The story of Go Cat Feather Toys
THE HOUSE THAT “BABY RUTH” BUILT
It all began with a unique wedding gift to Harriet from Richard in 1981, a pedigreed Abyssinian named “Baby Ruth”. This gift would bring them joy and many more kittens like her One of Ruth’s first born, “Almond Joy,” who was a stunning red Abyssinian, introduced Harriet to the world of Cat Shows. Almond Joy went on to become a Grand Champion and was awarded “Distinguished Merit” by the Cat Fanciers Association for producing five Grand Champions of her own. The seeds of Go Cat Feather Toys had been planted.
While at this time, (mid 80’s) there were very few interactive toy for cats on the market, Harriet began to make “feathers on a stick” for her own cats as well as for friends at cat shows. When vendors and local pet store owners started asking to buy these toys, it became obvious that Harriet and Richard would be launching a new career. (Richard owned Laundromats and Harriet worked for Corporate America.) Richard, Harriet, and son Will began making toys as fast as they could, developing new variations as they went along. It became apparent that they could not keep up with the demand and started recruiting friends and neighbors to help. About this time Harriet and Richard had an “Eureka” moment….they borrowed an idea that Fishermen had used for years; that a swivel and the right feathers would twirl under water! Harriet and Richard took it to the AIR and Da’ Bird was born. Son Will also took to the “air” by launching our first internet presence.
At a Columbus, Ohio Cat Show, Da Bird caught the attention of Steve Cantin, a local entrepreneur and film maker. With his enthusiasm and know-how he helped launch Go Cat onto the National scene. He helped create packaging, labels upc coding, and our wonderful Go Cat Logo. In addition he created the first musical video using ours and friends cats playing with our toys to the tune of “The Waltz of the Blue Danube Waltz”. The shooting and editing was brilliant and has entertained thousands since. See it on our Video Page! With those tools in hand Steve proceeded to sell the Go Cat line to pet store chains and participating in the Pet Industry Trade shows promoting Go Cat. Steve is still the National Sales Manager today.
Another important element in our expanding success was the addition of the Cuatt Family. Dianne, who began making “birds” about 20 years ago, has since built a house next to Harriet and Richard and brought her immediate family into the enterprise. Doug, her Husband, son Michael, and Daughter-in-law Brook all work at the home base to keep things running smoothly. Dianne has been our Chief of Operations for several years. Brook is the Office Manager while Doug and Mike supervise shipping and inventory.
To date we have sold over two million of “Da Bird” and bird refills throughout the US, as well Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia, and, yes, we’ve even exported to China. We now have more than 40 crafters throughout Mid Michigan insuring the quality of our handmade toys and it’s to their skill, productivity, and loyalty we owe the most.
Da Bird has received rave reviews from individuals, celebrities, in the press and, most of all, from you and your cats. A trip to YouTube will show many unsolicited reviews and wonderfully entertaining vignettes of cats and people having a ball.