Real or Surreal? This Japanese Cat Bag Will Make You Look Twice

Nationwide Shopping Shopping 2022.06.01
The Japanese artist who sells these bags says they're 100% handmade - but not from real cats.
Textile artist Miho Katsumi has been carefully cutting, sewing, and shaping little pieces of faux fur into startlingly realistic animals for years now, but recently things have gone in a new direction for her. Her work sometimes comes in the form of stuffed toys or animal-themed accessories, and sometimes she creates bags that are a little of both, like the cat backpack she posted on her Instagram, causing a wave of popularity. Cat lovers around the world share and like her bags, commenting on how they thought it was a real cat at first, and inevitably interested customers follow. Katsumi's cat bags cost about 140,000 yen each (over 1,000 USD), but recently, cat lovers all over the world have been filling her inbox, and the artist is having trouble keeping up with demand.
The spike in popularity has had Miho Katsumi putting together British Shorthairs, Persians, Munchkin cats, among others, and each cat backpack first takes a week to design, then one to three months to create. (Sometimes, if she's still not satisfied with the result, it can take even longer.) For her smaller creations, each one can take 22 carefully cut pieces of faux fur. For the life-size cat backpacks that are so extremely popular right now, that number can shoot up to 80 or more, and each one needs to be carefully hand-dyed and sewn together to make one surprisingly realistic cat - with straps, of course.
A quick look through the artist's website, her Twitter, or her Instagram will show you that in the past she's made little toys in the shape of bears, mice, foxes, and more, alongside cat scarves, coin purses, brooches, and plenty of other interesting items. These days, however, the working mother is so busy with her cat backpacks that she only accepts orders intermittently, and in very small numbers. So far, she's made and sold about 70 cat backpacks to her waiting fans. We can't wait to see what she puts together next.

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