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3Neko Atsume I recently discovered the Neko Atsume game, and now I’m addicted. Originally created in Japanese by developer Yutaka
Takasaki for Hit-Point in 2014, the English version of
the game was released in late 2015 for iOS and Android.
The goal is to attract a variety of stray cats to your virtual
yard by purchasing food, toys, and furniture. You can watch
the cats in your yard, take photos of them (which can be
saved in a photo album), and receive gifts from them. When
the cats leave your garden, they’ll leave you gifts of either silver or gold fish,
which can be used to purchase new goodies — those can be simple objects like
a paper bag or a clay pot or something really snazzy like an art deco cat tree. The
cats might also leave mementos — I’m still a bit new to the game, but I’ve already
received a flowered collar, a jingle bell, and a shiny acorn.
So far, I have 31 of the 49 cats available. Each cat has a unique name and personality. For example, Sunny (who has visited me 25 times) is mischievous and enjoys
teaser toys and soccer balls. Then there’s Rascal, who has a “selfish” personality,
enjoys playing with a red rubber ball, and has only visited me once. Of the 49 cats,
17 are considered “rare” or “special” and will only appear if certain items are placed
in your yard.
It’s a fun, cute game, and I enjoy seeing who shows up in my yard every day. Now
I’m just trying to save up enough fish to buy the cats a yard expansion! — Annie
4Felted Cat Houses My eyes lit up the min- ute I saw these cool cat houses on a friend’s
Yuliya told me that she started
out doing graphic design, painting,
and art photography. On a trip to
Nepal eight years ago, she saw a
lot of felted items and immedi-
ately fell in love with the craft. “I
understood that wool is the per-
fect material to bring any idea to
life,” she said.
At first, she made smaller items
like felted slippers and toys. She’s
always loved making little houses
for her cats, so she gave this new
medium a try. And her cats loved it!
Once she figures out the details,
it takes her about three to four days
to make a house, then another few
days for everything to dry.
The houses cost about $180 to
$250, and she is always working on
new designs. And with three cats
of her own, it isn’t hard for her to
find feline models when she photographs the houses!
See more of her creations at
etsy.com/shop/FeltField — Annie
5Civil War Tails If only the American Civil War had just been one hissy cat fight instead
of the four-year-long
tragedy that claimed more than
600,000 lives. Yet at a new museum
exhibit in Gettysburg, Pennslvania —
the site of the war’s biggest battle,
cat lovers can stop for a more lighthearted look at this era, with some feline
fun added for a purrfect history lesson taught in miniatures.
When you first walk in to the Civil War Tails exhibit, you view a sea
of inch-tall, clay soldier figurines dressed up in the Union’s blue and the
Confederacy’s gray. But look closer at the little figurines gathered in intricate, topographic dioramas depicting war scenes, and you’ll see something
curious: The soldiers have tiny tails and pointy faces. Yes, the Billy Yanks
and Johnny Rebs are all cats!
Twin sisters Rebecca and Ruth Brown, Philadelphia natives, opened
the museum for Labor Day last year. Clay hobbyists and cat lovers
since childhood, they thought the cat dioramas would help kids and
playful cat lovers learn about history.
You can learn more about Civil War Tails at the Homestead Diorama
Museum, LLC at civilwartails.com. If you visit, say hello to Kitty, the resident brown tabby who wanders the museum. — Kellie B. Gormly