Attention all you who like cats, stuff, and stuff on cats: the website "Stuff On My Cat" is up for sale.
Mario Garza, the website's creator, was 20 years old when he started the site. He is 24 years old now. Four years and 20,000 jpegs of felines later, he's decided that enough is enough. He wants to go to school. He wants to not have thousands of unopened cat photo emails in his mailbox waiting for his attention. He wants to pass on the website to someone who is truly, madly, deeply in love with cats.
And with the putting of stuff--hair curlers, or spaghetti, or bras, or beer cans, or plastic alligators--on top of them.
"I'm not exactly sure what we want for it yet," he says via phone from his home in Portland, Oregon. "We haven't thrown out any figures so far. I've never had to sell a site before. I've talked to a few website brokers who can appraise it." The problem is that website brokers can't account for Stuff On My Cat's other considerable assets: the rights to the 5,000 unpublished photos jamming his Inbox, the Stuff On My Cat books, the notepads, calendars, shirts, stationery, journals, stickers--the whole kit and kaboodle that encompasses the brand.
At its peak, circa fall of 2006, Stuff On My Cat.com was getting hundreds of thousands of hits a day. For a while, it was one of the top 100 blogs in the world. Depending on which website broker you plug the domain name into, the price tag for the site alone varies from $20,000 to $400,000. The two books published by Chronicle Books netted Garza $85,000 and $100,000 advances respectively.
"I was worried that people would revolt. I was terrified," he says of his decision to sell. "But the fans were cool. They're such a nice crowd."
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Garza has thus far received offers from companies affiliated with cats, from retired folks who are looking for a second career. From the very young, to the very old. From scientists, to businessmen, to cat fanatics plain and simple.
Of the handful of friends and family who help Garza run the site, he is the only one who actually owns a cat. "People assume I'm a super cat guy, but I'm not. There are people who are way more into it than me."
"By the end of next week we'll start talking with potential buyers," he says. But he is nowhere near picking an heir. "Our last ditch effort would be to put it up on Ebay. You know, start at zero. I'd be comfortable with that. I'm always happiest doing things my way." The search will continue through the summer.
(Email Mario at buysomc-at-gmail-dot-com if interested in purchasing.)