Let’s Discuss: Jewelry Made Out Of Cat Hair Balls

Necklace made of cat hair.
Photo: Kate Benjamin/Moderncat

OK. Using hair as you would any other natural fiber is nothing new in the fashion world. From Margiela to McQueen, designers have been trotting keratin-enhanced garb down the runway to wow audiences since time immemorial (like, the ’90s basically, except that I am also positive some ANCIENT, FAR-FLUNG civilizations were all up on it eons ago and are eye-rolling HARD at this right now on their gen-2 iPads). This, however, is new. And, also, maybe a little gross. A Phoenix-based blogger by the name of Kate Benjamin has decided that just throwing out the enormous hair balls culled from the back of her cats was wasteful and unfortunate and decided she would, with a little time and ingenuity, make something creative and elegant.

So, the awesome thing about natural, protein-based strands of follicular stuff is that it has scales along the shaft (TWSS) that go in one direction, so if you rub some together, it felts. Boom. She got up with jeweler Heidi Abrahamson who felted the hair balls into tighter hair balls, strung them together and made necklaces, barrettes and earrings. Fin. Internet sensation.

A set of earrings and ring made of cat hair.
Photo: Kate Benjamin/Moderncat

I actually love cats. A lot. I like to look at pictures and assign them neuroses and personality quirks and stalk Japanese cats with smooshed faces on the internet because they eat dumplings from chopsticks and slide into boxes. I do all of this because I am a normal person (the normalest). I don’t think I can get down all of this *waves hands around* and here’s why. I’m allergic to cats. Animal dander of the feline persuasion makes me break out into hives. Having these anaphylaxis bombs dangling so close to my face and respiratory areas freaks me out. As I’m sure it would other people who are equally, if not more, prone to allergic breakouts. It’s soooorta like making peanut accessories, which is sorta insensitive.

Also, I do appreciate the fact that you can send in your personal cat fur to get flipped and reversed to make magical, oh-so-bespoke adornments but just the notion of gathering and POSTING pet detritus makes me feel a little gag. It’s like choosing to amass toenails to make sequins. Or urine to make dye. It’s cool and all, and more power to you if you’re taking reduce, reuse, recycle, to such extremes but please don’t present it to me even if it IS an interesting metaphor for cycles and seasons and arcane, indigenous culture because, yuck. Also, smug. Plus, relax with the needing to find a use for fuzz in the first place. What’s next? Felting dust bunnies to make–WAIT FOR IT–rabbit ornaments? ZOMG! Million-dollar idea GOOOOO!