Monday, June 16, 2008

The Whole Cat & Caboodle

Do you have previous lives? I mean the kind that many of us who have been around for mumbledy-four years have…where you've had a different career, a different focus, and put your heart and soul into a venture for a while?

For me that was Cat & Caboodle. For once I was ahead of the game, but I should have waited a few years. What I did was start a business to sell handcrafted items for cat lovers. There were no imports, no manufactured pieces – everything was hand made by a skilled American artisan. I found people who made jewelry, pottery, fiber art, and stained glass (that last one was me.) Had I waited for the Internet, I could have set up a site, had great photographs of the pieces, and reached thousands of people.

But it was 1993 and I didn't wait. Instead I created a newsletter/catalog. I wrote the copy, used scissors and rubber cement to paste up a master, trundled to the local print shop, had the issues printed on recycled paper, got a bulk-mailing permit, addressed and bundled each issue, and schlepped them to the post office. Whew! It was fun and exhilarating…and not profitable.

So after a while, Cat & Caboodle wound down. But the dream persisted of going back to it one day. And so when I started collecting domain names (doesn't everyone own several dozen???), I also bought and as well as the .net versions of them both.

And that was it, until…

A few weeks ago I had a phone call from a delightful lady in Washington State. She had a question for me: was I interested in selling the Cat & Caboodle domain names? Hmmm. Had to think about that. I still love cats, still love fine handcrafts. But did I still want to make that a business? Honestly…yes, I would like to make it a business. But was there any chance of that happening? No. Now that I write full time, and have started a publishing company, there is exactly zero chance of me going back into handcrafts.

So yes, I would sell the domain name, and yes, we came to an agreement. In the process, I've met a new friend, and I see a name that I treasure put to good and loving use. Cat & Caboodle lives on as Cat and, The Cat Lover's Gift Shop. Take a look…if you love cats, she has something you won't be able to resist.

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