February 4, 2012
Comments are off site-wide until some of the issues with the new software upgrade can be addressed. In the meantime, Soba!
Posted by laurie at 2:18 PM
December 7, 2011
Kepler-22b, meet your match.
Sure there may be an Earth-like planet orbiting around a sun-like star but I present to you the gravitational force of fluffy tummy meets very cold day:
And folks, it has been COLD! Yesterday morning on my walk it was a chilly 32 degrees. This morning I waited a bit before stepping out and it had warmed to a cheery 37. I love winter, I love bundling up and wearing my hand-knit fingerless gloves on my walks and feeling very smug indeed that my hands are warm but my fingers are still available for tasks such as re-tying shoelaces and such.
While out on my walk yesterday I also saw our old pal Ed Begley, Jr. drive by in his electric car. He was on the phone (hands-free, natch) and as he talked he was gesturing wildly with his hands, which made me like him more and also made me feel a little bad about messing with his head. Christine and I also saw him a month or two ago having breakfast at Hugo's in Studio City, but I had my back to him and kept my antics to a minimum. What can I say? I was really digging the hash browns.
Do you have any great cold-weather stew or chili recipes? I'm thinking I might make a pot of chicken and white bean chili for tomorrow night unless you have some other outstanding recipe ideas. Also, what do you normally serve with your chili? Corn chips? Sour cream? Salad? I don't know how to make that into a meal for a guest. Maybe cornbread. Or pasta, is pasta good for a cold weather dinner thing? What do you think? I'm open for ideas!
Posted by laurie at 11:46 AM
November 15, 2011
Posted by laurie at 10:35 AM
October 4, 2011
Posted by laurie at 11:54 AM
September 16, 2011
The Great Escape
This story has a happy ending. Let's get that out up front.
My new neighborhood isn't far from my old one, but in Los Angeles you can walk across the street in be in a different movie. Pockets here and there, each with its own flavor. I'm just close enough to Hollywood for the flavor to have changed, all rentals, high-rise apartment buildings that all look alike, transient and busy. The first few weeks I lived here I would walk the neighborhood in the morning and feel discomfited by each flier featuring a new and different missing pet. How did they get out? I would think. And then I had to stop myself because there are too many ways a pet can accidentally get outside where the world is dangerous and full of cars and coyotes and fleas and if I thought about it too long I would make myself crazy.
Like most people what I fear the most is losing what I have and love. For me that is my family, of course, and the felines. I'm not one of those women who refers to her pets as her "children" and I'm well aware that having three cats puts me in a category of dating that is only offset by some fairly impressive boobs, if I do say so myself. What I'm saying here is that I don't apologize for having a little herd of animals but I'm not ever wearing a sweater knitted out of cat hair, either. I do care for them and fret and worry about their safety and I freak out each time one of them sneezes.
Last night the weather was so perfect, I opened all the windows to get some fresh air in the apartment. When it gets chilly like this the felines get wild and there was some running and playing and Frankie's tail got huge and bushy like the puffer fish of cat tails. I was in the bedroom watching TV and painting my nails and all was well in the world.
I walked into the kitchen to get a glass of wine and that was when I noticed Bob perched on the back of the sofa staring out the window -- the window that had once been covered by a large screen which now was gaping and hanging by a corner. I knew instantly that two of the cats were gone. I can't even describe that feeling but it was like being set on fire and punched in the stomach at the same time.
By the way, there is a perfectly rational explanation as to why Bob was still in the apartment. Unlike the other two, Bob has the gastrointestinal equivalent of an electronic monitoring bracelet and he is physically incapable of being more than ten feet away from the food bowl at any time. Bob is no dummy. He may be afraid of air and light, but he knows where the Meow Mix is at all times.
I opened the door and there was Sobakowa, scared and disoriented, but sort of pacing back and forth below the window. I have no idea how long she was out there. I brought her back inside and went looking for Frankie. It was dark and late and the top floor was empty, so I walked downstairs shaking a bag of greenies like a crazy person. I found Franks hiding low in a dark corner behind the cement stairs. As soon as she saw me she let out a caterwaul that when translated into English said roughly, "My GOD, where have you BEEN? How could you do this to ME? THIS IS HORRIBLE."
After everyone was safely back indoors I did some CSI-style investigating. My best guess is that in Frankie's exuberance to chase her own tail across the apartment she jumped onto the windowsill and dislodged the screen and fell out and freaked out. Sobakowa, always interested in the downfall of a calico, arrived on the windowsill to investigate. She saw the open window and decided to jump through it to see what was on the other side (much like the alluring appeal of the closed bathroom door or the partially-opened kitchen cabinet.) Once outside she was too short to jump back in the window and had to watch as the fat orange one stared at her from well within range of the food.
It was a very exciting night. I overfed the cats, overdrank the wine and vowed to invent an escape-less windowscreen.
At the end of the evening three things were clear:
ONE. My Big Pajama Decision of 2010 paid off. Back in late 2010 we had a brief earthquake. I remember being inside my home and thinking, "Is this going to keep shaking...?" and simultaneously looking down at my grubby T-shirt and unattractive leggings and thinking, "I hope this isn't the Big One because I'm in serious trouble with this outfit." Immediately afterwards I got rid of all T-shirts and cruddy leggings that had holes, stains, or references to Jimmy Buffet songs from the 1980s. When the cat escape happened I didn't even have to change clothes before rushing outside with a bag of greenies. Learn from this lesson. LIVES WERE SAVED.
TWO. People who don't have animals simply can't understand what it's like to feel the surge of panic and horror over a pet problem. I have lived with Sobakowa for almost fifteen years. That is longer than most marriages and many friendships. I know my cats. I know their routines, their moods, their preferences. Later in the evening, after the whole ordeal had passed, I got a text from Bachelor Number 1. When I told him about the big scary evening he wrote back with an authoritative, expert opinion informing me that "animals want to roam and explore and hunt and they will come back when they've had their fun." And that was how I knew this man had never owned a housecat. "You're an idiot," I assured him. "But later maybe I'll give you some parenting advice so we'll be even."
THREE. After a trauma, even two cats who usually dislike each other need to bond over a little catnip.
Posted by laurie at 10:55 AM
July 29, 2011
It's time to clean the desk
The dust balls are getting huge.
Yes, I'm alive, I've just been working my little snausage fingers to the bone. Which, with snausages, means you end up with normal-sized fingers at the end. Fairy tale updated!
I would also like to tell you about online dating but that would imply I have broken my years-long anti-online-dating stance and I shall admit no such thing. So let us all do it hypothetically and say the following:
1) Hypothetically, it seems that online dating is no different from real-life dating. The guys prefer to make the first move. If the female makes first contact the female gets sent to the death star.
2) The Death Star is fine, that's where I meet most guys in real life anyway. Though I call it "the grocery store."
3) However, this one aspect of online dating takes away from its catalog-esque appeal. Being window dressing is boooooring.
4) It's actually much more fun to go shopping at Amazon or Zappos or Etsy because you find something you like, you give it your address and it shows up and doesn't try to murder you or tell you you're fat. No wonder online shopping feels so good. It's practically therapeutic.
5) Mind you, I haven't actually gone on a date. I've only been caught in the (hypothetical) electronic web of blabbery that precedes a date.
Remember when it was considered pervy and creepy and flat-out pathetic to date online? Well if you don't remember that far back in time then get up off your chair right this second and go peer into a mirror and appreciate your poreless, unlined skin with no crow's feet and think about that time last week when you got carded.
The rest of us will be over here thinking that maybe we should run off and start a country called Old Fashioned Iowa where people meet through mutual friends, bake sales and whatever other Leave It To Beaver dating fantasies we hold from tenth grade.
Not that it's impossible to meet people in Metropolis. I got hit on last week while pumping gas. He had a teardrop etched underneath his left eye. Perhaps it was a symbol of his deep emotional maturity?
Ah, city life. You are so funny with your freeways and psychopaths.
I do have some good news for you today. Remember that terrible haircut I got back in May that I paid $13 for and then felt completely unable to complain about because it was so cheap and yet so bad? No? Probably because I felt dumb complaining about a bad $13 haircut. ANYWAY. It's grown out enough that I can go sheepishly visit my real hair magic man and get it fixed. And I'm in one of those "maybe I should get a beehive as a tribute to Amy Winehouse" moods so you have no idea what this day may bring.
Keepin' it fresh, people.
Posted by laurie at 9:18 AM
July 27, 2011
Summertime, when the living is easy
Posted by laurie at 9:19 AM
July 22, 2011
Yawning on the job
Posted by laurie at 1:22 PM
July 20, 2011
Posted by laurie at 10:14 AM
July 18, 2011
Three corner cats
Posted by laurie at 1:27 PM
Posted by laurie at 1:15 PM
June 24, 2011
This photo was taken at my old apartment.
Back when I lived there. So sad.
But the picture is so Bob-a-riffic!
Posted by laurie at 7:55 AM
June 16, 2011
In the jungle, the noisy jungle, the calico sleeps tonight
Posted by laurie at 8:28 AM
June 10, 2011
Pillowtop Cat Is Comfortable
Pillowtop cat would like breakfast in bed, please.
Posted by laurie at 9:50 AM
May 20, 2011
Day before the world ends, again.
Just in case the world ends tomorrow I'm not bothering with laundry. I'm eating chocolate for lunch and painting my nails and watching Cat TV, this particularly gripping episode features THE CASE OF THE PINK RIBBON:
Don't forget to finish The Great Gatsby for Monday's book club chitchat! You'll be all ready for the remake of the movie, which is slated for release next summer. Carey Mulligan as Daisy (brilliant) but Leo DiCaprio as Jay? I'm not sold.
Ribbon chasing is so exhausting.
Posted by laurie at 11:33 AM
April 22, 2011
Can't you see I am TRYING TO MAKE A CALL
Posted by laurie at 5:26 AM
April 14, 2011
Hey, let me help you with that!
It's hard work, but someone has to do it.
Posted by laurie at 8:27 AM
April 11, 2011
Frankie: Glad you came out of the closet.
Frankie: Thought you'd lose weight in there, though.
Frankie: I see that. Might want to cut back on the carbs, dude. For real.
- - -
- - -
Bob discovers sunlight!
Posted by laurie at 8:24 AM
April 6, 2011
Posted by laurie at 10:06 AM
March 3, 2011
Posted by laurie at 11:21 AM
February 24, 2011
Something wicked this way came
All I know is that it didn't look this way when I went to bed last night.
She looks so pleased with herself.
Posted by laurie at 6:53 AM
January 24, 2011
Taken with my iphone camera.
Posted by laurie at 9:58 AM
January 6, 2011
Today at some point I must give Frankie a pedicure because when she walks on the carpet she sounds like velcro.
I can't tell you how much we both are not looking forward to that event.
Posted by laurie at 8:21 AM
December 2, 2010
The ears say it all.
Posted by laurie at 11:30 AM
November 25, 2010
Hope you have a great day, however you choose to spend it.
Bob is already full & happy.
Posted by laurie at 10:17 AM
August 9, 2010
Posted by laurie at 9:15 AM
June 11, 2010
Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!
Posted by laurie at 10:05 AM
June 10, 2010
Just imagine if they had thumbs
Soba: Shut up, I'm the one with the Twitter account. I'm not following Ashton Kutcher just because you want me to. I'm following that Lindsay Lohan.
Frankie: But Ashton is so cute.
Soba: Have you considered flossing? Your meow is releasing defcon five breath.
Frankie: I assume that means something pretty, like me. Have you seen my beautiful whiskers lately?
Soba: Have you seen my paw of death lately? Hold the shift key and zip it while I type.
(and so on)
Posted by laurie at 9:02 AM
June 9, 2010
The big snooze
The sleep is on.
Posted by laurie at 7:50 AM
June 8, 2010
Kilroy was here.
Posted by laurie at 7:20 AM
April 19, 2010
Been catching Bobfever on my iphone.
Posted by laurie at 8:04 AM
April 16, 2010
She has the right idea...
This would be a good way to spend the whole weekend.
(pic taken with iphone, not bad!)
Have a good weekend!
Posted by laurie at 12:37 PM
April 14, 2010
It's good to be The Queen
Posted by laurie at 11:48 AM
March 4, 2010
Le kittycat vase
Posted by laurie at 9:56 AM
February 18, 2010
Why do I feel like somebody's watching me?
Ack, I can't believe my book event is just a week away! This time next week I will be fighting the urge to hide in my linen closet. You know how you get party anxiety when you throw a party and start panicking that no one will come? Or that too many people will come and you'll run out of something and the neighbors will complain? Or you go back to the beginning and worry that no one will come? Events are like party anxiety times a hundred.
But I'm not going to think about that anymore today. Instead, I'm going to be glad that I am not being watched by a furry overlord with an attitude:
Posted by laurie at 9:01 AM
February 17, 2010
The real author of this website
The toughest part of my secret identity is getting the laptop turned on.
What? Haven't you ever seen a cat at work?
Composing my manifesto...
... is exhausting work!
Posted by laurie at 10:43 AM
February 4, 2010
Reason #37 I can't vacuum...
File under "crazy cat lady" shenanigans: I plugged in the vacuum, walked away for just a half second and when I turned back around the felines had all decided to lounge so peacefully and artfully right in the path of the dreaded scary noise machine that I couldn't bring myself to scare them away.
(Also cross-filed under "Things not to tell potential dates.")
Posted by laurie at 6:32 AM
January 25, 2010
You want to take my picture?
Oh, it's the paparazzi again, I see.
Well, let me at least wash my face.
How do I look now?
I'm just so cute I can't stand myself!
Really, I am such a babe.
Being adorable is hard work. I need a nap.
Posted by laurie at 9:42 AM
December 23, 2009
Posted by laurie at 4:56 PM
December 21, 2009
All is well that ends well.
I'm going to tell you the end of this story first: everyone is fine. I am fine, the cat is fine, all is well in the world. Sometimes it's best to know the ending of a story before it even begins.
- - -
Last week I noticed that Sobakowa was a little bit lethargic. It was hard to tell for sure if something was wrong. She was eating and seemed to be drinking her water and sleeping in her normal spots but something just seemed off. I thought I would give it a day or so. After all, I have been sick for a couple of weeks and I'm lethargic myself -- maybe I was just projecting.
But the next day came and Sobakowa was sleeping in the closet. This is not usually a good sign. Bob sleeps in the closet because he is afraid of air. But that's very unusual behavior for the Sobakowa, who will greet strangers at the door and look at them with pleading eyes to take her far away on adventures that don't include cats. She really doesn't like cats.
I have a veterinarian who comes to my house to give all three cats their yearly check-up and vaccinations -- believe me it is easier to bring Mohammad to the mountain than to truck a mountain of felines over to the vet for a booster shot. And after Roy died I couldn't go to my regular vet's office without thinking of him, which usually ended in tears, so they recommended a doctor who makes house calls and everyone has been healthy and fine and well. Until now.
But of course with a sick kitty you need more than a housecall, I've been down this road before. I knew I had to take her in to the veterinary clinic so they could do all the tests and labwork and so I packed her into her little pink and grey kitty jail and off we went to Sherman Oaks Veterinary Clinic to see Dr. Clipsham. I left work early to make the last available appointment at 5:30 and as I was driving home it was just so much like all those other days years ago when I would leave work early to take Roy to the last available evening appointment, for his new medication or maybe new X-rays or sometimes for kittycat acupuncture, which seems crazy but helped him a lot. And I would have done anything to help that cat.
Roy and Sobakowa came to live with me on the same day, but Roy was already full grown and Soba was just the tiniest kitten you've ever seen. Mr. X and I had gone to a shelter to adopt a cat -- we decided beforehand we'd adopt an adult, one who was having a hard time finding a home. That was the plan. So we found Roy and that's a story all its own, but while Mr. X was signing the paperwork and paying the fee, I wandered around the shelter looking at the other animals. That's when one of the volunteer workers handed something to me.
"Here, can you hold this for just a sec?" she asked.
She was trying to clean out a bowl of spilled food from a cage. She handed me this little scrap of wet, matted, food-covered fur about the size of a baby sock. It was sticky. And it was shaking. And it smelled really bad.
I took it in my hand and I stared at it for a minute.
"What is this?" I asked. It was so tiny.
"Oh, it's the runt. All its brothers and sisters got adopted but this one was so ugly no one wanted it," she said. She was scraping food off the side of the cage.
I pulled the scrap close to my chest and it wriggled underneath my hair and up against my neck and squished into place. Then it started to purr. The little food-covered thing that nobody wanted began to purr.
I walked up to Mr. X who was just putting his wallet away and I said, "We can't leave. This one is so little and ugly and no one will take it and now it's mine and I can't leave until we buy it. And I think it's stuck to my hair." And so he sighed and got out his wallet again and filled out some more papers. There are times I can be reasoned with and times when I am impermeable to reason and he was at least smart enough to recognize when there was no arguing with me. I wasn't leaving without both animals.
And so we brought it home and I bathed it in warm water and baby shampoo and then we found out it was a little kitten, and it was a girl kitten and it was the only creature that poor, scared Roy would let near him for months. He'd been terribly abused by people and was skittish and had burn marks on his ears. Soba had boundless energy and she bounced off the walls, got into everything and ruled the whole house top-to-bottom, bringing Roy out of his shell and knocking over all the vases (which hasn't much changed). Roy was the only cat she ever liked and much later, when Bob and Frankie were found behind the garage of our old North Hollywood house, she tried to murder them and when that failed, she ignored them whenever possible. She has always preferred the company of people.
I still think of her as a teeny tiny kitten (she is the smallest of all my animals, just under ten pounds and about a foot long, with these stubby little legs) but she's actually closer to a senior citizen, or that's what Dr. Clipsham told me when I brought her in on Thursday.
"She's getting on up in years," he said. "I'm glad you brought her in, because if we can catch something early it can make all the difference."
I tried to bite my lip so I wouldn't start crying. It was too much like all those times with Roy, in and out of every doctor's office. Roy had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor just shortly after my divorce and I did everything I could to keep him healthy and happy and I still haven't quite recovered from his passing. Even up until the very end I never expected he would die. It just never occurred to me, I refused to think of it. I assumed I could keep him afloat with sheer force of will alone.
When we bring an animal into our lives we forget that they will not, most likely, outlive us. And realistically that's a good thing. I mean, cats just don't live to be 70 or 80 years like human beings. And it would be far worse if the human lifespan was dialed downward to match that of the animal companion. I know this now, after two years of missing Roy and trying to make peace with the fact that I missed my cat far more than I ever missed my ex-husband.
So when I saw Sobakowa sleeping in the closet you can imagine I got a little worked up, and I thought, "I can't do this again." But we're built for all sorts of things we assume we can't endure and in the end I made an appointment and bundled her off to the doctor and they examined her carefully, and took her blood pressure with a tiny little kittycat blood pressure cuff and they took samples of blood and checked her sugar levels and electrolytes and ordered a huge panel of tests on everything under the sun and then I handed over my credit card to pay for the $323.45 bill and we were sent home to await the results the next day.
Promptly at 9 a.m. the next morning the phone rang. I saw it was Dr. Clipsham calling and I took a deep breath, because whatever it was I would deal with it, and I said hello.
"Well, Laurie, I have great news! We ran a full panel of tests and Soba is doing great. No infection, her numbers are all where they need to be, weight is good, teeth are great, blood pressure and blood sugar are fantastic."
"Ok," I said. I exhaled, hadn't quite realized I'd been holding my breath! "So what's wrong with her?"
"Well," said the doctor, "Based on the tests we took, we think she has a little bit of an upset tummy. We think she has a hairball. A tummy ache can knock their energy level back for a day or so, but come by and we'll give you some hairball cream and in a day or two she'll be back to her normal self."
"My cat has a hairball?" I asked.
"Oh, it's perfectly normal," he assured me. "Stop by later today and one of the girls out front can give you the cream."
We hung up and I burst out laughing. My cat has a hairball. I'd spent the night pushing away horrible visions of tumors and kidney failure and liver disease and leukemia and diabetes and God only knows what else. I waited. I barely slept that night.
Finally, after a battery of tests and a full exam, it has been determined that my cat is in great health and she just has a hairball. Hallelujah! It's a Christmas miracle! It's a $323 hairball. And I could not be happier.
Posted by laurie at 9:21 AM
December 14, 2009
Another day, another product cancellation
Sobakowa will not be happy.
I went to three Whole Foods this weekend looking for her favorite cat food until I discovered that brand is being discontinued. Why does this happen to me? And now, by proxy, to my animals?
It started in high school with Elizabeth Arden Bare Sugar lipstick. My aunt worked the cosmetic counter at one of those fancy department stores and that Christmas she gave me Elizabeth Arden Bare Sugar and it was the first ever perfect lipstick for my coloring. I saved all my babysitting money for a tube of glamor every three months until I discovered too late the summer before 12th grade that it had been discontinued. I tried a letter-writing campaign, I called, I threw myself at Elizabeth Arden's mercy and she ignored me.
You know, I still hate Elizabeth Arden to this day and have never purchased another Elizabeth Arden product, not one single thing since 1989. How's that for holding a grudge?
Throughout the years I have become better-adjusted at handling the inevitable discontinuation of things I like -- Patons Up Country comes to mind, and more recently the impossibility of finding Patons SWS in the normal places -- and I know as soon as I find a lipstick I like to buy in bulk because the moment I found it a silent alarm was triggered somewhere in a consumer testing facility in a backroom in Michigan, and the product will mysteriously be discontinued by the time I get my purchase to my car. It's one thing to know with fatalistic certainty that everything from the brand of panties I prefer to the laundry detergent I like most will be discontinued, but when retailers start flukking with my cats I lose my cool. Finding a healthy cat food that they will eat is no easy task. And they're not big on change. They're CATS. They find one food and stick with it.
I'm not going to tell you the name of the cat food until I have my grimy paws safely on a case of it myself, but when I called my fifth Whole Foods this morning, one of the "helpful" grocery guys said, "You know, this food is discontinued so you might want to just start buying the Organics brand that replaced it."
"Yeah," I said, "I'll let my cat know. I am sure she'll understand, because what cats respond best to are logical conversations about fluctuations in stock."
I'm not sure he got the sarcasm.
Yes, of course I will have to find a new food but there has to be a transition period! You know, a period of time when she can have her old favorite food and we introduce new food brands one by one and see which is a winner. It's a process. It can take a very long time. Thank God for the internet, where I just spent $50 plus shipping on Soba's favorite food, buying me a little time.
But I won't be forgetting this one. I may be used to switching lipsticks every few months and I know not to get too attached to hand creams and soaps and yarn brands, but when you start messing with my cats it's all over.
I will be holding a grudge for a very, very long time on this one. I'm still hopping mad about the Great Cat Litter Debacle of 2007! I really am a "As God Is My Witness" sort of consumer, full of nothing but love and light for my favorite products right up until they are rudely, savagely discontinued and then I raise my little fist of rage and declare "As soon as I find a suitable replacement product, as God is my witness I will never shop from your brand ever again!" I'm looking at you, Elizabeth Arden.
Posted by laurie at 11:11 AM
September 29, 2009
Posted by laurie at 12:46 PM
August 10, 2009
Do you think the diet is working yet?
Posted by laurie at 8:16 AM
June 18, 2009
Do not disturb! The Queen is resting.
Posted by laurie at 1:18 PM
June 17, 2009
Posted by laurie at 5:21 AM
April 7, 2009
I am Sobakowa and I approve this message.
First, let it be known that all other felines are outlawed. Especially the orange one who I suspect was born missing his prefrontal cortext. He fell into the toilet four times IN ONE DAY.
And I decided I would now prefer a pooping surface made of diamond dust and lullabyes.
I am Sobakowa and I approve this message.
Posted by laurie at 7:44 AM
January 26, 2009
This cat tells jokes.
Posted by laurie at 10:06 AM
January 15, 2009
Pretty little Frankie!
Posted by laurie at 11:05 AM
October 21, 2008
A Normal Day
Posted by laurie at 10:08 AM
September 26, 2008
The weekend approaches... need some rest!
Sobakowa avec teddy bear....
Posted by laurie at 10:44 AM
August 26, 2008
If only we could all be followed by a halo of light...
Posted by laurie at 7:12 AM
August 7, 2008
Posted by laurie at 10:56 AM
July 28, 2008
Laundry Day cats
As soon as the towels come out of the dryer, they must be properly flattened and re-furred.
- - -
One feline takes charge of the laundry while the others watch in awe.
- - -
Not sure what went on in this room while I was away. Appears the battle of Waterloo commenced.
- - -
Laundry day is very exhausting.
Posted by laurie at 8:17 AM
July 10, 2008
Frankie lounges in the sunlight with her favorite sandals.... sure, they're ugly shoes and from this angle they appear to fit a gigantor size twenty-eleventeen foot, but at Frankie's place of employment it is OK to wear sandals to work. Her boss is very lenient with the dress code.
That explains why she isn't wearing any pants!
Posted by laurie at 5:04 AM
June 20, 2008
Enough talking, more cat pictures!
And just for good measure here is a picture of my little brother who is so cute and not spoiled rotten at all:
I'm going to visit him this summer. I have already started stockpiling toys. Cat and dog toys are "essential" items and are not excluded from shopping!
And in Valley news, I think cutiecute Dallas Raines says it all with his facial expression here:
108 in Encino! That is just a little on the warm side. And you know it's really summer when ...
And later last night it was going, going, GONE:
Have a great weekend. Stay cool!
Posted by laurie at 8:20 AM
May 9, 2008
When Soba runs for office...
... this will be her campaign poster:
Republicat or Democat? No.... definitely Dictatorcat!
(I did not even know she had a black Dictator's Scarf. Who knew!)
- - -
Have a great and furry weekend! ("I am Sobakowa and I approve this message.")
Posted by laurie at 8:22 AM
May 8, 2008
If Frankie were a professional actress....
... this would be her "wide-eyed starlet" headshot:
Posted by laurie at 8:31 AM
May 7, 2008
If Bob had a driver's license...
... this would be his DMV mugshot:
Dude, I'm like... all serious and stuff.
Posted by laurie at 8:26 AM
April 21, 2008
Yesterday I moved the big carpeted cat toy thingamajig over to the side of the room so I could vacuum the living room rug. The toy became extremely popular all the sudden to the felines, who liked it fine in its old location but in its new location it was Very! Exciting! There was some fighting and some turf warrage, but in the end to the victor goes the spoils...
... and the victor decided to lounge on the middle floor:
Blur courtesy of my crappy new camera which has reverse PMS and only takes good pictures one week of the month. This was not my week.
Posted by laurie at 9:13 AM
April 10, 2008
The elusive night-appearing Bob emerges for daytime floor exercises...
Posted by laurie at 9:10 AM
March 27, 2008
Franklin Delano Cutiecat
Posted by laurie at 10:59 AM
March 25, 2008
I love you this much!
- - - -
And my favorite picture of all time...
Posted by laurie at 10:30 AM
March 11, 2008
Why do I feel like... somebody's watching me?
Posted by laurie at 9:12 AM
March 5, 2008
1) Apparently my new camera is too powerful for me. I can't get it to take a blur-free picture to save my life.
2) Work is hard.
3) I spilled coffee on my sweater.
4) This sweater is only necessary because the office A/C is on overdrive. It's springtime outside!
5) And springtime is too pretty out my window to focus properly on tasks.
6) Making work even harder.
7) Are we already moving the clocks around? So soon? I'm fine with arriving home in the waning daylight instead of the pitch dark night, but if daylight savings/standard/whatever the hell we're on only lasts two and a half weeks, why even bother?
8) Need more coffee. Sweater is startlingly absorbent.
Posted by laurie at 8:44 AM
March 3, 2008
Is that cat sticking his tongue out at me?
Posted by laurie at 10:18 AM
February 5, 2008
More super, so soon?
If you live in Los Angeles county and are trying to find your polling place, click here. Also ... keep an eye out for Le Soba who was last seen campaigning for herself, on a platform of "Legalize Catnip" and "Medicinal Catnip Cures All."
Posted by laurie at 10:44 AM
January 10, 2008
The Portrait of a Sobakowa as a Young Dictator
Posted by laurie at 9:49 AM
December 31, 2007
Happy New Year!
Posted by laurie at 11:06 AM
December 11, 2007
Sleeping on the job...
After a long day of eating, pooping, sleeping and attacking low-lying ornaments on the tree, these two suspects tried to get off by SLEEPING and CUDDLING and I will have none of it! None of it I tell you!
Also, why do they fall asleep as soon as I get home and then spring to life with vigor and energy at 3 a.m.? Why? Also, why was I not a fish person instead of a four-legged-animal person?
But they are awfully cute.
Posted by laurie at 10:31 AM
November 6, 2007
The writers are on strike!
Yes, that's write. Right. The high-paid big time Hollywood writers are on strike. Here at Chez Felinestein we just keep turning out the hits.
1) My cat Bob is incredibly handsome, to make up for the possibility that he is a himbo.
2) I'm on a Mexican Radio (or Canadian, but there's no song for that)...
I got a file of the recent CJAD Montreal interview I did with Peter Anthony Holder -- he was so much fun! Unfortunately, I had been traveling for 14 hours and it was 11 p.m. and I had literally just gotten off a plane and gotten home about ten minutes before the interview started so I make about thismuch sense. Whatevs! I am not a professional, merely an amateur enjoying my 22 minutes over here.
Also, there's a funny moment when he's talking about another knitter and I pause because what I wanted to say was that the knitting community is very... close knit. And even Cheesy McCheesepants over here fully understands that is not something to say on air. So I said it was a "small" community. Then I said it like 25 more times. hehehehe. It was late. I'd had three glasses of wine on the plane. Whoopsy.
You can listen to it here. Also, I believe it is obvious how much I lurve my friendly neighbors to the north, especially when drinking, tired, and happy to be not on airplanes anymore.
3) Welcome to Miami, Old Lady
Me (humming and also singing but not realizing I am doing it): Welcome to Miami, bienvenos a Miami...
Friend who is Cute, but Very Young [and don't even bother asking as that is the most details you will get]: What are you singing?
Me: Was I singing? I don't sing.
Friend: Yeah, you're telling me.
Me: Har har you're a real jokester. No, I'm just thinking about my trip to Miami and every time I think of it I get that song in my head! You know the one ... Welcome to Miami, Bienvenidos a Miami...
Friend: ...? No?
Me: You know! The Will Smith song, about Miami!
Me: Oh come on, it was all over MTV a few years ago, when he did that song about Summertime and then the Miami song.
Friend: You mean THE Will Smith, the actor?
Me: Well, yeah but before he was THE Will Smith, he was the Fresh Prince. You know, Parents Just Don't Understand?
Friend: Just don't understand what? Who's the fresh mints?
Me: The Fresh PRINCE. Come on! Don't tell me you don't remember DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince?
Friend: Who is that?
Me: Don't tell me this is news to you. ARGH. Before Will Smith was THE Will Smith, when he was on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air...?
Friend: Never heard of it.
Me: Oh my God tell me again what year you were born in?
Friend: 198* [Editor's Note: I am editing here as you can see, because the shame is too much to bear.]
Me: Oh God. You were like, in preschool or something during the reign of the Fresh Prince. As God Is My Witness let us never speak of this again.
Friend: I want to hear this Miami song, I can't believe Will Smith did a song.
Me: He didn't just do a song, he had ALBUMS. Do you know what ALBUMS are?
Friend: Is this going to be like the time you got mad because I didn't know who that Mia Sparrow chick was?
Me: Mia FARROW.
Friend: It's OK, you still look good for an old lady.
(Physical violence ensues, wherein I am triumphant using Fall Vogue as a powerful weapon.) (Note to the guv'ment ... instead of bombing other countries, just drop copies of Fall Vogue from above.)
Me: Just for the record, on Friday I am going to MIAMI, bienvenidos a Miami, and I plan to meet Puff Daddy and never speak to you again!!
Friend: Good luck with that. They don't even call him that anymore.
Friend: He's just Diddy now.
Me: Yeah, well I was alive back when MTV played actual music videos! So there!
Friend: Heh, yeah and when Will Smith was on a TV show. YEAH RIGHT.
- - -
4) And finally, don't tell the cats I'm going to hang out with DIDDY. Or diddlysquat as the case may be...
It's not easy being Bob. Or cheesy.
Posted by laurie at 10:46 AM
September 28, 2007
These Are The Days Of Our Lives
Posted by laurie at 6:06 AM
July 11, 2007
The Story Of Roy
So, I should tell ya'll the story of how Roy got his name.
Mr. X and I had been married for eight days (we eloped, in case you're interested.) And we decided that our family should include one cat, an older animal that most wouldn't want to adopt. Ya'll know how I can be ... "Is there someone over there in the corner nobody wants? He's damaged and hurt? I'll take him! Sign me up!"
Anyway, we went to this place in the mall in Woodland Hills, a rescue shelter that had animals they'd plucked from what tragedies we did not know. We walked around and found Cat, later to become Roy, stuck in a cage with half his hair falling out.
"Oh, he's a tough one," said the Rescue Lady. "Abused. Burned on the ears with cigarettes. Some of his teeth kicked out. Tough case, lives in this cage all the time..."
We took him. It was while Mr. X was signing the paperwork that the Sobakowa appeared quite by accident. Someone at the shelter handed me this little handful of matted multicolored fur and said, "No one will take this one. It's too ugly. All the others in its litter got adopted right away."
I didn't know what it was, but it was small and fit inside the palm of my hand. It was covered in food and it snuggled up under my hair and ... it kind of smelled. A little. And so ya'll know, I immediately said I WILL TAKE THIS UGLY PIECE OF FUR YOU CALL A CAT. I will love it and adore it all day long.
And that is the story of Soba, who I think is the prettiest thing ever. And she is the smallest cat but still tough as nails.
We took both of our new additions home and left them to their kittycat devices for a few hours while we shopped for toys and blankies and baskets worthy of new family members.
Soba was easy, a tiny kitten, we named her after an infomercial using the Japanese word for Buckwheat which she somewhat resembled. But Cat was harder. He'd been around, had the scars and the old-man eyes to prove it. He was incredibly skittish, hid all day, kept a wide berth around us humans and our feet. I tried different names on him but none of them fit. After a while it became a joke, then a sort-of nagging question Mr. X would ask me.
"So, what's Cat's name?" he'd ask each night when he came home.
"I don't know," I'd say. "He hasn't told me yet."
To Mr. X's credit, he did not push the issue. His crazy new wife was waiting for the cat to tell her his name. Excellent.
We were nearing the six-week mark and I had not named Cat. I had named the fridge, the sofa and all the neighbors ("motorcycle guy" "chuck wollery-esque man" "talky lady") and yet Cat was still Cat.
We returned from a long weekend in Las Vegas and Cat sat perched on the stairs watching me sort laundry. Mr. X was at work and I had the day off. "Cat," I asked him. "Tell me your name."
"Is it Luxor?"
And I said it again, to be sure, "Hey, you, is your name Roy?" and he perked up and trotted down from the stairs and we knew. Finally, he had told me his name.
Mr. X arrived home a few hours later. "I know his name," I said. To say I was smug would be a slight understatement. Crazy people love being vindicated, especially by nature's purest accomplice, the house pet.
"Uh. OK," he said. Probably wondering if I'd been into the cooking brandy. "So, what's his name?"
"Watch..." and I looked up at the big grey smokey lonesome of a cat sitting on the upstairs landing and I said, "Hey, Roy!"
And down he came trotting.
My husband looked at me. Looked at the cat. Shook his head and asked how I knew that was his name.
"He told me today."
So Roy and I have known each other for a long time, and we understood each other in a way nobody else could. We both had sketchy backgrounds with some unpleasant memories. We both were a little scared of people. He needed love and I had love to give. He was like me, sensitive to the smallest inflection of voice, the smallest hurts were cause for hiding. Later, when he got sick and I had to give him medicine, I would whisper to him, tell him why, explain how much I loved him, my little old man cat.
It took a long while for him to trust me, but once he did he was my cat all the way through. He followed me from room to room, laid on me as soon as I was still, waited for me each day at the door. There was a time in my marriage when I was working later and later hours, arriving home after Mr. X. One night he told me the funniest story. He said that even before the garage door opened, before you could even hear my Jeep pulling up the street, Roy would get up and stand by the door. It was like he just knew. Mr. X said he'd been watching it happen for three weeks now, and finally had decided it was the weirdest thing he'd ever seen and had to tell me. How did Roy know? Looking back, I'm so glad he told me that one tiniest of tiny details. Roy was always there, waiting for me at the door.
Roy started sleeping on my pillow, head against mine, the day my husband moved out. He'd fill up the empty space with purring and, later, snoring. All the other cats adored Roy, he was their Hemmingway, telling them how to open doors and cast longing looks at the food bowl. He loved snuggling, especially when he was so skinny and cold all the time. He loved his tent, his self-warming cozy blanket, he loved Tuna flavored Fancy Feast and most of all he loved me.
Every morning for as long as I can recall I have scooped him up into my arms, both of us still clumsy with sleep, and I would start singing in my most awful singing voice, "Even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey..." and we danced around and that was our morning. That was how we woke up to each day.
I sang that same song to Roy yesterday, as he passed on, as he left my world as a cat (soon to inhabit it, again, I'm sure, as a President or as a Wise Man or maybe a piano player in a martini lounge) and he died, even as I sang him his song, and I miss him so terribly I can't even explain it to you, and to this day I still can't believe he told me his name.
I loved that damn cat. He was the love of my life.
He died peacefully. Roy was my number one guy, he came when I called him. He woke up with me each morning, reminding me we should freshen up the food dish. Reminding me to be hopeful because catnip could arrive unexpectedly in life. He was very wise.
"Even though we ain't got money
I'm so in love with you honey
Every day will bring a chain of love, looo-ooove.
And in the morning when I rise
You bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything's gonna be all right.
It's gonna be all right."
Posted by laurie at 9:42 AM
July 10, 2007
Posted by laurie at 8:45 AM
July 2, 2007
Hello profound cats!
Some people have expressed concern that my cats will all start speaking LOLcats language. (If you are old like me and need explanation for this yet again internet-related phenomenon that is already over since everyone knows that as soon as technoancients like myself learn of a thing, it is officially Very Uncool, here is a definition.) However, as we all know, my animals speak in full sentences, write manifestos, use the internet when I am not home, host parties in their underwear while mixing martinis and smoking cigars (Roy, I'm looking at you) and they all poop as if preparing for a poop apocolypse.
Frankie spends all day looking at I Can Has Cheezburger. Kids these days.
In other news, I am thisclose to being done with a last round of deadlines on things and general tomfoolery and I can see a window of time stretching out somewhere in the future where I am less busy and chicken with head cut off and so on, and I am thinking that rather than spend the whole time twiddling thumbs and plotting the demise of my evil arch-enemy, I might actually attempt to catch up on correspondence and real life things. I wonder if this is even a quasi-achievable goal? We'll see. But if you get an email reply from me sometime this summer from a note you sent in the fall of 1982, don't fret. I haven't lost my mind. I am merely trying in vain to catch up on my life. If it doesn't work out we'll just make jokes about it later. If there is a later...
Soba is not loving the last-minute photo shoot.
Posted by laurie at 8:56 AM
June 27, 2007
Hello I have my shoes please.
Posted by laurie at 10:07 AM
June 11, 2007
What goes on in my house while the world spins on its axis and cars honk on the streets?
When not hiding under the covers, Bob spends much of his time sitting in this position, permanently startled:
Or he gets a bath from his sister, Franklin D. Kittycat:
Sobakowa ponders her manifesto:
And Roy continues to be painfully adorable:
Oh weekend. Why are you so short?
Posted by laurie at 11:02 AM
May 16, 2007
Tragedy narrowly averted (unless you count the hairball on my new sandals as tragedy, which I do, a little.)
Posted by laurie at 12:06 PM
May 15, 2007
Look in the dictionary under "really incredibly pissed off" and you will see this little face
We ran out of Meow Mix.
Now the cat is plotting my death.
I am sure of it.
Posted by laurie at 9:23 AM
April 27, 2007
We like the nightlife, we like to boogie.
When I first contemplated dating (it took me forever, ya'll know, almost seventeen months to even be able to hold such a thought) my girlfriends and I would try to come up with some pre-rehearsed thing to say to any potential date who might ask if I had a cat.
Any single woman in the United States with more than one (singular) cat knows what I am talking about here. If you are married and think this should be no big deal, I understand. I was married once. I thought it was so cute having four cats. I did not have to think then of going on dates and disclosing this information to male-type people in the Los Angeles metro region. Then I got single again and trust me... it was a challenge.
Shannon suggested, "Maybe you could say, 'Oh, I have cats where you sort of take a sip of water at the plural part?"
And Jennifer suggested, "Well, you could always say you have two cats, and then when they see four explain that those were your ex-husband's cats? Maybe?"
We all laughed and also it was awkward so we stopped talking and sipped wine.
The Number Of Cats issue was surprising (see: "previously married and hadn't considered this," above) and kind of scary in the beginning. Single men (at least in L.A.) have some kind of weird thing about women with cat(s). There are even personal ads that specifically state "I am looking for a woman with no damn cats." This is another reason why I despise personal ads and yet somehow cannot stop reading them. It is much like Pringles. You hate the way you feel after eating the whole can but still, you eat the whole can.
I don't know why guys are this way about felines but since I didn't previously know this weird angle on dating, it scared me a little. Would this be just one more way I was undesireable? Would dating forever be a please-cats-stay-hidden foray into awkwardness?
But when I actually began to meet guys and go on dates, I discovered something interesting. As soon as you tell a potential date you are divorced, they do not ask if you have feline residents. They ask if you have children. It's very Pavlovian.
1) "Are you married, have a boyfriend or anything?"
2) "No, I'm divorced."
3) "Oh, do you have kids?"
So later I discovered this was an excellent time to finesse the cats into conversation.
"Do you have kids?"
"I have four mouths to feed."
"Well, no kids. I do have a few cats. They're cute."
That worked about 30% of the time. About 70% of the time I got some weird response, "How many cats?" and "Why do girls like cats?" and my favorite, a simple and defiant "I hate cats."
To that I replied, "So does Sobakowa. She hates cats." And of course I did not date that guy.
Now that I have dated all sorts of guys and have many good, bad and funny stories to tell because of it, something even more surprising has happened.
I don't care at all what some guy thinks about ALL MY cats.
In fact, my furballs are so darn cute and personable they have become a delightful, if somewhat hairy, litmus test for all future dates. "Are you married, have a boyfriend or anything?" "No, I'm divorced." "Oh, do you have kids?" "Nope. But I have four, count them! FOUR!! Cats. I totally rock. Cat ladies are sexy."
Some guys say: "Um, ok well, I gotta bounce, check you later."
Some guys say, "I love cats!"
And really now, isn't it better to just find out right at the get-go? It really is better for everyone -- for me, for the guy, and of course, it is better for my four furry litmus markers of love.
Posted by laurie at 9:20 AM
March 23, 2007
The Wonderful World Of Wildlife And Laundry
Today I am sort of pushing the dress code at Corporate Job, Inc. I am wearing pants, so that's good, but these particular trousers are ... CERTAINLY not denim, as that is verboten. No, they are NOT denim. Instead, they are, uh, black and made of a heavy cotton-like substance and they have top stitching and they have back pockets and ya'll know.
I plan to hide behind my desk all day.
So this is what it has come to in my life. A laundry pile that is threatening to take over the hallway and if I don't do laundry soon, I will have to show up at work on Monday in my prom dress. I believe it is the only thing left in the closet that's clean.
If I do show up in a prom dress, of course, you know I'll be taking a picture of that event. And that picture will happen ... in the ladies room mirror. Amen!
I do not own a big fancy and expensive camera. I use a plain old Kodak EasyShare digital camera with a whopping 3.1 megapixels. (It is model CX6330, if you are interested). I do sometimes manage to get great shots of my animals by merely stalking them in natural light and taking eleventy-nine million snapshots, at least three of which will be good.
This one wasn't very good, shot at night maybe after a little vino, and it's using my camera's "night" setting:
These pictures of Roy were not taken in daylight, since I have not actually been at my house in the daylight for weeks. (Dear Internet Bandits Planning To Rob My House: My neighbors are very nosy and they are retired and stay home all day watching to see if foulplay happens. Their little fingers are practically perched over the numbers 9-1-1 all the time. Also, I have nothing in my house of any real monetary value... except for the cats. And they poop a lot. Love, Laurie)
So, anyway, to make these pictures a little less dull, I used Photoshop to lighten them a little, crop them and fix Roy's red-eye problem (even with the red-eye flash he still gets the demonic eye.) I know photoshop is expensive but there are some less pricey versions, too, like Photoshop Elements, and if you like to tinker with graphics Photoshop is an excellent investment since it is the very best of the best.
I use this same software to add the white caption boxes on my pictures, too. Using the vector shapes tool, make a square or rectangle and apply a Layer Style to the shape. In the Layer Styles area, change the "color overlay" to white and the "stroke" setting to 1-pixel black for a nice border. (It's good to learn how to add that stroke to all your pictures. Adding a 1-pixel border to the whole image gives all photos a more professional finish for displaying online. With a border, they stand out just enough from the background on a webpage.)
I also saved this style as a pre-set, so I can now apply it to my shapes with a single click of the style picker in the top toolbar, an option when you work with vector shapes.
For the text that goes inside my little white boxes, I prefer to use Arial with no anti-aliasing so it more closely resembles the look of text in a web browser.
Are you asleep yet? Have you nodded off with all this exciting cat and software talk?
I knew it would bore you to tears. I am about ready for a nap myself. But people are always asking me about the text boxes so I thought I'd try to answer the age-old question of "How do I make my cats talk?" heh heh.
I may never be a world-famous photographer roaming the Sahara for a million-dollar shot of a lion in the wild, but I roam the wilds of Encino-adjacent pretty frequently and without fail I do manage to get my million-cent pictures using natural light, my camera's close-up setting, and a patient crouching-in-waiting position in the laundry pile.
It's worth it. Damn cats are so goodlooking I can't help myself!
Taken back when daylight was part of my life.
Posted by laurie at 9:53 AM
March 20, 2007
Do they make these in human sizes?
I feel like a bad and guilty and neglectful mom, running hither and yon, always tired, mad when they wake me up at 4:15 a.m. since today (today!) I get to sleep in until a whopping 4:45 a.m. I need that thirty minutes of extra sleep. I MEAN, REALLY NOW.
So when I went to Tams Pet Supplies last week for a case of food and another bag of mystery litter for the new Test Box (sigh) (we're back to the test box) I found this little cat cave and even though it seemed awfully small for my giganticats, I bought it because I am guilty and even frugality quakes in the face of guilt.
Usually in the mornings when I leave for work, Roy has eaten breakfast and retired to his crinkle cave, but this morning I found him in the mouth of another cat ... his new cat-shaped cave for one! And he looks so sweet and cuddled in there I feel it was a purchase well worth twice its price. Also, I need a nap. Do you think they make these in my size?
p.s. Please don't ask me where to buy the crinkle cave. I have had tons of email about it and I searched online for two hours one day back in December and never found it. I tried! But failed, alas. I bought mine at Target, they don't seem to have any more.
UPDATE!! THIS JUST IN!! Target.com finally has the cat crinkle cave listed online. I am actually more excited about this than I can justify. Somehow it feels like perhaps I have turned things around today... first the crinkle cave... now maybe I'll bump into George Clooney on the bus.... or find time to actually go have lunch...
p.p.s. I threw away the tag on the other cat-shaped cave, too, so I am equally useless on that front. However, I bought it at Tams, and they are a lovely family-run place that I drive out of my way to shop at because they are so nice. They will be happy to look it up for you, it was $25, I think. Well worth it! says the guilty, bad neglectful try-to-buy-their-love mom.
UPDATE NUMBER TWO!!! Thanks to reader Lyn who alerted me that the very same cat mouth bed that has such a cute Roy in it is also available at Amazon.com for ten bucks less than I paid for it (of course, did this surprise anyone?). Get yours here. Thanks, Lyn!
Posted by laurie at 1:27 PM
February 23, 2007
Deep Thoughts With Sobakowa
Posted by laurie at 9:17 AM
February 15, 2007
Posted by laurie at 9:41 AM
February 8, 2007
America's Next Top Model
Posted by laurie at 8:51 AM
February 5, 2007
Posted by laurie at 8:32 AM
January 30, 2007
She is working on her manifesto again.
Posted by laurie at 9:21 AM
January 23, 2007
Cats know sign language?
Posted by laurie at 9:16 AM
January 9, 2007
Franklin Delano Rosencat Pie
This kitty pi was made by me when I first started knitting. It's gotten around, I tell you what. Now I wash it in the washer and throw it in the dryer and just sort of shape it by hand, it's smaller and denser so it only fits one cat at a time now, and needless to say it doesn't really fit Bob at all. You can read about where I got the idea, or my worries about making a project using the scary double point needles, and you can see the yarn I used and what it looked like knitted and felted in this story with pictures, and how the cats liked it, and see everyone trying to fit in it at once, my divorce papers just chillin in it, and then if that isn't enough, this is probably my favorite picture on the planet.
Posted by laurie at 7:53 AM
December 31, 2006
Happy New Year from the gatos gorditos!
May your coming year be filled with happy thoughts and very few hairballs!
Posted by laurie at 5:30 PM
December 28, 2006
The Unbearable Cuteness Of Being
Posted by laurie at 7:45 AM
December 15, 2006
Police Release Surveillance Images of Crime,
Seek Public's Help in Identifying Suspect
Posted by laurie at 9:55 AM
December 13, 2006
The Crazy Cat Lady Dream House
One day when I am rich and infamous, or maybe when I finally pay off all the debt from my marriage and divorce, I will save up my pennies and dimes and replace the current scratched-up, ugly cat furniture with this:
Martini Kitty Condo: click here for details
The martini cat tree is just one of the AMAZING and fabulous creations of the Hollywood Kitty Co. I found out about this place when I was at the Sherman Oaks Veterinary clinic one day, waiting to pay for yet another visit for the world's most expensive cat, Roy T. Feline. This fellow in line noticed my large (gorgeous) (and loud) cat in the carrier, meowing at the top of his lungs because GET ME OUT OF THIS CAGE YOU HORRIBLE CAT-HATING HUMAN.
And the nice man in line complimented the gorgeousness and also vocal range of my cat, then handed me his business card.
"I have a cat furniture company, " he said. "We build custom pieces, too."
I have long ago given up and realized I must have some invisible "World's Biggest Sucker" tattoo on my forehead, since I often get accosted by crazies, and drunks, and salesmen. But this guy was nice and didn't try to sell me anything, just handed me the business card and left.
Later, I checked out his website and was floored by the creativity and sense of humor that went into some of these pieces. I thought other equally crazy cat ladies would get a kick out of these fabulous cat trees and condos, and I just love anybody who can have an eye for the absurd. Of course, fabulousness doesn't come cheap and these things are incredibly expensive (for my budget) but one day maybe I can afford one, if not the martini than this masterpiece:
Picasso Kitty Condo: click here for details
Or this one:
Sinking Titanic Kitty Condo: click here for details
Hey, don't judge. Even a crazy cat lady has dreams, you know.
Posted by laurie at 8:55 AM
December 4, 2006
Everyone is tired.
Roy tries to keep his eyes open between naps.
Posted by laurie at 9:17 AM
November 24, 2006
Apparently Frankie did not get the memo re: Basket Rights
Posted by laurie at 9:25 AM
October 25, 2006
The softer side of Sobakowa
Posted by laurie at 10:05 AM
October 6, 2006
We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for breaking news of uncontrollable cuteness
"Do you have to leave for work?"
"Yes, Roy, I do. I have to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan..."
"Oh. Okay. But remember how cute I look while you're gone."
"And don't forget the bacon, you hear?"
Posted by laurie at 1:58 PM
September 28, 2006
If looks could kill... ya'll would so be attending my funeral and then eating a casserole later today.
Hi ya'll! Work is busy! Send wine.
crazy cat lady
Posted by laurie at 10:30 AM
August 22, 2006
The Hunger Artist
Naturally, the best hours for sleeping are always those few hours very early in the morning when you know you should be closer to waking, but the room is dark and cool and the quilt is warm and you're in that perfect spot on the bed, legs pulled in, sleeping on your side, toes poking out from under the edge of the covers. It's still quiet out and you're dreaming, content. Before long the alarm clock will sound and the dream you want to hold onto will fade and...
... and oh yeah EXCEPT YOU CAN'T SLEEP because of this:
I shall stare at you until you feed me bacon.
Posted by laurie at 10:50 AM
August 18, 2006
Single male seeks fitness-minded gal for possible LTR
Posted by laurie at 12:02 PM
August 17, 2006
Terror Level: TORTIE
Posted by laurie at 10:28 AM
August 11, 2006
And I have the six-inch claw mark to prove it.
Posted by laurie at 10:42 AM
July 6, 2006
Posted by laurie at 10:38 AM
June 16, 2006
Thanks, and can we talk about knitting now? Or poop? Or ANYTHING.
Hi there! Thank you for the WELL OVER 50 EMAILS I have received telling me my cat is going to die this very minute for chewing on a flower. I understand your intentions are only the best, but please know I got the memo, and I sufficiently freaked out and cried and called the animal hospital and all that stuff.
He is fine. He's already on enough medication daily to lift an aircraft carrier. I am watching him closely for signs of death, but alas so far all he has managed to do is poop twice and eat part of the Pennysaver. I really do appreciate everyone's concern, and now it would be excellent if we could talk about another subject, any subject, because whether I like it or not, I do have to go to my place of employment and be productive all day so I can pay for these trips to the vet, and although I would much prefer to be home keeping up the 24-hour-cat surveillance, alas. Someone has to bring in a paycheck around here.
Until Soba publishes her manifesto. Then we're on the fancy feast gravy train.
(look how tiny the sobakowa used to be!)
Posted by laurie at 8:05 AM
June 15, 2006
Four cats: priceless. No, really. They're FREE. Come get 'em.
Sometimes I wake up with a Roy on my pillow next to me, staring intently at my head, willing me to wake up with his kitty mind and feed him the fancy feast of his kitty dreams.
Sometimes he'll resort to grooming my left eyebrow which, while not the most pleasant way to wake up, it is still arguably better than being pulled out of a good dream by the sound of one Roy hocking up one very large hairball.
Like this morning.
So I got up at quarter 'til butt-crack of dawn to fetch paper towels and do a groggy spot clean. And as I was in the bathroom washing my hands and staring at the wrinkled, bags-under-eyes scary woman in the mirror, one Roy T. Cat came into the bathroom purring and all "I have no idea why you are awake so early but Hi! I am cute! Fancy Feast!"
Which was when I noticed that my puking cat had mysteriously TURNED YELLOW IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. In spots. Specifically, he had giant YELLOW ORANGE areas on both sides of his mouth.
Me: PANIC PANIC OH GOD WHAT KIND OF MUTANT ILLNESS HAVE YOU COME DOWN WITH NOW?
Me: Jaundice? Of the... fur? Hepatitis? Catatitis? Yellow fever? Is this why you got sick? Are you hot? Do you have a fever? I might have a fever. Because this looks expensive. Come here. Let me inspect you.
Me: GREAT. The vet is going to ban me from the facility. I have a yellowing cat. It's probably ebola. TYPHOID ROY. They are going to laugh at me behind my back, or possibly to my face, just like the time I had to call them because Bob thought he was a dog and started eating rawhide bones. Why why why was I not a dog person? Or a fish person? Or a picture-of-a-fish person?
So I went into the kitchen to make coffee, since it was already past 5 a.m. and ergo "can't drink wine yet because that is something bad, like on a checklist somewhere, that you require twelve steps to retreat from" and the vet's office doesn't open until 8 a.m. anyway.
Which is when I saw this:
He was YELLOW because he was covered in POLLEN from the two lilies, assorted greenery and daisies (to taste) that he had eaten for a midnight snack.
Posted by laurie at 9:06 AM
June 6, 2006
They will eat you alive. But, cute!
Posted by laurie at 10:12 AM
May 17, 2006
It's hard out there for a pimp-cat.
Posted by laurie at 9:15 AM
May 11, 2006
One hundred percent of my divorce settlement is mad at me.
Bob and Frankie are finally home!
I thought I would pick them up from the hospital and they'd be ready to go forth and poopulate the world, but as it turns out they are still feeling paltry, and now to that mix we add pure hatred because of all the medicating we do at Chez Feline Guantanamo. This is what my morning has been like so far:
4:45 a.m. Alarm clock goes off, horrible thing.
4:45.03 a.m. I am back asleep.
4:46 a.m. Frankie sneezes, prompting me to remember why I have set alarm for insanely early wake-up time, because I must somehow feed and medicate four animals before I go to work.
4:48 a.m. Ponder prospect of medicating four sick animals. Wonder if it is too early to begin drinking.
5:02 a.m. Feed cats. Begin assembling medicine. Everyone gets a different dose. Some cats have different medications. Wonder if vet created this system to confuse the poor, dumb blonde girl.
5:09 a.m. Find Roy.
5:10 a.m. Roy sees me sizing him up. Roy is no dumb blonde girl. Roy runs under sofa.
5:12 a.m. With half my upper body under the sofa, I feel something brush my arm. EEEEEW.
5:13 a.m. It's Roy, not giant spider-creature of nightmares.
5:20 a.m. With half of Roy in my hands, begin using left leg in strange contortionist position to wrap my leg around front portion of Roy where his claws have permanently anchored to the carpet. Loosen cat. Cat attaches to leg. OUCH. Yet... aha! I am bigger than you! I HAVE YOU NOW!!!!!
5:21 a.m. Yet, medicine is on other side of room.
5:22 a.m. Still holding cat in two arms and one leg, wiggle out of T-shirt and wrap T-shirt around cat to hold cat in place. Am now naked, holding T-shirt covered cat in living room. REALLY NEED A BEER. Realize it's wrong to think of beer at five in the a.m. Consider taking up heroin, or perhaps archery.
5:23 a.m. Huddle with T-shirt-covered cat in football-holding position while inching to the bathroom, grab syringe of medication in mouth on the way. Medication is DISGUSTING. Understand why cats hate it.
5:24 a.m. Make it into bathroom. Place cat in sink. Shut door, get dressed again in what is now cat-hair-shirt.
5:25 a.m. - 5:37 a.m. Wrap Roy in towel burrito and get approximately no medication in cat, all medication on human.
5:38 a.m. - 6:42 a.m.: Repeat with three more cats. Envision self on cat-free island with naked Antonio Banderas-type man and large drinks with little umbrellas in them.
I do not even know how to begin thanking ya'll for the nice thoughts and for the help ya'll have given us here at the crazy house. Thank you so much. I cannot believe that complete strangers would open up like that and I don't even know the right things to say, aside from I am well and truly grateful, as are the furballs, and ya'll now are officially stock owners in my divorce settlement. Honestly. Thank ya'll!
Posted by laurie at 9:07 AM
May 5, 2006
Posted by laurie at 9:21 AM
April 18, 2006
Cats Behind Bars
Roy and I are drove all the way to Ventura on Good Friday to see a specialist, so our day was "expensive" and also "full of pitiful meowing in the car" and also "I will scratch you" and, finally, "Good Lord, if this is indeed a Good Friday, please say it comes with wine and maybe a side of fries."
He's on new medication now, and I'm not going to go into a whole thing about what's wrong with him and so on and so forth, because ya'll know. I'm a walking fountain on any given day anyway.
But I thought maybe ya'll might have some funny pet stories to cheer us up, as we're awful sad and long-faced over here. Anyone?
Posted by laurie at 10:04 AM
April 9, 2006
Every construction site needs a foreman.
Sobakow directs her minions on the building of the Target cubicle bookcase.
Also: The Sobatator hates to be called the Soba Tater.
Posted by laurie at 8:20 PM
March 6, 2006
And the Oscar goes to...
The award for Best Cat in a Supporting Role, male, goes to Bob for his moving performance in "My Left Paw."
. . . . . . . .
The Oscar for Best Female Cat in a Supporting Role goes to Frankie, for her portrayal of the great Detective Franklin Cluesoe in "The Mystery of the White Sabretoothed Cat" (white sabretoothed cat played by Roy in a cameo appearance.)
. . . . . . . .
Best Male Cat in a Leading Role goes to Roy for his heartbreaking portrayal of a cat impaled by evil in this year's remake of "Close Encounters of the Soba Kind."
. . . . . . . .
And of course, in the most anticipated win of the year, Best Female Cat in a Leading Role goes to one Sobakowa for her awe-inspiring takeover of the entire planet in "I'm Gonna Get You Sucker!"
"I really am going to get you. Suckers."
Posted by laurie at 8:33 AM
February 17, 2006
Cats Gone Wild
So, the cats are very and well pissed off at a certain human. Who is me. Let's start with Roy because he is the most obvious and also most full of hatred of all the cats.
Roy hates medication. He wants to hide from it, but this is a small house and the hiding places are limited. How an 11-year-old (or maybe older, we do not know) cat managed to shimmy ALL THE WAY up the window screen to the very ceiling of my house is a mystery. Yet, that Roy. He managed.
He fully and with renewed strength gives me all kinds of terror when I try to medicate him twice a day. Because, ya'll, this cat will probably cost me a million dollars to keep alive and I have permanent scars from the scratching, but by God he is one-quarter of my divorce settlement and HE WILL LIVE FOREVER. Whoops, sorry for the bitter. So, anyway, he has really discovered how strong he is and likes to show me as we spray pink medicine across the bathroom floor twice a day.
Why wasn't I born a dog person? Dogs seem easier. You can put them in the yard.
But the most fun of all is when Roy gets me back for all the torture he must endure. Which is when I am sleeping. He seems to know exactly when I have just fallen off to sleep, finally, and chooses this very moment to exercise his PSYCHOSIS, by the following:
1) meowing. a lot.
2) playing trampoline on my stomach
3) nipping at my exposed arm with his one fang in manner of friendly sabretooth tiger
4) snorting loudly in my ear
5) headbutting me to get under the covers
6) when under the covers, making biscuits on any available exposed part of my body, which IS NOT COMFORTABLE
7) leaping out from under covers like the surprise guest in the middle of a cake
And generally driving me insane. All night.
So I made all the cats leave the room.
And I shut the door.
And apparently this did the following:
Convinced Roy that I am evil and must be destroyed. Or at least my shoes must be destroyed. He is So. Mad. At. Me. And also apparently mad at one lone sequined flip-flip which is now naked of all but six sequins.
The Great Door Closing Of 2006 was also endured with much suffering by Frankie, who whined outside the door forEVER. Which in turn made Bob very nervous. Which pissed off Sobakowa and she gave one of them the beat down to end all beat downs and then someone knocked over a lamp.
Ya'll. I need a vacation from these animals. March? Arrive soon. Please.
Posted by laurie at 10:23 AM
January 30, 2006
Reason #274 Why I Did Not Make My Bed Today
Posted by laurie at 9:50 AM
December 8, 2005
We interrupt your regularly scheduled nonsense for breaking news of animal cruelty.
Posted by laurie at 9:04 AM
December 7, 2005
Posted by laurie at 10:28 AM
November 22, 2005
Roy says, thanks ya'll. Also: Send Bacon.
Today we have progress ... Roy is eating! Of course, he is 1) not eating in the kitchen and 2) not eating on a cat plate, instead preferring a nice dinner plate and 3) eating thinly sliced free-range no-salt turkey from Whole Foods, a mere $9.99/lb.
Which of course begs the question ... is Roy really sick or JUST NOT SPOILED ROTTEN ENOUGH?
Thanks for the kind words, Roy and his person are very appreciative. (Soba is wondering where her g-ddamn fan club is however and plotting ya'lls death.) Roy is still sort of falling over from time to time, but manages to work up enough strength to scratch me baldheaded twice a day during what we lovingly refer to here as OH GOD I HAVE TO GIVE YOU THESE ANTIBIOTICS PLEASE STOP HURTING ME.
I have to go now, his water dish is getting tepid. Thank you.
P.S. Yes. In my mind, crazy runs a spectrum, one end being minor (freak outs, PMS, oddities) and the other end being "wears a bra on one's head, speaks into a Pepsi can and directs traffic in her nightgown." I may have possibly seen that kind of crazy when I was about seven years old and apparently? Made a colorful impression on me.
He just feels paltry. Doesn't help that the paparazzi are in your face, I guess.
Posted by laurie at 4:54 PM
October 11, 2005
Someone ... alert PETA.
Posted by laurie at 9:28 AM
October 6, 2005
LOST recap! With visual aids!!
Here is a not-very-accurate recap of last night's LOST episode, in which my cats act out a few key scenes. They're such big fans of the show, even though Sobakowa is always yammering on and on about how the HELL does Kate look so fine and perfect when it's been 48 days without a shower or tweezers. She's just being catty. That is her way.
To complement this STUNNING visual re-enactment, might I also suggest a visit to Chase's website, where he provides richly textured stick figure recaplets as well.
Posted by laurie at 12:57 PM
September 28, 2005
Cats on my stuff.
For a month people have been sending me emails with a link to this site, Stuff On My Cat, and seriously, ya'll? Why do you immediately think of ME when you see the words "STUFF" and "CATS" in the same web address?
Anyway. Moving along!
But really, even though there is occassionally stuff on my cats, there is more often than not a cat (or two) on my stuff. So I present to you ... some cats on my stuff. It's pretty exciting out here on the Internets today, no?
And there you have it... possibly the one photo essay that ensures I will never again have a date. Which is a lucky break, if you think about it, since my clothes are covered in cat hair and all my shoes are being used as kitty beds. Next stop: the secret life of a sock drawer, coming soon to an Internets near you! Live from Chez Spinster, where the hijinks just keep 'a comin'!
Posted by laurie at 8:31 AM
September 27, 2005
What are you looking at?
Posted by laurie at 2:56 PM
September 19, 2005
Bob The Cat Vs. The Thing He Once Fell Into While Drinking Illicit Water
Posted by laurie at 8:41 AM
September 13, 2005
When in doubt, post a cat picture.
Posted by laurie at 8:47 AM
September 7, 2005
Let them eat bacon.
Posted by laurie at 9:24 AM
August 30, 2005
Endless Excitement at Chez Spinster!
Just some cuteness to offset the ugliness.
Posted by laurie at 1:09 PM
August 26, 2005
Chairman Meow is watching.
Posted by laurie at 7:12 AM
June 1, 2005
This is the story of Ethel The Cat.
This is Ethel the Cat.
Jennifer, who ya'll know I love and adore, had to take Ethel into the kitty hospital this morning for an indefinite amount of time. Ethel has to get a kittycat IV and X-rays and tests, and then the doctors will hopefully know what's wrong. We have a great veterinary clinic -- Shannon and Karman and I all take our pets there, too -- and Jen, she's just so damn sad, feeling like she was a bad kitty mom, blaming herself as we all do even when there was nothing, nothing on this planet, we could have done differently.
There's a love we have for our pets that's so simple, so completely emotionally driven, it's one of the most rewarding relationships you can ever have. People who don't like animals scare me. The way a person treats an animal says a lot about their character. The love of a pet, the appreciation for a dog or a cat or a bird or a fish, the amazement that this little creature has a heart and a circulatory system and a brain and thoughts all its own ... it's just a miracle. A pure love. A respect for life and a little piece of happy that you just can't describe.
When I think of unconditional love, I think of my pets.
But our pets can't talk to us and tell us when they feel bad. Jen loves those little furballs, Fred and Ethel, and she's a great cat-mom. I know she's home right now, with one kitty in the hospital, not knowing what comes next, just blaming herself. Ya'll, I'd be doing the same thing. But the truth is: she has no fault in this. It's Ethel's liver. How could Jen have known that? Ethel didn't tell her. It's not her fault.
So, ya'll, go visit Jennifer's website and give her some comment love and karma and tell her how Ethel is the prettiest, strongest, most loved cat on the Internets today.
And she is. We love you, Ethel. Come home soon!
Posted by laurie at 12:54 PM
May 28, 2005
Roy is the King of this castle
Happy Memorial Day weekend!
Posted by laurie at 10:33 AM
May 19, 2005
Bob Has A Job
Bob is currently in training for Cat Cuteness Olympics, inspired by Wendy's super-kitty Lucy, who is in training for the Kitty Sleeping Olympics.
He may not be able to compete with Lucy on luxuriousness of tail or feline sleeping prowess, but here he gives her a run for the money in the Cuteness Competition.
Also! Tonight... West Hollywood SnB
Nice people + one ugly hat
Farmer's Market at 3rd & Fairfax
7 p.m - 9:30 p.m.
Upstairs dining area.
Really, the hat. So, so sad. But funny.
Posted by laurie at 9:22 AM
May 17, 2005
The Notorious B-O-B
Well, this morning I am at home because, well... I have an appointment with a LAWYER at 9:15 a.m. and I'm a little nervous. And also OLD. Because I have no high-speed fancypants Internets at home until Saturday, when the Cable Guy comes to bring me Internets again, so I am stringing telephone cord across the room and dialing in on AOL, and believe me ya'll I HAVE AGED since I started this post a millennium ago. Anyway.
I am so spoiled. The Internets are slow and I just complain and complain, like I had an arm cut off, or like someone bought up all the wine. One day I came home and my cable TV was out and I about cried. Because TV? My Best Friend. Love you, Teevee! See? SPOILED.
Anyway, ya'll know, I couldn't sleep this morning because I'm going to see this guy. But I'm taking my camera. Wonder if my new lawyer, who I haven't even met yet, will mind being on the Internets? Even the slow Internets?
In the meantime, here's what's happening at Chez Spinster:
Posted by laurie at 6:17 AM
May 14, 2005
Something WICKED this way comes...
My cable modem isn't working at home, so I am dialing in on the phone all old-school with AOL!! It has taken me 22.8 minutes to log on. So if you emailed me lately and haven't gotten a response you know why. I'm on the Internets circa 1995 here.
I believe this montage is called "Evil Cute Cats Plot Human Death."
Posted by laurie at 10:29 AM
April 14, 2005
Don't go there, I mean it.
Let's just go ahead and acknowledge the obvious. After what I am about to tell you, there is no way I will ever go out on a date. (See related keywords: four cats, spinster divorceé, Betty Ford Clinic.)
You see, Shannon has lost her mind. And not only has she lost her mind, she has caused me to lose my mind (and the last shreds of self-respect and date-ability I had) as well.
Shannon: Hey! Oh, good! It's you!
(I think this is so sweet, right, she's so happy it's me! wants to talk to me!)
Me: Yes, it's me!
Shannon: I have to tell you what I've been doing for the last three hours, because you'll know! You'll get it, you'll understand since you're a crazy cat lady!
Me: Whu...? Ok. Yeah, thanks. What have you been doing?
Shannon: I went to Catster! It's like Friendster, but for cats, and now all my cats have profiles and diaries! And people can send email to your cats and add them to their Catster list and they pick a pet of the week. One of my cats must be Pet Of the Week!
(Shannon is a Capricorn. She's very goal-oriented.)
Me: This sounds like crossing the line. And you know, I'm sort of at that place where you wonder when your life went wrong and the 5 o'clock News is filming your house, where they're carrying out the cages of 32 cats and a ferret, and your neighbors are on camera talking about the time you wore your bra on your head.
Shannon: Pet of the week! I'm on deadline, and yet I just spent three hours setting up blogs for all the cats! Wheeeee!
Me: Ah. Ok. What's this thing called again?
So of course, I had to go on Catster and make pages for my cats, because I can't be the only one of my friends without a Catster page. (Is that a bandwagon I spy? Must hop on!) But don't go to the website, really, I'm warning you. It's addictive. Once you start, you can't stop! Thus proving once again the internets are good only for the following:
- wasting time
- shopping while in your underwear
And proving once again that I am indeed a crazy cat lady and I have Issues only manageable through heavy medication. Anyway. I can't post more because I have to go photoshop my cats so they will be Pet of The Week. Sorry, Shan! I love you, but we're talking Pet Of The Week, here. Game on!
Thursday 4/14/2005, 1 p.m. -- Updated to add:
I finally finished everyone's catster pages. But I forgot to post the links! Post your Catster pages, too, so I can put your cats in my Kitty Corral. Because I am a freak. WHO WILL NEVER BE ASKED OUT ON A DATE AGAIN. But I have Catster pages! Oh yes I do!
Posted by laurie at 9:43 AM
April 10, 2005
My... what a big eye you have, Bob.
Posted by laurie at 1:09 AM
April 6, 2005
I can eat a whole kitty pi.
Posted by laurie at 11:59 AM
March 22, 2005
Kitty pi complete with cat filling
Can I be completely frank with you?
I have simply the smartest, most superior cats on the planet. This is an unbiased fact, not just merely opinion. For many of the knitters who created a kitty pi, just as I did, their hopes of an appreciative kitty audience were dashed when their felines refused to acknowledge the hard work and effort put into constructing the kitty pi. (I know this because I read every single comment on the Kitty Pi Gallery page.)
My felines, however, are INCREDIBLY SMART and more than just the average amount of typical feline adorable. Once again, that is fact not opinion.
As soon as I got home tonight, I pulled the kitty pi off the blocking form. I really blocked it to kingdom come, so I wasn't sure what to expect (would it be stiff? a floppy mess? too thin?) but it turned out relatively soft, and floppy but not excessively so. (I do wish there was a way to make the fiber itself more stiff on the sides, but oh well.) As soon as the kitty pi landed on the floor, Inspector Franklin Cluesoe was on the case.
Click on any picture below for a larger view:
I had fully intended to spray a tee tiny amount of catnip in the kitty pi if they hesitated for even a moment to appreciate its goodness, but that was totally unnecessary.
Before Frankie could hunker down and get comfy in the new kitty pi, she was joined by the rest of the MOST INTELLIGENT and SUPERIOR cats in the entire world:
Of course, Roy isn't pictured in all this Kitty Pi positioning, because Roy is a patient guy. He mostly likes to lay on me, and uses designated cat beds only when I'm not around to be his own personal pillow. After the initial hullabaloo over the kitty pi had died down here at chez spinster, I waited until the knitted pi was unoccupied and moved it onto the sofa, right next to me, where Roy promptly got in and curled up for a long night's sleep:
Awwww. The end!
Posted by laurie at 9:55 AM
March 21, 2005
Kitty Pi (lots of pics!)
This is the story of my kitty pi, my first project knitted in the round. (I started a hat, but ripped it out midway through because of my "Pattern? I don't need no stinkin' pattern!" problem.)
This time, I made a commitment to follow the pattern through, no matter what. The only deviation I made from the original Kitty Pi pattern was in my yarn. The pattern calls for two skeins of Noro Big Kureyon, but I have big cats that like to cozy up on each other, so I needed a big bed. Having just completed the world's longest Kureyon (and on and on) scarf, I knew the knitted gauge of that yarn well. Funny how after nine feet of scarf knitting, you get the general idea. So I selected a much thicker lopi-style yarn combo for a bigger gauge and ergo, bigger bed:
My contrast color yarn, a multicolor "Caldo" by Lana Grossa, is so pretty! I'm using it for stripes and for the edging instead of the eyelash yarn called for in the pattern (we have enough real fur at chez spinster, no need to add some faux to the mix.)
Since this was the first time I have ever used double-pointed needles (dpns), I was sure I would cry midway through. I did not cry. It was fine. I am dramatic at times. The pattern moved along swiftly after I switched to my circular needles. Since I was using a thick wool yarn, the kitty pi was heavy and hefty just halfway through:
Traffic has been ridiculous all week (translation: lots of time spent sitting on a crosstown bus knitting like a maniac) so I moved fairly quickly on the kitty pi. With all the rain on Saturday there was no use attempting to work in the garden or otherwise leave the house, because everyone knows rain in Los Angeles means STAY INSIDE LOCK ALL THE DOORS DRINK WINE.
I happily indulged myself and knitted all the way through several TiVo'd documentaries, including one about fisherman in in the Bering Sea called Alaska On The Edge. I LOVE LOVE love shows about really cold destinations. Especially while knitting up some bulky wool.
By the end of the evening, the kitty pi was ready for felting on Sunday morning:
[click pictures for bigger images]
Instead of a zippered pillow protector, I used an old pillowcase and safety-pinned it closed. Next time I will just put a rubber band on the pillowcase, all the pinning and unpinning through each load and felting-check was tedious.
After one run through the wash on warm cycle with a capful of Woolite and some towels, my kitty pi had only barely fuzzed up:
[click image for bigger pic]
After two(!) more cycles through the wash the grey had felted perfectly, but the stitch definition was still clearly visible on the Caldo. I should mention there was also one accidental spin cycle during the third felting attempt, and yet we still have visible stitches on the kitty pi colored stripes. (!) At this point I decide that I intended all along for there to be some stitch visibility so folks would know the kitty pi was a hand-knitted item, and the stitches add a nice artistic contrast blah blah blah. Honestly, at that point I had washed the kitty pi with all my loads of dirty laundry and I had run out of Woolite and I was impatient to begin blocking. But let's assume it was an artistic "I like the stitch definition" choice and move on.
The final felt -- third time is the semi-charm -- produced a smaller, denser item:
[click images for bigger view]
For blocking, I used the bottom of a very clean Booda cat pan turned upside-down and covered with a towel. (Some cat talk here: I stopped using the Booda litterbox when I moved into chez spinster. Until then, I had never noticed that the round and expensive Booda was just way too small for my ginormous cats, and so I switched to the unglamorous but very serviceable $10 extra-large, plain old rectangular cat pan of their dreams and they love it. Go figure.)
Here is the gorgeous kitty pi, after some extremely zealous blocking on a beautiful (and finally sunny!) Los Angeles Sunday afternoon:
[click images for bigger view]
Tomorrow the kitty pi should be dry enough to take off the blocking form and throw to the lions. I left it outside to dry for several hours before bringing it indoors, and I think that accidental spin cycle on the final felting attempt helped wring it out a fair amount, too. I LOVE this Paton's Up Country wool for felting, it produced a lovely, dense and sort of fuzzy fabric with minimal fuzzballs. Overall, the kitty pi construction and felting was a breeze. I'm completely happy with the project this far, and apparently so is Sobakowa.
As you can see from the image below, Sobakowa (a superior cat) already knows the kitty pi is meant JUST FOR HER and she stakes her claim on it as it's still semi-damp and blocking on the kitchen table:
That's my girl.
Posted by laurie at 4:17 PM
February 28, 2005
Some cuteness to offset the ugliness
Posted by laurie at 5:14 PM
February 18, 2005
Already obsessing over Kitty Pi
Class tomorrow. I printed out the pattern for the felted cat bed on wendyknits, and I'm going to ask the knitting instructor at Lani's to help me get started. This will be a project of firsts ... first (intentional) felting, first circular needle knitting, first three-needle double pointed insanity knitting. I'm a woman on the edge of madness, I tell you.
I'm not going to worry about the inevitable mistakes I will make on the cat bed. I am going to remind myself repeatedly that it is just a cat bed. My cats unroll the toilet paper from the spool and sleep on it in a pile in the bathroom. Do you think they're going to be pointing out my twisted stitches? A purl that should have been a knit?
Obviously, I can't make four cat beds in one swoop of the needles. So I'll make one and let them Darwinize over it.
Survival of the fittest, yo.
Posted by laurie at 9:12 AM