Monday, September 25, 2006

The Mail of Two Kitties

Let's pretend for a minute (you're not busy, are you?) that Barbara Walters has decided to include me in her next interview special. (Shut up. It could happen.)

We've both been through makeup and whatnot and are sitting on my ugly fake-chintz sofa. Both of us are lit just so. One last sound check. Roll camera.

Barbara leads with one of her signature powerful questions:
"So, Fwanklin. You've been knitting a gweat deal these past two years. Do you want to tell us about that? Has it...changed you at all?"
Why, yes it has, Barbara, and thank you for asking.

In the dark, strange days before I knew what the hell k2tog meant, I hated cats. Wouldn't draw them, wouldn't pet them, certainly didn't want to own one. This had always been so. As a child, watching "Tom and Jerry," I was firmly on the side of the mouse. Faster, Jerry, faster! Kill! Kill!

As an adult, I felt that if I wished to live with something aloof and bad-tempered that shed all over the house and only noticed me when I was feeding it, I could have stayed with Mr. Ex.

I was careful, of course, not to say this to many knitters. Knitters, on the whole, enjoy the company of cats, some to the point of idolatry. Perhaps it's the common bond of Yarn Fascination. I like the pretty string, you like the pretty string. Let's be friends forever.

But I confess the allure still escaped me. I didn't want some stupid feral animal snarling my worsted and chewing the ends of my needles. Hell no.

Then knitting led to blogging, and blogging led to reading things like this and this.

And then, dammit, I was gone.

Unfortunately, the terms of my lease and Dolores's "cat issues" mean there will be no pitter patter of little feet (aside from mine) around the apartment. So if I want Cat Time I'll have to settle for mooching off Cats Elsewhere.

Two cats who are Very Much Elsewhere just got these in the mail from me.*

Cat Toys

They're from the "Catwarming Set" in Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. To finish two was the work of an evening (albeit divided into little bits over the course of a week or so) and it was fun. Just mind you look up the errata online before setting off.

Aren't they precious? Can't you just see the little bitty kitties batting them about on the floor? Pushing them around with their dear little paws? Curling up with them in their little mouths? So cute! Eeep! Who's a good kitty? Who's a good kitty? Get the little mousie, kitty! Goooooood kitty! Eeeep!

Bleargh. What the hell is happening to me?

Frigging cats.

*I must draw your attention to the copies of Fabula de Petro Cuniculo and Fabula de Jemima Anate-Aquatica, generously loaned to me by reader Jackie. They're going home shortly, Jackie, and I thank you so much.

63 comments:

Michelle said...

First comment!

I, too, have no cats, and never wanted any. Till I started knitblogging, of course. Now I'm wondering if I can hide one in my cupboard so the landlord won't realise I have it.

Damn cats.

Elizabeth said...

Once when I was looking for an apartment, one prospective landlord said "No!" to cats rather emphatically and backed it up by explaining that people with cats never stop at one or two: they just keep getting more and more. Well, he had me pegged.

I try not to post cat pictures more than once ever 5 or 6 months. And only if the pictures are actually pretty good.

Marlene said...

I lived with a cat allergy and at least two cats at a time, continuously, for the 17 years I lived with my parents. I was a sickly kid.....until I moved out and away from the damn cats. I never knew a person could feel so healthy all the time!

I don't hate cats, but I wish my parents had loved me more and cats less.

April said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
April said...

Ok I have to break out of my lurking mode and comment here. As a long time caretaker to cats/dogs.....you don't own cats....they own you. If one chooses you, feel lucky. If more than one chooses you, you're not to be blamed.

Love your blog. I'm a faithful reader.

PS: If Dolores ever figures out that a kitty is a good thing to "place the blame on".....you're in deep trouble. Believe me...I have smart dogs. They're forever blaming things on the cats and they still walk on all fours!

Janet said...

oh honey - go scroll down at cuteoverload.com from this weekend for the reposing kitteh in arms... and then you can go kitteh-cwazy on the left rail of the site.

Konchog said...

No way! Is The Mooj gonna be the recipient of one of those meeses? All the way here in Outer Mongolia!? Oh, he's gonna flip! Franklin, you're too cool.

Finding a cat here wasn't easy, and I needed one; never been catless my whole life. I had the last one for 19 years. Mongols loathe cats to the point of pathology. Three times in the past two weeks, I've heard the same alarming explanation from my Mongol friends, who warily sat as far away from The Mooj in my apartment as possible: "Mongols believe that cats wish their owner's death." Thanks, fellas! The great thing about cats is they know. The more someone despises them, the more they'll try to jump in their lap.

I'm still laughing at the image of Barbara Walters leaning forward and beginning an earnest question with, "Fwanklin..."

The Purloined Letter said...

Oh, no! I start knitblogging and then need this particular gorgeous yarn, then that one, this cool new pattern, then I need a spinning wheel, then need to try this cool fiber.... Are you telling me I'm going to have to get a CAT now?

Sean said...

My mother had a morbid fear of cats, which she did her best to pass to her kids. I never feared them, but I didn't really trust them. I startle easily, and having something silent suddenly jump on me gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Now I'm an "uncle" to several cats, and I like them just fine. I probably will never own one, though, because my Border Terrier (who adores cats in a non-reciprocated way) would never give it a moment's peace.

LauraJ said...

Glad someone already directed you to CuteOverload. I am having middle-aged woman problem: my kids are too old to be cute and too young to be parents.... I want kittens. No, I want my 16-year old pathological snuggler-cat to let me knit in peace. NO, I want to watch him playing the hitting game (powpowpowpowpow) with kittens... We had baby mice in the chicken shed and I was all googly for about an hour. At least I want other people's babies.

KellyD said...

Love your blog. Hate cats. Although I do have this great recipe............

Anonymous said...

By 'lit', you do mean the Auntie Mame version, I trust?

Susan

junior_goddess said...

Dogs, on the other hand, will play ball with a skein while you are out of the house. The skein will, of course, unwind.

Somehow, I think Dolores would rather have a dog.

Jackie said...

Well, fair's fair, I guess.
You started out with the fiber and have been persuaded to consider a cat when circumstances permit.
I started out with the cats, (and yarn) and you and the Harlot have just about convinced me I need to learn to spin. Because really, I should diversify my spending beyond books, yarn and quality chocolate.
If you really feel the need for some cat hair mixed in with your yarn (and on your clothes), or want to experience the joy of knitting up a few inches of damp and slightly slimey yarn because, unbeknownst to you, the cat has been sitting at your feet, sucking on the sock yarn as it unskeins, you're always welcome to visit.
As entertaining as my cats can be, however, I think you're miles ahead on excitement with Dolores as a roommate.

Joe said...

I consider myself a dog person, but current circumstances don't allow for one. I have a cat that is as close to a dog as one could find. As much as I thought a drier was the best place for cats most of my life, I have now changed my mind.

It was not as a result of knitblogging, however.

Lisa and Robb said...

Cute! Cute! Cute!

Another very satisfying catnip mouse knitting pattern (aka the mouse-pigs) can be found on a thread at Craftster:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=20858.0

KnitMongrel said...

Ooof. You've touched on one of the reasons I feel weird talking to a lot of knitters. I'm a MAJOR dog person (have two enormous ones) and I can't stand cats. My dogs are so excited to see me come home that sometimes they pee themselves. My old roommate had a cat for a while - the thing could not have cared less if I stabbed myself with a kitchen knife and lay bleeding on the linoleum. Not that I'm suggesting you get a dog - between Dolores and the sock yarn the poor pup would spend most of his afternoons cowering under the couch.

Mia said...

I love knitblogs, but when I see cats every day on them I unsubscribe. Can't stand them, actually. Get a catblog, I say.

Bettina said...

Franklin, stay strong! Dogs like to play with toys, too...

Mother of Chaos said...

Oh cripes. I became a cat-convert about ten years ago; I always *liked* them...just...I liked OTHER PEOPLE'S cats.

Then I rescued one and we got another to be her playmate and...well. Convert!

What's funny is...the original cat died and we got a new home for the other because...wait for it...I am VIOLENTLY ALLERGIC to cats. And dogs. Pretty much any animal with dander, I'm allergic to. Even horses. ACK!

Has this cured me? Do the memories of taking five different kinds of medications every stinkin' day to keep my lungs operating, my nose (relatively) clear and preventing my eyeballs from shriveling up and dropping out of my head, DO THESE MEMORIES stay at the forefront of my brain when in the presence of a cat in need of a home?

No.

No they do not.

I miss my kitties. It is hard outside of all reason not to find some silly excuse to be at Petsmart on Adoption Sundays.

It's only a matter of time. There will be cats in this house again. And a medicine cabinet stuffed with pills and inhalers and nasal sprays.

And I will be happy about it. I will squirt burning chemicals up my nostrils in exchange for snuggling on the sofa with a purring monster, who will be cheerfully shedding all over my alpaca shawl and getting away with it because she gives me the squinty-eye kitty-lovvie look...

RESIST THE KITTIES, FRANKLIN!!! Once you let one into your life, it's OVER. You will be assimilated. Resistence will be futile.

Jack said...

Franklin...Oh Dear God Franklin...what in Heaven's Name is wrong with you? First that she-goat moves in with you, and now you are ga-ga over cats and kittens? Someone had better administer a "slap up side the head" to bring you to your senses. And soon.

marie in florida said...

yeah, damn cats. i have four.
and
last week crochet a mouse for my friend shayna, because she told me a semi secret just between me and her and the mouse in my pocket.

the damn cats on the gripping hand, get their own mice and lizards and etcetera and bring them into the house and leave them by the food dish.

damn cats.

Jack said...

The last time I saw Barbara Walters on television, the cameras used such a soft focus that she resembled a colorful oil slick floating on the surface of water. AND she looked terrific at that! What a game old broad! What a great role model. You, my dear Franklin, have no need of soft focus, but an interview with B.W. might get you that perfect key light we all long for.

cheyne923 said...

So sorry to post a question not related to the current cat issue!
Think back, way back, to the ruana. Jo Sharp DK Aran? I'm trying to approximate a good weight for this and can't find that yarn--is the gauge about 18/20/22?
mea culpa if i'm breaking any blog laws....
Melinda (a fellow Chicagoan)

cheyne923 said...

So sorry to post a question not related to the current cat issue!
Think back, way back, to the ruana. Jo Sharp DK Aran? I'm trying to approximate a good weight for this and can't find that yarn--is the gauge about 18/20/22?
mea culpa if i'm breaking any blog laws....
Melinda (a fellow Chicagoan)

David said...

As the proud owner of Franklin's handiwork, I can say with surety that his craftsmanship is impecable and the end result is adorable. My cats are enjoying their new toys, although I believe they will enjoy them even more when I figure out how to insert some catnip into the bodies of the mice.

tb said...

I'm so with you on the friggen cats thing. I'm so allergic if they come and sit under my chair my eye itch. They're cute as kittens, but not so much as full grown cats. My friend's cat eats her yarn, but ONLY the expensive wool. No cats. Yes pretty string, but no cats.

judy said...

I can't imagine my life without cats....they teach me, entertain me, and otherwise take up precious time. I may just have to get that book just so they too can have beautiful knitted sock mice. Poor things, now their mice are knitted and stuffed triangles adorned wwith tails.

LizKnits said...

Welcome to the knitters who love cats club. Maybe you should join the Knitting Kitty web ring http://knittingkitty.blogspot.com/

(evil grin)

Anonymous said...

RE: Shortening your feed: good call.

pdxWoman said...

Two dogs, three cats, no problems. You don't have to be a dog person OR a cat person. And none of them attack my yarn. Dolores? Wouldn't put up with such a cheeky sheep. Seriously. Has she even produced her 2 pounds of yarn yet? I'm just sayin'.

Joy said...

There's a line in one of J.D. Salinger's short stories where one of his characters (IIRC, Buddy Glass) says, "I live alone, and catless, I'm glad to report."

Although I am endlessly amused by your conversion to catlover, Franklin. You are SO lucky you didn't provide us w/ your email address; if you had, I estimate you would have received 4,897 widdle piddle itski bitski cuteski liddle kittie photos by now.

Lucia said...

It's only a matter of time, Franklin.

I've been informed that the maximum number of cats with whom a woman can cohabit without being irretrievably classified as a Crazy Cat Lady is four. Guess how many we have.

It must be at least a month, closer to two, since my last cat-picture posting. Time to look through the Kodak files... yes, I have an idiot-proof Kodak camera, so sue me.

Carol said...

Anybody who makes catnip mice that look THAT good is a subliminal cat-lover.

Laurel said...

I too hated cats growing up, the neighbor cats were so obnoxious... but then a new stray was dropped off at our house and he was so cute and loved us... and then he turned out to be a pregnant girl...

Too bad I have allergies to pretty much all animals and asthma, so I got a Siberian cat when I moved to Chicago... allergic to him too, but he's my baby.

Rosie said...

have you read winnie ille pooh? don't have a copy to loan, alas, but do remember the first page:
ecce eduardus ursus descendit, tump! tump! tump!.

Must go, husband is playing his rude Robert Burns LP to impressionable minors...

Anonymous said...

Shoot. For one blissful moment, I thought Stitch and Bitch Nation came with a set of Beatrix Potter in Latin. Then I realized what part of the picture came "with" SBN.

DK said...

I had a cat once. I'm just not a cat person. But you know who is? My dog. She LOVES 'em. And usually wins them over pretty fast, curiously enough.

I do, however, occasionally indulge in the guilty, guilty pleasure that is stuffonmycat.com. Must, must be checked out if you've never been.

Tomme said...

With a lifetime allergy (a bad one) to cats, I'm a confirmed "dog person." The mice are just too cute though, and Max, the Devil Dog would love chewing them up! (Photo of Max way back at the very beginning of my sporadic blog-dome.)

another judy said...

i read your first paragraph (twice, even) as, "Let's pretend for a minute (you're not busy, are you?) that Barbara Walker has decided to include me in her next interview..."
also check out
http://catsinsinks.com/

Kathleen said...

Slapslapslap.

SLAP!

Snap out of it, man!

Anonymous said...

Please, Franklin - you are literate. You are educated. You are wicked and witty and wise.

And for a shy guy, you are also a sly, shy guy.

For all these reasons, I check your blog daily. A new entry is an event I celebrate with good coffee and a smile already in place before i read the first word.

So Franklin, please, please remember that 'loan" is a noun. The companion to the verb "to borrow" is "to lend". "I lend, I lent, I have lent."

I know this was just a slip. You just had a passing catacrotic spasm in which you performed a linguistic feliny.

Dogged Knitter

mima said...

You have made me laugh with your interview wth Madame Walters. very funny!

badmommy said...

As long as we're all fantasizing: If you haven't seen Shrek 2, in which Antonio Banderas voices Puss in Boots, you'll want to put in on your list. Cutest cat you'll ever see. It'll put Viggo right out of your mind - he's THAT good.

kmkat said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of catz, Franklin. We are all friendly here, we just like to touch soft furry things (watch out for your beard!) like cats and yarn.

Anonymous said...

Have had cats--and Marlene, we didn't realize our son was allergic to them 'til he left for college. Oy, the guilt! We must have been under their evil, but oh-so-fluffy spell.

I'm really a dog person. Zoe the Greek dog, our "Borderline Collie", is the latest in the series. Her strawberry blond hair is being saved for spinning.

Don't get me started on the wonders of sheep farming (with apologies to the deliciously domesticated Delores).

Jude in Obscureknitty

Mary B said...

My grandpa had a lawn and garden store in Kenosha and he always had a "shop" cat--called it Butch. Butch just showed up--and when Butch died or wandered off, in a few days or weeks, another Butch would move in and take over the job. Sometimes Butch was a female, sometimes a male. In return for food, an occasional trip to the vet and a place to sleep, Butch's job was to catch mice and rats. Grandpa respected the shop cat, but never showed it much affection--didn't need to, and Butch didn't want it. There were several Butches over the years, but never more than one at a time. How did they know?

I've always had at least one cat--I've had a few just show up and move in, too. Somehow they just know. If a cat shows affection, you KNOW they really like you. And if they aren't happy, they'll just leave. They are very discriminating creatures. Mary B

Kathy Merrick said...

Please, my friend, my buddy, leave the cats out of the blog.
You are brilliant and sane and clever.
You don't need ootums cuteums catt-es as a way to catch readers.
I do not comprehend the foolishness of thinking that knitting=cat absorption.
Quit it.

junior_goddess said...

Last night, an old friend sent me this. I don't plan on making this recipe, but I think you should consider it. Especially if this cat obsession continues......
http://www.fabulousfoods.com/recipes/dessert/cakes/kittylittercake.html

There-are you over it yet?

Mel said...

Cats, in my experience, have a way of just happening. Of course, I'm in a profession where pets of any sort are an occupational hazard, but despite my love for my dogs, I have had far more cats in my lifetime. And I would dispute with anyone the idea that cats are aloof and care only about the food bowl. I find that they have personalities every bit as complex and varied as people. When David & I watch movies (we don't get TV reception) we often end up with all four cats curled up on or around us.

Steph said...

Ahem. I'd like to be excused from the "knitters on the whole".

While allergies give me an excuse to avoid cats, in actual fact, I think they are innately evil and am relieved that I can't own one.

Dogs, on the other hand, well, we should all aspire to be the kind of people our dogs believe us to be. (I'm paraphrasing that quote from someone - can't remember who.)

LauraJ said...

Honesty compels me to say -- after I posted a completely gormless comment on Kitty Love, I found a very fresh chipmunk head on the living room carpet. Not bloody, very bodiless. Still warm. I felt ill all the way to work.

Sneaksleep said...

My husband was decidedly *not* a cat person when I met him. Now we have two and he usually greets them before me upon coming home.

Lovelovelove the Beatrix Potter in Italian. I wonder how they translate Mrs. Tiggywinkle? That was always one of my favorites...

Marilyn said...

Tontant weader fwowed up.

Gina Black said...

Um....cameras don't roll (unless you've dropped one just so on a hillside)...in TV you roll tape... Just one of the fine points. ;)

Signed,
A devoted cat-lover...

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