Cat Helpers

I am a quilter and I donate many of my quilts to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. At the moment I’m working on three more quilts and as usual, I get a lot of help. Quilting with kittens is always exciting. Yesterday I cut the flannel for the three backs, but I was too tired to sew the pieces together. I left the flannel on my large ironing table, planning to sew the three backs today.

When I got up this morning I discovered that Emmett and Ghost had been busy, very helpfully rearranging things for me.

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It is so wonderful to have such admirable help. I have now sewed the pieces together and the three backs are currently being washed. The flannel needs to be washed not because of the kittens but because flannel shrinks at a different rate and so can’t be quilted with the front until it has been washed. My three tops are nearly done as well and soon, thanks to my helpful assistants, I will have three more quilts ready to wing their way to brighten the days of patients at Children’s.

Cat Playground

Friday saw the completion of an eight month project to build four catios with connecting tunnels for my four cats. I estimate that I’ve added about 300 square feet in floor space and nearly 100 feet of tunnels. All of my cats are really enjoying the entire safe outdoor experience and I enjoy not only watching them play but also the added color in my yard. Here are several photos of the project.

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Catio Constructions

The final catio in my cat paradise is under construction. My four cats are already enjoying three catios, one very large (8’x 10′ x 9.5′) and two smaller (4′ x 4′) catios all connected by tunnels, one of which is 70′ long and runs around the north end of my home from front to back.

The final piece of the construction is now underway, a fourth catio (6′ x 6′ x 9.5′) which will be connected to the third catio. It will match the design of the first large catio, giving symmetry to the project. I will have two catios in the back and two in the front, so my cats will always be able to find sunny, comfy, outdoor spots where they can sleep or run safely.

And my sweet calico cat, Calliope, is taking the construction in stride. There is an advantage to being mostly deaf as she is happily sleeping in the sun in her favorite spot as the panels are raised on the neighboring platform. The catio will be finished on Friday, and the final building will be filmed by a company from California, so I’m sure it will be a hectic day. But after that, my cats will have lots of room to roam and play, both inside and out.

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Morning Shower

My life has really changed with the addition of catios (safe outdoor enclosures for my four cats), and one of the most obvious changes has been instigated by my sweet Foxy, an 8 year old black female. She has decided that she wants to spend most of her time outside, but she also wants to snuggle with me and get lots of pets. 

To this end, she makes sure that I stop by the big catio (the one with a people door and a chair for me) first thing each morning as I go to and from my outdoor shower. She meows a greeting that I simply can’t resist. So I stop both before and after my shower for some quality time with her. It makes for a lovely start to my day and I hope also to hers. I suspect that I won’t be able to continue this when the weather turns (it would be definitely nippy to be outside, especially wet, in the winter), but for now, it’s quite wonderful.

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Good Friends

Yesterday I was surprised by good friends with a new mailbox. It is absolutely magnificent and I smile every time I see it. I’m sure it will serve me with much joy for many years.

This all began when I had become frustrated with a leaking mailbox several years ago. At that point, another friend built a “house” cover over it using scraps of painted wood left over from my home remodel. That solution worked reasonably well, but over the intervening years what was meant to be a temporary solution weathered and began looking very sad.

I then asked my very dear friends, Paul and Anja, if they could come up with a solution, something that would be practical but also whimsical, serving as a landmark for my home. But little did I ever imagine what a wonderful solution they would come up with. They really went way above and beyond anything I could have envisioned. Paul installed it yesterday and it is just perfect! Many thanks and I’m so very fortunate to have such wonderful friends!

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Changing Sheets with Kittens

On Saturdays I do the majority of my weekly chores, which include changing my sheets. This morning one of my kittens, Emmett, discovered that there are drawers under my bed. Calliope has already found this and she enjoys helping me by climbing into the drawer where I keep my clean sheets. Once inside the drawer she can than climb over the back of the drawer and hence under the bed. I then leave the drawer open while I put on the clean sheets, making sure that I don’t bump into it until she decides to leave.

This morning Emmett decided to check things out. He climbed into the drawer and then went no farther, I expect, because he didn’t want to approach Calliope. 

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After awhile, both cats left and I completed making my bed. But Emmett wasn’t done yet. He returned and proceeded to hunt for the drawer. First he went under my quilt, making my freshly made bed look as if it had been slept in. The bulge in the photo is Emmett.

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He scurried all around under the quilt searching for the drawer. Finally, he came out and went to the corner of the drawer which had previously been open and he spent a long time trying to open it. He didn’t succeed this morning, but I’m sure he will eventually! He’s a very clever kitty.

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Cats, Birds, and Squirrels

My day is off to a lovely start. As I have mentioned, I’ve recently added catios to my home to give my cats the option of going outside in a safe environment (safe for them as well as the birds). I now have three catios with connecting tunnels and I will eventually have more as catios are addicting for both me and my cats. But more on that another day. 

I began my day with my morning shower (and for those who may not know, I have an outdoor shower) during which I got to watch Emmett (one of my two kittens) in my largest catio as he in turn watched a black-capped chickadee in the birdbath. Then both Emmett and I noticed a squirrel on a nearby fence. It was magical to think that all of us could safely enjoy each other on a gorgeous sunny morning.

A little later, after I’d feed all my fur friends, I saw that Foxy, my lovely black cat, was outside in the large catio and she was staring at me, meowing, and so I went out into the catio to spend time with her. Emmett soon joined us. Both Foxy and Emmett are snuggle bunnies, and the three of us had a lovely time, watching the activities of primarily birds in my back yard, and getting lots of petting time before I left them to enjoy their world as I tutored my first student of the day.

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