Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pet projects

Except that I thought they were the female version of dogs, I don't think I had a particular interest in cats until I was 6 or so. That's when my dad took me to the farm of one of the milk producers who supplied his cheese business and let me pick out my first kitten.

She was a little yellow fluff ball I named Cookie. Sadly, Cookie didn't last long: she had a habit of crawling into the wheel well of the car and was run over by my dad as he and my mom pulled out of the driveway on their way to see the movie, "How the West Was Won." (I implore you: do not ask if Cookie crumbled.) Usually my mom would get onto her knees to make sure the cat wasn't in the way, but this was the night she was wearing her Schiaparelli silk stockings, which she didn't want to run. At no other time in my life has fashion trumped a pet, and the fur that clings to my clothes every day is proof.

Anyway, Cookie was the first in a long line of pet cats, many of whom met unfortunate ends. My feline fortune seemed to change when, a year after we married, my husband came home with Cocoa, the doyenne of the Adams clowder. Cocoa lived to be 21 and was the most beautiful black cat I've ever seen, although in her waning years she became a literal shadow of herself, rail thin and matted, but still bright-eyed. Her best friend, Penny, died soon after at age 19. We currently have a six pack, including youngsters Thor and Daisy, who are this blog's mascot.

Although I've yet to adopt a cat from Friends for Life in the Houston Heights, I'm a fan of the no-kill shelter for cats and dogs. They're always generous about letting me visit their cats and kittens, all of whom seem so happy and well cared-for. Their facility is clean and bright, their volunteers are warm and welcoming -- it's a happy place. Friend them on Facebook and you'll see.

You might remember that I used a lot of my scraps as filler for bird nesting boxes. Incredibly, I have a ton (well, several pounds) left and I'm going to use them to stuff cat beds for Friends for Life. (OK, this may not look like much, but the bag of scraps is quite heavy. A lot of the new scraps are from the No-Match Star quilt because in the unique construction process you cut off pairs of small triangles. I asked Jane Hardy Miller, the pattern designer, how to best use the leftover triangles. She told me it's ok to throw them away. I'm sure she meant, stuff a cat bed with them, you crazy woman.)

Although I have a lot of cat-themed fabric, I'm going for irony with the first bed and using a leftover from a commission I had last summer. A friend asked me to make quilts for her nieces, each based upon the individual girl's interests. Because one loves dogs, I couldn't resist buying this fabric, which I found online.

Cute, right? Watch dog. Puppy love. Dog gone. You get the motifs.

Unfortunately, it also has this one, which was not shown on the fabric shop previews.
Now, I was not about to be the one to have to explain this to a child -- oh, yes, it means the dog shops at all the best boutiques but be sure to never say anything about that at school because it's a secret -- so I had to do a lot of fussy-cutting to eliminate it.

Friends for Life has assured me that their cats can't read, so I think it will be ok.


  1. It must be a black cat thing. My husband and I adopted a kitten from Animal Welfare here in Adelaide SA and she went on to be the toughest kitty around. She lived to be 21 as well and wore out one dog and whipped a second one into shape as well. She was imaginatively named Sooty! She was pretty good at mind games but I'm pretty sure she couldn't read so I think the kitties won't be upset! Love the fabric!

  2. Sooty sounds like a great cat! Do you have pets now?