About me

Clawdius The Mad 7In 2010 after we lost a lovely silver tabby kitten, Clawdius, to FIP (thats him on the right) I was devastated to find than one of my moggies (Spike) had contracted corona virus also, after testing both moggies it turned out that Loula was corona negative so I was forced to isolate Spike to prevent possible infection.

Spike At The ParkSpike spent about 4 months isolated in the bedroom, which although at the time he was not the most active cat I could tell he was not happy about the situation so to bring a bit of excitement back into his life I decided to try taking him outside on a leash. Rather than buy him a conventional harness I decided I would make a walking jacket style harness for him and to my surprise he readily accepted it and we were outside in the back garden the next day.

Toshi Goes For A Walk In The Park 13-07-2010At the time I was awaiting the arrival of my bengal furkid Toshi, so I was spending a lot of time asking questions and making friends on the bengal forums, when I posted pictures of Spike out in his jacket many of the friends I have made on the forums asked where I got it from and were interested in getting one for their cats.

I made a few more jackets for them but as my financial situation is not great I could not continue to make jackets for everyone free of charge and so I thought I would start Happy House Cats.

The primary reason was so that the people I had come to know on the forums could get a walking jacket and hopefully I could make a little profit from it to cover the cost of the upkeep of my cats, I was and still am struggling to keep on top of it.

Yukineko in his new walking jacketI am not by any stretch of the imagination running a ‘Business’ as such, jacket orders are sporadic to say the least and I may get 3 in a week and then none for over a month, and to be honest if I ended up with lots of orders I don’t think I would be able to cope with it as each jacket takes me over two hours to make.

If I were to base costs on the minimum wage they would have to be significantly more expensive, but for me a large part of the payment is actually the satisfaction that a cat out there is enjoying a bit of outdoor life thanks to my jacket, and also the fact that most people who have one are extremely happy with it and in most cases become distant friends on the internet keeping me updated on the antics their cats get up to and the fun they have getting out of the house while still being safely restrained.

If my interest were financially based then I could cut corners when making the jackets, knock out a poorer quality jacket (which some people do) to turn over a quick profit. For me that is not an option, I consider the people who have my jackets as friends and I am just not capable of treating friends in that way!

I am also offering to cut my small profit even more by matching donations to the PDSA, yes I could donate to the PDSA for every jacket irrespective of if the buyer donates but I thought by matching a donation I would maybe encourage people to think about the PDSA which is an absolutely superb charity which does so much for pets in need. I also have done special requests and other things to help people and received gifts from them which I put into the PDSA donations, if I say there is no charge then anything I get is considered a donation, if I offer a part refund for a jacket I consider to be less that the best I can do and it is refused then it goes to the PDSA. I am not going to starve myself to death to support the PDSA but I do whatever I can, my latest plan being to supply the local PDSA shop with free bags of catnip to sell – it may not be much but if everyone did a bit it would make a huge difference.

My hope is that one day Happy House Cats will cover the cost of keeping my cats healthy, if it ever met the cost of feeding them and vet fees that would be great, and hopefully donate a bit more to the PDSA, I doubt that I could ever make a living from it but I do have a few ideas which may move it in that direction in the future, I guess only time will tell, but at the moment it is really just a part of my love for cats in general and more a hobby than anything else.

So that is me, and what I do, if you are interested in a jacket then you know how to get one. If you are not then that’s fine, you are still more than welcome to contact me and chat about cats, you can join my forum Bengal Banter (every cat lover is welcome there, you do not have to be a Bengal owner) , make some great friends and get help with just about anything cat related.

Louise.