It would cause no small measure of confusion when I stocked up on supplies, usually when my local Shoprite was having a sale on the cat bells.* After cleaning them out, the checkout clerks would be mystified by my bulk purchase without a coupon. One poor girl even said bravely, while clearly thinking that she was dealing with a lunatic, "Wow, you must have a lot of cats!"
"No," I replied automatically, without even thinking about how it would sound. "Actually, I don't have any."
That blew her out of the water even more than the crazy cat lady vibe I was giving off. She blinked a couple of times, but decided not to question me further, because at that point, she just didn't want to know. If I had explained that I cover them in wool from our own sheep farm and sell them as a specialty item at fiber festivals, her head may have exploded.
They have been my most popular item to date, so clearly cat owners like them, which is about 90% of the battle, being the ones with the cars and checkbooks and all.
Valentine has put my fears to rest.
She actively seeks them out in my workroom, climbing up to my latest hiding spot.
One of her very favorite toys is the felted wool cover from one of the catnip-stuffed balls. The little wiffle ball that used to be inside was surgically extracted and is MIA.
After taking yesterday's photo, I put the big jar of balls on the side table.
The camera could barely catch the thief making her escape, she moved so quickly.
Now my lost sleep can be attributed to her playing with the bell under our bed at 4 am, and not any worry about whether or not cats really do like them.
*I make two kinds of balls: one with a bell inside, and the other stuffed with catnip and sheep's fleece. The bells are more popular with people, but Valentine prefers the catnip one. As do I, even though they are slightly more labor-intensive to make, because of their non-noise making property.