There’s a house in Menomonee Falls that you can’t miss. It’s got large MEOW lettering across the front and it’s the home of Shawn Redner and Hilary Siegel-Redner, a couple with a cat collection like no other… at least that’s what they are hoping to achieve.
They travel all over the United States collecting cats including Ohio, South Carolina, Illinois, and of course, Wisconsin. Redner is the one who came up with the idea, he admits he is cat-obsessed, but Siegel-Redner was not completely on board.
“It’s unique. No one is going to have a house filled with cat stuff and different kinds of cat art on our walls and why not? And I know how much it meant to him. And so, I went along with it.” says Siegel-Redner.
Three years later their home is covered wall-to-wall with cats. Figurines, plates, pictures, and eight real cats of their own. Most of the cats come from second-hand stores, although some people have donated their entire collections in search of a place that will love them longer.
The house has turned into the Redner’s Rescued Cat Figurine Mewseum. Redner affirmed it is a museum, they just happen to sleep there, and Siegel-Redner agrees. On the third Sunday, they open up their ‘mewseum’ for tours. The tour starts upstairs and then progresses through the three bedrooms, kitchen, and downstairs.
Despite having cats covering every inch of their home, it’s not enough to get a spot on the Guinness Book of World Records.
The record is currently held by a woman in Guatemala with 21,300 unduplicated cat items. The Redners are about a quarter of the way there.
Furry friends and fragile figurines don’t always mix. That is why the ultimate goal is to move the figurines to a permanent location that includes a coffee shop where resident felines can be adopted. The museum will also be a way to raise money for cat rescues in the greater Milwaukee area. They want the museum to become a favorite destination for cat lovers. “If we can get the cafe and the Guinness Book of World Records and the museum all in one building, I will have the world’s greatest cat figurine museum,” says Redner.