Speaking of Cats

Here’s a litter of a different sort of cat.  Nothing like Sundance.

CottageCats 01 JanMadeIt

I saw a little cat something like this in a magazine years ago and couldn’t resist making some of my own. This primitive, scrappy little patchwork style can be made into something decorative, or it can be a toy. Or both.

For kids under three skip the buttons and use little patches of felt for the eyes.

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The original cats I made were all one fabric, but where’s the fun in that?

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Don’t you love the silver chain and charm on this turquoise striped one?

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I tracked down a stash of scrappy little pieces of calico that seemed perfect for this project.  But they were very scrappy, with nothing big enough to use.

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So I matched up the colors and prints and stitched them together into pieces I could use.

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I’d been working on some crazy quilt squares when I got distracted by the cats so I was inspired to pick up my embroidery floss and add a little flourish to the seams.

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Cute, huh?

By the way, I have four crazy quilt squares. Two are finished, two aren’t.

Surely I’m not the only one that drops one project for another.

Am I?

Jan

A Bird Collar for Sundance

Sundance is my extremely huge long-haired tabby Maine-coonish sort of cat. And one of Sundance’s hobbies is to stalk and kill birds.

This is not OK.

Sundance on JanMadeIt

I wrote about it in my Bad Cat post over on Cottonmouth Creek, my photography blog.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

My solution, and it works!, has been this big, bright fluffy collar. I had something like this in mind and when I googled “how to keep cats from killing birds” I found a Birdbesafe collar cover that works on the same premise.

Birds can see bright colors and this bright mane gives birds a chance to fly to safety when the cat is ready to pounce. I can’t guarantee it will work all the time with every cat, but Sundance doesn’t kill birds when he’s wearing this collar. He did, however, get a snake.  Ick.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

Just in case my cat isn’t the only one out there that kills birds, I thought I’d show you how easy it is to make.

You’ll need elastic, some jingle bells, and a piece of fabric. Use bright scraps if you have them or if you need to buy some, 1/4 yard will do. Use woven cotton fabric for best results.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

The quarter yard will be nine inches wide. Cut that piece into strips no wider than one inch. I used pinking shears but you can cut a straight edge if that’s all you have. Fabric with a tight weave will ravel less.

I matched the elastic to the length of his current collar and found ten inches is the length I need. Overlap the elastic about a half-inch and sew the ends together. You can stitch it by hand, or sew it on the machine.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

Fold the fabric strips in half and loop them over the elastic and pull tight. Cram as many strips on the elastic as you can.

Then with a skinny strip of fabric, a shoe lace, or fishing line, string some jingle bells together in a loose clump and tie them to the collar and slip it on your cat.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

I know some cats take to collars about as well as cats take to water, but fortunately Sundance doesn’t mind. The elastic is loose enough that he can slip his head out if it gets caught.

Montage was a white calico I had years ago. Within a few hours she would get out of any collar I put on her.  This wouldn’t have worked on her, but then she didn’t catch birds either.

After a few months the first collar I put on Sundance got pretty dingy and limp.  Before I could spruce it up or make a replacement a dead bird showed up on the patio. 😦

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Now I make a point to have a replacement handy.  I untied the strips on the first collar and put them in a lingerie bag and washed them. I have them to use on future collars. I used yellow because it was handy, and then I read that red and yellow are the colors most visible to birds. I’m going to add some red and neon green to the next collar I make.

I know, the best thing would be to keep the cat indoors, but that is not possible right now. Fortunately there’s a big back yard and Sundance has Zeus, the Chihuahua and Radley, the Papillon  to hang with.

Jan

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