I knitted a cat blanket!

Holy cow, I actually kitted a cat blanket. Mid July I needed a hobby (see post) and decided to try knitting. I found, once I got the basic hang of it, that I really like knitting. I like the routine of it, the visual progress and the vague sense of accomplishment. I worked a lot on the squares (I had the time) and I ended up actually making a little blanket for the kitties to lay on.

Little by little I managed to A. get a little better at knitting and B. get closer and closer to making a blanket. Once I had all the squares done, I re-visited You-tube and learned how to attach them. That took an entire day. About 5 hours to stitch together the squares and weave in the ends (there were a lot of squares). My shoulders HURT at the end, but I have a cat blanket!

I realized part way through that I stitched together a few squares backwards – as in the seaming is visible on those squares on the opposite side of the blanket from the other squares. I thought about going back, taking out all of those stitches and starting over, but I decided to embrace the mistake.

That is something knitting is helping me with. There are a lot of errors as I learn and sometimes those errors are huge and need to be corrected immediately (usually by ripping the knitting up and starting over) but sometimes I can let them go. Those mistakes, in the overall project, don’t detract from the finished item and they are a good reminder that mistakes, generally, aren’t fatal. And really, at the end of the day, it is about the project, learning something new and the kitties. The kitties are important and they are not complaining about the mistakes in their blanket.

Update

Mom said  I could write this month’s update. She says we kittens have grown so much but are still really cute. I think we are still little and like to run around and play, especially with the dog. He’s a little scary just because he is so big, but he’s really nice to us. He even let me play with his fur when mommy was brushing us all the other day. (I don’t like the brush, but I love the dog fur!) Mom said she could make a small dog with the fur she gets from brushing him, but I don’t want her to make a small dog, I like Arthas.

img_20180611_124455Tigger was a little grumpy the other day, he went to see the doctor. Mom said it was his “once a year” check-up, but he still was not happy. Tigger said he was fine and the doctor told him he was super cute and in purrfect health and mom said he did’t have to go back until next year. It’s a good thing too – he was really cranky when he came home.

Tigger is a lot larger than Alinea and I, but I’m getting to be bigger than her. Mom says Alinea is her little kitten even though we are the same age. We still play all over the house, but when she gets tired she either go to Tigger or climbs the tree in the backyard. Mom said she may have a heart attack one day because Alinea goes so high in the tree. I don’t like going up in the tree, but I do love playing with all the leaves. Mom said I’m a great leaf hunter!

Mommy says we are all good babies, but she tells Arthas he is a good boy a lot. He tries to help around the house but I don’t know that he is really helping – I think he makes a mess, but I’m just a cat so I’m not sure. He does guard the front door a lot and he barks when other dogs walk outside the house. I’m glad he does that because we don’t want another dog.

I’m going to go chase Alinea some more and maybe catch some leaves. Mom’s garden has a few fun ones to play with and it’s nice and warm out there.

Love, Ella

 

Pet Update

I have been accused of wanting the “broken” animals. I fell in love with the cat with no nose and the blind dog, but I don’t think it was the “broken” aspect that made me want them. It was that they were overlooked. When I think about all the animals I’ve taken home, they were all over looked or unwanted in some way. The boys in the neighborhood threw rocks at Patches because they didn’t want her around and when she followed me home, I knew I wanted to keep her safe. Jessie was ignored and then given up and she spent a lot of time in the shelter with no one wanting her. I knew the minute she nuzzled my hand she was mine. Leia was abandoned by her mother and lots of people didn’t look twice at her because she had the nose issue, but she purred in my arms the first time I saw her and that was it – she was mine. Gracie and Tigger were a little more normal – three and a half weeks old when I first saw them and Gracie was instant love. Arthas spent five months in a shelter and I don’t think the volunteer showing me the dogs that day expected me to do more than glance at him – but he walked up to me and didn’t bark and he just looked at me (ok, he can’t see but he does look at you) and I wanted him. Ella was abandoned by her mother and someone threw Alinea from a car. Talk about overlooked and unwanted.

But … they are fantastic and the best pets I could ask for. Arthas has learned the cats are not going to hurt him – he is very good with them now and they just adore him. Tigger is even staying on the couch when Arthas jumps up because he knows it is all okay. The kittens are grown (they are just about a year old now) and so sweet. Alinea is definitely a little smaller than Ella and she is the adventurous one. Ella likes to hide, but she also plays and likes her lap time. They have grown into beautiful cats.

Arthas still has a few issues, but in the almost two years we have had him, he has relaxed, become more energetic and he now wants to protect his home. He likes the cats (he’s tried playing with Alinea a few times) and us. I even think we may be able to introduce him to Falco at some point, something a year ago I didn’t think would be possible.

Pet Update

So this month it was eleven years that I’ve had Tigger. Eleven years since I brought three little kitties home, made Jessie super happy and embraced the crazy cat lady vibe. It is hard to believe he is eleven years old, but he is still my baby.

I love that Tigger gets along with the kittens. He seems less enamored with Arthas, but they do get along – they just don’t bother each other for the most part and I’m good with that.

Yes, my poor boy frequently looks annoyed with the kittens, but I know he kind of likes them. He lets Alinea eat out of his plate and I do often catch them playing. He, like his mother, needs his alone time, but for the most part, he likes having them around. I think.

Arthas is also very normalized with the cats now. I came back from walking him the other day and Alinea, who was in super play mode, jumped on him (near his head) and he ignored her. No growls, no jumping, not standing over her, just looked and kept walking. I was so proud of him!

And the kittens. They are almost full grown now. I can’t believe how adorable Ella is and how beautiful Alinea is. Yes, I’m biased, but not totally out of reality.

Hopefully it won’t be so long for me to get an update on these guys again. I still miss my other furry creatures, but it is really nice having the house full. And they are wonderful babies.

 

Gardening

I wasn’t going to do any gardening this year. In Florida we plant in the fall – October-ish and this past fall I was a little busy. However, after school finished, I decided to clean up the garden a little and plant a few things. You can plant into December and maybe even into January, so I did.

The tomatoes, jalapeño and kale are all doing well. I started with everything in pots and was pretty glad I had when the cold snaps hit in January. It is way easier to cover plants in pots near the house than it is to cover the garden. I ended up moving the kale to where the garden should be because it needed more space, more light and more air circulation. To prevent Arthas from eating said kale (yes, he eats kale), I used a bit of gardening fence we had. So far everything is looking really good.

IMG_20180211_105705.jpgWhen I moved the kale, I also cleaned up the herbs and I ended up with a bunch of oregano. I have plenty left in the garden, but I didn’t want to waste what I cut so I decided to dry them. Finding a place to hand the oregano where the pets would not get to it, I wouldn’t forget about it and they would get plenty of air was a little tricky, but I just attached them to the window in the kitchen and two weeks late – fresh dried oregano! It isn’t as pretty as the cat grass and catnip that I have planted, but it is pretty all the same. Arthas and Alinea really like the cat grass.

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I was pretty proud of my little efforts and I think they are starting to pay off. We’ve used a few jalapeño and some herbs in some dishes recently and I even had a kale salad with kale from the garden. The tomatoes look fantastic – I’ve cut them back once, but the plant just seems to keep growing, so I’m going to just let it be. I counted four clusters of tomatoes right now, and there are a bunch of flower clusters that give me hope for lots and lots of tomatoes until summer.

Pet Update

The kittens are growing! I know, this is what they do, but they really are cats now even through they still play like little kittens.

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They are cute, aren’t they? We decided they needed something to climb on, scratch and play around so we got a new cat tree for them. Even Tigger likes it. IMG_20180116_064834.jpg

Tigger is playing more and is generally more active these days. He is still a grumpy old man still times, but the boy will be eleven this year so that is allowed. I love watching Tigger and Alinea curl up with each other or play together. She has really taken to him and he seems to be ok with it. 

Everyone is doing fairly well. I think the little ones about about Gracie size right now (probably 8 pounds or so) and I think Ella will grow to be the larger of the two. Alinea, for all that she eats, is still very slim and light when you pick her up. Ella just feels more solid. I am very grateful that Tigger and Arthas seem to like them, although both have been not so happy with playful kitties a time for two. But they learn quick and no longer try to play with Arthas while he is sleeping. Of course, Ella does keep playing with Tigger’s tail when he is eating.

Arthas is Arthas – he is playing more, walking more and just generally seems settled and happy. I even think he kind of loves us now. He hung out with me on the couch when I was sick and didn’t mind the cats that came and went all day. We’ve had fewer run-ins with off-leash dogs and that has helped.

Every now and then when I see Instagrams of kitties no one seems to want I think I could add more, but then I look at the pets we have and know the house is full. We are super lucky with these four and I’m just going to keep enjoying them and loving them. I know the time with them won’t ever be long enough so I just need to make the most of the time we have.