Featuring Uncle Herbert

Gratuitous post about Uncle Herbert.  It has taken us a while to fully appreciate his many qualities!  We were lucky enough to meet his mother, Lily, and he is just like her.  Sweetest boy ever.

IMG_1638       4f64dd66-8e4f-40ea-8f14-fef4c672aabf

IMG_1288      IMG_1332

IMG_1383

cropped-img_0727.jpg

DSC01142

Still haven’t done any knitting.

L x

Advertisements

Premium service, thank you

They love being outside at night time, the cats.  They’ve dozed all day in the heat, and they come alive in the cool of the evening.  Sometimes they refuse to come in at bedtime, and stay out on patrol all night.  Uncle Herbert howls outside the kitchen when he wants to come in.  Sometimes as early as 5am.  But last night the howling started a lot earlier than that…at 12.15 am!  Yes, I had been asleep for all of 40 minutes.

IMG_1383

Uncle Herbert

I went downstairs to the kitchen and opened the door.  Herbert was sitting on the path, but instead of darting inside, he just stared at me and howled again.

Animals are very intelligent and they do their best to communicate with us.  So what was he trying to tell me?  A shape appeared at the gate.  It was Monty!  Then I understood – Herbert did not want Monty to be left outside on his own.  He would not come in without Monty!

IMG_1386

Monty

Now, there are 2 routes into our garden when the gate is shut.  Over the low wall at the back, or over the high wall via the tree platforms at the front.  But Monty was sitting outside the gate, saying ‘Meeeh!’  Despite his considerable size, he sounds like a little mouse.  After 8 years, I still find it slightly surprising.

‘Meeeeh!’  he said again.  I have learned what this means, when he sits outside the gate.  It means ‘I would like Premium service, human.  I do not wish to navigate the wheelie bin, the high wall, and the tree platforms, in order to get into the garden, on this occasion, thank you’.

So, in pyjamas and bare feet, I went down the steps, opened the gate, picked up all 8kgs of Monty, and carried him into the house, with Uncle Herbert trotting after us.

And where was Larry, when all this was going on?  He was asleep in bed with the OH, being a good boy, for once.

IMG_1403

Larry

 

A bit of Monty Maintenance

Monty is a black smoke Maine Coon.  He has the appearance and attitude of an entitled aristocrat.  As long as I treat him in the manner to which he is accustomed, we get along just fine.  I feel strongly the privilege that Monty extends to me every day, by allowing me into his inner circle.

DSC01165 crop

Yes, you may look at me.

Occasionally we clash if I want something to happen which isn’t his idea.  The best way to deal with this, is to make him think it’s his idea in the first place.  Yes he is a cat, but he is 8kgs of toned muscle and sheer determination.

Monty’s long, silver-grey fur is prone to matting in springtime, when the excess winter coat needs to be brushed out.  If I am not clever enough to get around him, his belly fur and back trousers form solid lumps.  If not removed, they will tighten and become very uncomfortable for him.  So the race is on for me to get those lumps out before they get too bad, and to comb his fur like mad before more lumps can form.

Some years the lumpage is worse than others, and sometimes I have to give in and take him for a haircut, under sedation, at the vets.  They will shear him like a sheep and although he looks ridiculous afterwards, he is perfectly happy rocking his summer crew-cut, lump-free.

Well, we are not there yet.  There were lumps in his armpits which I managed to tease out, by taking advantage of a deep sleep and the window of opportunity it presented – about 5 minutes.

Much worse were the lumps in his back trousers.  This is a location to which access is strictly forbidden.  Even when fast asleep, Monty is alert to any rummaging in that area. He has sharp claws and he is very quick.  This is a cat who can catch a squirrel, for goodness sake.

But yesterday – a breakthrough.  Chilled out in his wool basket, drowsy with the heat, I approached with a small pair of scissors.  I was lucky with the angle and – snip!- one lump, then two.  Monty stirred, realised what I was doing, and joined in.  He reached down and removed lump number three himself.  Job done, and not a single scratch.

IMG_0860

Unbelievable!

I am now reasonably hoping to avoid the expensive haircut at the vets…fingers crossed!

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.

IMG_0145

Herbert dived in before we even removed the paper.

IMG_0135

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

IMG_0117

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

Till next time,

L x

Mad Cat Baskets are finally here!

Whew! It’s taken me long enough to finalise this design, but here it is.  Listed and live on Etsy and Not On The High Street.

I’ve even updated my profile to show them off.

Mad Cat Baskets in 5 funky colours

Mad Cat Baskets in 5 funky colours

After getting to grips with the quirks of t-shirt yarn, I’m really enjoying working with it. Many, many hours of working and reworking and unpicking and re-calculating have gone into these five cat beds. Because the yarn is totally unreliable – could be super-chunky, or just a bit chunky – each basket comes out a different size.

Yellow with pink n purple 2

But they will all comfortably accommodate a small or medium-sized cat.

And Herbie, at a push.

All tucked in!

All tucked in!

Till next time,

L x

Purple and yellow cat baskets

Some fab new colours have arrived from Hoooked Zpagetti.

New arrivals

New arrivals

So far I’ve made a purple basket

Herbie purple basket 1and a yellow one. But Herbie has chosen purple.

Herbie purple & yellow basketI love the bright colours and how the light makes the giant stitches pop out.

Herbie purple basket closeupMore colours coming soon – and a cat cave!

Till next time

L x

Knitting and Me are Back On

I knitted my cat basket in t-shirt yarn. It turned out much better than I expected.

photo 3

I have had this cone of t-shirt yarn on the shelf for more than 6 months.  I never thought it would work. T-shirt yarn is quite floppy, not stiff like the semi-felted wool I was using before. That’s why I thought it would never work as a basket – the sides have to stand up unsupported. But I was wrong. The sides stand up beautifully.

Until Larry came along and curled up on top of it.

Larry flattens the new basket

Larry flattens the new basket

It was good to get Larry’s seal of approval.  But I have to make an adjustment. The new yarn is thinner than the semi-felted wool, so the basket knits up smaller. Larry is using the entire basket as a pillow.

Time to make a bigger basket.  Here goes with the next size up. I’ve got just enough t-shirt yarn left to make the medium size. This works out a lot better for Larry.

Larry in the medium basket

Larry in the medium basket

The t-shirt yarn is delightfully easy to work with, maybe because of the generous stretch it has. Fortunately I can use the same set of doublepins I already have. Most exciting of all, t-shirt yarn is easily available in every colour under the sun. Wow, how exciting is that?

I went online and ordered a load of fabulous colours.

Knitting – me and you are back on!

Till next time,

L x