The Only Tool You Need to Clean Your Cat Bed

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Back before I fell in love with the Redecker Pet & Lint Brush, I was subjected to cleaning our cat beds and furniture with the vacuum attachment—which meant they were only cleaned whenever I got the vacuum out (read: not enough). Occasionally I would use the lint roller, but would end up going through half the sheets before I got rid of all the hair. I even used a pair of rubber cleaning gloves, which worked like a charm until I accidentally smeared rust residue all over the couch. Enter the Pet & Lint Brush. Handmade of beechwood and natural rubber, this brush looks so good I like to "forget" to put it away just so I can look at it. The rubber bristles pull hair off of fabric surfaces like magic, and best of all, it only takes some water to rinse clean and it is ready to be used again. 

Gorgeous, eco-friendly and totally functional—these brushes were so perfect we had to add them to our shop!

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Makers & Their Cats - Elise Birnbaum of OATMEAL

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Welcome to Makers & Their Cats, a Q&A series dedicated to highlighting talented makers and fellow cat people. 

Our very first Maker is Elise Birnbaum of OATMEAL, a Pittsburgh-based ceramicist who creates a mix of functional and wearable art. We met Elise through Instagram a couple years ago and fell in love with her earthy, neutral color palette and the mix of raw textures and glaze in her work. She also happens to be the maker behind our new collaborative collection of stoneware bowls. While familiar with her work, we were curious to know a bit more about how she got started in ceramics, and of course, her cat.

Siamese Social Club: How long have you been making ceramics and how did you get started? 

Elise: I have been working in ceramics for about 3 years, but have been a maker my whole life.  While working a job in retail display, I had the itch to carve my own creative path and started taking classes -  ceramics was one of them.  A few years, a kiln and hundreds of pound of clay later and it's my full time job.

How many cats do you have and what are their names? 

I've been a cat lover since I was 5, starting with my first love, little kitty.  I now have one cat named Zooey, she's a ten year old angel I adopted when she was 3 and very ill.  She is the sweetest soul who just wants to cuddle and eat (cats reflecting their owner??)

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Have you ever made her anything out of clay before? 

She actually eats out of the first bowl I ever made!!! it's probably time for an upgrade!

Does she ever get to visit your studio? 

My studio is in my house, and I actually have a special little spot for Zooey, a dog free nook with a cat quilt with cats on it my mom made.  She is my desk buddy when it's computer/order fulfillment time.

Would cats make good ceramicists?

Zooey had definitely rubbed some texture into the side of a piece or two... but other than that I'm not so sure.  They take too many naps probably. 

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Photos courtesy of Elise Birnbaum

Roundup of our favorite customer photos

Nothing makes us happier than seeing cats luxuriating in their Siamese Social Club beds (plus it gives Bollini some modeling inspiration). Here are a few of our favorite photos shared by customers and their happy cats. 

 Photo by  @dark_out_here
 Photo by  @traci.yau

Photo by @traci.yau

 Photo by  @cerlina

Photo by @cerlina

 Photo by  @sperchard

Photo by @sperchard

Do you have photos of your cat or dog enjoying their Siamese Social Club goodies? We would love to see them! Tag us in your Instagram photos @siamesesocialclub or email them to kristen@siamesesocialclub.com. 

Just look at our magical new toy packaging

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Just when we thought our Magnetic Fishing Toy couldn't get any better, we partnered up with illustrator and designer, Sarah Connor of Aeolidia, to create the most amazing packaging we have ever seen (among cat toys, that is). This was the first time any of us had designed packaging before and it took A LOT of trial and error to find a simple, yet functional design. But all that hard work did pay off and in the end the box turned out exactly how we wanted it: unique, recyclable and covered in clever illustrations. And even better, we can produce all of our boxes in-house. That's right—we not only make our toys by hand in small batches, we now make our packaging by hand (and printer), too! How's that for handmade?

On being a more sustainable cat person

As someone who loves my cats as much as I respect the Earth, I often find it difficult to reconcile the fact that my cats produce so much waste. Between the bags of poop and litter, to empty food cans and chewed up toys, it seems like I’m always throwing something of theirs away. But with a bit of effort, I have made some changes that have helped reduce their waste and thereby reducing their eco footprint. Here are a few of those things. 

Reduce. When my cats were kittens, I went crazy buying all the beds, toys and random cat things I could find. But several cat years and many broken products later, I realized that cheap things are not designed to last long. So, I started to become a more educated consumer, paying attention to materials and seeking out quality products designed to last, essentially eco-friendly pet products. By doing so, I reduced the amount of cheap, broken and worn out items that would have ended up in the landfill. As a bonus, the cats and I end up having really nice things.

 Recycled cardboard scratching mat in a handmade wooden frame

Recycled cardboard scratching mat in a handmade wooden frame

Reuse. No matter how hard I try to minimize packaging by buying in bulk and ordering online less often, there are two things that I always end up with an abundance of: plastic bags and cardboard. So instead of immediately tossing them (or recycling the cardboard), I reuse them both. You know those bags you get from the produce section? They happen to be the perfect size for collecting cat poop and clumping litter, so I stuff all those bags into a handmade dispenser near the litter boxes. And used cardboard boxes make the perfect DIY scratching mat. Once it is worn out, I stick it in the recycling bin and build the cats a new one.

Recycle. After both of my cats developed their own special digestive disorders that require their own special diets, I started going through lots of canned food. And even as a San Franciscan who recycles or composts everything by default, it honestly took me a while to realize that all those cat food cans I had been throwing away were actually recyclable. Turns out, I’m not the only one. Since most cat food cans are aluminum or steel, they are both entirely recyclable. Now I just give the empty cans a quick rinse and throw them in the recycling bin. While I wish I didn’t have the cans to get rid of in the first place, I feel much better that it is not ending up in the landfill.

 DIY plastic poop bag dispenser

DIY plastic poop bag dispenser

 Still searching for sustainably sourced Bonito flakes (Bollini's favorite)

Still searching for sustainably sourced Bonito flakes (Bollini's favorite)

Choose sustainable food. Cats are carnivores so they need to eat meat. A LOT of meat. Because of this, it only makes sense to find sustainable sourced meat and food. I do a good deal of research on the food that I consume myself (not quite like this Portlandia episode, but close), so why not look for equally sustainable food for my cats? Fortunately, there are plenty of other eco conscious pet owners who are looking for the same quality food and there is a growing number of sustainably sourced pet food brands to meet their demands. After all, the only decisions my cats make is where and when to sleep—it is ultimately up to me to make choices that benefit both my cats and our environment.

What are some things you are already doing to be a sustainable cat person?

The Intertidal Collection: Pet beds inspired by the sea

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Originally inspired by all things nautical, our coiled rope bed has finally been joined by equally seaworthy covers. Our newest Intertidal Collection is made of yarn-dyed linen blend fabric, with a soft feel and rustic texture. Available in four shades that evoke the seaside: shell, sand, oyster and slate. Now available in our shop.

 Photography by  Kayleigh Kosmas

Photography by Kayleigh Kosmas