Etsy is usually my go-to stop for finding unique, handmade cat goods, and I have to say that GhostKitties are probably the most unusual item I've discovered yet! The memorial dolls are custom made, and are designed to help keep your cat's spirit alive, even after death.
Designer M.T. Balles tells me that she first started making the cats about six years ago, and explains the inspiration behind them:
"I had two cats at the time, Selkirk and Ishtar, and they were really fabulous cats. I just started thinking about how I had always lived with cats (I come from a long line of cat lovers!), and the memories came back of all my sweet little kitties. The ones I had when I was a very little girl, the one that I had all though my elementary and high school years - And I really felt a need to reconnect with them, to tell the story of the cats in my life. So I started making these felt dolls."
She continues, "The first GhostKitty I made was of Meats, the cat I had when I was around 8 years old. He was just this sweet grey tabby who froze the tips of his ears off one horribly cold winter. After I made the Meats GhostKitty doll, I felt it really brought back his sweet little personality, so I decided that I would make GhostKitty dolls for all my poor dead cats."
"For each one, I try to capture their personality. For example, the GhostKitty of my cat BJ has two heads because he had a very nasty side to his personality as well as a sweet one.I made GhostKitties for all the deceased cats in my life and then friends and family began to request that I make GhostKitties for them too!"
M.J. says, "I realized that it might be something other people would like and that’s why I opened the shop on Etsy!When you order a GhostKitty, you have to fill out a little kitty personality questionnaire and provide a photograph of your cat.Each doll is entirely hand-stitched so they take a long time to make. The whole time I'm stitching, I have a photograph of the kitty I am memorializing in front of me and am meditating on their character. I think this really brings the GhostKitties to life!"
Whether you think the dolls are are cute or creepy, I don't think anyone can disagree that losing a beloved pet can be a devastating event. GhostKitties aim not only to memorialize your dearly departed cat, but also to serve as an everlasting, one-of-a-kind reminder of their unique spirit.
For more information, check out GhostKitties on Facebook and MySpace, or visit their shop to order a custom remembrance of your own!
GhostKitties: Custom Memorial Dolls For Your Dearly Departed Feline