Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Transforming an elderly jumper (or sweater) into a cat bed

Once upon a time, many years ago, a new and very warm woolly jumper (or sweater, if you're from the US) arrived in our household. I don't remember exactly when, or even how it was acquired, but I think it was a gift from one of my siblings to Daniel. He always seemed to feel cold in the winter, and was very appreciative of this gift which he wore on many occasions.

I was, at first, a bit worried about it going in the washing machine, but hand-washing proved to be such a chore that the jumper sat at the bottom of the laundry basket for far too long. Eventually I tried a delicate setting, and it was just fine.

Daniel was still wearing this jumper regularly back in January 2006, just before he left Cyprus to join the MV Doulos:

He didn't take it with him, however, as he knew that he would be mostly in warm temperatures. We kept it in his closet for a while, but somehow it was appropriated by Richard, who also feels decidedly cold at times.

Then one year, he took it to the UK.  And - as so often - our luggage was overweight, so we left some things behind, including this jumper which he decided would be more useful there than in Cyprus, as our new house is rather warmer than our old one.  And there it stayed. It no longer fitted Daniel: over the years it had been washed at less delicate settings, so that it had shrunk a little. Daniel doesn't tend to wear that kind of sweater any more, anyway. On subsequent trips to the UK, Richard was pleased to find it, and wore it.

It was still going strong in 2011 when he wore it on a walk the park in Birmingham:

It was decidedly past its best. There were a few holes that had developed in the sleeves, and it was beginning to feel 'felted'. We didn't want to throw it out - it really was a very nice jumper - but it was beginning to feel a bit tight even on Richard. He suggested I could have it, but I found the material just a little too scratchy, and also rather too warm.

Then, idly browing online (as you do) I came across this wonderful page about making a cat bed from an old sweater.  It looked simple enough, even for me. And I knew exactly which sweater would be perfect for the job...

We brought it back from our recent trip, and when I found it, I ignored all the piles of things to be put away, and everything else that needed to be done, and set to work to make it.  Sophia was very interested and kept trying to climb onto it while I was sewing... which turned out to be a good thing. When it was finally finished and I put it on the floor, she jumped in and sat there defiantly, quite certain I didn't want her there:

Then, not long afterwards, Cleo found it and also decided that she liked it:

I did wonder if I would need to make a second cat bed, but so far there have not been any squabbles - each of them sleeps in it occasionally.  I suspect they may do so more often when it gets colder. 

Regular readers of this blog might be wondering why there are only two cats mentioned in conjunction with the cat bed.  That's because, sadly, our third cat Tessie vanished while we were in the UK. She went out one afternoon, and did not return. Tim searched the house from top to bottom including all cupboards, closets and balconies, and went around the neighbourhood too, wondering if she had accidentally got shut away somewhere. She often stayed out overnight... but was always waiting to come in when we appeared in the morning. She wasn't very good with the cat flap.

Here's quite a flattering picture of her a couple of years ago, sitting on our guest flat doormat: 

Tessie was a very friendly cat; perhaps she would have gone off with someone trying to steal cats, but she wasn't young. We kept hoping she would return but it's been nearly four weeks now. We're all sad, but it seems unlikely that she will come back after all this time.

It reminds me rather too strongly of when Jemima vanished almost exactly six years ago :-( 


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Tessie. It's awful not knowing... But what a lovely, cosy cat bed! I must look around for old jumpers that we shouldn't really still be wearing! :)

Anvilcloud said...

So, the cat jumped into the jumper bed. That is pretty appropriate, eh. Jumper is a confusing term to me as it means a certain kind of dress over here. So, it's hard for me to keep it straight. I wonder if I will remember now.

Jade said...

I'm sorry to read that Tessie didn't return home. :( my prayers are with her.

Your sweater-bed is such a great idea. Looks nice and cozy.