The Inlander's annual Gift Guide issue hits stands next Thursday, Dec. 12, giving readers just enough time (two weeks) to get out there and shop for all of our writers' creative and thoughtful suggestions.
However, to avoid being repetitive with my suggestions last year for "Gifts for Cats and their People," this year's issue includes a different mix — both serious and hilarious — of giftee "types." But hey, lucky me and lucky you — Cat Friday comes to the rescue to present some incredibly purr-fect gifts for the cool cat people, and actual felines, on your list. This week features a mix of gifts for humans; check back next week for my kitty gift suggestions.
KEYBOARD CAT TOY
If you didn't already know the original Keyboard Cat is an Inland Northwest original, stop reading this blog right meow. Just kidding — don't stop reading, let us enlighten you. The Internet sensation that many cat video authorities credit with starting it all really was from the Lilac City. Give your craziest cat friend a piece of local history with the animatronic Keyboard Cat plushie, an officially licensed KC collectible. With the press of a button they'll have their very own miniature of this Internet Cat icon. $34.99 at thinkgeek.com (as of today it's on sale for $13.99)
GRUMPY CAT PLUSHIE
Getting a stuffed animal designed in one's likeness seems to be the critical sign you've made it big on the Interwebs. Another famous feline who's had several variations of her frown-y mug recreated in polyester is indeed, Grumpy Cat. There are a couple different designs out there, but my personal favorite is the Gund brand version, which looks just as soft and cuddly as Grumpy — despite what her sour expression may indicate — would be in real life. $22 at nordstrom.com
KITTY MEASURING CUPS
For the cat lady or dude in your life who loves to cook and bake, and is ever-so-careful to make sure not a strand of fur ever gets into his or her delicious dishes, giving this adorable measuring cup set is sure to earn you some friend brownie points and maybe even some real homemade brownies. I've admired these cute cups since I first saw them, and for a cat lady who likes to cook, it's a gift that can't go wrong. $34.99 at modcloth.com
*Cat Lady Pro Tip: A basic search of the word "cat" on ModCloth's site, a chic indie designer store, brings up five whole pages of fantastic and gift worthy cat-themed goods.
LIL BUB'S LIL BOOK
My fellow cat friends and friends of cat lovers, I urge you to spend the weeks following Christmas and into the new year studying up on all things BUB, in preparation for the momentous occasion when our very own city is graced by her squonking, wide-eyed, tongue-lolling presence at the Spokane stop of the touring Internet Cat Video Film Festival. There's no better way to start than with the tiny, outer space-hailing feline's first published book, pictured here. If you can't wait until Christmas and want to gift yourself right meow, go to Auntie's Bookstore (402 W. Main Ave), where I was beyond excited to see it in store a few days ago. Otherwise, it's available online anywhere books are sold, including BUB's store, which, I must add, has lots of other gift ideas for the ultimate BUB fan.
CHOCOLATE & STEEL CAT JEWELRY
Since receiving it as a birthday gift almost a year ago, I rarely take off my sterling silver ring stamped with a tiny cat face, and neither will any other cat lady who receives a piece of handmade kitty jewelry by LA-based Chocolate and Steel. The earth-friendly pieces, made from reclaimed and recycled metals, come in many forms including stud earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces, and also feature more than just kitty faces (most of the designs are by whimsical artist Gemma Correll). These particular earrings match the ring I mentioned, but come in several other feline and non-feline designs, too. (Faithful readers out there may realize why this ring is so special to me, based the name of its design!) $26 and up, Chocolate and Steel Etsy shop.
ORIGINAL CATHOUSE APPAREL
Much to the dismay of lifelong cat fanatics, cat images in fashion are all the rage now, from cheap duds at stores like Forever21, to even the most high-end designers. Scroll through trendy apparel retailer websites, like H&M or Urban Outfitters, and cat fashion is everywhere. As cute as these brands' designs may be, don't fall for them, or at least have caution. Now that cat-themed fashion is a "trend," when you wear that cutesy F21 kitty tee you'll be lumped in with less-arduous cat people, aka the masses who probably don't love cats as much as you. Go for something more original and less mass-produced, like this cozy, kitschy "Members Only" kitten sweatshirt from the Portland-based apparel shop The Original Cat House, which rocks the tagline: "Fine purr-veyors of feline centric goods." $28, unisex sizes S-XL, Original Cat House Etsy shop