Cat toys in the style of tampons, penises, and baby fetuses have been creating a fuss on Etsy this week. Although the complaints from the Australian press suggesting they might somehow incite bestiality is probably a bit of a stretch. Certainly the dick ones seem fair game, if real cow penis is being marketed as a dog chew. Anyway, this coverage seems only to have promoted her, with the Etsy items receiving thousands of views. We spoke to their creator, Meowadays (Shana Ostrow) about the controversy we are now dubbing WoolWang-gate.
How'd you come up with a tampon cat toy? It's pretty, erm, creative, to say the least. Your cat looks to be enjoying the toy, too.
The tampon cat toy probably stems from growing up watching Ren & Stimpy and realising that gross = funny. I guess I never grew out of potty humor. My goal is to make toys that entertain cats and humans simultaneously.
One of my favorite parts of creating cat toys is testing them out on my cats and trying to get a good action shot. The picture you’re mentioning is when my cat, Dr. Zombie, was taking a break from testing the toy’s durability to nuzzle it. All my toys pass “The Dr. Zombie Durability & Nuzzle-bility Test” before going on Etsy.
Shana's cat, Dr Zombie, playing with her penis (toy)
Have you received much backlash? There has been an article published mentioning the controversial nature of your pieces, but your Etsy rating is at 100%, isn't it?
The only backlash I am aware of is from the said article. In the article a woman claims that my “penis toy suggests bestiality”. My friends, family and I had a good laugh and it attracted more customers to my shop. In this specific case I am definitely thankful for the backlash.
I’d like to credit my 100% rating to my customers who understand my sense of humor and the effort I put into each piece. I hope it’s clear that I have no intent to be “offensive” or “degrading” as the article suggests. Well, maybe a little offensive.
Shana's crocheted fetus
Do you have anything planned for the future?
Meowadays - I mean nowadays - I can’t go 24 hours without thinking of new ideas for my shop! In the near future I would like to add more toys, some inspired by video games or zombies. I’ve been working on some drawings I would like to turn into greeting cards or prints and I hope to get involved more in craft fairs and shows.
I’d also like to expand my collection of shirts with cats on them.
Is this your main gig or is this a side venture?
In terms of time and energy spent then Meowadays is definitely my main venture. Financially speaking it's my side gig, for the time being.
Are there any strange custom requests you have gotten from customers?
I love strange custom requests! I’ve had a customer request a larger version a toy to be used as a baby rattle, with a bell inside instead of catnip. Another customer ordered a custom bikini... for their dog. It was quite adorable and made me jealous because my cats aren’t really into wearing swimsuits. I think I enjoy custom requests so much because I always enjoy a challenge when crocheting.
View the Meowadays blog here meowadays.com, and the Etsy store here etsy.com/shop/meowadays.