Archive for June, 2020

The KatzInCoopKids

June 14, 2020

There’s been an ongoing struggle at the Swamped! Plantation and Cat Catching Facility.

The main instigator is a seven-year-old male named Jersey.

Jersey is a bully because he can.

His favorite bullyee is Pop-Up, a three year old sweet baby. He’s not as shy as Jeff, but Jersey and Jeff are brothers, so I can guess that being related puts Jeff into a safe zone away from Jersey.

A few months ago before the quarantine in S.C., Pop-Up was limping on his right front leg. It resolved after a week. Then during the quarantine, he started limping again which developed into a total non-use of that leg. He didn’t complain when I palpated it, and it didn’t appear to be broken. I took him to the vet who kept him for 4 days. The X-ray showed nothing, and he still limped.

The following week he took up residence in the loft of the shed. He would call out to me; I’d climb up and pull him out. I made an appointment with another vet for the following day, and I put the Pop in a crate, because cats are notorious for disappearing on the day of a vet appointment.

The morning of the vet appointment, I checked on him in the crate, and his shoulder was a bloody wet mess where the ABSCESS had ruptured.

The vet determined that it was as because of a bite wound, and all fingers were pointed to Jersey.

This was clearly going to be an ongoing problem. Is the solution to have Jersey euthanized, since Pop is still going to cower and Jersey is still going to bully and this was getting expensive?

The solution was confinement for Jersey, not Pop. Enter the Cat Coop.

I proposed an open-air lean-to on the south side of the shed. Leslie proposed to reclaim some 2x4s from a project at the cat station in the woods that I did not use any more. This involved dismantling 6’ high garden fencing and pulling up metal garden posts that had been pounded into the ground 13 years ago. Fortunately Leslie is clever and obstinate and resourceful. We dragged 40’ of fencing through the woods, which is exactly as much fun as it sounds. He reused as many 2x4s as he could.

We purchased the remainder of the supplies which included that nice translucent roofing panels and a screen door.

I dragged over the big dog crate where I had been quarantining Pop-Up while the Coop was being constructed. There’s also a plastic footstool and a hay house made out of a plastic tote.

I stuck Jersey into the Coop.

Pop came over because he could believe his good luck. His tormentor was confined.

Pop went to a bit of particle board that we had used as a work platform during the addition of the roof panels where he preened in full view of Jersey. Jersey could see him and automatically dropped down into a stalking position.

After a few days I put Jersey’s other brother Joey in with him after he started stalking Sue. I sprayed the area with pheromone spray and sprinkled organic catnip in their bedding.


Now the entire atmosphere of the colony has changed for the better. Jersey and Joey are doing well. Pop-Up is healthy. The boys at The Treehouse are fine.

Meanwhile, Georgia mourns the loss of her woodpile which has been reduced to one old twisted 2×4 from the woods.

Pop-Up: “It’s ok, Georgia. You can hold my paw, but don’t look at me.”

And Pop-Up? He’s back to normal, whatever his version of normal is.

The Mask, Part 2

June 3, 2020

I used a disposable face mask as my model. Out of the package, it measures 7” wide by 3.5” high. When you extend the mask fully, it is still 7”, but now it is 6.5” high. The elastic straps are 6” each.

I insert an aluminum piece along the top and stitch up close to it. That’s what I call the nose bridge. I ordered these from Amazon.

I cut my fabric in a rectangle 8.5” wide x 16” long.

The nose bridge is adjustable, and so far the mask has held up well through several hand washing.

You can also steam iron a mask to spot sanitize it between washings.

The crafters of the world are working to ease us through this pandemic.

The Mask

June 2, 2020

I went back to work 2 weeks ago. Our office was closed for 8 weeks except for the last several weeks of quarantine when our doctor worked seeing emergency cases. Those cases were being called “emergent” cases, which I didn’t know was a thing.

I spent some time sewing masks. I had various bits of quilting cotton fabric from my sister-in-law from years ago when she stopped quilting.

These first models had ties because I had no elastic.

I had, the operative word being “had”, a friend on social media who chastised a woman who was charging $5 per mask. Said friend said that she had made 350 masks and given them all away, and she thought the $5 woman should also give hers away. She was outraged that someone dare charge anything at all. I commented that perhaps the $5 woman needed to recoup some money so she could buy more materials to make more masks. After all, you can’t pour from an empty jug. “Friend” wasn’t having that kind of thinking. She scolded me. And I, not needing aggravation of that sort, I unfriended her. Something was off in that conversation. If she found a spool of 100 yards of elastic in her sewing room, how is that enough to make 350 masks? I think it is not possible.

Pet peeve: the folds on the outside of the mask should point down, not up, unless your nose grows upward. Wear the mask the wrong way and expect a poor fit.

Then the elastic arrived. I thought that would make my life easier until I wore one for the day.

It was unbearable.

I figured I could make 2 masks per yard and that would cut down on production time immensely since I didn’t have to cut, press, and sew the ties. Yes, but no. Yes it is a faster construction. No it is not comfortable. So boo to yet another brainstorm.

If you want to look at these with a description, they are in my Etsy shop, “Catcatcher Corner”.

Just please, y’all? Wear a mask.