Welcome to OnMeowaukee Cat Week, a meowsome bunch of articles, photos, videos and an Instagram contest celebrating all aspects of Milwaukee cats. Sponsored by Bark N' Scratch Outpost, these seven days are dedicated to those creatures with nine lives who make our lives more paw-sitive.
Earlier this week, Daniel, a Muskego-based cat with a resume that’s more impressive than most humans', was photographed in his Milwaukee Home T-shirt for an OnMeowaukee article. His parents, Amy and Jason Rowell, say Daniel has more than 60 outfits and loves to dress up.
"He has more clothing than we do," says Jason.
A quick search on Etsy for "cat clothes" resulted in hundreds of options, including dresses, hoodies, costumes, neckties and hand-knit sweaters. This time of year, cat costumes like hotdogs and caterpillars are available at most box stores, including Target and Michaels.
A web site called nipandbones.com has a plethora of sassy cat apparel, including blue argyle pajamas, a black wool cat coat, a meow tank, a denim dress, a Fleur-de-lis sweater and tutus in multiple styles and colors.
Pinterest is loaded with items on the "Cats In Clothes" board.
However, the cat fashion website cat-toure.com gets major kitty kudos for having, quite possibly, the best name. Plus, the available items are pretty sophisticated, like the "Wesley polo" shirt in "plumberry" and a fine selection of short-sleeved feline hoodies.
An article floating around Facebook features a perplexing adornment for cats called a Twinkle Tush – a fake jewel that, supposedly, fits comfortably into a cat’s booty and spares humans from the sight of "the dark red eye of Sauron."
This gag gift is only recommended to be worn by felines for a "brief photo op" but demonstrates the length of absurdity that’s out there when it comes to cat-shion. (That's a mash-up of "cat" and "fashion." It may or may not work.)
Milwaukee knitter Pat Hayes creates slightly less bizarre cat accessories. She makes hats and scarves for cats from colorful wool and acrylic yarn.
"Sometimes I put buttons on the scarves," says Hayes.
Hayes does not have a cat currently, but she did for many years. "There are also many beloved cats in my family," she says.
Hayes has been knitting hats – predominantly children’s hats – for about eight years. More recently, she started knitting small hats for her granddaughter’s stuffed animals which inspired her cat hats.
"My granddaughter is learning to knit, too, and she made a small scarf to practice," says Hayes. "She tried it on her cat, Oliver, and he loved wearing it. So, when I found a book of patterns for cat hats, our work just came together."
Hayes makes a variety of hats, mostly in the categories of "dinosaur," "strawberry" and "punk." The fact she can call them "Pat’s Cat Hats" is entirely too purrrfect.
The hats fit most cats’ heads and cost $10 via her Little Sprouts Knitting Facebook page or by emailing email@example.com.
Hayes has also sold knitted hats at the unique kids’ boutique Little Monsters, 2445 N. Farwell Ave.
"Knitting is something I really enjoy doing," says Hayes. "And I have a soft spot for animals, both dogs and cats."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.