The folks over at Tuft + Paw saw my “Cats of University Heights” series and asked about my interest in some of their products and “to collaborate with you on a story. We have a talented team of cat behavior experts, designers, and engineers”. In looking over the outfit’s website, the understated designs of the feline furniture and accessories greatly appealed, but not the pricing, which I felt fell into a niche of well-to-do shoppers. Finally, on December 2nd, I seriously responded to founder Jackson Cunningham’s request (it has been a hectic autumn).
The $129, all-wool, Gatto Basket arrived this afternoon (my formal review, with tidbits about the company’s notorious beta tester, appears on BetaNews). Baskets are abundant inside our apartment. My wife loves them. As such, I unpacked the Gatto with great trepidation, wondering: “Why would any cat take to this?” We have so many others inside which our kitties can play, but for the most part neither does. A basket is a basket, right? Apparently, not. I plopped the thing onto the living room floor, and Cali settled inside quite nicely. Immediately, in fact, and she is finicky.
There is something about the weave that our Tortie loves to scratch (e.g. claw mark). The basket is flexible enough to partly close in around her when she jumps inside (sliding around the floor sometimes), while the low-cut shape encourages her to crouch down low for peek-a-boo or game of hide and seek. She is enamored with this Tuft + Paw creation like no other cat paraphernalia—perhaps other than the several Katris sets assembled beneath the living room windows. The basket measures 7 inches high by 18 inches wide and is designed for cats weighing less than 6.8 kilograms (15 pounds). Cali is about 4 kg (9 pounds).
The Gatto is surprisingly unassuming and tasteful—and could be home decor for your storables, as easily a hangout for meow-meows. But, honestly, seeing the item online I wouldn’t have been tempted to spend so much on something that a discarded Amazon cardboard box could replace—a misconception that Cali corrected. If the Tortie ever does tire of the basket (something I doubt), my wife already is planning other uses (Annie likes it, too).
I shot the Featured Image this evening using Google Pixel XL 3. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 326, 1/24 sec, 4.44mm; 9:42 p.m. PST. The companion is from Leica Q. Vitals: f/4, ISO 5000, 1/60 sec, 28mm; 9:50 p.m.
Editor’s Note: This post was largely rewritten, to add more details, on Dec. 17, 2018.