Friday, January 20, 2006

Knitting in the New Year

I always start the New Year with a burst of knitting. Once the dutiful holiday knitting is over, it is time for me to do something new for me. This year I have chosen Classic Elite's Attitude, 85% pima cotton/ 15% silk, which I was able to purchase from Elann last year. The color is melon? flamingo? punch? - a far cry from my usual fare of blues or burgundies.

Attitude yarn by Classic Elite Posted by Picasa

I am using Vermont Fiber Design's Double Chain Cable Pullover, which can be seen at

Already the sleeves are completed.

The Sleeves Posted by Picasa

This pattern is concisely written, and is rather simple in design. The pattern stitch is easy to remember and fun to knit, cabling only on every 8th row. I have started the back, and have 9" done.

The back, at 9" Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Scooter - in Memory of my Beloved Pet & Companion

Scooter Posted by Picasa
I keep thinking that it must be some mistake. That soon Scooter will appear at the door – like he always has – and all will be as it was before. The cat we buried will turn out to be the wrong cat, and Scooter will just sit there and smile his kitty smile. I miss my big fat lap cat. What was he thinking? What was he doing? How did it happen? Did Big Boy with his scraped front paw have something to do with it? Only silence answers me. I will never know how it all came to an end, but I do know that I will miss that cat forever and always. I feel so cheated! He was only 5 years old. It takes a long time to bring up a cat through kittenhood, and to train him to be a warm comfortable lap cat. And I was looking forward to another 5 to 10 years with Scooter. But, no, I am robbed of all that kitty comfort. He is gone. I am alone. There will be no other Scooter for me. I talk to him every day, and sometimes I hear him answer, there may be a noise in the garage or a flash of shadow out in the yard. He’s there, I know it. I just have to remember that he’s no longer in the flesh, but the spirit.

Let me tell you about my cats. I have always taken in strays. I found one cat, Thelma, in a gas station back in the ‘70’s when I drove a Fiat Spider. I put her in the car and we drove home together. She was a great cat, and ended up in CA living with my mom. Well, in 1987 Mike and I married, and a few months later we moved to Cherry Street. Sometime that first year Smokie showed up. I think we had come home from work, and there he was. He looked just like a cat I had when I was a kid. He was a gray longhaired male, and I named him Smokie after that other cat I had. In 5th grade I had written a poem for him. It goes like this:
I have a cat, a Smokie cat.
Why don’t you come and see.
With lemon eyes and smoky fur
He is the cat for me.

The new Smokie lived for 18 years. He was a great cat, too. Once when one of my bunnies got out of his cage, Smokie patiently waited for me to come outside and get the bunny. He had cornered it between a fence and the compost pile.

Well, about three years after Smokie arrived I hear a cat meowing outside, and it doesn’t sound like Smokie. I go outside to call the kitty and into my arms runs Frank. Frank was a Siamese flame tip. I named him Frank because he had blue eyes. He was a great cat, and he purred when he lay next to me.

Smokie & Frank Posted by Picasa

There are a few other brief cat visits, but nobody stays on. Well, there is Satan, named because of his horrible meow. He was a Siamese. He always stays in the garage. A true scaredy cat. Then 10 years go by. And a new stray comes by. A black cat! Satan doesn’t let him stay in the garage. I think nothing more about it, except to believe that the cat has just passed on to another home, when the next door neighbor tells me that the cat had a litter in her (the neighbor’s) daughter’s play house outside. I go over to check it out. It was so cute! 5 kittens, and all are different colors, lay sleeping. The mom came out and let me pet her. I could tell she was hungry – she was just skin and bones. So I went home and got some food, and came back and fed her. I did that for a few days, and then the kittens showed up in my garage. Mom had moved them to be closer to the food source! So here is a listing of the 5 kittens’ colorings:
1. Calico
2. Brindle
3. Black
4. Gray tiger
5. Black tiger

The kittens Posted by Picasa
And let me say, one was prettier than the next. We named them (l-r):
Big Boy

While my older cats were not very happy about this overwhelming addition to the family, I was thrilled. After all those years of seeing strays, which were young adults, I had never seen such little kitties. I had to have them. And so I did.

Scooter & Booboo Posted by Picasa

Which leads me to the sorrowful event that I described at the beginning. Scooter is gone. He is no longer with us. Smokie, Frank and Satan are all gone too, but they were older and lived a good life. Scooter was just starting his adulthood. He was coming into his own. He liked his belly rubbed, his nose rubbed. He liked to lick you when you petted him. He had a crooked tail. He was a big cat. He was wonderful company. In the morning after I feed the bunnies, I say my morning prayers, and Scooter would hear me and come over and rub against my legs. Then when I was finished, I would reach down and pick him up and carry him into the house with me. He was a big cat. Big hearted. Big loved. I miss you Scooter. Come back to me. Make it right. Fill this big gaping hole in my heart. Scooter!!!! I just can’t believe that he is gone. There must be some mistake…

Callie & Scooter Posted by Picasa