The auction drew quite a bit of negative reaction, with some calling the purse sick, disgusting and morally wrong. Third stood by her work, saying that she ends up using a lot of dead cats in her creations because New Zealand is aggressive in eradicating feral cats due to their threat to the country’s endangered bird population. Third only uses animals that are already dead in her pieces.
In spite of the controversy, the purse eventually sold at auction for approximately $400. Third left a parting message on the auction page: “Tom has made us laugh he has made us cry off to a new home to make a new owner happy! To our admirers with no money good luck! To our haters, taxidermy ain’t about money!”