Not much quilting, just kitty nursing

Patches, in happier daysToday was one of those days where I despair of getting anything done at all. Poor Patches had to spend part of the morning at the veterinarian’s office for an exploratory teeth cleaning. The vet decided to remove two of this teeth, and when I picked him up he wasn’t doing too well. I spent the day either driving back and forth to the vet (three hours total, in two chunks), or keeping cats separated.

Shadow is still young enough that when I brought Patches home all groggy from the vet, I thought it would be best to keep them apart, since the last thing Patches needed was to have Shadow jumping all over him. Patches seems to be feeling better now, though he’s starving and I can’t feed him yet because of his teeth. And other than that, he hates me because I’m the bad mommy who stuck him in the cage and took him to the bad place that made him hurt. I hate it when I have to be the bad mommy.

Now the vet is recommending a special prescription diet for him because it’s official: he’s obese. Yeah, so he weighs 18+ pounds, but he’s just a big cat. Or so I keep telling myself, and anyone else who inquires as to his fitness level. When he came to live here, we think he was 8-9 months old, and he weighed 12 pounds, which was already pretty big. Neutering and an indoor life have taken it’s toll on his girlish figure, leaving him a bit, shall we say, portly? Good thing he’s not much of a lap cat.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to make him skinny. I’ve been buying Science Diet Adult Light for years, to little or no effect. He never gets table scraps, and he always seems hungry. I try to play with him, but he’s lazy (maybe because he’s so fat?!?), and he doesn’t climb the cat tree anymore since it fell out from under him twice a couple of years ago when ITMan didn’t get it solidly installed between the floor and ceiling. I’m sure you’ve seen those pics of kitties hanging from tree branches that say “Hang in there baby” right? That was poor Patches, hanging from the cat tree as it swayed. Continue reading “Not much quilting, just kitty nursing”

Does an 11.5lb cat fit into a bread basket?

I’m not sure what the deal is with cats and sitting in or on whatever you’re working with. Every cat I’ve ever had or heard of has issues like this, so it must be an attention thing. “Mom’s paying too much attention to those papers, that fabric, the quilt, this book, so I shall sit on it.” It’s just life with a cat. I’ve been decluttering a bit around the house, so Shadow decided to try out the Longaberger Bread Basket that I’d emptied of it’s previous contents and left at the back of my cutting table:

Shadow and the Bread Basket

This basket fascination continued off and on all day long once he’d discovered the spot. He made himself even more comfortable toward the end of the day. Since it probably really is an attention thing and maybe what he really wants is to be famous, we submitted one of the other pics to I Can Has Cheezburger?:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

If you’re not familiar with the LOLcats, check out the I Can Has Cheezburger? site for more funny captioned cat pictures (and the occasional non-feline participant). Bad spelling and grammar in giant white letters is the norm there. I don’t visit too often, because I can spend (read: waste) quite a lot of time just laughing at the pictures and funny captions which isn’t too great for productivity! If you’re so inclined, you can click the captioned photo above to go to the page where you can vote on Shadow’s picture. With enough votes, maybe the attention seeker will make it to the front page of the site!

Then this morning, the little twerp was cuter yet as he made himself more comfortably at home, with a pose and look even more suited to the caption I put on the previous photo:

Shadow in the bread basket

Now you know the answer: yes, an 11.5lb cat can fit in a Longaberger Bread Basket, just in case you ever really need to know. He’s been in and out of the thing more times than I can count today. He doesn’t just stay in there because if I get up and leave the room, he simply must be on my tail until I come back. I wonder how long this basket fixation will go on?? Maybe I should find him a bigger one…

Doing what they do best

Sometimes I think “everything I need to know I learned from my cats.” We should follow their example, and do what we do best:

Shadow and Patches

This picture is remarkable, but obviously not because they’re sleeping. They’re very good at that part. No, what’s truly amazing is that they’re doing it together. They’re on top of my ironing board in front of the shelf full of quilting stuff, which is usually reserved for Patches alone. I have to help Shadow understand that frequently, since he usually gets up there to start trouble, not sleep. This evening I came back to the studio after dinner, and there they were on the board together. Definitely a noteworthy moment, since they’ve only been this close together (calmly, without the claws and teeth) for any length of time once before in the last year and a half. ZZZzzz…

The Misery Quilt update

The misery rolls on with this quilt, as there are times it seems that it’ll never get done. Okay, I’ll admit that it hasn’t been the top priority lately (though I can’t really figure out what HAS been the top priority, just not the quilt in any case), but I really need to be getting on with it if it’s going to be done by Christmas (ha!). Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that I finally had to set a (possibly fuzzy) deadline for completion? I don’t like to do that to myself because then I get stressed, but I had to aim for something, just to have a goal here.

Anyway, when I sit down to do this satin stitching around the medallions in the border, sometimes the planets will all be in perfect alignment and everything will go well, and it turns out looking like this (click for a bigger pic):

Satin stitching when it's good

And then there are the other (sometimes more frequent) times, when for some unknown reason, it turns out all crooked and wobbly looking:

Satin stitch when you get to rip it out

I think maybe the edge of the open toe appliqué foot is just hitting the edge of the lighter fabric at times, and at other times it sort of slips off the edge, and then I get wobbles. Since there are multiple layers of fabric and fusible web here, I guess I’m not surprised, but it is frustrating. When this happens we get to pull out the X-acto knife and rip this tiny satin stitching with the lovely silk thread out. A very sharp X-acto knife is the only way I’ve figured out to get the stitches out easily, and without tearing up the fabric or stretching it out and making a complete mess of it. There is that slight risk of cutting right through the fabric of course, which would necessitate a much different usage of the X-acto knife if there wasn’t any Prozac handy right then.

If I mess up these borders, I think the whole shebang may find a permanent home in the deepest part of the basement storage room with all the other skeletons. The leftover scraps will have to be hidden too, so that I can forget I ever had any thoughts of making this quilt. Is it any wonder that working on this thing feels like a chore? And then there’s the comic relief:

Shadow being helpful
I think Shadow thinks it’s time for bed, not quilting. He’s quite the little manager. If I’m not in bed early enough to suit (think “right after dinner”), he bugs me until I get there, sometimes for hours on end. Obviously he’s aptly named…pest that he is!

It’s a wonder any work gets done around here!

If this little boy cat had his way, nothing would! Here he is on the shelf above my computer, bugging me while I’m trying to work:

Shadow helping at the computer

And between Shadow and ITMan with his laptop, machine quilting is even more challenging! I’m trying to quilt this really old UFO, and it’s really big, so I need lots of room. Shadow just decided to make himself at home on the part of the quilt that wasn’t moving.

Shadow helping me quilt

Such helpful males I have around here!

A thief in my studio!

My lovely little cat Shadow stole the spool holder from the top of my Bernina machine! Okay, so it’s not a critical part or anything, but still. Brand new machine, and now I’m missing a part already! The little creep!