Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cat VS Shark

Mally breaking out the bunny kicks
Picture it:  Another day in the carpeted jungle, smellovision (aka an open widow) is wafting the seductive scent of catnip throughout the apartment.  Creeping around the forest of chair and table legs is the majestic and predatory fluffy panther.  Her prey?  The Land Shark.  It's call?  The high jingling sound of small bells just like the call all birds and small rodents make. Ok, so rodents and birds don't jingle.  Mally apparently did not get that memo.  To me it's adorable, but to her it's serious business.  She'll pounce and wrestle with it, and if she's feeling particularly saucy she'll throw in a few bunny kicks so that Mr. Land Shark knows who is boss.

We came to acquire our version of the SNL Land Shark after I made her those little blue balls.  I noticed that occasionally when Mally gets especially fired up her back legs begin pumping in unison.  Alas, these devastating attacks met no purchase with those too small spheres of yarn.  This tragedy had to be rectified, and quickly.  Her next toy needed to be something long enough for her to sink her clawed (and tufted) back toes into while being able to bite it in order to achieve maximum cat satisfaction.  Honestly, I think I was influenced by this:

Land Shark - still looking pretty good despite months of abuse
Onward to Ravelry!  Here, amidst my fellow fiber friends I found Erika Olimpiew's Sharky Stuffed Toy.  While being a delightful and fun pattern to follow, I was not able to complete the embroidery details due to intervention of an impatient pet.  Mally's lack of self control might have been influenced by the stuffing being 10% fiberfill with the remaining 90% being catnip.  As a sidenote, I acquired an embarrassing amount of catnip by going to and searching for "Catnip Herb" - it's not as potent as the more expensive stuff, but I received about 1 pound of it for around $15.  The jingle bells also came to the front door via Amazon prime and were rather inexpensive.  These things plus a bit of previously purchased acrylic yarn have made for hours of serious (very serious) fun.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Little Blue Balls For Felines

The Mallymkun in my life is most certainly not a foil wielding mouse from Underland (like in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland); instead she's my brother's cat.  I'm not sure exactly why he picked the name.   Aside from them being near opposites in physical description (The mouse has tidy white fur, while Ray's cat has black fur that grows so abundantly we have to trim the tufts of fur that grow between her toes), they also lack similar personalities.   Tim Burton's character is brave to the point of stupidity, and our dear sweet cat is frightened to... well... the point of stupidity.

Alas, I digress.  Currently my hubby and I are living within walking distance of his work.  We share a three bedroom with my brother and one of my husband's coworkers.  Fortunately we all agree that the internet was created for the purpose of sharing cat videos, and as such we should have one around in case the internet goes out.  Cue Ray's adorable, manipulative, brilliant, loving, strange little cat - Mallymkun (though for our kitty I prefer the spelling Maliumpkin).  Doesn't she look absolutely terrifying as she roars?  Wait... you're right, she's probably just yawning.

While the humans inhabiting the place are just fine with the square footage, the resident feline thinks that there's a bit to be desired.  Dare I say that without opposable thumbs she might even be driven to boredom?  Of course this wouldn't do.  How can our entertainment be left unentertained?  Fortunately this occurred about the same time that my fingers started to get that itch to play with yarn.

In this position she is known as "Bellyumpkin"
First I made her a few small ball toys, the knitted and crocheted ones have the advantage of not sending you flying if you step on them.  Since they're not made of hard plastic or rubber they also don't give unwary feet 'Lego syndrome' that is slightly preferable to walking on fire.  Another added bonus of making your own toys is that you get to determine what you stuff them with.  Why settle on mere fiberfill when you could instead pack it with psychedelic plant matter?

The larger ball in the foreground was made using the free Tiny Crochet Ball Pattern by Julie-K.  Kudos also go to Julie for staggering the increases thus making it less spiral looking with a more natural spherical shape  The eeeensy-weeensy one behind the mountain of fuzz was made using the Crochet Small Ball Pattern (also posted for free) from Isabella's Stitches.

Some trivia concerning Maliumpkin; endearments include:  Umpkin Pumpkin, Bellyumpkin, Mally-cat (sounds like Alley-cat), fluffyumpkin, Madame Fancy Pants, and other disgustingly cute names.