“Cattooist” Inking People to Save Unwanted Cats


I’ll confess, I have a thing for tattoos — especially when they’re cool cat tattoos.

It seems to me there’s a special connection between tattoo artists and cats, too. Maybe it’s the independent spirit and the reluctance to be “herded” into the standard birth-school-work-death cycle most of us endure. Maybe it’s the fact that cats are art in motion. Or maybe it’s both of these, or something else entirely.

In any case, some tattoo artists love cats so much that they’re willing to donate their skills to raise funds for their local cat rescue society. One such tattooist is Simone Walters, the owner of Sim1nk Tattoo Studio in Linconshire, England. She’s hosting “Tats for Cats” at her Boston studio next Monday: All proceeds from the tattoos she does that day will go to the Cats Protection League.

Walters was inspired to hold the event when a mom-cat and her three kittens were dumped in a basket in her yard. All the cats were underweight and had worms, and they probably wouldn’t have made it much longer if Walters hadn’t stepped in. She ended up adopting two of the kittens, and the others went to her local branch of the Cats Protection League.

She’s not the only tattooist who’s inking for cats. Events have been held at studios in the U.S. and Ireland as well. In fact, on November 5, a tattoo studio in Columbus, Ohio, will offer pawprint tattoos for $40 each, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Colony Cats, a local rescue organization.

“Cattoos” seem to be taking on more popularity as a result of impressively inked cat celebrities like Jackson Galaxy, host of the Animal Planet show My Cat from Hell, and Al Chernoff from Rescue Ink. Even the San Francisco SPCA staff has gotten into the inked-kitties fun with their Team Cattoo.

I’ve been planning my own cat tattoo, a design that will honor my beloved Sinad O’Kitty (1996-2006), for several years now, and I’m hoping to get myself inked within the next couple of months.

Of course, the choice to permanently decorate your skin is a very big deal. If you think you might want to get a tattoo of your favorite feline friend, you can test-drive the experience without worrying what it’s going to look like when you’re 80: Cattoo Design has just released a collection of temporary cat tattoos including tribal cat face and sitting cat designs, paw prints, and “Cat Mom” and “Cat Dad.” A removable cat tattoo could be a great part of your Halloween costume, too.

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