The two most frequent questions we’re asked is why “Orange Kat” and are we military veterans. Our name Orange Kat was chosen to memorialize our 16 year-old cat, Gizmo Joseph aka Jo Jo who left us in 2012 and to also honor our 2 orange kittens who adopted us later that year (King Aslan and Princess Jewel). We changed the spelling to “kat” to make the name fun which describes many of our products.
As for if we are veterans, no we are not. Both of Jo Jo’s grandpa’s are military veterans as are several of his cousins and uncles. We fell into making military themed products and our appreciation for what these wonderful individuals give deepens every day.
We have the opportunity to virtually meet online many great people who serve not only in the military, but for local police and fire departments along with other areas of the government. The vast majority of our interactions are online and the Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show we attended this past weekend is the only venue at which we get to meet veterans and their families in person. Seeing the pride of a person’s service in their and their family’s eyes is a truly beautiful and humbling experience. We met folks from both Denver and Arapahoe County’s Sheriffs Offices, firefighters from Loveland and service-people from nearly all of our country’s branches of military.
One family in particular really touched us. To give us the spelling of her nephew’s name, the aunt of Capt. Dustin Lukasiewicz, removed a memorial bracelet with his name from her wrist. She told us that Dustin’s helicopter went down in Nepal while rescuing others after an earthquake devastated the region earlier this year. After the show closed that evening, we found this article detailing the exemplary life Dustin led. Judy’s nephew is the very definition of a hero. His actions remind us of how fortunate we are to have such selfless, brave and willing people to serve our country and to know how this man affected the lives of others so far from home is amazing and inspiring. We hope you’ll take a moment this Veteran’s Day to read more about Dustin and say thank you to the courageous people who choose to serve.