Michelle Munyon with her son

Michelle Munyon with her son

Tired of the same catnip-filled mice and jingly balls for your cat? How about an octopus? Or a mustache?

Michelle Munyon is the crafter behind Etsy store The Hip Catch where she specializes in unusual cat toys.

Michelle was kind enough to do an interview with Arkansas Pet Gazette and even passed along instructions for her most hipster item:

The Toy Mustache.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.02.17 PM

APG: When did you first get interested in making cat toys?

Michelle: I discovered etsy a couple years ago. I was sewing handbags at the time. I started my shop with those, and then I added in pet Christmas stockings, because I had made a few for friends for the holidays and I thought they turned out pretty cute. And then since I have a cat, I started making cat toys and now that’s what I mostly sell in the shop.

APG: As a cat owner, I have to ask, how do you get crafting done with a feline around? Because my cat is always trying to bat at my yarn, bite at my scissors and basically prevent me from accomplishing anything other than rubbing her tummy.

Michelle: So, being a cat owner and making cat nip treats really brings out my cats love for me! As soon as I open up the jar of catnip, Mija is over in my face. I normally will put a towel on the ground and let her roll in her own stash so she keeps busy. But, when I’m photographing the finished toys to add them to the shop, she is constantly in the pictures, trying to get the toys. I just pick her up, put her behind me, try to snap a few shots, and repeat, cause she will be right back up in about 30 seconds!

Michelle's indoor cat Mija

Michelle’s indoor cat Mija

We also have an outdoor kitten. We live on an old farm in the country and in July we found out we had a kitten living under the old chicken coop. It took us about a week to get it to come out and another few weeks for us to be able to pet him, but he has warmed up to our family and we’ve adopted him as our “stray.” My husband named him Hobo and we feed him a little food each day and he sticks around but he’s free to go where he pleases (except in the house).

Hobo, the outdoor cat, with Michelle's son

Hobo, the outdoor cat, with Michelle’s son

Are you ready to try your hand at making the mustache cat toy? I’ll warn you: I tried it and it’s harder than it looks!

You will need:

-felt
-scissors
-catnip
-pen or chalk pencil for tracing
-scrap of paper
-embroidery thread and a needle
-fiber fill

The execution is simple.

  1.  Cut two pieces of felt (for the front and back) into a mustache shape.
  2.  With your needle and thread, sew the two pieces together–ALMOST!
  3.  When you still have a little sewing left to do, stuff the mustache with fiber fill and catnip
  4.  Finish sewing.

Mine turned out smaller than I wanted it, so I turned it into a Christmas ornament and it hangs on my tree! Here’s how it turned out:

mustache

Thank you, Michelle, for being our guest here at Arkansas Pet Gazette!

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