to follow and the adult ducks would stop and turn and stand still and then go the other way. Someone eventually got out of her car and encouraged them to cross the damn road already. Anyhow- it made me think that if we came across the scene of a mass vehicular murder of ducks on the way back I was totally sending all the little duck corpses to you ( I guess I would have them preserved first?) so Marie Antoinette duck could join her family. Is it a flock or a gaggle? But there was no crime scene and no dead ducks. The end.

  32. How terrible is it that when you were all “I can just make my own”, my initial reaction was enthusiasm that you had finally decided to learn taxidermy from your dad and were going to document the process for us?

    Pretty terrible? Yeah. That makes sense, I guess.

  33. Would a furiously pooping Hunter S. Thomcat strapped to your chest count as an emotional support animal? I mean you’ve already mentioned that it would make you feel better about being in public, so I think it’s worthy of investigation.

  34. For a second I thought it really was Hunter and I almost threw my iPad across the room. Well thank goodness the poor cat was already dead before someone cut him up. (That really doesn’t help you know). All the NOs in the world for this one.
    Meow meow meow!!!

  35. Not fond of the cat purse. However, I do have an armadillo purse so I was intrigued by your mention of an armadillo Easter basket. Which of course made me google that to see if I could buy one for myself, only to find that google thought I should look for an Easter basket made out of an ARMPIT. That is, for sure, a line we shouldn’t cross.

  36. It would be better if it were rounder like a curled sleeping cat.
    I absolutely LOVE cats and have considered having my own dermied when they die. This would mean I could keep them with me.
    I know – I’m sicker than most.

  37. Well. I thought it was horrifically awesome and I thought of you but I saw it on your blog so that skews it a bit. Also: no one will ever steal that purse except to use it in a cult ritual. Or a scary swap meet. So there’s that.

  38. Yeah, it’s also against federal law to buy or sell anything made from the skin/fur of a domestic cat or dog in the USA…so don’t buy that. As a taxidermist, its my job to know these laws. And feel free to report it!

  39. I’m all for awesome taxidermy, but I don’t know that I can even get on board in any way, shape or form with this. Maybe because it’s a cat…maybe because his whole head is on this purse, but I just can’t. I worry for the person who made this 🙂

  40. Honestly, I think some of your taxidermy “friends” are a bit creepy, but because I love you I make an effort to love your things. But this. This is not cool. I’m sorry, but the line has been so crossed that it has circumnavigated the globe and cross the line again.

  41. Not a woman selling that, unless it is a woman named Tom. Not that it is acceptable for any gender. Ever. Big fat NO! on that – civilized people do not turn household pets into accessories.

  42. That auction is run by someone near where I live. I saw it and you did cross my mind but I too thought a line had been crossed and it’s not right. However they do taxidermy other animals so maybe they’d have something else you’d be keen on? PS’ we aren’t all into square cats round these parts!

  43. Sorry that last comment just had to come out as sick as it is. I suppose some people would like that, after all, people freeze-dry their pets and Trigger was taxidermied. Still, it all just is a bit too creepy for me. Disrespectful to create a fashion item from a pet’s head and hide. *shudder

  44. My friend’s mom has a cat blanket. It’s made from dozens of cat pelts sewn together. It’s weird as shit, but at least it doesn’t stare at you. I can get you a picture if you’d like!

  45. lawdamercy that’s a line all right! I’m with you, flattered that someone would send you a link to such an awful thing. pale orange kitten heels, of course! but in the long run, no. upsetting to YOUR beloved kitties, and square kitties do not go with one’s decor.

    because let’s face it, Texas is not ready for a taxidermy cat purse. 😉

  46. I did see this on trade me as i was after the bird eating spider to put in my sons washing pile or on his bedroom blind when he pulled them. I was a little shocked and also did not like the look it gave me. It gives me the look of “go on bitch grab your wallet” I looked at my own cat and could not imagine that ever being done to her.

  47. I think you should be happy that people are always thinking of you but yes that cat purse is not good. Imagine it in your handbag and you put your hand in looking for it and you rub off fur or its head falls off. Not good at all. Good taxidermy is the best taxidermy,

  48. Oh wow. Ok so this is my home town in New Zealand. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that.
    It has Ed Gein connotations written all over it.
    I wonder what else they’ve made… (Cat nipple belt anyone?)

  49. That’s somehow less disturbing than I expected. I imagined a full cat, with a strap from head to butt, and a zipper down the back. Like those Lisa Frank plush animals that were also pencil cases.

  50. For those asking what shoes would go with this bag…
    Kitten heels of course!

    I’m so sorry….

  51. It would be a very effective tool for keeping the animals in line. Imagine- “Hunter S Tomcat, STOP SCRATCHING THE GODDAMN CHAIR or mum’s going to be getting herself a Brand. New. Purse.”

  52. Imagine if that was the first thing you saw when you woke up every morning…shudder

    Oh wait, my cat always creepily puts her face next to mine when I wake up anyway. At least this one wouldn’t bite my nose.

    I wonder if the bidder would do a trade?

  53. So here’s the thing…
    I just now read the comments. I like to read after I have already commented so as to not be swayed – or tempted to steal others ideas….
    it is weird that someone made a cat into a purse. Yes.
    It is weird that this person chose to use a beaded handle on the purse.
    I am usually all ” to each her own” and all that- but the line we are discussing? The line isn’t about if the car should or should not have been made into a purse. The line got crossed when it was put up for sale! This is obviously not Fluffy’s mother/ father being so heartbroken over the death of the beloved cat that in their profound grief it was decided to not just preserve the cat but to make it into an accessory. If that were the case it would be sort of horrific but understandable. But the damn cat is sale. This was not a grief induced really bad decision. This was the intentional use of a cat corpse for profit and as freaking weird as that it- I think what we find the most offensive is that this was like a thought out and planned activity. For profit. Have I mentioned that they want to make money?! If the person was REALLY into this look they didn’t have to use a real cat! I mean cripes!
    Oh and for cat pee on antique couch- Urine Trouble. It’s an actual product and it works well.

    Also- all the puns were puuurfect.

  54. It is $1400 New Zealand dollars remember, which is usually a lot less USD… So, yeah, Canterbury NEW ZEALAND (not Australia, we’re very different).
    The cat was a feral cat, that had been hit by a car and killed. Possibly why it’s square.

  55. It crosses my mind that NO ONE would pickpocket your purse if this was your purse. They might give you the evil eye, but not steal from you. Just saying.

  56. You are truly my hero in life! This is true. I carry your books in my purse at all times in case I need it on impulse. I am not exaggerating. You have helped change my life. I quoted you in my new eating disorder blog! FindingLissa.blogspot.com
    Can you check it out and give me some feedback?

  57. How do you ethically taxidermy a raccoon face? Just the face? Was the rest of it tanned with child-labor? Was the raccoon’s will read aloud at the face tannery? I’m trying to figure out what ethical schema would provision a face tanning. Perhaps the rest of the raccoon was left alive and it was justly compensated? ( scratches brain and ponders )

  58. Have you tried a ThunderShirt? I mean for Hunter S.’s travel anxiety. Hmm, they should make them in people sizes. NOT OUT OF DEAD CATS. Probably.

  59. Wow, that cat purse cat is almost as cross-eyed as I am. I feel like we (the purse and I) could bond over this, enough to kick start some zombie purse cat purring. Then I could have a zombie friend on my side in the event of an apocalypse.
    I’m not sure how I ended up there. Now I need to find at least $1400 US (which is like, millions Canadian) just to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse. This is why I read your blog, Jenny

  60. There is not enough words in the English, French German, Hebrew, Yiddish,,whatever languages exist to describe how horrendous this concept is. It is equally as horrid as all the “trophy mounts” that are put up by all these Ted Nugent types in their home man caves where they drink Schlitz beer and talk about their guns, and secretly think hunting somehow is a good way to compensate for their minuscule genitalia. No animals should be used for clothing, purses, trophies, entertainment,, etc. I could go on but won’t. This is mentally draining.

    Animals are better than people. They deserve better than this.

    Done screaming through my keyboard for now.

    @WriterDann

  61. Excuse me – you have a basket made from a 100 year old armadillo? Surely a line was crossed right then and there – I mean, wow, how did you know it was 100? Did you count the rings? Did it get a letter from the Queen for turning 100 (or your country’s state head equivalent?) What are the handles made out of – 1000 year old sequoia trees? What is it lined with – the Shroud of Turin? (actually that last would be awesome – peek-a-boo Jesus). I an still processing all this….

  62. I would have expressed an opinion sooner but I was too busy being disgusted, ranting to myself, hyperventilating and, oh yeah, vomiting.

  63. A great big box of so-much-fucking-NO. All of them. Ever.

    The comments with horrific puns are gasp-worthy. Thank you.

  64. I once had a rabbit fur coat because it was the 80’s, and it shed like crazy so it mostly left it in the closet. At one point when I was sure I’d never wear it again, I gave it to my friend’s dog to play with. We eventually had to take it away from him because he couldn’t stop and we thought he was going to have a heart attack or something. So, based on my experience, if you got this cat purse, someone would probably die.

  65. So I spin (like yarn on a wheel) and I had an old family friend ask me if I would spin her dog’s fur. Sure, it can be done and would be a cool thing to try. Buuuuut then I found out the dog had been put down (old age, I think she was almost 14) and then shaved for this idea. Nope. Just nope. And she apparently wanted a pillow knit out of the yarn. I suppose we all grieve in our own way but, yeesh, that was a bit much for me.

  66. Lines. Crossed .Vaulted over. Pole vaulted over. You have a RACCOON FACE HAT? Mod shot please!

  67. Well, is the accessory rule no more than 3 items or glance in the mirror then take off one of the accessories? Where’s Tim Gunn when you need him? IDK the head is just too much.

  68. That is amazing and I kind of want it. My mother thinks it’s the most horrific thing she’s ever heard of. Also, the original price tag was $1450, but the current bid is $415.

  69. Now you totally have to take a picture of yourself wearing all of your animals so we can see what it looks like. Or maybe just drape Thomas cat over your arm and see if he will hold your wallet in his mouth for you then you won’t need a Taxidermy cat purse because you’ll have the really thing.

  70. No. But that may be because I have 2 living cats whom I love dearly. I like the frog and racoon face things, but I don’t have frogs or racoons. At least not live ones that I love. I love your Baby Bjorn idea and that whole part made me laugh.

  71. This may be taking the straddling to a full out leap to the other side but does the money go into the mouth? Sure be cool if it did! I mean No! Not cool, but kinda…right.

  72. When would send the link of this poor cat hanbag I saw that you had already a post. I had in mind this issue and I think we have a similar view:)

  73. I would most definitely purchase this item. I most definitely cannot purchase this item. It looks to me as if it has been sold. I would use this, placed strategically on a chair draped in velvet, in my foyer. To greet my guests. It is too bad that I have neither a foyer nor guests.

  74. I would most definitely purchase this item. I most definitely cannot purchase this item. It looks to me as if it has been sold. I would use this, placed strategically on a chair draped in velvet, in my foyer. To greet my guests. It is too bad that I have neither a foyer nor guests.

  75. It comes from New Zealand where I live and tho I find it a bit ick, am so excited something from out tiny two islands made it onto your radar and blog Jenny L !!!

  76. OMG! I knew it was possible! I keep threatening my cat Pyewacket that if she keeps misbehaving, I’m going to turn her into a pair of fuzzy slippers. I’m going to show her this picture right now.

  77. I realize this adds to the creepy factor a bit, but my first thought was “I wonder if you open its mouth and use the inside of the head as a change purse?”

  78. Oh, hell no! No cat should be objected to being objectified! I’m pretty sure all cats in the world would be highly insulted. My cat would definitely consider this “pedestrian”. Bad etiquette.

  79. I’m reminded somehow of dissecting a cat in anatomy in high school: when we skinned it just right we could hold it up like a purse… Anyway…. yeah this is a bit much. And it looks like my cat Tennyson…

  80. No accessories or other items made of dead creatures. Ever. No matter how they died. We are a sick species.

  81. I would totally use this purse, maybe even for everyday wear. See, everywhere I go I get approached by people who mistake me for being helpful, knowledgeable and normal. That would put an end to that nonsense ASAP.

  82. Wait…didn’t you have a box full of dead cats in your garage that you lost? I think you have an opportunity to run the market on dead cat purses…just undercut the market at $700.00 each!

  83. I laughed, then realised with horror that it was TradeMe. New Zealand was the country to cross the line?! Noooooo…

  84. New Zealand rarely makes it into world news, let alone into a Bloggess post, so I’m kind of torn about this. The artist? desecrator? was interviewed on the TV news – final item, naturally, and much to the amusement of the newsreaders – and she was somewhat defensive. She also showed off some of her other creations? abominations? which were even worse. Remember that Christchurch, where she lives, is still struggling to recover from a series of big earthquakes, and make allowances.

  85. Kind of disappointed that the tail wasn’t used as the handle. Furthermore, the beading doesn’t match the eye color. Finally, the head is facing the wrong way. It should be starting up at the owner but out at the world like “I will claw you!”. Dude should totally be cut from project runaway creepy

  86. Good grief, that’s from my city. If I see it in real life, I’ll freak!

    Also, I’m a bit amazed that I’m not the first Christchurch person to comment here. Hi, fellow Kiwis!

  87. I love this, but I wouldn’t want to get within ten feet of this either 😀
    You on the other hand… (well, I probably wouldn’t approach you either, because then we’d both be anxious. But it’s the thought that counts!)

  88. First I thought, “oh, a cute kitty.” Then, “is the kitty sitting on a shelf? Why is the picture sideways?” Then, “OH, kitty is square. Wrongly, wrongly square.” Then I read that kitty was a purse. And the picture wasn’t sideways at all because the purse was just hanging from a door handle. I can’t decide if it’d s great way to honor a favorite pet or a hideous thing. Pretty sure my cat would be pissed if I ever turned him into a purse.

  89. I once had a cat who could indeed fit himself into a carton and fill the corners, but that was his choice, not mine. Or a taxidermist’s. I think it would be less horrifying if she had just used the fur and not the face. Oh my god the eyes, the eyes.
    Right up there with stuffing Aunty Lou and hanging her on a hat rack. Ick

  90. Vice has a post on twitter with this cat purse saying people are up in arms that the taxidermist did this to a cat. Just an FYI but they did not say whether it was an ethically (road kill) source of said cat.

  91. I haven’t been reading your blog much with life being so crazy (new mom, wedding planning, working, fiancé-ing [totally a thing], renovating the house), but this… this makes me miss you so much. I’m going to binge read everything I’ve missed.

  92. made me actually lol ie. laugh out loud! thanks, i needed it this evening 🙂 you’re awesome.

  93. Oh that would be a big cross. YIKES but them you could put it with the squirrel puppet you Dad made in the your book “Let’s pretend this never Happened”. LOL

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