Category Archives: Cats

The House of Mom – Part One

Still recovering from a very busy weekend. Awana needed a ride to the airport and I volunteered to drive into The Big City and drop her off. I took the Friday off work and made a long weekend of it, packing dog, cat and necessities into Awana’s van in case I needed to haul something back from The House of Mom (I’ve posted a bit about THoM on another blog.) Sadly, her flight left too early for us to make a day of it like we did last time.

Some of you may scoff at the idea of taking a cat on a road trip, but Revy did just fine. I was going to leave him behind, but Mom said, “Oh, just put him in his carrier, pack his litter box and bring him along.” Now, Mom has been reading my blogs – she knows Shredmaster is capable of some vile deeds and she has a large collection of glass, so I was sure this would be a disaster but she insisted  she would “have a little talk with him,” they would reach an understanding and all would be well. Having lived with Revy’s stubborn streak for awhile now I was not as confident, but it did provide an opportunity to visit Harley and let him see how big his tiny kitten had grown.

The visit with Harley turned into a major event when he invited his BFF, wife and small son over to see how kitty had grown. Revy seemed to remember the apartment and spent most of his time exploring, not really letting anyone pick him up and pet him. We had a nice visit and got back on the road.

Arriving at THoM, I unloaded the car and went to work, letting Mom and Revy sort out what would be allowed (perching in the windowsills and eating his food on the bathroom counter) and what would not (jumping onto the kitchen counters, dining table or knocking things off the buffet.) I had come to Hood River to help sort out Mom’s Round To-it room and get her organized so she could work in there.

It went much easier than I expected. When I arrived there were many, many boxes in the family room – she had emptied out the room for the most part so we could re-arrange the furniture. Turns out many of the boxes were filled with glass objects (more about that in another post) and they fit nicely onto a new shelf assembly I put together. Much of the rest was organizing and putting like with like. I was expecting a huge purge would be necessary and that I might be driving home with a van full of Cool Stuff – I’d seen how much was crammed into that room and didn’t see how it could all go back in – but that was not the case.

Dog, cat and I will be traveling back this weekend for Round Two and a quick stop at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival – I’ll be sure to take some pictures this time!

I did come back with some Cool Stuff, including a small knitting machine –

Fashion KnitterI had an ISM years ago that I traded for a rectangular shawl loom and I’ve been sorry about that exchange on and off for years. Of course I’m only borrowing this one for now (hi, Mom!)

Anyway. I’ve been interested in knitting up sock blanks and dyeing them for a few weeks now, but hand knitting them would be a waste of valuable time and buying them doesn’t seem all that economical considering I want to sell the blanks. Take a look at these –

Aren’t they wild? Each one is machine knit with a double strand of sock weight yarn. When you’re ready to knit, you start to unravel and knit two socks at the same time, toe up or cuff down and they will be virtually identical. You can use various techniques to create your own self-striping sock yarn, but I love this idea of having the blank look like art before you even start knitting. There’s even a group on Ravelry that discusses techniques.

I know! I don’t really need another obsession, but there you have it. Sock blanks and dyeing have been around for a few years, I’ve come late to the game, but I’m determined to try it out even if it’s only a passing interest.

Okay, I’m off to give the dentist all my money to get a tooth fixed and must cut this post short. More updates to follow…

First FO of 2014

While I was unable to stay up to see the ball drop, I did get up early (Thanks, Revy, for the 0530 wake-up call. Not.) and finish the binding on the newest Strings quilt. I laid it out on the couch, turned my back to get the camera and this happened:

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Crazy Helper Dog testing for comfort

I snapped the above picture and told Sabu to get down. As the words left my mouth, this happened:

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Who runs this show, anyway?

Sigh. The inmates are obviously running the asylum. No worries, though, the quilt hadn’t yet been washed and no harm was done.

After washing, all of the layers have settled nicely together and the quilt is surprisingly lofty and warm – I had expected the string blocks to weigh it down a bit, but it’s just wonderful and the perfect size for napping on the couch.

Now to go Stash diving to decide what the next Studio project will be. What fun!

(Almost) Still life with cat

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Notice the red spray bottle in the background. It’s filled with vinegar water and by the end of a typical evening the whole place smells like pickles because Revy WILL NOT BE DETERRED from jumping onto the counter and scratching at the screen door.

When my Sis and I were small, Mom covered a couple of small blankets with patchwork and they became our Favorite Blankies* and we have them still. Measuring about three feet on a side, they’re Just Right for a chilly morning on the couch or as a foot warmer at the end of the day.

My BIL has coveted Sis’ blankie since he’s known her, trying to steal it right off her when they cuddle on the couch. A couple of years ago I promised to make him his own blankie but it was an impossible task because the narc** would not let me sew anything for another man, even if he was family, and the project languished in my mental queue, radiating guilty rays every Christmas. Until now.

I asked Sis for some color inspiration and it turns out BIL is a San Diego Chargers fan. My TV doesn’t even get the pointy-ball game – I am clueless about jersey colors, but thought I could make these work. Oh, sure, she gave me some other options, but the quilt shop didn’t offer up any inspirational combos.

This is just a sneak peak on the off chance he stumbles across this blog. More pictures after the Christmas festivities.

* Some day soon I will peel back the layers on my blankie to reveal the original quilt at the bottom before repairing and re-covering it again.

** You might wonder at the occasional reference to the narc (narcissist) and why I include them in what is essentially a fiber arts blog. I do so because abusive men have shaped me into the strong, independent woman I am today and I never want to forget what years of oppression did to my self-esteem and consequently my crafty mojo. I tell my story to educate other women about domestic violence, to give them the hope that there IS a life outside of an abusive relationship, and to let them know that they are not alone. I can always be reached at sofialeo2013@gmail.com or by PM on Facebook – Sofia Leo.

Busy, busy, busy!

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Endorsement Kitty is ready for his close-up!

Although nothing much is happening here on the blog (what second OFFF post?!?) preparations are moving forward for a Craft Event next month. Details later.

At the request of the Knotty Knitters, I have finally re-knit and worked up the pattern for my very favorite cabled neck warmer. The pattern is available for free download on Ravelry. It’s still in rough, abbreviated form, but will soon be updated with charts and more comprehensive instructions. It was screaming to be released into the wild and I could do nothing but comply. There will be a matching hat and gauntlets in the near future, so stay tuned.

Tonight after the weekly get together at Knitty Gritty, Mr. Nosey, Crazy Helper Dog and I will be getting ready for the Great Soap Making Marathon of 2013. This entails fishing all of the equipment and ingredients out from under the kitchen sink, finding a place to stash them out of the way for a day or two while some sort of kitten-proof set-up is devised to house the curing bars.

The soap will then be made (after some recipe research – we never make the same batches from year to year) and set aside to cure for 4-6 weeks until it’s ready for use. The whole place will smell like a French bordello, but there’s nothing to be done about that. No pain, no gain.

It’s slightly more complicated than staging a war on three continents because Revy is Very Determined to have his way and his way is Into Everything. No matter what. Nothing will stop him. Laundry day is a nightmare and he has taken to hiding my (dirty) wool socks.

My new studio space is rumored to be available on November 1, so expect a Moving Day post and some pictures of the space once it’s all set up. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll post pics as soon as I can get in there to see the space in person. I am over the moon about finally having a place to let my creativity run rampant with no one to put a damper on it. Who knows what might happen?

All this as the leaves turn and fall and the weather gets cooler. The last week has been chilly but sunny every day after morning fog and I am loving it! The soft light is perfect for photos, but I have been inside the office during the short daylight hours, so you will have to wait for another day.

And with that, I must be off. Happy Knitting!

 

Updates

It seems I spend half the week recovering from the weekend, and I don’t even have a good party story to share! It’s hell getting old…

Lil’ Dude (aka Revy, aka LD) is growing like a weed and has been scheduled for his Procedure on Wednesday. Awana stayed with LD and Sabu yesterday while I attended VegFest in Portland with Roxy to hand out vegan dog biscuit samples.

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Paradise is a box full of newspaper!

Sabu was a perfect angel. Awana thinks she’s depressed…LD, on the other hand, managed to scratch Awana, spill litter and newspaper all over the floor and take out a curtain rod in his exuberant sideways-on-the-wall dashes fore and aft. All. day. long. Many, many thanks to Auntie Awana for taking on this challenge and coming out the victor!

Today has been quiet, all of us exhausted from yesterday and wanting nothing more than a nap. Even LD has been sacked out most of the day. I will lock him in the back room if he insists on being up all night.

Fibery news to follow…

Studio T’s New Resident

Meet Revy the RV cat:

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First glimpse of the little ping pong ball

Not a bit shy, the little girl (we had been told) came right up to be petted and played with. She appeared in the wee hours of the morning at my son’s apartment door, demanding to be let in and fed. Being his Mother’s son, he went out and bought supplies, fell in love and started calling her Revy after a character in an anime show he watches.

His apartment complex does not allow pets, so it was Mom to the rescue. The house has been very quiet the past two years, no feline paws kneading me in the middle of the night, no purring pillow warmer to lull me to sleep, no demands for food at unreasonable hours. Life had become, in a word, dull, but I was unwilling to go in search of a new kitty, waiting instead for the Universe to drop a worthy companion into my lap.

Awana, Sabu and I drove North to The Big City to pick up the new bundle of joy early Saturday morning. A was worried that Sabu would be too rowdy and rough for a kitten, but five minutes with Revy convinced me that she would be able to hold her own against Crazy Helper Dog.

The trip home was uneventful, Revy flopping around inside the carrier like a fish, playing with her tail, totally unconcerned about being confined for the better part of two hours.

Upon arriving home, Revy was let loose while Sabu was tied outside under her bushes until everyone could be fed and worn down with a bit of play. Revy proved to be the most self-assured, easy-going, confident kitten that I have ever met. There was no slinking around on her belly, cautiously sniffing every corner, jumping at the slightest sound moving-in routine that I have usually observed in a cat being moved to a new house that reeks of dog. It was a bit startling to say the least. She was immediately at home.

Even the first introduction to The Dog went well –

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“Neener-neener, I’m on the couch and you’re not allowed!”

It appeared that Revy had never seen a dog before, but her disdain was obvious. Sabu wanted to get up close and personal, but we were afraid of what she might do, so she was kept at arms length. Sabu knows the difference between Her Kitty and Other Cats and has never been violent towards Her Kitties, but ya never know, and caution seemed to be a good idea.

We needn’t have worried. Within minutes Revy was off the couch and playing with Sabu’s ball (SABU’S ball, much to Sabu’s amazement and consternation) and romping up within inches of the big dog. Okie-dokie then.

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“All balls are belong to ME!”

Sabu was released and they spent the remaining time before bedtime getting to know each other. Awana slept with kitty in the back room while I kept Sabu in the front with me, just in case there was an Incident that we were too slow to respond to. Revy showed absolutely no fear, or even trepidation, about her new, very large playmate, not even when Sabu snapped her teeth closed an inch from Revy’s face. Have no fear – it was Sabu’s way of continuing their game and she was smiling the whole time. Revy was unimpressed, but I was freaked out a bit until I saw it happen several more times. Sabu could easily bite little Revy in half, but she’s being very gentle.

Color me surprised when Awana said the next morning, “I’m not positive, but I don’t think this is a Girl Kitty. You should take a look…” Yep. Seems little Revy grew a pair overnight! Ahem.

Sunday was a whole new ball game, with Revy racing up to Sabu, throwing herhimself down and pawing at Sabu’s face (claws politely in, thankyouverymuch) and running away, Sabu in hot pursuit. This game is played strictly by Revy’s rules and it appears Sabu is willing to be trained. I confess that I’m just a little worried about what those two will get up to in future.

Thank goodness Revy slept Sunday night –

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He kept Awana up all night on Saturday exploring the room from floor to ceiling before crashing at dawn, curled up in Awana’s blankets

Revy is alone for the day in Towanda and god alone knows what he’s getting up to while we’re gone. Hopefully he hasn’t learned to start the stove today and burned the trailer down. Updates soon…