Lynn Marie Newman in the living room of her New Waterford home with one of her nine rescue cats Cheezie. Newman’s love of cats has not only resulted in this entire room only including cat related items, but every room in her house, which has turned it into a cat museum that’s immaculate, without a spot of dust anywhere, only a shine.
A bedroom in Lynn Marie Newman’s New Waterford home includes upwards of 1,000 Hello Kitty dolls, plush toys and ornaments, as well as thousands of other items from purses to socks, pajamas, all cat oriented.
The kitchen is entirely cat themed right down to the rolling pin and 40 cookie jars, as well as everything in the cupboards, from dishes to mugs. It’s impossible to find anything not cat related in Lynn Marie Newman’s home.
The dining room continues the cat only theme that’s found in every room of her house, items she has collected over 56 years and received as gifts. Lynn Marie Newman said if she receives something not cat related she’ll re-gift it.
The main bathroom is done in a Hello Kitty theme and everything is cat related right down to her toothpaste, toothbrushes, towels and even the makeup.
The second bathroom in Lynn Marie Newman’s New Waterford home even includes a cat that peddles a bike when the toilet paper is pulled.
A section of Lynn Marie Newman’s huge family room that continues the entire house theme of wall-to-wall cats.
A bedroom devoted to whichever of Newman’s nine rescue cats wish to sleep there which include Boo (on top) and Sushette. In the cat decorated room there is even a television to keep the cats company and cat videos.
Rescue cat Cheezie posing with some of Lynn Marie Newman’s 50 pairs of footwear that are cat oriented. Newman said she only wears clothing and shoes that have cats on them.
A section of cat themed picture frames in the family room. As Lynn Marie Newman runs out of room for her cat ornaments, she adds more cabinets and shelves.
Lynn Marie Newman poses with her car adorned with a cat decal on the hood and the words ‘Crazy cat lady’ on her gas tank cover.
What started as a love of cats 56 years ago has evolved into a cat museum that has to be toured to believe.
Lynn Marie Newman’s New Waterford home raises feline love to a whole new cat-egory.
”When you walk into my house you can’t see any walls,” she said. “Everything in my home is cats from top to bottom, from ceiling to floor.
"Everything. The whole house.”
Each room is not only cat themed but every item in each room is cat-related, down to the rolling pin in the kitchen to the toilet paper in the bathroom. Newman collects anything with even a cat on it and has every unique item imaginable, from a cat-decorated condom to tarot cards for cats.
“I don’t know what would be out there that I don’t have,” she said. “If anyone knows of anything, though, please let me know and I’ll get it.”
Newman’s kitchen starts with a fridge full of cat magnets, but the entire room features everything "cat", from cookie jars, to tea pots and shelves of ornaments. Even the mugs, glasses, oven mitts and paper towels depict cats.
If something in her house isn’t cat-themed, it's a leopard print, such as her chaise lounge in the living room. Cabinets and shelves line the main room with cat ornament treasures and cat-themed stools and pillows.
The dining room continues the floor to ceiling cat theme and includes everything from cat-shaped wine bottles, candlestick holders, music boxes, to a shelf full of more than 30 chocolate Easter treats — all cats, of course. There is a drawer full of cat playing cards and all board games follow suit, including Cat-opoly and a cat bingo game.
There are at least 12 phones in the house including one in the dining room that meows when it rings. When a person calls the voice mail asks the caller to leave a message "after the meow."
One bedroom is done entirely in a Hello Kitty theme — based on the popular fictional cat cartoon character — and is a sea of pink from plush toys to mats, guitars, lamps, curtains, bedding and even makeup.
“Everything is cat, even my mascara,” Newman said.
Several hundred cat-themed purses hang behind the door of the room and even the cords for the ceiling fan are cat-oriented.
The closet is filled with hundreds of pairs of pyjamas and the Hello Kitty dresser with thousands of pairs of socks, all adorned with cats.
A second bedroom has been transformed for some of her nine rescue felines. complete with a wooden bed with built-in steps and all kinds of incorporated cap napping spots. The walls are decorated with cat pictures and the floor is filled with extra-comfy beds, toys and there’s even a television — turned on for the cats daily — and cat videos.
“Even all the cat toys are cats too,” she said, laughing.
One thing that also stands out when walking through the house is how immaculate it is. Despite the thousands of cat items filling every room, there's not a hint of dust anywhere.
“Having cats, cleanliness is very important to me,” she said.
The cat theme grabs your attention in the main bathroom, but the surprise is seeing everything from the toothbrush to cat-related toothpaste. Not surprisingly, even the bars of soap are shaped like cats.
Cat statues line the stairs to the lower level and a huge family room is wall-to-wall cats, as is the case with a second bathroom that even has a cat peddling a bike when you pull on the toilet paper roll.
- 200 watches
- 50 clocks
- 20 cat shaped candles-
- 40 cookie jars
- 300 mugs
- 50 trinket boxes
- 2000 ornaments in living room alone
- 50 musical globes
- 50 blankets
- 250 towels, facecloths and tea towels
- 20 pieces of cat shaped soap
- 500 nail decals
- 10 mirrors
- 1,000 pairs of socks
- 50 pairs of footwear
- 100 pins
- More than 1,000 Hello Kitty stuffed toys, dolls and ornaments
HOW IT BEGAN
For Newman, this love affair with cats started when she was three years old and got a kitten.
“I think I was born loving cats,” she said. “I can’t even explain how much I love cats and I’ve been that way right through my entire life.”
Growing up, her mother recognized the great love of her life, so her clothes and even school supplies were cat-themed.
In 1978, Newman attended Cape Breton Business College and in 1981 went to Cape Breton University.
For a number of years, Newman worked in retail and up until four years ago at a small option home. Several years ago she became a full-time caregiver to her mother, now 102.
Throughout the years, Newman would treasure-hunt for cat items at her favourite stores and other outlets, including the Sydney flea market, Paws Mart and Aileen’s Pets Without Vets, SPCA Thrift Store, Value Village, Gala, the Salvation Army thrift stores in Sydney and North Sydney and Nora’s in Sydney Mines.
“I only wear cat things, including cat shoes, cat sneakers and cat pins,” she said.
Through the years, gifts from anyone who knew her well would always be cat-related.
Newman said someone could give her a gift worth a $1,000 and someone else a piece of gum with a cat wrapper on it and she’ll re-gift the $1,000 item and keep the gum wrapper.
“That’s the way I am,” she said. “Value doesn’t mean anything, (but) a cat does.”
Newman was married 30 years ago. Fortunately, husband Jim also loves cats.
“Jim would come in and say, 'Look what I found’ and I’d say, 'I’ve got two of them!'”
She doesn’t mind duplicates. When working at the former Curiosity Shop in New Waterford, a salesman came in one day with cat clocks with mouse pedants in five different colours.
“I bought one of every colour,” she said.
Newman has more than 200 cat watches, 30 clocks and all celebrity Katy Perry’s cat-shaped perfume bottles. There are more than 1,000 cat books and even the house fans are cat-shaped.
There are not even cat breaks at holidays — she simply enhances for the holiday in question with cat masks at Halloween and a Hello Kitty Christmas tree filled with cat ornaments.
Cat flags are even put up for every occasion including Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Easter.
There’s not a room in her house that isn't filled with her love of what one might consider man’s second-best friend. Not even the furnace room escapes, as it includes floor-to-ceiling cat puzzles hanging from the walls.
INDOORS AND OUT
Newman’s devotion is even carried with her daily, on the nine cat tattoos that she has on her body..
There are also no surprises when visitor look around her yard — Newman's love of cats doesn't stay behind closed doors. Her yard tells the tale, from her garden to her pool area and even the cat-faced sticker on the hood of her car.
No cat has anyone's tongue when you talk to the clerks in some of the stores where Newman treasure-hunts. Lee Hawrylak, a volunteer at Paws Mart in Whitney Pier, said Newman is in often and brings donations for the store. The store is run entirely by volunteers.
Hawrylak said most of the things Newman brings are homemade, with her husband making such items as plaques and welcome signs for the store to sell.
In the past, Newman has even brought in items like a chair for Paws Mart to sell tickets on, sometimes at Christmas and again in the summer.
“She’s been great,” Hawrylak said. “She’s a lovely lady.”
As well, Hawrylak says, Newman also purchases a lot of things from them and finds a lot of cat paraphernalia for people donate. The staff all know her well and sometimes when cat-related stuff comes in, they’ll put it aside for her.
“She does likewise for us. Lynn is great.“