The story goes:
“One day while making dolls, a leg went missing. The trail led to a small grey kitty, walking around with the leg in her mouth, like a mountain lion who just overtook a jogger. The idea of the severed leg catnip toy was born.”
That small grey kitty was our art director, Ashes. That one day was four years ago, today! Happy Birthday Severed Leg Catnip Toy!
I was working on the a few dolls and did not notice that some legs fell off of the table until I heard this odd sound coming from behind me. A growling sound. A scary sound. The sound of a tiny tiger and her catch of the day! It was so charming the way she ran away from me with that leg in her mouth, that I made one with catnip in it for her that very afternoon. It was a hit with the Life with Tigers staff. That was Autumn, 2008.
I made a few prototypes, figuring out which fabrics and threads would withstand the terror and fury of kitties under the influence of catnip. Rabbit kicks, flings through the air, time spent under the couch, they had to stand up to it all! It took several rounds to get it right, with Shadow providing the most aggressive testing. Here he is with his earliest and most favored prototype…
Once the formula was settled and approved, Shadow refused to relinquish the original half destroyed leg. Years later, Shadow’s prototype leg toy is a still much loved item. Fortunately, today’s leg toys are made to last!
Our intern Moo enjoys occasional testing of the modern, super strong legs…
Modern severed leg catnip toys have wonderful fabric socks on them and have names such as “Paternity Test”, “Tasty Bugs” and “Leapin’ Lizards”. I offer several styles online in the shop, and offer many, many more styles with unique fabrics at craft shows, pop-up shops, pet stores and boutiques around the country.
And the best news of all, thousands of legs have been created and sold to kitties and their happy humans since 2008. All made by me, by hand, every last one of them. It’s a lot of work, but when I hear from people that their cats really cherish their toys and actually seem to develop emotional attachments to them, like Shadow did, all those late nights were worth every moment.