We love weird flyers. And while we’re sure we’re not alone in our appreciation for this very old-school, pre-internet means of reaching out to the masses, we’re betting that we’re counted amongst the brave few people who will really follow this one through. Last week while walking through Bed-Stuy, we happened upon this intriguing flyer. It almost passed for a sincere holistic medicine advert. Almost. Until we gave it a closer look and realized that, unlike holistic medicine, Cat Hair Pills seemed to be generating a great deal of interest– several contact tabs had already been peeled off. With this in mind, we couldn’t possibly ignore what the Cat Hair Pill people were offering.
We immediately emailed the Cat Hair dealers and impatiently awaited a response. We had so, so many questions. Was this a bizarre drug front? A creative way of ridding one’s apartment of excessive cat hair? (It appears they’re farming not one but two whole cats for said hair, after all.) Or does cat hair actually have medicinal properties when consumed in a highly concentrated form? More than likely, there’d be no reply at all. I mean, for real, who would go to the trouble of fighting back powerful gags to siphon something as disgusting as cat hair into a small gelatin capsule?
Hours later we received a response:
Hello and thank you for your interest in Cat Hair Pills. As you are a member of the press, we would be happy to provide you with a free sample of Cat A and Cat B. If you would like to pick up your samples, please reply with your preferred NYC pickup neighborhood. Please be advised that our next available pickup time is Thursday evening. If you would prefer to have your samples shipped, simply reply with your preferred mailing address and we will ship your samples tomorrow afternoon.
The benefits of Cat Hair Pills are many and mysterious but the contents of Cat Hair Pills are not. Cat Hair Pills are gelatin capsules filled with cat hair.
We are very pleased to answer any questions. Thanks again for your interest.
Ah, so if we were to believe our Cat Hair Pill friends, then what we actually have on our hands are indeed cat hair pills. We arranged a pickup time for Thursday and awaited further instruction.
It came in the form of a rather cheerful email:
9:30 is exactly right! To-day is a day for Cat Hair Pills indeed!
Your Cat Hair Pills are available for pickup tonight at One Last Shag, located at 348 Franklin Avenue.
Tell The bartender that earlier this evening, you accidentally left your EcoTools Naturally Beautiful Lash System in the bathroom. The box is about 2 by 5 inches in size and has false eyelashes visible though a clear panel in the packaging. The box is tied with a light vermilion cotton bow. Your Cat Hair Pills are inside this box.
Per the Code of the Cat Hair Pill, please do not share the contents of your eyelashes box with the bartenders of One Last Shag.
Rejoice, Cat Hair Pil-grim, it has arrived!
But at the last moment, Thursday presented some problems for cat hair acquisition. We were unable to make it to One Last Shag, let alone any bar at all. We swiftly apologized, hoping our coveted feline capsules hadn’t been scooped up by some hungry Shag-goer looking for a good time. Thankfully, the Cat Hair purveyors were all New Age about it:
Cat Hair Pil-grim, this is simply the path of your Cat Hair Pills. They will be waiting for you at the same location, but we advise that you pick them up as soon as possible. Cat Hair Pills are known to meander quickly.
If you are able, the distribution center is likely still open for pickups, but only you know the course of your Cat Hair Pills.”
Solid advice. Rather than rush the cat hair experience, we let it happen naturally. Finally, after engaging in Saturday brunch activities (yes, it’s a depraved institution of the bourgeoisie, but once in a while we’ve got to take some R&R away from plotting revolution) we were craving something more than just Bloody Marys. Suddenly the idea of gobbling some Cat Hair Pills popped into our head.
We strolled up to One Last Shag, only to find a lonely bartender busying himself with lime cutting and beer stocking. Could this be the Cat Hair Pill man himself? We followed the instructions given to us carefully, telling the bartender we’d forgotten our EcoTools Naturally Beautiful Lash System in the water closet on our last visit to One Last Shag.
The bartender narrowed his eyes at us, quickly spun around, and grabbed a box of faux lashes from behind the bar. “These are yours?” he laughed. “Yes, yes,” we replied. He looked at us quizzically and we couldn’t help ourselves, despite the Cat Hair Pill distributor’s warning, we told him the entire saga. Besides, we were suspicious of his role in all this. “Well, open the box,” he advised.
We cracked open the lash box to find a small instruction card inside indicating which pill capsule contained hair from Cat A (the lighter pill) and which one had Cat B’s hairs inside (the darker one). And to our horror, we found gelatin capsules inside that actually, for one hundred percent real, contained two varieties of cat hair. NASTY.
The bartender seemed just as stunned as we were. We had to ask, though: was he the mysterious Cat Hair Pill dealer? “No, I promise I’m not,” he replied. Well, did he have any idea who this person might be? No clue. We questioned him further, but he looked sincere in all of his answers, so we had no choice but to believe him.
“Well, are you going to take them?” he asked. We came close, weighing the pros and cons of embarking on a Cat Hair Pill trip. Unfortunately the risks, at that very moment at least, seemed greater than the potential hilarious results. Then we began discussing with the bartender what qualities would the ideal drug have.
We reasoned all the pleasure of heroin (without the potential addictiveness and needle probz), all the connective empathy of ecstasy (without the horrible next-day consequences of depression and humiliation), all the manic destructiveness and rompery of alcohol (sans the hangovers, calories, and liver damage), and the hallucinatory capacity of LSD (minus the potential for psychotic breaks and anxiety attacks). Then it came to us, could Cat Hair Pills be the holder of all of these magical qualities?
Well, just like the Cat Hair Pill dealer’s identity, we might never know.
Update: Untangling the Cat Hair Pill Enigma, a Q+A with the cat hair pill-ducers.