Matryoshka Kitties: From a Year Ago

painted wooden matryoshka kitties

Matryoshka Kitties (and one little piggie)

At a Ukrainian dance and marketplace event I attended today I saw these matryoshka dolls painted up like kitties (and one little piggie in the back)!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, these are the wooden dolls that open up and have other dolls inside, each one opening to reveal a smaller doll.

I didn’t have the chance to open one up and see how many kitties were inside—would it be seven by some coincidence?—and they were packing up after the performance when I got back to the table (I was also photographing the event). They are so nicely done, and are actually imported from a village in Ukraine by the business owner, a Ukrainian immigrant herself who also makes a few items. There were so many vendors there and I wanted everything I saw so I’m glad I didn’t manage to go shopping. When I get in touch with the woman again, I’m going to get the kitty in the back with the balalaika! Or, maybe the kitty in the front pulling petals off the daisy.

I did purchase a vinok, the flowered tiara-shaped headdress with colored satin ribbons hanging down the back. This new one matches a few of my flowered skirts that my other one doesn’t. The event was at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, so I put it on there and wore it home, and while my kitties were glad to see me, Mewsette, who greeted me at the window, looked at me when I came in, and looked at my vinok, then looked back at me. “I’m glad to see you, but can you take that thing off?” I wear hats all the time, I don’t see what the problem was, but I did eventually take it off.

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Matryoshka Kitties

painted wooden matryoshka kitties

Matryoshka Kitties (and one little piggie)

At a Ukrainian dance and marketplace event I attended today I saw these matryoshka dolls painted up like kitties (and one little piggie in the back)!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, these are the wooden dolls that open up and have other dolls inside, each one opening to reveal a smaller doll.

I didn’t have the chance to open one up and see how many kitties were inside—would it be seven by some coincidence?—and they were packing up after the performance when I got back to the table (I was also photographing the event). They are so nicely done, and are actually imported from a village in Ukraine by the business owner, a Ukrainian immigrant herself who also makes a few items. There were so many vendors there and I wanted everything I saw so I’m glad I didn’t manage to go shopping. When I get in touch with the woman again, I’m going to get the kitty in the back with the balalaika! Or, maybe the kitty in the front pulling petals off the daisy.

I did purchase a vinok, the flowered tiara-shaped headdress with colored satin ribbons hanging down the back. This new one matches a few of my flowered skirts that my other one doesn’t. The event was at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, so I put it on there and wore it home, and while my kitties were glad to see me, Mewsette, who greeted me at the window, looked at me when I came in, and looked at my vinok, then looked back at me. “I’m glad to see you, but can you take that thing off?” I wear hats all the time, I don’t see what the problem was, but I did eventually take it off.


A Little Levity

three cat figurines

Three Cat Figurines

A selection of figurines for decoration or to commemorate your cat, just a little different from the usual.

I spent the afternoon with Deb Chebatoris from Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation, photographing new urns and commemorative items and preparing a website update.

Deb truly has an extensive selection of urns from the recognizable marble cask and ceramic ginger jar styles to cloisonne, Kasmiri and composite vessels of all sorts and sculptures of cats and dogs of all styles and breeds. Photographing them is a pleasure.

Sometimes she finds vessels that are a little different, though, and these three figurines are definitely not something you’d expect as an urn. They aren’t large enough to hold all the cremains from nearly any animal, just a small amount as some people prefer to scatter and just keep a small amount near, or family members share the cremains of a pet they all loved. They may also simply be used as a decorative item to hold small objects like jewelry.

And a remembrance doesn’t need to be solemn and somber, especially if the one you’re remembering was silly. The white cat with its leg in the air reminds me of Namir. What really got me was what was carved inside the bottom of each of the urns: three birds, Sylvester, and a mouse, presumably a dead one since we see the bottoms of its feet.

inside cat figurines

A view inside.

I really liked the way the artist designed the figures, a little exaggerated here and there, but definitely feline characters.

We’ll be getting the rest of the urns and other commemorative items up in the next week or two, and that will include some lovely designs and other figured cachepots that I would enjoy looking at in my feline figure collection; you can check the Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation website now to see what’s there.