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Sewing Room Evolution

Well, after a year of working on it off and on, my sewing space is ready to be useful. It’s just in the dining area space of my kitchen so organization is crucial. Up until recently it was full of stuff. I had wonderful pictures of the mess it was in, but sadly Windows 10 had a known glitch and it trashed my hard drive. Just imagine this space piled high, then imagine it even worse and you might possibly get close to how much stuff was in there. Most the fabric was in totes on shelves in another room. I used to have a large storage space filled to the ceiling with totes full of fabric. Since I dehoarded last year, I now only have 4 1/2 totes full. I’m pretty sure I moved away from home the first time with more fabric than that! Some people are going to love my donations at Goodwill!

The sewing area was my last big area to get cleaned and organized. For whatever reason, it was extremely difficult to do. I finally called Julie from 5 Starr Organizing back in to bail me out, and now I have a clear space! It’s such a small space I can’t get far enough back to get a picture of the whole thing at once, but as I go I can show you before and after photos of specific areas.

I’ve been thinking about how I wanted this space to be. I wanted it girlie but functional. Sewing and cats go together so it’s going to have my feline tchotchkes. Going on the fabric I already had, I set up a pin board covered in a nice periwinkle chambray. I love that color and thought it would look nice with a soft yellow. Good! Made that decision! Except…

As the months went on, I realized that as pretty as those colors are together, they aren’t ME. I’m getting better at figuring out what I like and that wasn’t sparking joy. I cruise for entertainment. I can spend hours on there. I don’t buy much, but if I’m still crazy for the fabric months later and can think how I want to use it, I’ll go for it. I have my eye on some gauze with peacock feathers on it, two things I love in one. Anyway, I keep checking on it, and this time they had a new line called Cat-it-tude. Instant love. I love the whole line. I could immediately imagine my sewing area graced by the gorgeous fabics.

Cat-I-tude Catitude 24" Panel Metallic White/MultiCat-I-tude 24" Panel Black/MultiIn both white and black!!! Sooo in love! Here’s the link to the collection for any other fabriholics.  Believe me, ALL my friends have seen this and they all think it’s perfect for me. I immediately decided to splurge and buy as much of this as I need. I hope it stays in stock for a couple of years so I can afford it all.

When I find something that clicks with me, I go crazy with ideas. I could see my cheap bookcase painted with the inside back decopauged in one of the prints. I hadn’t even considered painting my bookcase before. My pin board will be covered with a more subtle but color matching pattern. The office chair will be covered in the Aristocats in black with a white ruffle in the Hearts and Cats print. I can hardly wait!

I even designed a duster to wear over my gym gear. I really, really like this fabric, can you tell?



Calliope-Wiggle Tummy

tummy2After her death defying leap from a second story window, scaring me half to death, eating a can of tuna plus almost a whole big can of catfood, Calliope is snoozing. No wild party going on tonight, just a few wiggles. Calliope is calm, I am not.  I want those kittens to be born!

princessThe Princess is getting tired of playing second fiddle to our house guest. She remains sweet to Calliope, but after the stressful fuss today she made a point of insinuating herself between us. It’s her job, she reminded me, to oversee my welfare. Such a fuss over a silly little kitten.

She has no idea what it’s going to be like when the babies arrive. I haven’t had kittens for over a year. I’ve never had a pregnant cat since she was born. Still, she knows to be kind.

She leans full length against my body and presses her cheek next to mine. She reminds  me just how special she is and how much she loves me.

Each cat has it’s own time with me during the day. Usually at least three cats are within reach, if not actually on me or touching me. I think they have an invisible schedule up somewhere.



Calliope-No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Today, Calliope ripped a hole in a second story screen and got out. That was the least of the problem.

Once I confirmed she was gone, I quickly went to Jacky’s, the nice lady who had been feeding her. Yup, there the little girl was, after eating a tin of tuna fish AND more cat food. And yes, she had been fed already and I was looking for her in the first place to feed her another meal.

It was on the short way back the trouble started. A little boy insisted she was his cat. I told him she wasn’t and if I would have to talk to his parents before I would release her. This cat came bone thin and with all of her hair pulled out. Jacky said when she first saw her she was even smaller and her fur had something in it that made it stiff. Calliope probably groomed it out, she is meticulously neat. Also he said this would be her second litter of kittens, she’s not even grown yet!

I talked to the parents who first said she wasn’t theirs, then said she was but they didn’t want her. I took Calliope home.

Then a disturbed boy who loves to cause trouble (the reason I took Calliope in so quickly) started claiming he knew who’s cat it was. Then the second kid, evidently an older brother, knocked on my door, claiming the cat. He claimed is cat was gray. I told him it wasn’t his cat, and anyway, his parents had told me they didn’t want her (their cats have been busy having kittens, obviously). I checked with Sandy who said that yes, when Calliope turned up she was still very small and has grown. NOT a two year old. The vet put her between 7 to 10 months. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t return her to that home anyway.

No one looked for Calliope when she first came. I asked everyone I saw, hoping she was someone’s kitten who had just gotten lost. For almost two weeks, what ever cat lived at that kid’s place, she never went home. Calliope spent a couple of weeks on Jacky’s patio, and that’s right where she goes if she gets out. Why not? Jacky gives tuna!

Still, it’s left me shaking. The older boy swore at me when I said I wasn’t giving her back. I told him to call the police if they wanted their cat back. There are laws here about animal abuse. Then the problem kid came knocking on my door claiming another child said it was HIS cat. I told problem kid to get away from my door and never talk to me again. There’s a kid who could use a good foster home himself. I retired long ago from doing human rescue.

I hope the weather stays cool as obviously I’m not going to be opening any windows. Now worried about the kittens. She is obviously ok, but I’m a worrier. And somewhere out there, is a lost, probably pregnant cat who’s home is not worth going back to. For having all these kids who say they want a kitty, they aren’t the ones who feed and take care of them. Jacky says there is another cat, the same age, also pregnant that is probably a littermate to Calliope.

I’m pretty peace-loving. I never start fights, although I don’t back down from them like I used to. But I never, even in my mousey childhood days ever backed down from rescuing an animal that needed it. The next person who knocks on my door next had better be a cop, because then I will file some charges of my own. Plus a vet certificate saying Calliope is still a kitten.

Some of the super stressful situations I’ve been living through have resolved themselves in the last few days. I was planning on getting some packing done and chilling.  While this re-enforces my desire to get the heck out of here, it hasn’t dampened my joy in fostering. If anything, it just makes me aware all over again how much rescuers are needed.

Calliope is purring softly, full of tuna fish. In a couple of hours I will feed her again. I will also make sure that jump didn’t hurt any kittens and they are still active. I will of course, worry like any grandma until I see those babies come out all healthy. And all this could have been avoided if just one person along the way had spayed their cat.


Calliope: An itty-bitty kitty

My night was surprisingly silent. There were no screams of outrage or for help. So far this is the least traumatic introduction of a new cat ever!

Calliope opted to stay downstairs in the living room with the senior ladies. Jazz, who normally hates other cats until she gets to know them, is tolerating little Calliope without the least growl. The little cat wanders between the ladies at will, then back up to her perch on the back of the chair.

Majyk stalks down the stairs, sees Calliope gazing out the window and sneaks up for a quick sniff. I tense. Calliope turns and gives him a regal stare. Seeing them together I realize again just how small this little cat is, she is half his size. Instead of his usual cocky attitude, Majyk slinks back down to the carpet where he watches this new, fascinating feline. Since he is the baby of the family, he hasn’t had another cat invade his space here before.

Callie decides to explore now I am here to back her up. She moves carefully, her bulging tummy throws off her balance. Majyk slinks behind her. He stops two feet away and stretches nonchalantly. In cat speak, he’s telling both her and me that he isn’t a threat. All ears stay up, no warning growls split the air. Is he behaving better because she is preggers, and male cats are fully aware just how chancy it is to mess with a mommy cat? (Human men, take note!)

I go upstairs and she follows. She checks out the comfy bed, sees Willetta curled smugly in a patch of sun and Major Tom in a pile of clean laundry. Then she goes to the studio door and asks to be let in. What a smart girl!

We commune for awhile, she checking out every corner to see if anything has changed. She still doesn’t want to eat, which worries me. She is relaxed and sleepy, this is her safe place obviously. As I pull the door shut behind me, Majyk is perched on the bannister, he can’t stand the mystery!

Because all the cats have had upset tummies, I cut them some fresh cat grass. Majyk barely lets me back in the house before he is chomping away. I always have to schedule a few minutes of grass eating before he goes on the road with me.

Calliope has the same reaction to grass that I have about crab louie. Luckily for her, cat grass is much easier to come by. Mmmmn, crab louis….

Jazzy who has been laying in a dejected heap since yesterday perked up so much as to be kittenish. After she finishes noshing, she pats playfully at the remaining blades. There will be catnip this afternoon.

Calliope: Kitten Rumba


As you can see, Calliope’s tummy is getting bigger by the day. Last night they were so active it seemed they were throwing a wild party in there!

I can tell she is getting ready, not only by kittens kicking and because she is demanding to stay by my side,  but by my dominate cats allowing her to get away with it. Mama kitties have special privileges. Tonight she is humming warning at them if they get close enough to step on her. Normally that would bring a stern glance by The Princess, as Calliope is cuddled close to me, so close I am typing with one hand. While Princess has demanded cuddle time, she hasn’t even hissed at Calliope, in fact when they were both up tight to me, Princess seemed about ready to groom her. Major Tom is only keeping his distance because she insists, he thinks he should baby her.

When Calliope first arrived I don’t think she was used to being cuddled. She clearly has staked me out for her own and even loves to be petted while she is eating. I suspect if she starts to give birth without me, I will hear about it. She definitely will want a midwife. Gee, it feels good to be wanted.

washing belly

Difficult to give herself a manicure now.

Sandy, who was feeding her when she was outside, has said there is another cat that is about the same age and who looks almost the same. That probably means there was a litter of kittens about the same age who don’t have homes.  Now all those female kittens are having babies. Sigh. Hopefully we can round them up and get them into homes. If the kittens are born and raised without human contact there is a good chance they will become feral.  That is if they even survive.  Feral kittens can die from many problems. Flea infestation, eye infection and even starving because their mother isn’t well enough to have milk for them to name a few. Calliope would have suffered the same fate.












































Oh the suspense!


Calliope gets some down time when she is in the main part of the house with me while the others are eating and sleeping. She’s feeling more at home every day. Look at that big tummy. I can just start to feel the kittens move.

In spite of having been with me for 16 days and was being fed before that, she is still much too thin. I feed her throughout the day so she can keep it all down, but I can still feel all of her bones. Her little hip bones feel like they are barely covered with skin. Each day I am more aware that if she hadn’t been rescued, she would probably have died. Even being able to eat as much as she wants, it seems all that food is going straight to her kittens. How sad it would be if this loving sweet spirit had been left to her fate.

And on the flip side:


Never shy about voicing his opinion, Majyk thinks he looks amazing on my new fabric.

I love having multiple cats because watching them interact is fascinating. Majyk who is a rough and ready bratty little brother with the other cats is totally bemused by Calliope. He follows her around with the oddest expression on his face. He never tries to rough house with her like he does with Willetta. Calliope has the same regal stare as my Maine Coon mix . He did try and take a teasing swipe at her, she just sat down and gave him The Look. He tried to look nonchalant as he swaggered away, but you could see she had gotten her point across. Earlier when The Princess got too close to her food bowl, she put up a paw and very calmly pushed Princess away. No hissing, no growling. Princess bowed to her mamahood and withdrew.

Calliope looks like the love child of Major Tom and The Princess.


The Princess will see you  now.

Calliope: Learning her language

calliope profile

Calliope hasn’t grown up to her whiskers yet.

Just as everyone has their own idiosyncrasies, so do animals. There is a learning curve when you make a new friend, and so it is with my rescues. Today Calliope kept crying and looking outside. For hours. If she wasn’t pregnant, I’d swear she was in heat. Is she missing her big black buddy, Tough Guy? It was heartbreaking.

All the kitties have had tummy upsets, but today they all seemed much better. She didn’t seem to be in pain at all, she was lively enough and even managed to sneak out the door once. I’ve been particularly worried about Calliope as she is already thin, and feeding a whole crew by the looks of it. I’ve been feeding her small amounts of food all day so she won’t throw it back up. Yup, you guessed it, little one was just hungry. She doesn’t know how to tell me that yet, something which I’m sure she will learn super fast from the greedy guts that are my other fur kids.


Majyk and his fans.

I needed to run errands today, so I got out Majyk’s vest and he happily ran to have it put on. We spent some warm up time first, he loves to eat grass and roll around on the concrete before getting down to work. He has his own little fan club of neighbor kids and a couple of two year olds were happy to see him. Soon older siblings joined the crowd, and Majyk was happy his friend James knew to give him a long weed to chase.

Then we popped into the car and were on our way. Some days, Majyk rides well in the car, others, not so good. It was HOT! Also, his usual front seat was occupied by several cases of cat food. So he complained, very long and loudly. Although the air conditioning cooled the car down in minutes, he wanted me to know he was not happy. Even the sandwich shop, which always gives him a whipped cream treat didn’t mollify him. He wasn’t bad, he was just obviously uncomfortable. By the time I had jumped in and out of the car several times, I was in total agreement with him. I don’t take heat very well either, so if it’s too hot for me, it’s too hot for my service cats.

While Majyk is extraordinarily well behaved for a cat just beginning service training, at home he can be the bratty little brother. One of the reasons we went on errands today was to calm him down a bit around Calliope.  At dinner time, he waits on no one. I have to separate all the cats into different rooms because he will just shove them aside and bury his face in their food, gulping it down as if he wasn’t already plump.

I just was feeding Calliope out of a spoon at first, then she let me know she wanted more so I gave her a plate. Majyk can hear another cat chewing even with a whole house between them. I was ready to defend Calliope’s dinner when Majyk screeched to a halt three feet away.  He watched longingly as she devoured her treat. Even bratty big brothers have to obey the “Don’t mess with a mama cat rule”! I’m just loving the effect she is having on him.