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Cat Craze Calendar
A cat calendar that raised $25,000 shows just how far this cat craze can go.

It all started with a sourpuss face. A friend of 31-year-old Kate Funk’s always made fun of her rescue cat AC for his crabby demeanor and called him a jerkface. “He just looks crabby and doesn’t really like anyone but me,” Funk says. (No, this is not a joke.)

So, for her friend’s birthday, she made a card featuring AC. At the time, Funk worked at Broadway Paper, and when the store got a look at the card, they asked her to make more. From there, the “weird joke” turned into a calendar. But not just any calendar. A themed calendar in which Funk dressed AC up in elaborate costumes.

The first year, they printed 75 copies of the calendar. The second year, 150. The third year, 300. The fourth year, 500. Last year, the 2013 calendar sold out of all 1,000 copies. For the sixth year, Funk and graphic design Brendan Groh started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $3,500 to produce 2,000 calendars and attend a stationery show in New York City.

They certainly exceeded that goal. More than 1,000 people contributed more than $25,000 to the project – surpassing the original goal by some 600 percent. Funk says they’ll end up printing closer to 3,000 calendars to account for the 1,200 that will be doled out as rewards for donations. After Kickstarter takes its cut and the team pays to ship all of those calendars, Funk doesn’t expect to have enough money to cover the cost of attending the show completely, but it will put “a pretty big dent in that,” she says.

As for the calendar, the theme this year is magical creatures. AC appears as a mercat (mermaid + cat, duh), a Pegasus and Kate’s favorite: a unicorn. If you weren’t one of the 1,119 people to contribute, you can pick up a copy on Kate’s Etsy page in late May or early June.

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POSTED 1/12/2015