Sue Thygesen didn’t want any feelings of contempt in her family, especially when it comes to her fur-babies.
So when Maggie, a Great Pyrenees, got a cherished spot in the popular annual winery dogs calendar she only thought it was fair that Henry the Kraze Legz vineyard and winery cat had his own place to shine. The Cat’s Pajamas 2014 B.C. winery cat calendar was born.
“We got thinking about it and Henry is always hanging around the tasting room and greeting people just like our dog does. I have had pictures of him in our tasting room and comments about them. So we thought we should do a cat calendar because there is a lot of wineries that have cats. It was Henry’s turn,” said Thygesen.
Henry, who is about nine years old, got the front page treatment. He is perched on a post with wide eyes at the end of a long row of grapes at Kraze Legz vineyard in Kaleden.
“It’s funny because that picture I was out taking photos of the vineyard and it all happened perfectly. He ran up the post and sat down, then some birds flew over so he has kind of a goofy look on his face,” said Thygesen.
Henry was an SPCA shelter cat that was chosen to join the Thygesen family by Sue’s daughters. She knew he had a special quality about him and not just because he shared the same name as Sue’s father.
“He is quite popular with people that come in here and a lot of people now ask to see him. I used to train horses and Henry acted quite a bit like a dog so I wondered if I could train him to do some tricks. He will high-five, sit and roll over and people love to come in and see him,” said Thygesen.
There are 10 winery cats featured in the calendar. Partial proceeds are going to Critteraid, so one of their cats, Bella, is featured. During the making of the calendar, Bella found a loving home. Thygesen also put a call out for the public to submit their favourite photos of their cats and included them in a collage. The calendars have become a hot item at the wineries they are selling at.
“Now I have a bunch of other wineries say they want their cat included next time. I definitely think I will do another one. I have had people come all the way to our tasting room just to purchase one. Cat people are pretty dedicated and everyone seems to like it so I think it will become an annual thing,” said Thygesen.
Work on the 2015 version will start soon. Thygesen said she will be sending an email out to all the wineries soon and be asking for submissions on the Kraze Legz Facebook page and website. The 2014 calendar is selling at different wineries and tasting rooms around the Okanagan, some feed and tack stores and the Penticton and Wine Country Visitor Information Centre for $15.95.