kittens & crochet

Marian Parsonsa slice of life, Artistic Endeavors, Yarn Crafts75 Comments

Based on the title of this post, I’m officially turning into my great grandmother.  I don’t mind that too much, though, because she was a pretty awesome lady.

Anyway, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know we adopted a couple of kittens last Saturday.  It was something we’ve been thinking about for a few months and decided this would be a good time, since Jeff and the boys would be home from school and work for Thanksgiving break and we’d all be able to bond with them and help them adjust.

We went to the cat adoption day planning on looking and perhaps picking out a pair of kittens if we found the right ones.  We knew we wanted siblings and older kittens – about 4-6 months old.  We were also hoping for cats that had been around dogs before, so they wouldn’t completely freak out about Sebastian.  There were several kittens at the adoption event that fit that description, so it was just a matter of interacting with some to see which ones “felt like ours.”  The volunteers pointed us to some kittens who were still with their siblings and/or littermates or ones that were bonded and they were hoping would stay together.

Jeff and the boys gravitated towards a trio of playful tabby cats.  And these were kittens that really needed a home.  They had been removed with 27 other cats from a pet hoarding situation by animal control just a few days prior and this adoption organization was trying to save as many as they could.  They had been fixed and treated for their immediate health issues, but they still might need additional treatment and they definitely needed a lot of TLC and a few good meals.  They were friendly and eager for affection and the boys were smitten.  It was hard not to adopt all three, but we decided to adopt the two girls.

Because these cats were from animal control, they were eager to get them in a home, so they expedited the adoption process and were able to clear our application that day.  The morning plan to look at cats and apply to adopt a couple later that week turned into a full day of setting up our house for kitties and spending time with them in the “cat room”.  We set them up in the sewing room, so we could observe their health and behavior and they had some time to adjust to us and the smells in our house.  They had been through a lot and just needed some stability and to feel safe.

We named the kitties after two characters from A Series of Unfortunate Events, a story we all enjoyed, Violet and Esmé.

This is Violet…

She was the one Jeff and the boys picked out first because of her unique marks.  She looks like a cross between an orange tabby and a gray and black tabby, but her spotting looks like a calico.  I learned she’s called a caliby, a tri-color calico with tabby patterning.

She is friendly, affectionate, and warmed up to Sebastian the quickest.  She is a talker, too!  Now that she’s more comfortable in our house, she’ll follow us around meowing for attention or small pieces of boiled chicken.   (I’ve actually been boiling rice and chicken for the cats for treats and “wet food” because the vet said it’s easy on their stomachs.)

Esmé is so sweet.  She does have a hiss on her, though, and she used it when she first set eyes on Sebastian.  She has been very affectionate with us, though, and is quite the snuggler.

We ended up having to take her to the vet after a couple of days of observation and she needed to be on antibiotics and some other medicine to treat some digestive issues remaining from being in a crowded, unhealthy environment.  She’s already doing much better and we’ll take her in for a follow-up in a few days.

(I do want to say that I am sad for whoever owned these cats.  It must’ve been very difficult to have animal control remove them when that person probably felt like they were giving all of these cats a good home.  I hope they are getting some support, too.)

Both cats have put some meat on their bones and they are making themselves at home.  They have been enjoying the Christmas decorations, some a little too much!  They were wrestling in the wooden village tree collar and broke a small piece, so I decided to put that away for this year.  Esmé also picked apart my homemade advent wreath, so I’ll have to get creative and do something different.

It was all packed away with a smile and a shrug, though.  Both Jeff and I grew up with cats and we know that minor adjustments have to be made, especially when they are playful kittens.

And Sebastian has been amazing with the cats.  He almost looked wounded when they were afraid and hissed at him, because he was ready to meet them with his tail wagging!  We adopted Sebastian from a cat sanctuary, so he was very well-behaved with cats.  Esmé and Violet have both warmed up to him, though, and the three of them will follow me around like a parade.  They are not quite snuggling or playing with him, but they will sniff him and aren’t afraid to walk past him now.  I think it’s helped that I feed them all pieces of chicken together.  Treats go a long way!

And, I’m still crocheting away!  Even with cats chewing on my yarn and batting at the hooks.  I’ve made several dishcloths to practice stitches…

…and even made a couple of “cat nests” with some chunky yarn I already had on hand.

I told Sebastian not to be jealous and reminded him that I made him a bed and he ate it.  True story.

The cats have sat in them here and there, but haven’t quite taken to them, yet.  They were quick and easy to make, though.

During the quiet week, I also worked on making glass cozies (we seem to be the only people who called them “socks”), as my great-grandmother did, but I have yet to find the perfect yarn.  Everything I’ve tried has either been too thick or too thin.  I bought some more options on Friday, so I’ll give them a try.

And, I’ve decided to make a granny square afghan out of chunky cream cotton yarn.  I love making granny squares!  This one will mostly be for practice since the chunky yarn is forgiving and then maybe I can make one out of finer yarn when I get better.

I picked up a couple of beginning crocheting books that have really helped with learning stitches and techniques.  It really is a fun endeavor, because once you learn the basics, there is a ton of stuff you can do!  I know my work isn’t perfect, but I’m just enjoying the process of learning and making things…

kittens & crochet

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75 Comments on “kittens & crochet”

  1. What a shame you couldn’t take the third kitty. After a traumatic time he would have been further traumatised by losing his sisters.

    1. I know, but he was having some evident health issues while we were visiting with him. We also learned that they weren’t littermates and it’s hard to know if they are even siblings with the number of cats that were removed from the house. I hope he gets healthy and finds a good home.

      1. Oh, Marian, sorry about the confusion I had over your new family members! Lol! So happy they are settling in. I have a dog and cat who get along but… sometimes the kitty would rather be left alone! My first dog was a few years old when I brought this cat home as a kitten and she loved him from day one! So when I brought a new dog home a year or so after my first pup passed, I thought she’d welcome him with open arms. It’s a process! Merry Christmas! Jo

    2. Hi!
      Even if there was some confusion, I’m so glad you said that. I wish everyone would consider the emotional trauma it can cause splitting up littermates, and all the other ways we do it. Also thankful, you both stayed kind to each other.

    3. I am with you Tina, it’s a shame they didn’t do that. After saying all that and then to just leave him there, why??????? They could of found two other kittens that were together. I just don’t understand people.

      1. Goodness, this is a pretty severe commentary on our decision given that we adopted two kittens and the volunteers were thrilled that they were going to a home instead of back to animal control. Again, 30 cats were removed from that home and they brought these three to adoption day, not because they were littermates or to keep them together, but because they were in the best shape and had the best chance of being adopted.

      2. I love following Marian and this blog (and have for years), but I have never commented until today. To Tina & Cathy Bowman, I’d like to say shame on you for trying to “shame” Marian and her family for their decision to “only adopt two” kittens! As a long-time animal rescue volunteer, I know how difficult it is to find good and loving homes for animals, especially those who have come from difficult situations. In a hoarding situation, who can know what cat or dog is bonded to whom and, most, if not all, have health issues. I applaud Marian for giving these two kittens a great home. I am more than sure that the rescue they were adopted from will be working hard to find the “third kitty”, as well as, the other 26+ cats from the hoarding situation an equally good home. So, please, stop and think before you comment negatively about someone who is LITERALLY making a life and death difference in these animals’ lives. One person cannot save them all, as much as i and other rescue volunteers would like to. Unfortunately, trying to do that not only leads to overcrowding (perhaps that’s what the original owner attempted to do), but is detrimental to our own mental health, as we face the sad reality that we cannot help every animal. Instead of applauding Marian for adopting animals from a reputable agency that provided spay/neuter (to stop the cycle of unwanted animals) and health care, you have taken the time to shame her and lay a huge guilt trip on her at the same time. Why would you feel the need to do that? That type of attitude is what turns many people away from good rescues just trying to help as many animals in need to find homes. I don’t know why, but I feel the need to apologize to Marian on your behalf, and instead say to her, “THANK YOU” for your kindness, compassion and generosity in making a difference in these cats’ lives. If Violet and Esme don’t already realize this, they have hit the proverbial jackpot.

  2. Congratulations on your new additions! They are so adorable and in a wonderful home. I love your crocheting. You are so talented!

  3. I have had two calico cats and they were the best. Both lived past their 19th birthday and my last one died almost a year ago. Enjoy them! Female cats are the best.

    1. Wow, 19 years! Yeah, I grew up with Siamese cat sisters and they were so sweet. I was glad we got two females.

  4. You can place the cat beds in a box for a little while and they will start sleeping in them. Most cats have never met a box they didn’t like.

  5. Congratulations! They are beautiful! I’m glad they get along so well! Where did you find the pattern for the cat nests?

    1. I actually just made it up as I went along. I used a super chunky yarn (jumboliciouus from Hobby Lobby), started with the magic circle and kept increasing until it looked big enough (using the treble crochet stitch). Once it was big enough, I made two more rows without increasing to make the sides. I’m sure you could find a pattern, though.

  6. It is so wonderful to see your new family members. We lost our beloved
    feline friend Peter after only getting to share 4 years with him. It was a shock discovering he was dying from kidney failure. My oldest son, who has special needs, has taken the loss very hard , as Peter was his best friend and it is hard for him to understand. We too are considering on adopting another kitty in the near future. I love the names you choose. Best kitty wishes on a grand Christmas with your growing family!!!

    1. Oh, that’s so sad. I’m so sorry to hear. I had a cat die after just a few years from a heart condition and that was so sad. You expect cats to live longer than that and then it’s hard to see them suffering. I hope you’re able to find another kitty that brings joy to your family.

  7. Kittens bring so much enjoyment… love that you rescued them and they will have a safe loving home now.
    Your crocheting looks great, I am also admiring that cute zipper pouch in the photo. Please tell me more… where did that come from and do you think it might still be available?

  8. Not sure if you already know, but calicos are always female and orange cats are almost always male😊

    1. Yes, I read that! I was looking up calicos and tabbies to figure out what I should call her and I learned a lot about cat genetics!

  9. Such a nice thing to do. I love my cats have grown up with them since I was a little boy. My Father would sneak them in the house and my mother would shake her head and say not again Edward. 🙂 My Sebastain is 6 years old and kind of came with our house after we bought.
    So glad you are on the plus side of your recovery, enjoy your new Kitties.

    1. Awww..thanks for sharing. I grew up with two Siamese cats and they were so much fun. They lived to be in their 20’s!

  10. Your new fur babies are adorable. They are lucky to have found such a loving home. You might try sock yarn for your glass socks. I have tried to make some, too, and until you mentioned socks, I never made the connection. I am going to give it a try.

  11. I love your new additions! I had a caliby that lived to 18 yr and a brown tabby that lived to 22 yrs! We now have 3 tabbies – Mille, a brown tabby who is 10; and Pearl, a gray tabby and Sid, a tan tabby – they are 1. 5 yrs old and littermates. Congrats for the new fur babies!

  12. Your house sounds like mine, expect we have 1 cat & 3 Groodles -you guys in the US call them Goldendoodles, that name wouldn’t work so well over here in Australia. I can totally relate to being followed about by animals – everything is a group activity here as well! 😀

    Our cat Lavender is a grey tabby & is about 13 years old. We discovered her as a very young kitten in our alpaca paddock – well the alpacas discovered her actually – she was a kitten from a feral cat & never really learnt she is a cat, she hunts rabbits on our farm, but sleeps inside like any house cat at night. She gets on well with all the dogs.

    We lost our 2 older Groodles this year & bought our pup Riley after the first one passed, then the second one passed just 3 months later & Riley was alone. So we adopted Baxter & couldn’t say no to adopting Quinn as well. So we have a house full with 3 large Groodles all under 2 years old & the cat. They all get on well because I think the cat grew up with our dogs. It’s crazy town some days here, but it’s a good sort of crazy & so far they are ignoring my Christmas decorations which is a bonus!

  13. PLEASE be extra vigilant with the yarn, thread, and string in general. Many people don’t realize that cats have barbs on their tongues that help swallow food, hence the raspy feel of their tongues. While it helps swallow food, it makes it IMPOSSIBLE for them to get rid of a piece of yarn, string, etc. without swallowing it. Once in their guts, it strings out and tangles in the intestines causing a major blockage and death to those parts entangled with it. It is fairly rare that a cat survives this because it is usually found too late. Cats and kittens love playing with these objects, but they could literally be the death of them. Also, at this time of year another hazard is tinsel from you Christmas tree. It causes the same damage, but looks so enticing. Protect those beautiful members of your family. Keep thread, yarn, string and tinsel away from them.

  14. Congratulations! They are beautiful girls, especially the calico (btw, where I come from in Virginia, a tabby calico is called a tabico). I have two calicos, a mother and daughter, and have had calicos since the mid-1970s. They are smart, very personable and quite opinionated. Now your home is complete!

  15. Beautiful post! I have such a soft spot for cats. My calico Patches, passed a couple years ago. She’s been around since I was 16! I’m 37 now so she was an old lady who loved having her tail gently tugged. She was a weird cat but super sweet and I miss having cats around. They have such personalities! And I love the crochet projects! I can’t crochet even thought both grandmothers tried to teach me. But I can knit, not the best at it but it’s soothing for me. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Marian, I loved your sentiment about the previous owners getting support. You are a good human being Marian Parsons!

  17. Congratulations on your new fur babies! That second one looks a little cross-eyed, so cute!
    I love my cat Isabelle, she’s similar to Esme. 15 years of love and joy.

    Christine
    New Hampshire

  18. Congratulations on your new additions and thank you for giving them a good home! We had never had a calico before we adopted one two years ago. We named her Tiramisu, and she is a lot of fun, but a little high strung. We found out that calicos can be the most mischievious and a little high maintenance, but we love her. Of course, if you’ve had Siamese before, you are probably used to high maintenance, lol!

  19. I thought she looked a little cross-eyed too, but I wasn’t sure if cats could be. Anyway, they’re darling and so glad they have a loving home. Great photos too, especially love Sebastian looking contemplative with his head on the arm of the (couch?).

        1. I do, too! One of the siamese cats I had as a kid was very cross-eyed and she was the sweetest, gentlest cat.

  20. I love this story! I love that you took them together. I really love their names too! We are on our second round of kitties in our marriage after the first group of four got old and passed on. Now we have five. We love them all!
    I love the crocheting. I’ve never learned, maybe it’s time. You make it seem easy!

    Merry Christmas!

  21. I have followed you blog since the beginning. I never leave comments but I have to ask .thehomemade crocheted was clothes look amazing . I have never crochet or knitted .would love the directions to try . I have rheumatoid arthritis and really need something to do . I would appreciate any help . Sicerley, Debbie Heath I so appreciate your time and your blog .

    1. Debbie, I have found one crochet for beginners magazine to be very helpful and a book of stitches with good photos. I’ll share those for people like yourself who are interested in learning. It’s been good therapy for my hand and arm.

      1. Hi Marian,

        I am also beginning to crochet and would be interested in the book and magazine you have used.

        Thank you,

        Becky

  22. So happy for the adoptions! We were “blessed” with a new kitten earlier in the summer. A baby that I believe had been tossed over our fence from the road. He was tiny, but he was fearless, and had no fear of our dogs at all. Naturally, he stayed with the rest of the bunch who came here the same way. LOVE the Cozy Cuddle Bowls !! I hope the kits will come to use them.

  23. The kittens are ADORABLE! There is nothing like the joy a kitten (or kittens) bring to a home, don’t you think? And I guarantee Sebastian will be snuggling with them by Christmas if not before!
    Hope you are feeling better . . . . Nice job crocheting. I love it too! My Gram taught me and I always have yarn around to work on something.
    Much love to you all this holiday season💗

    1. No, I bought those a couple of years ago! I’d like to make some pillow covers, but I’m working up to that. I did find a book on crochet cabeling for beginners and a similar cable-knit pillow was one of the projects.

  24. Those kittens are adorable! Thank you for sharing the grain sack pouch Marian, your photos are just beautiful!

  25. We just recently lost our cat Millie and are mulling over whether we want to get another cat. it’s amazing how much you can miss that furry little one when they are gone. Our daughter brought her cat for Thanksgiving and we are going to have her for a couple of weeks while our daughter is traveling. She is one of the rare orange females and her name is Sherbet!

    1. I totally get it! When we were first married, it was my first time living without a cat in the house since I was in second grade and I missed the snuggling, playing, and purring. I’m glad to have cats again.

  26. This post warms my heart. The compassion you demonstrate is what I crave. It’s something I’d wanted to share with you after reading a recent more transparent post. I’ll have to go back later on computer. ANyway,. I love their names and the origin. If it’s any consolation, I tried adopting 3 siblings and had to re-home one because as they matured, 2 ganged up on one. I did my best. You’re doing your Best. Lucky little girls.
    Oh, and I am partial to Siamese, I just at wound up with a black cat because they’re difficult yo adopt out.

    1. Thank you! And yes, we did our best adopting cats that really needed a good home. I broke my heart leaving the male cat, but we didn’t budget to adopt three and, I agree, a pair of cats is nice. They can play and snuggle together.

  27. Our 90 lb. Golden Retriever wound up in my lap when we brought our 3 lb. kitty home! They are besties, although from time to time, the dog looks at us as if to say, ‘I wanted a puppy!’. Do you have a pattern for the kitty bed/cozy? Two friends have added kittens to their families and I would love to make them.
    We put our crèche under our tree, it’s big enough to house a full grown cat…and it does. Anything to get closer to baby Jesus!

    1. We have a fabric nativity set which was used for the kids to play with when they were little. Our cat liked to sleep in the stable. Super cute.

      I recently found a knitting pattern similar to your “cat bowl” to use as a little bed for cats and I want to make it–seeing yours is a good reminder to get started! 🙂

  28. Bless you for adopting not one but TWO adorable kittens! What a sweet addition to your family and what lucky kitties!

  29. Congratulations on your adoption of 2 kitties. I too have a house full of foster kittens that have come from bad situations. I have a 3 week old, 2, 8 weeks old, and 2, 4 months old. I can tell you as a volunteer, you have made them so happy to take from a miserable situation, and see them in a safe home. Enjoy

  30. Good for you to adopt this two adorable little ones. They are so lovely ❤️
    I had a rescue cat Charlie for over 19,5 years and stil mis her so much. Tree years ago I rescued two adorable twin sisters and I hope they stay also this long with us. Cats are the best 😉

  31. God bless you and your family for giving those babies a loving home. They are little beauties! When I wake up in the morning, my entourage (2 cats) follows me into the bathroom to start our morning routine. Looking forward to seeing more pics as they grow.

  32. We just inherited our son’s cat. Annie. What a sweetheart. Yes, like you, we are learning to adapt & train Annie to stytay off of our dining room table! Kitchen counters are a no!no! Cats are smart. Like yours, they can be trained. Good luck!

    1. Yep, the struggle to keep cats off the table and counters is real! I’m working on training them, but it’s going to take a while! 🙂

  33. You did a good job taking those two kitties. When I volunteered at the Humane Society they always did a trial separation with bonded pairs of cats and dogs. While the owner turns would tell us the animals were bonded, we often learned that one animal was more dominant and when the more docile one got some independence, they really started to thrive. Of course, some were actually bonded and then then they were adopted together.

    Loved your Florence paper story, and love these kitties even more!

  34. Thank you for rescuing two kittens!
    And thank you for giving me the idea of what granny square afghan I will try next, chunky yarn in off-white. Last year for Christmas I made afghans for my family, 15 in all. This was my first time crocheting granny square anything. But now I am hooked! ( No pun intended)
    Thanks for all you do.

  35. I’m so happy to hear that you are a cat person as well as a dog lover. I have three feline rescues, as well as a little adopted dog that thinks she’s the sherriff. And they all get along.
    Kudos to you for adopting and ignore the negative comments. There are so many ways to make a difference for animals. I’ve joined PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). And I love your blog!

  36. I love making granny squares, too. I should actually say granny ‘square’ because I really like making giant granny square blanket. You start in the middles, building row upon row until the blanket is the size you want. So much easier than having to join all the squares at the end. Love your new kitties!

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