People on Twitter in Japan going nuts over handcrafted, $1K backpack that looks just like a real cat

Business Insider US
The cat backpack that went viral. Courtesy of Miho Katsumi
The cat backpack that went viral. Courtesy of Miho Katsumi
  • A life-size cat backpack made of wool and felt is making waves on Twitter in Japan.
  • The bags are hand-sewn by Pico Miho, a Japanese housewife based in Fukui prefecture.
  • The backpacks sell for $1,000 a piece.
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In Japan, people on Twitter have been going nuts over a series of plush backpacks that look just like real-life cats. 

Crafted by Japanese housewife Miho Katsumi, who is based in Fukui prefecture, the hand-sewn bags feature cats with pink paw pads, huge gleaming eyes, and furry tails. Katsumi has made true-to-life replicas of Persian, Munchkin, and British Shorthair cats. The bags are usually made of faux fur, which Katsumi dyes herself, as per her official website

Making the bags is no easy feat. Katsumi told Insider it takes her one week to design each bag and one to three months to make it.

"It may take more time to achieve a satisfactory result," Katsumi added.

The cats are sewn piece by piece. A small pattern usually requires 22 hand-stitched pieces of fabric, while a larger model, such as the backpack, is made up of about 80 different pieces, Katsumi said.

On April 15, Katsumi posted four photos to Twitter of the cat bag posed outdoors. One of the photos featured the cat clutching a toy fish; another displayed the bag with its zipper open. "The weather was good today and I was able to shoot outside," Katsumi wrote. To date, the post has been retweeted more than 11,000 times.

The comments on the tweet lit up with people saying they thought the bag was a real cat, with many expressing their interests in buying a piece.

"Who else thought this was a real cat at first," Twitter user @emlynx commented.

But cat lovers keen to get their hands on Katsumi's creations will have to wait: She got so many orders last year that she's not accepting new orders until further notice.

"I am very happy to have many people praise the work. Right now, we are making the orders we recruited last year. Thank you for your understanding!" Miho wrote on Twitter on April 17.

To date, Katsumi has sold 70 of her creations. Each cat backpack retails for 140,000 Japanese yen ($1,074).

Katsumi proclaims herself a cat lover on the Yahoo! Auctions page where she sells her bags. Backpacks are not the only thing Katsumi makes: She's also made cat purses and mufflers. 

In Japan, cats are considered royalty, as per Nippon. In Japanese folklore, cats bring good luck and have protective powers.

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