Naked Cat has Own Accessory Line - Interview with "Here NB" magazine

I was recently interviewed for "HERE" magazine, a free local paper covering the cities of Moncton, Fredericton and St.John, New Brunswick. The lovely Ms. Handysides, a "HERE" reporter, met with me at Dexter's flea market where I have a booth I run on weekends. We chatted and had a quick photo shoot. The resulting article and fabulous picture printed below were on page three this week!

These Bags are the Cat's Meow
by Victoria Handysides

We're letting the cat out of the bag.
There's more than one way to skin a cat.
The cat's pajamas.

Pick your cliché. They all apply to a Moncton flea market's resident muse and four-legged fashionista.

Nofuratu: a handsome, hairless, prized sphynx scales the cluttered shelves and tables of Dexter's Flea Market (14 Rabbi Lippa Medjuck Street) each weekend, acting as the living, breathing spokes-cat for his brand of reborn handbags.

"I wanted to turn him into this evil genius that had multiple businesses," his arty owner Aislynne said. "On his business cards, he's described as critic, philanthropist and entrepreneur. I like him having all these big titles - I think it's hilarious."

Aislynne and her husband Brett McKnight run a booth at the weekend market, filled with items bearing Nofuratu's wrinkled face. No kidding.

Among the handmade creations are handbags, retailing for $25 each.
"I wanted to turn him into a Donald Trump-esque designer. All designers have perfume and handbags, and I'm not going to make perfume. Who wants to smell like a cat?"
Constructed from pre-loved materials found in various discard piles and thrift shops, the utilitarian accessories are a textile mish-mash of buttons, ribbon, patch-work and yes, fur.
The irony isn't lost on the Havelock couple, who say a brown, mink-sided bag hasn't been hanging from their shelves for awhile.
As shocking, and well, ugly, as he may appear at first glance, Nofuratu is a prime specimen. His beauty is clearly skin-deep, proven time and again through various awards at cat shows around North America.
"He's just beautiful - I think he's stunning. People can relate to animals. I know I don't like dealing with people," Aislynne chuckled.

Fresh into retirement from the pageant and competition circuit, Nofuratu is about to embark on a new venture - pet therapy. Recently approved as a therapy animal, he'll soon visit patients in hospitals and extended care homes.
"He's just so easy-going - it works well," McKnight said.
Humanizing the two-year-old kitty may be the key to his award-winning personality, the couple say.
Nofuratu eats dinner from a plate in a high chair with the family each night. He sleeps under the covers. He goes for walks in a stroller. He has a four-foot long closet, jammed full of his own personal outfits and accessories.
"He's spoiled," Aislynne admitted.
"The highchair has its own little table. He doesn't eat from our table - anymore," McKnight added.

Despite shameless promotion through merchandise, a blog and Twitter account, Nofur's ventures aren't in vain. The couple donate a portion of proceeds gained through sales to local animal-related charities. In 2009, he was pushed in a stroller during Moncton's Walk For the Cure, and raised $200 for breast cancer research.
The sphynx also pays for his own clothes, through charging market-goers $1 to have their photo taken with him.
And as for the human brains behind the operation, Aislynne says though she loves him like a son, she isn't a crazy cat lady.
"I think I'm just crazy," she said. "I hate normal - it irritates me."
To follow the life and times of Nofuratu at Adventures of a Naked Cat, visit www.nofuratu.blogspot.com
Do not forget to check out ALL my other blog reviews! Just choose a date under the "More of my Adventures" heading in the upper right column.


Nofuratu's Beauty Secrets

Many humans assume hairless cats require very little care where grooming is concerned. In reality, we Sphynx are just as demanding in this aspect as we are in everything else! Since we have no hair to wick away our body oils, we require a weekly bath.
Some Sphynx get bathed in a sink, or bucket or even the shower! I prefer my claw foot tub full off water and rubber duckies.

Just to be clear, I do not like baths! I tolerate them as a price I must pay for being beautiful and less stinky. We all have sacrifices we must make and beauty queens are no different!
Here is daddy washing my arm pits. Dirt seems to build up there. Some weeks if play my cards right, and my people are busy, I can get away without a bath for 2-3 weeks! We use baby wipes during that time to maintain my skin. Unfortunately, they are often cold, so I have put a baby wipe warmer on my accessory wish list!.
Accessories are vital to being a well groomed Diva! I have practically a whole salon of potions, lotions and equipment!
This is my “Diva” cosmetic case. I also use this as a suitcase for travel. It can hold an astonishingly large amount of toiletries, clothing and has a built in mirror!
Most Sphynx grooming kits include the essential toothbrush, toothpaste, nail trimmers, baby wipes, wash cloth, baby shampoo, ear cleaner, Q tips, tissues and coconut oil.
I have my people add scented flower candles and bathing cap for ambiance.
If you look closely at my satin harlequin bathing cap, you may notice the little yellow duckies!
Coconut oil helps work the dirt of skin without scrubbing hard. I use it on my nose, toes and bottom about 15 minutes before a bath. It tastes great!
One of my favorite things is my pink monkey clean up box! Tissues come out of the monkey’s face….
and cotton balls and Q tips are inside!
This is my salon chair. It has working pedals to make it go up and down!
After my bath mom bundles me in a hot towel and I curl up on my microfiber pillow with a warm chamomile neck wrap. While I start to doze off …. The REAL work begins. Fans with weak stomachs should probably skip this part!
…Mom starts with my head and removes my eye boogers! Since Sphynx have no eyelashes to protect us from dirt, we need our boogers wiped out once or twice a day.
Here is an eye booger example. I think this substance should be analyzed by the space program as a potential zero gravity adhesive .
Next comes the ears! Sphynx accumulate copious amounts of black sludge in their ears that many mistake for mites. This sample is actually much lighter than usual because mom cleaned my ears twice this week.
Lastly, mom cleans out my toe jam. You may notice Sphynx have very fleshy bulbous toes! Inside the skin folds of each toe, and around nail base we like to save up a greasy black sludge.
As an advocate for the environment, I recommend saving this material for the wheels of your rollerskates or bicycle chain. I believe the government stumbled onto this alternative to fossil fuels in 1982 and are in process of perfecting the refinement……(but you did not hear that from me.)
I try to clean my toes myself but do not do as good a job as mom. First she scoops out the black goop with a Q tip and then scrapes each toenail clean with a baby wipe before trimming it. I HATE having my back toes cleaned.
Here are my freshly pedicured tootsies! Now mom gives me a soothing foot massage and I forget I was angry about having my digits cleaned and cut.
Mom does such a good job keeping me clean, I like to give her a break and wash my own toys!
Here is my furry catnip mouse in the washer. Every time I wash my mouse, mom tends to freak out when she discovers it hiding amongst the socks. I think she should seek help for her irrational fear of bleached cottons.
Once I am squeaky clean I like to parade around in my tiara for a bit and then search for something filthy and malodorous to roll in!
Do not forget to check out ALL my other blog reviews! Just choose a date under the "More of my Adventures" heading in the upper right column. 
© 2010 Aislynne