Not only do they want to set a world record, but they want to save as many cats in the process
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. -- A Wisconsin couple is trying to set the world record for owning the most cat figurines.
"This is all we do, this is, this museum has taken over my life," said Shawn Redner.
Shawn and his wife, Hilary Siegel-Redner, are attempting to set a Guinness World Record cat figurine collection and save as many cats in the process.
"They're sweet. They're loving. They're kind," Hilary said.
When the home was converted into Redner's Rescued Cat Figurine Museum in 2020, they had 4,000 items on display then.
Now, in July 2022, they remodeled their basement to fit 3,000 more unique items, with not a single duplicate.
They also have about 5,000 more collectables in storage, WTMJ reported.
Plus, they have eight living cats too.
"I gotta leave something of my life. Why not be in the Guinness Book of World Records," Shawn said.
Everything in the collection is either bought from second hand stores or donated. People have sent their collections from across the country to the museum.
"It's just a cat figurine museum on the surface, but when you get down to it, it's Anne's life, and Jan's life, and Barbara's life, and Sandra's life. This is all part of somebody's lives," Shawn said. "It's not just cat figurines. It's them essentially."
That's why they want to preserve and show off the collection.
They offer tours every third Sunday of the month. It's an open house, so no reservations required.
All the money is then donated to local shelters.
"My goal is to hopefully move all this into a coffee shop where we can have adoptable cats, so visitors can come have a cup of coffee [and] hopefully bring home a cat. And then the museum will be a separate entity to the coffee shop," Shawn envisioned.
And if you're allergic to cats, don't worry.
"I am constantly cleaning, but even on a daily basis you won't find cat hair everywhere," Hilary said.
They only started in 2018 and already have around 13,000 unique pieces. However, the record is 21,000 items. So they've got a ways to go but based on their current pace, it doesn't seem unreasonable that they'll set a new record.
The couple has raised around $2,000 for local shelters since the museum opened in august of 2020.