March 12, 2006

The perils of knitting with (certain) cats

Despite my claims to the contrary, I have not been casting on for multiple projects this past week, and instead have been soley focused on knitting the bear skin rug. In fact, yesterday morning I finished the body and the top of the head and picked up the stitches for the first back leg. By the time I reached this point the rug was getting pretty darn unwieldy (the body itself is about four feet long, and that doesn't include length of tail or head, plus it's several feet wide) and heavy, so I moved downstairs to the dining room table so I could spread it out and work on it there. I ended up going out to lunch with my parents (Richard was off at a writing group brunch) so I carefully folded it up to hide all the ends and left it in the middle of the dining room table. Prior to this I was always very good to stuff the entire thing into a large plastic bag and close it up, so as to avoid feline assistance with the ends, but I figured it would be safe there.

Hah. Sigh.

One of our cats, Zucchini, is kind of a problem child. He's had fear issues all his life (he was a former foster baby of mine and this is why I have him, because he was otherwise unadoptable - and we are pretty sure that it's chemical in nature because of the five in his litter, three were okay, and he and his brother, who I also kept, weren't). He's very sweet and affectionate to me, although it's taken him twelve years to decide that I am safe enough for him to actually come sit on my lap (he was never feral, but you'd never know it by the way he acts at times - we call him our Invisible Cat because Richard and I (and the house call vet) are the ONLY ones who ever see him). But he does have some problems. And one of them is the occasional bout of inappropriate peeing. He's improved tremendously over the past few years, but still, there is always the occasional setback. And considering how long it's been since the last time, I guess we were overdue.

So while I ponder the best way to clean the thing (can Denise cables go through the wash, do you suppose?), the bear skin rug project is on hold. And in a way this is likely for the best. The remainig five skeins of yarn arrived from Black Water Abbey, so this evening I will pull out my swift and my ball winder (oh how I love my swift and my ball winder!) and wind up the first skein and see if I can't at least crank out the shoulder saddles for my FLAK cardigan.

Posted by Jenipurr at March 12, 2006 06:31 PM

I thought my recent bout with yarn eating cats was bad....I stand corrected.

Your poor Denise needles :(

Posted by: Jenn at March 12, 2006 11:55 PM

Ouch; we've had similar problems with one of our cats. He can't tolerate visitors, and feels the need to mark the couch and chair whenever someone besides my husband or me comes in the house. (This is after he hides until they leave, of course.)

I wouldn't put the Denise needles through the wash; you're going to want to use hot water, and that might mess up the cables. I'd run waste yarn through the stitches on the needle, tie the ends together, and wash the rug. If the Denise needles also got nailed, it would probably be better to wash them by hand. I just worry that any metal would rust if exposed to water and harsh detergent for too long.

Posted by: Beth at March 13, 2006 10:13 AM

Heh. Oh, I know - I wouldn't really run the Denise cables throug the wash. I need to snip off all the hanging balls of yarn and tuck in the ends and then run a piece of yarn through my unbound ends. It's just annoying.

As for the rest of the peeing problem, we've discovered that industrial strength shower curtains are great for covering up pillows and couches (they're sturdy enough to withstand claws poking through, most of the time), and they're cheap enough to replace whenever needed.

Posted by: Jenipurr at March 13, 2006 10:24 AM

Aw, bad Zucchini. Sounds like you know what to do. My elderly kitty cat had incontinent problems the last couple of years but thankfully (or not) she couldn't climb anything. But my featherbed one night. That was fun. I finally put oil based tablecloths on her side of the bed.

Posted by: Carrie K at March 13, 2006 04:12 PM