It’s owned by Andy Fyfe, 38, and his wife, Barbara, 31, although Andy told us there’s also input from Andy’s son from a previous marriage, Owen, who’s nearly 7, and “our Armour Cat in Training, Jenga, a mixed-breed Savannah cat”.
He told BuzzFeed: “The studio is based out of our home in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. We make all manner of masks, hats, costume pieces, and assorted oddities, with a specialisation in custom artsy leather armour for humans and felines alike.”
He said: “His ability far exceeds my own, but his pieces were designed more as sculptural standalone works, rather than something one could actually try to stuff a cat into.
“Inspired by his example, and as a novice armourer, I thought it would be a laugh and an excellent technical challenge to try making something that a cat could wear comfortably and move about unimpeded.”
Fyfe said they’d never intended to sell the armour: “It was just a bit of fun working with an unusually cooperative cat, and I posted some pictures on social media to share with friends. The pictures went viral almost instantly, to our total shock, and people started to track me down to ask how they could get cat armour of their own – I had to scramble to assemble additional sets a few weeks after the initial unveiling.”
They explain how they got their cat used to wearing the armour on their Etsy page, where they write: “Now she seems to genuinely enjoy wearing it – purring and actively modelling. I think she also appreciates the extra insulation the leather offers.”
“Humanity can rest at ease knowing that we are not yet under threat of a full-scale armoured cat uprising,” Fyfe said.
Is it condoning bad kitty behaviour? “The nice thing, ethically speaking, about making armour is that its use is purely defensive,” he said. “It can’t harm anyone unless they’re making a really determined effort to eat the creature wearing it. My conscience is clear.”