Thursday, January 10, 2019

Milo & Maisy

Meet Maisy

and Milo.

The kids have been wanting a pet for forever. We knew pets are wonderful (when I was growing up, I had a dog and ten turtles - yes, all at the same time) but for many years and many reasons, we said no. We talked about why and revisited the conversation many, many times as we considered the typical options - puppies, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, even hedgehogs  - but it was always a dead end. 

The kids could not fathom why anyone wouldn't adore (and therefore want) a pet. I assured them it had nothing to do with adoration and everything to do with intruders messing up the unique organization of my sewing room. Translation: Mother would have to get her act together and keep the piles of fabric off the floor henceforth.

One does not enter into a relationship with pets casually, in other words.

Last year, we found a way to say yes. It was a little of the kids being older, a little of deciding that the benefits finally outweighed the practical challenges, and a little of friends demonstrating how they themselves were making it work in ways that left their lives mostly intact and sane.

Anyway, we said yes to Maisy and Milo. Maisy and Milo are littermates born on a farm. Milo was named after one of Emily's (and my) favorite Singaporean beverages. Maisy was named after the little mouse all the kids loved. They thought it was ironic that in the stories, Maisy was a mouse whose pet was a little black cat just like Milo.

When we brought them home last November, they were about 7 weeks old.

They were sooo tiny!

And soooo busy

and soooo sleepy.

The first weeks as cat parents were insane. We were overwhelmed by all the things they needed: food, food dishes, mats, litter boxes, toys, blankets (so many blankets!), a vet, vaccinations, microchips, training aids, scratching posts . . . everything came in about a zillion options from a zillion stores with their accompanying spectrums of reviews.

At some point, we decided to simplify and pick up stuff gradually instead of amassing everything at once. We began with the basics. Just so the kittens would have somewhere to snuggle on their first night home, Kate very kindly donated the communal bunny bed we'd made for her baby bunnies some years ago.  It seemed huge for a litter of bunnies,

but not quite so spacious for a kitten (even a tiny one)

and even less so for two.

We knew the kittens would grow - and estimated that we'd have one, maybe two weeks (max), before they would need an upgrade. Making a bed would be cheaper and quicker than shopping for one, so I enlarged the original bunny bed pattern and put it together from fleece in my stash. 

Much roomier. Initially, it seemed the kittens were swimming in it.

Now, though, not so much.

It's crazy how fast kittens grow. They're so much bigger than in this picture from just two months ago:

Here's Maisy, who was a ball of fluff just a month ago in early December,

and now, all sleek and chill.

And both kittens still have a lot more growing to do, obviously. I fully expect that even this new bed will be tossed out before long, so I'm glad that I didn't invest in a fancy, expensive thing from the pet store. When I make the next one, I'm leaving out the cutaway opening and constructing it a little differently so I can stuff the walls and line them with something furrier. 

I don't have the pattern, but here are the dimensions of this larger bed:
the oval base is 18" x 14" and the walls are 5" high. The instructions can be found in this tutorial. It holds up nicely in the wash.

P.S. And yes, the sewing room is pristine. No fabric anywhere to be seen. Cardboard, however, is joyfully and tastefully strewn about the floor. I am happy to report that cats esteem cardboard almost as highly as I do.


  1. Your babies are so delightful, and the photos are wonderful! I can’t wait to see what you make for them out of cardboard! ❤️

  2. Such beautiful cats! I should try making that fleece bed for my dog.

  3. I am melting here, they are so cute :)

  4. Thank you for 'reintroducing' the tutorial. I hope to need it sooner than later!

  5. Ah yes, cats and cardboard, they love to scratch the cardboard to pieces, as my sister tells me. She had four cats at one time. These little kittens look so adorable!

  6. I love your kitties. They are both beautiful


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