The StarCATS Cat Toys Project
StarCATS Cat Toys: geeky artisan cat toys filled with organic catnip for the discerning (and geeky) cat!
The StarCATS Cat Toys Project was created in honour of our beloved cat Casteylan, who died 13 Aug 2013, the day after his ninth birthday.
The name StarCATS is a combination of our surname, Starfire, and "Casteylan Across Time and Space", which now describes Cas perfectly.
Friday 13 September 2013
WOO HOO, YOU FUNDED US! THANK YOU!
There are stretch goal designs for the Sherlockians, Bronzers, and Whovians as well,
The Doctor-inspired Collection
The first CATS travelling box, in honor of Casteylan (Across Time & Space). Approx 6"x3"
The second CATS travelling box. Approx 6"x3"
Red and blue bowties for the
Fezzes ARE cool! And you get a choice of plain, or extra cool with added bowties! Each fez is approx 4"x4.5"
The Halloween Collection:
Note: The first four of these Halloween designs are EXCLUSIVE to this IGG campaign until late Summer 2014. Grab them now if you want them this year!
The Witch's Hat--EXCLUSIVE! Approx 5"x4"
The Candy Skull Bat--EXCLUSIVE! Approx 7"x3"
Halloween Pumpkin--EXCLUSIVE! Approx 5.5"x4"
Halloween Fish--EXCLUSIVE! Appro 6"x2"
The following three Halloween designs will be available for sale after this campaign.
The Skull. Approx 5"x4"
The skull, although it's two flat pieces of fabric, was stuffed extra and rounded out nicely. Our cat Binx loves to chase it around the house!
The Van Gogh Bat. Approx 7"x3"
The Van Gogh Witch's Hat. Approx 6"x4"
UPDATE 4: EXCLUSIVE FOR THE CAMPAIGN!
Available only to funders: Casteylan Across Time and Space, as he may have been seen by Van Gogh:
UPDATE 3: MORE STRETCH DESIGNS!
If we hit $1700, this design for the Bronzers/Buffy fans will become available as a perk selection: the Wooden Stake!
And if we hit $1800, another Doctor Who inspired design will become available: the Weeping Angel!
UPDATE 2: Bonus Perk Design and Stretch Designs!
When we hit goal ($1200), this spoilerific "WE DID IT!" design will become available:
And, at request, I designed some Sherlockian toys as stretch goal perks.
If we hit $1300, the Deerstalker will become available as a perk selection.
At $1400, the Magnifying Glass will become available.
At $1500, the Violin:
And at $1600, the Pipe:
UPDATE 1: The Prototypes are done!
There are currently
9 13 designs, in honour of Casteylan's age (and there are four more designs already done and waiting in the wings!), and they're shown above and there are closeups of each one in the first update.
They've gotten the Starfire cats seals of approval from our crew; in fact this is what happened when we left the toys unattended for a few minutes after taking a new phot: one Binx, wild eyed and gleeful!
Binx with a CATS box:
Gypsy with a Halloween fish:
Samhain with a red bow tie:
(by the time Sammy was done, the bow tie was soaked!)
Isis with a Candy and Skull bat:
Minerva with a witch's hat:
What YOU Get
Fabulous artisan cat toys in geeky and Halloweeny designs! AND with multiple options!
- The basic StarCATS toy will have a Spoonflower fabric front with one of Chris's designs printed on Spoonflower's Linen-Cotton Canvas. Depending on the design, the back will be either organic duck in white, blue denim, or navy blue. The toy will be stuffed with organic sheep's wool (polyfill is an option for those who prefer it).
But wait: What if my cat hates catnip?
Not to worry! You can get the same fabulous toy without any catnip; just let us know when it's time to pick your perk(s).
But wait--what if I don't have a cat?
Still don't worry! You have at least three other options:
- a StarCATS toy with only wool (or polyfill) stuffing and an added ribbon to hang as a decoration;
- a StarCATS toy stuffed with wool (or polyfill) and organic lavender buds to use as a sachet;
StarCATS toy stuffed with wool (or polyfill) and a custom mixture of
dried organic orange peel, broken organic cinnamon stick, and organic
cloves, to use as a sachet.
And another option thanks to a suggestion from our friend Kim M:
cat-safe cord (sewn heavyweight fabric, not string) can be added to any toy so it can be hung up for the
holidays in the (possibly futile) hope that your fearless feline hunters will go for
their own toy(toys) instead of other decorations.
What We Need
Our goal is $1200.
- 1/3 will be put aside for taxes, a small amount will pay the Indiegogo fees, and the the rest will be used to buy supplies to make StarCATS cat toys.
- Those supplies include custom fabric from Spoonflower for the fronts of the toys, organic wool for stuffing (option to have fiberfill instead), organic duck for the backing material, organic catnip, organic lavender buds, dried organic orange peels, organic cinnamon sticks, and organic cloves. By buying in large, wholesale quantities, we can get better prices.
- Our long-term goal is to completely pay off our CareCredit bill, which was used for Casteylan's needs (aside from a small amount that were to cover Emdee's care before her passing due to cancer).
What Happens If We Go Over Our Goal?
That's when it'll really get fun! For every $100 we make over goal, Chris will add another design, and we'll both take suggestions and have votes on our Facebook page for favourite and most wanted designs.
If we go over goal, every contributor will also get a mini square CATS magic box sachet for every toy they get (unless they'd prefer not to).
And after you have your toy, if you send us a photo of your cat with it, we'll post it to our Facebook page with our thanks!
What Happens If We Don't Make Our Goal?
- Everyone will still get the perks they're entitled to! We'll get as many supplies as we can with the seed money we do raise, and we'll start more slowly to pay off Cas's bills.
We'll still post photos you send us of your cats with our toys on our Facebook page, along with a thank you!
Will We Still Sell the Stretch Design Toys later if we don't make the stretch goals?
We don't know, yet. We'd like to, but how many designs we can have printed will depend on how much we raise.
Why Is This Project So Imporant To Us?
Because of severe health issues, Chris and I couldn't have kids, and our cats are our babies. We were blessed with CareCredit when we needed it, and they were fantastic about raising our limit high enough to cover Cas's care. But now if there's an emergency with one of the other six, we won't have the same options. And one of our others, Gypsy, is 16 and frail, so we both get anxious. (We're both severely disabled by chronic illness. Chris gets disability, but I haven't qualified yet.)
We're also struggling with anxiety about our cats because we've lost five this year. FIVE. Three were due to normal complications of old age. It stinks, but when you have a lot of cats close in age, it happens.
But Emdee was a shock. She was diagnosed with inoperable and untreatable cancer in March and died on May Day. Just two months later her son, Cas, got unexpectedly ill. Nothing showed up on tests, including x-rays, but even with the best care from the Best Vet in the World, he died. We're having a rough time both because of mourning and because of worry about what will happen if any of the others gets ill.
By buying a geeky toy (and by spreading the word about this campaign!) you'll help us pay off the bill from Cas quickly so that if anyone else gets ill, we can take care of them and get them the same level of care.
And at the same time you'll be helping us honour Casteylan, Emdee, Seelie, Aodhan, and Luna's memories AND spread geeky cat toy love across Time & Space.
And that would be wonderful!
What's With the Weird Numbers?
They're both a nod to Casteylan and more geekiness:
- 13: Cas died on 13 Aug '13.
23: 23 is the ninth prime number, and Cas was 9 years old. There's also the 23 Enigma, which Chris read about in the 80s.
- 42: 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything!
Chris and I do have health issues, but she's sewn since childhood and I can cut out patterns and stuff toys. And if we're blessed with so many orders that we can't handle them all in a timely manner, we live in a wonderful small community and we WILL hire local help to get it done. You WILL get your StarCATS toys in a timely manner!
We haven't used Spoonflower before, but several of Chris's friends have, and they swear by it. We don't foresee any problems with them.
We have a great source for the organic herbs and spices, and a back up as well.
We also have wool and backing cloth sources, with back up sources.
I'd like to help, but I can't donate:
Thank you! We appreciate that very much. You could help tremendously just by spreading the word: tell all of your cat-loving, geeky friends about our campaign.
Thank you, everybody!
~Paul and Chris, and our kitties Gypsy, Jack, Binx, Isis, Minerva, and Samhain.