So in lieu of yammering on about my cats…again, I was thinking about going all Oprah for a while and sharing some of my “favorite things.” Unfortunately, you will not find any freebies under the chair that you are currently sitting upon. And, of course, you can probably guess that many of my favorite things will probably be cat related.
“You get some cat hair! And you get some cat hair! Everybody gets cat hair!!”
A conversation at school on Friday motivated me to share this favorite thing: Squirrel Den Studio on Etsy.com.
I first ran into t-shirts by Squirrel Den Studio in my Facebook news feed because they were creating designs whose sales would go toward a fund benefiting Justin a kitten found on fire at an intersection in Philadelphia. Justin was horribly burned, but has since been rehabilitated, adopted, and has his own Facebook page illustrating his new life. Justin’s experience is a sample of the potential for cruelty in humans. However, at least to the Crazy Cat Ladies and animal lovers who are aware of him, he’s also a loveable symbol of persevering through what life brings and the potential of humans to be kind and generous.
Part of the proceeds from Justin products go to his fund the Kitty Krusade and to Animal Alliance. Part of the proceeds from all other Squirrel Den Studio products go to their local SPCA. The t-shirts, hoodies, and onesies come in bright colors, actual human sizes (I sometimes feel beyond actual human size when shopping on Etsy), and feature bold cat and dog caricatures like Badasscat and Chairman Meow. Adult clothes with animals, supporting animal welfare, what’s not to love!
I received a Yoga Kitty tee for Christmas after harassing my New York friends to go to the art shows in their area that Squirrel Den Studio would be attending. While I had worn it several times since then, I had not worn it to school until Friday. Somehow a bright orange and pink kitty tee with a pink sweater and fluorescent tennis shoes was what Friday needed.
The t-shirt says, “Meowmmmm” underneath script in another language. Getting dressed that morning, I had the fleeting thought that I always have when clothing sports a non-English language: “I hope this is inoffensive.” At the time I had no idea if this was an artistic graphic or something translatable.
The telling moment came at the end of first period when one of my students, a very shy, quiet, and insightful young Indian lady approached me and pointed at my midsection.
Student: “Do you know what language that is?”
Brain: “Oh, shit, it translates to ‘I hate little Indian girls’ Fuck, fuck, fuck!”
Me: “No, I don’t. Do you?”
Student: “Yes, it’s Hindi. It says ‘Meowwwww’.”
Brain: “Thank goodness for that!”
Me: “That’s awesome! Thank you, student name here! Is that what you speak at home?”
Student: “Yes.” Big smile.
She made my morning and made me like my shirt and Squirrel Den Studio just a little bit more. I’ve read the t-shirt descriptions today and see that it does mention the Hindi translation.
Later in the day I was in mid conversation with another Indian student when he stopped everything and said, “My parents speak that language at home a lot. I recognize that.”
Great job, denizens of Squirrel Den Studio!
(Hey, people, make sure you click on the links since I finally learned how to insert them properly. 🙂)