Updated: Apr 27, 2018
Heyyo! It's Chris from the most rockin' store there is!
I woke up today with the desire to paint you a word picture of my experience with these cats!
I went to my very first rock and mineral show in December 2017, right around New Years.
this show was in Quartzsite Arizona, a small town that looks like the outskirts of an even smaller town.
The first couple of days at the show flew by. A near insurmountable amount of work had fallen into my lap and filled my days with both wonder and increasing amounts of stress.
Our third day at the show, we decided to go see an old friend of Kasey's, a vendor by the name of Max we get good deals on malachite and chrysocolla from.
I was told this man came directly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country I have never visited or thought much about, so I had no expectations.
This guy turned out to be the chillest and wisest person I think I have ever met!
Max has a voice that Morgan Freeman would be jealous of. He seemed to talk exclusively about the realest life lessons.
We discussed marriage, family, life, kids, the whole shebang!
But after a while we had to get down to business. This man not only have more malachite and chrysocolla than anyone would know what to do with, he also had a huge selection of carved malachite animals! There were owls, bulls, lions, bears, whales, and lots of others. Obviously we couldn't take the whole table so it was decided that we would take just one kind of animal. There was one problem, every carving he had was amazing, How do you pick just one? It was decided that we take the cats, and for one reason only, it was the only animal I could think of a pun for.
These cats are made of malachite, so naturally we decided to call them mala-cats! (or mala-kittys). Alternatively, I also got a malachite frog for myself, because it was the only carved animal he had that was green in real life! But what I really wanted to talk about was the story behind buying one of these cats. One of the last conversations I had with Max was about his home, and where he gets his minerals from. It turns out Max owns his own copper mine! And essentially employs an entire town just to work it!
When it comes to the production of these mala-cats there's a ton of behind the scenes work, and Max is somewhat responsible for all of it! One person mines the mineral, another sorts through the chunks. One guy has to stabilize the more brittle chrysocolla and someone else polishes it. Then, someone has to carefully carve these cats, and max sells them. There's an entire system that surrounds these cats and provides work, money, and a livelihood to all those involved. And at the very top of it, carrying all of these people and their families on his back, is Max. This man has basically created his very own empire and takes care of those in it! I brushed the surface of it for a brief 45 minutes and I was a part of his mission and contributed to his cause.
All for one pun hah!