After months of research, prototyping, tweaking and testing, I'm extremely excited to finally be ready to introduce Hooby Groovy's latest design: The Hooby Groovy Kitten Carrier! I'd like to give a little back story and context to the history of this design. It all started with rescuing 2 little kittens who eventually came to be known as Rongkus Sumcrust and Sergio Rasputin. We were sharing the foster care of both kittens across 2 households and we knew that eventually when they were old enough, they would be separated and we would keep one while the other would be with my brother-in-law and his fiancee. Rongkus now lives with us and visits his brother Sergio all the time. My brother-in-law lives close to my workshop so we've been able to have play-dates almost daily and the kittens love playing together.
Rongkus and Sergio 3 days after rescue. They've really grown since then!
When they were wee little kittens, a big cardboard box was sufficient for car rides but they very quickly outgrew those and I was wary of driving by myself with kittens jumping around in the car. I started researching carriers and kitten behaviours when it came to car rides and carriers. One advice that was mentioned a lot was to leave the carrier out for a couple of days before a road trip so the kitten could familiarise itself with the carrier so it wouldn't be such a scary shock to be locked up in the carrier while dealing with a moving car. I looked around for carriers and could not find any that I would feel happy leaving out in our home every single day. They all looked, well like mean, evil cages!
That became my main motivation for creating a kitten carrier for Rongkus and Sergio. I wanted to have it comfy and cosy so that a kitten would actually want to be in it and probably use it as their regular bed or house. Meaning that when it came to travel time, they would be essentially travelling in their comfy bed and feel safe, familiar and secure. Which meant that I wanted the carrier to look pretty enough to blend into the home decor and not be an eyesore. And of course it had to function well as a kitten carrier.
I went through about 5 iterations of this design before finally getting all the details right. As it needed to house a kitten who might be upset, hyperactive or a damn good escape artist, there were many tweaks that had to be done. I saw that our kittens liked caves and boxes and cosy hidey holes. So the carrier had to be cosy and a little cave-like so they could feel like they would hide inside. At the same time, they were curious about everything and did not like to be fully shut up. So from the start, my design incorporated the small cat-shaped windows. As I began to learn just how good kittens are at getting through holes, the sizes of these windows got smaller until I realised that there might as well not be windows at all because they could get through ANYTHING! So the bigger windows made a comeback and I utilised fly screen to keep them in while still giving them a view of the outside world.
My first iteration had a cardboard reinforcement for the walls. Even with our tiny, tiny kittens at that time, as soon as they got the courage to try jumping on the carrier, it was all over for the carrier! So I upgraded to a proper wooden frame. And so it was with each new iteration, the carrier would be tested with Rongkus or Sergio and little refinements and improvements tweaked to make the design better for the kitten, the owner and also for me to construct. Construction methods had to be figured out as each little change was made and as it was new territory for me, it was all trial and error. I have learnt so much about carpentry and I learnt even more than ever about the felt that I already work extensively with.
I'm really happy to report that Rongkus and Sergio both love their Hooby Groovy Kitten Carriers. Car rides are a breeze, Rongkus feels comfy and safe and usually takes a peaceful nap in his carrier, even when I have the flap door open. And best of all, he even loves using it as one of his many beds while at home.
The Hooby Groovy Kitten Carrier is now available online at www.hoobygroovy.com and Hooby Groovy's Etsy Shop, don't forget to let me know what your kitten's name is so I can embroider its name onto the personalised tag.
Hope you like my Hooby Groovy Kitten Carrier design, let me know what you think in the comments below! And as always, have a lovely day! :)