By Lisa Stringer
Sunday, 29 October 2006
Cat lovers have only a few more days to get their claws on great bargains at Cat Stuff, 5918 S. Lewis in Tulsa. The specialty shop is closing on Saturday, Nov. 4, and all merchandise is 60 percent off.
Owner Kelly Jones, who opened Cat Stuff on Nov. 6, 2003, called the past three years a wonderful experience and said the decision to close was a difficult one.
“I love the store so much – it was a dream-come-true. To me, life is about dreams and possibilities,” she said. “Now I’m going to move to a new chapter and live out new dreams.” Those dreams include traveling with her husband, Buddy. The couple plan to embark on a “European adventure” in the near future.
Cats may have nine lives, but Cat Stuff has used only one. For six months, Jones advertised to sell the store. “Many people were interested, but they either didn’t have the money or the time to devote to it,” she said. “But with Tulsa changing so much – with the river development and the new arena – maybe Cat Stuff was just ahead of its time.”
Tulsa does have a soft spot in its heart for cats and cat merchandise. She said she has not ruled out the possibility of another incarnation of Cat Stuff – perhaps in the form of home-based “cat”-alog parties – and Jones plans to keep in contact with many of her cat-crazed customers.
“I really want to thank my customers for all their support,” she said. “It was a special time, and I’m so glad they could share it with me.” She said Cat Stuff’s short three years in business have provided her with a lifetime of fond memories.
“For about a year, we held pet adoptions on Saturdays, where volunteers from the various rescue organizations would bring kitties and let them run around the store,” Jones said. “We helped find good homes for lots of homeless cats.”
She said one litter of feral kittens didn’t fare quite so well – the fursome foursome was ill-prepared for close encounters of any kind. “Being wild cats, they had never been around people before, and when we opened the cage, they darted out and scattered – and hid. We spent the rest of the afternoon looking for them,” she said.
Other Cat Stuff activities included in-store radio spots and a number of customer cat photo contests. “That was a lot of fun,” Jones said. “We got to see what our customers’ cats looked like, and they’d be so proud when they won.”
She said the store’s closing has saddened her customers, most of whom she knows by name – and whose own cat stories have touched her heart. “We touched so many lives, and they touched us,” she said. “We all have that common love for our kitties.”
Some of her customers have presented Jones with parting gifts. One young shopper, a 9-year-old girl who has purchased more than two dozen cat items from Cat Stuff, made Jones a purse made of cat-motif material. She enclosed a photo of her cat collection, including a picture of her newest cat –named “Kelly” in honor of Jones.
Jones said Cat Stuff’s mascot, a white furball named Lucky, is already enjoying his retirement in the company of his family’s other feline friends. The Joneses recently added a glassed-in patio room onto their house. “They think it’s great,” Jones said. “They feel like they’re almost outdoors – and they never want to come in.”
Whatever happens in the future, Jones’ philosophy will help her land on her feet – just like any good cat. “If you have a dream in your heart, live it – even if it’s only for three years, or three months,” she said. “Do it.”
Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 November 2006 )