Chris Von Ins' travels with Casper and The Cat’s Meow began in 1993 with her purchase of The Wagnalls Memorial Library in Lithopolis, Ohio. As a music teacher at the local elementary school, Chris orchestrated the Christmas and End Of Year music programs presented in the auditorium of the Memorial Library.
This is how it began, in Chris’ words, “One of the teachers [that worked with Chris] was a collector and showed me the list of customs. This was something I could get involved in…… purchasing pieces of places I had been.”
Chris had just been through a rough time, losing her father and mother within 14 months of each other. With this big hole in her heart, she decided to start buying Cat’s Meows. At least with the Cat’s Meows sitting around her home, Chris says, “I could look at a piece and remember a good time, a funny experience, or a memorable spot.”
When Chris took on the project of building a new home some time later, she didn’t consciously decide where to put her Cat’s Meows, it just happened naturally.
“So Ohio Cat’s Meows are in the kitchen on top of the cupboards, U.S. east of the Mississippi are above the doors in the hall and foyer, west of the Mississippi are upstairs and foreign ones are in my bedroom,” Chris explains. “Others are hidden in nooks and crannies all over the house.”
Chris ends by saying, “If you notice I have not said the word collector. That became a joke with my friends.” And we’re sure it has!
Chris also used our “Create Your Own” program to make a Cat’s Meow of the home she grew up in. It brings back many happy memories of her childhood and her parents. Chris says, "Although I am an only child, there was always family around. I can't think of a better life and was very sad when we sold the house. I look at the Cat's Meow replica of my "house" and remember silly times, sad times (animals dying), good times but lots of love all the time." That's the reason Cat's Meow re-creations have a huge following! The memories...
Do you have a story like Chris'? We’d love to hear about it! - Contact us HERE - You could be featured in our Cat’s Meows At Home stories, just like Chris.
**Some of Chris' collection are pieces that we've custom created for retail locations across the country. These pieces currently are (or have been) available through those stores, museums, non-profits, churches, schools, etc. You can search for a retailer online and then contact them directly. (We're sorry to report that currently we don't offer a listing of all the custom designs that might be available - but if you contact us with a location, we can provide you with a list of designs and where they are available.)