What do you do when your farm cat dies of old age?
If you’re Andrew Lancaster, you skin it, stuff it, and sell it on Trade Me.
The Tauranga-based taxidermist has been selling cat- and possum-skin rugs, alongside mounted rabbits, magpies, weasels and ferrets, under the user name getstuffed1 for years.
His most recent listing includes a rug made out of his deceased farm cat – which he said he had found dead in an outbuilding – and five rabbit foetuses which have been preserved in a jar.
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Bidding on the cat-skin rug had reached $158 on Sunday morning, with two more days still to run.
The rabbit foetuses were proving less popular, with bids sitting at $30.
“Looking alien-like, these five unborn baby rabbits were found inside the mother which was recently taxidermied,” that listing said.
“Cool object for home, office, shop display. Looks great when lit up.”
Lancaster was also selling a possum-skin rug, a stuffed magpie and a stuffed rabbit.
The rabbit had “probably had a few fights over the years with one ear a bit ragged”, the listing said.
In 2013, Lancaster told Stuff he usually steered clear of stuffing cats and dogs.
“You get a lot of people who say they’re pets and should be left alone and not stuffed.”
He said he sometimes received “nasty” comments about his work, but everybody was entitled to their own opinion.
“Some people like taxidermy and some people hate it.”
Comments on the cat skin rug listing were mainly positive, with people saying the sale was no different from that of a cow hide rug.
“A cat is not somehow more valuable or sentient than a pig or a dog or a cow,” one said.
Another commenter said they did not understand how people could label Lancaster’s taxidermy ‘sick’ or ‘cruel’.
“Bet they all eat meat and wear leather and don’t even realise what that animal went through.”
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