Giant Knitting Cat Baskets here soon!

The new yarn is on the needles, and the cat basket is in progress…

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Wow this yarn is even better than I expected.  It’s bigger and thicker than the yarn I used for the original baskets.  And it knits up fine using the needles I already have.  So I don’t have to order a load more knitting needles to be custom-made in bigger sizes.

I have amended my pattern slightly to accommodate the thicker yarn.  I was a bit worried that I hadn’t maintained an even thickness and twist on all of it.  After all, the wet felting was a bit of an experiment.  But working the yarn, it doesn’t seem to matter.  There is enough twist and felting to give it a bit of structure.  In fact, I think it performs even better than the old yarn.

 

It’s easier to get a flatter base.

It’s softer, less like rope.  More like a big, squishy soft strand.

It’s got that characteristic, fleecy scent.

The stitches are massive, with loads more visual impact.

And….the cats love it.

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It’s not finished yet, Monty.

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Cats…in boxes

Yes indeed, cats have been known to like boxes.  Empty or with stuff in, they don’t mind. In them or on them, it’s all good.

Check out this Amazon Prime delivery.  Just the right size for Larry.  Literally had just opened it and took the stuff out.

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Herbert dived in before we even removed the paper.

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And Monty likes to be up high. Yes he has a slightly odd summer haircut, but he’s still rocking this box.

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Eagle-eyed readers will notice that this post has nothing to do with knitting….again.

Till next time,

L x

Lions, and my lion

I spent the day in London last week on a round of appointments and found time to gaze adoringly at the magnificent lion statues in Trafalgar Square.

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The four lions, completed in 1867, are, interestingly, not identical, differing in the manes and head poses.  The artist is Sir Edwin Landseer, who was celebrated for his life-like paintings of horses and dogs. He managed to give personality to each of his subjects.  Here’s a Landseer painting:

The Duke of Devonshire and Lady Constance Grosvenor, by Landseer

The Duke of Devonshire and Lady Constance Grosvenor, by Landseer

I have to say he is one of my favourite artists. If you can, check out some of his dog portraits. They are amazing.

But back to the lions.  Here’s another view of one of the statues. Isn’t it incredible?

A Landseer lion

A Landseer lion

And here’s Monty, my own lion, doing a fair impression.

Monty in his tree

Monty in his tree

Ha!

Till next time,

L x

 

Sold the last cat basket!

The very last cat basket I have is a size Small which I made a while ago and sent as a sample to Anthropologie.  They didn’t go ahead in the end, which was just as well, since the wool has been permanently discontinued. So they sent the sample back to me and it’s my very last one.

Then today my boss announced she has just reserved a new kitten in the local rescue centre – a ginger and white cutie – to keep her older cat company. Could she buy a cat basket for him? A pleasure that my last wool basket is going to a home where I can see it again! The kitten is going to be called Jimmy – how adorable is that?

In case my own cats are disappointed, I’m sure I could pull together some scraps and offcuts, maybe undo a couple of smaller prototypes, to fashion the very very last ever basket to keep them happy too.

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Herbie would appreciate it.

Till next time,

L x

Cat Tree is a Hit

I just got this new cat tree for Herbert.

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It’s less of a cat tree, and more of a cat barrel.  I wanted it to have a small footprint and not be a hideous monstrosity, so it fitted the bill.

There is a comfy bed on top and three dens inside. The bottom two dens connect, and the top den is self-contained. There is even a fluffy mouse on a piece of elastic suspended inside, for hours of fun.

 

Monty and Larry, checking it out

Monty and Larry, checking it out

Trouble is, this cat tower is standard cat-sized. Not Maine Coon-sized. They fit on top OK, because they fold up really small. But they can’t get their great backsides and tails inside.

 

Hey, I don't fit!

Hey, I don’t fit!

Still, it’s useful for storing toys and pulling bits of string through.  And it’s covered in sisal so they can give it a good scratch, instead of the bookcase.

The reason I got it for Herbert is that he hasn’t really got a perch to call his own in the kitchen. Larry has the laundry basket, where he has his special cushion. Monty has the top of the bookshelf, where he likes to look down on us. And now Herb has his own cat tower. I really hope it will help to build up his confidence and stop him over-grooming.

Zzzzzz

Zzzzzz

Till next time,

L x

 

 

Raw Food Swap

I have a temporary job at the moment doing some admin for the NHS.  The people there are lovely and we soon got talking, and soon enough I mentioned my three Maine Coons. ‘Oh you must speak to Bev,’ they said,  ‘she’s got two amazing cats, can’t remember what breed, but they are spotty like leopards’.  Wow, I thought, they must be Bengals.

Sure enough, when Bev appeared we started talking cat.  She was soon showing me pictures of her two stunning Bengals. Then I said ‘I raw feed my cats’ and she said ‘I do too!’

Bev said she had never met anyone else who raw feeds their cats. We explained to the others the basics of raw feeding and why we do it. Everyone was fascinated. It was a great opportunity to spread the word.

I get most of my cats’ food from a great supplier in Sheffield called Better4Pets. Bev lives out of town and buys selections of meat in the appropriate ratios from local suppliers, and chops it all up herself. Her cats are quite fussy and sometimes refuse what they happily ate a week ago. Typical eh? The upshot of this is that she has a freezer full of Natural Instinct Wild Game Bird which her cats won’t eat. Well, I said, I might  be able to take it off your hands.

Next day, Bev brought me a tub of said Wild Game Bird, and I brought her a pig’s heart in return. Our co-workers were terribly amused by this.

Natural Instinct packaging

Natural Instinct packaging

I have never tried Natural Instinct, although I have heard of it.  This is only because there is no stockist near me, and it’s quite expensive to purchase via mail order. So I was very interested in trying it out on my cats.

It really is top of the range stuff. Just look at the packaging.

Special reusable box

Special reusable box

Great info on the wrapper

Great info on the wrapper

The food is very finely minced, so the texture is quite soft and mushy. So you would need to look after your cat’s teeth in some way if you fed this regularly. However, they have taken all the worry out of raw feeding because they have balanced the food and guarantee the correct ratios. The price to be paid for this is – it’s really expensive. The tub shown is 500g, and it costs £2.25 (you buy it in a pack of 2 for £4.50).  I buy a similar mince from Better4Pets called ‘Mixed Game’. It is not guaranteed balanced, but it does contain some bone and offal. It’s £0.95 for 454g (1 lb) – roughly half the price. The supplier to Better4pets is Manifold Valley Meats, who are based in Leek, Staffordshire.

Well, two out of my three cats loved the Natural Instinct. That was good enough for me to go ahead. Bev asked me to buy some food from Better4Pets to try on her cats. I brought her some Rabbit and Turkey, Mixed Game, and Venison Trimmings. We held our breath to see if her little darlings would go for it. It would save her a fortune if they did. But no! Fussy little noses were turned up, gah!

Still, I took the freezerful of Natural Instinct off her hands. She only charged me £1 a tub. Herbie still won’t touch it but the other two are polishing it off. And I have a nice stack of re-usable tubs in the cupboard.

Till next time,

L x

Merlin Loves his Cave!

Looks like Merlin got his Christmas present early!

Cat Cave Merlin

 

“Just opened up Merlin’s parcel and he wont get out !! He loves it 🙂
He only got out of his cave to eat and then snuggled up in it again :-):-)
Honestly, thank you so much for making them for me…you have made us all so happy x”

Cat Cave Merlin 2

It’s wonderful to have such happy customers.  Many thanks to Merlin’s mum for sending these great pictures.

Merlin is a Birman – and doesn’t he make a stunning model for the Cat Cave.  My cats are too big for it. Monty once tried to coil himself snake-like in the Cat Cave, but only managed to roll himself upside-down and out again! How I wish I had that on film, it was priceless.

All for now,

L x