How to just barely survive in two easy steps

I have no exciting updates on my yarn package. It arrived in a timely fashion with the two items I’d ordered, and a receipt saying I’d paid for both. Apparently they have some kind of inventory situation where each item needed to be processed separately. I’m using the yarn for a Faberge shawl. This is the swatch:


But I didn’t like the green, so I went with a blue that’s going to (I hope) help the black show up better, and I’ll use only copper beads.

Back when I was making this swatch, I finished up a knitalong shawl that made me very, very good at charted lace. It was fun to do a knitalong, and that’s why I started the faberge shawl (for which I’d owned the pattern over a year.) I cast off the other shawl one night while my husband and daughter were out at her spring concert and I had two sleeping boys upstairs. Then I set out to block it.


The Brain Damaged Cat came downstairs to watch me pinning the shawl to the blocking boards, and he kept trying to sit on it. Thinking of little kitty feet snagging my shawl, I kept picking TBDC up and moving him off it. Finally he settled at the side, and I relaxed, figuring now he’d behave.

That’s when he sniffed one of the blocking pins and PLIP. Out flicked his tongue, and he nipped up a blocking pin and swallowed it.

I grabbed him and forced open his jaw and shoved my fingers down his throat, and that stupid pin just slipped past my fingertips and into his throat.

Cue one call to the vet, one to the emergency late-night vet clinic, and several to my husband to get him home NOW. When he got here, Kiddo2 and I took the TBDC to the emergency vet, where we got a $400 picture of a pin in his gut. Fortunately he’s a pig and it was surrounded by food. Unfortunately, that meant they couldn’t scope it out, so the next day, his regular vet would do surgery.¬†I asked what were the odds it would pass if we did nothing and he said the same as the odds of winning the lottery.

During surgery prep, the vet did another x-ray and found the pin had migrated through the intestines all the way to the colon. So they did get it out the usual way. One lottery: won.

Oh, and the shawl came nice too, I guess. An unexpectedly expensive shawl.




On Saturday, as I was sitting by the computer, my Patient Husband and I heard a crash and a clatter just outside the house. He said, “That didn’t sound good,” so I went to the back deck and the first thing I see is the screen from the second-floor bathroom window.

You know how you get that sense of dull realization? I knew what else I’d find before I even started to look.

I slid open the screen door and said, “Come back in, cat.”

A very startled-looking cat bolted back into the house. Because yeah, TBDC had apparently decided to sleep in the window sill, pushed on the screen, popped it out of the window, and then fallen out with the screen. He’d slid down the little overhang from the kitchen bump-out and then fallen the final eight feet onto the deck.

This is the one and only window in the house where he could have done that and survived. Every other window has a twenty-plus foot drop, some onto concrete.

A friend later said, “Well, that’s two lives used up.” Yep. And now we don’t open the bottom part of the windows enough for a cat body because ten minutes later, guess where he tried to sit again?

If you wonder why I haven’t been blogging much lately, it’s because events like this soak up the emotional energy, and three-AM purring sessions don’t quite restore it as much as TBDC thinks they do.


  1. Tana Bevan

    Jane — I knew I was going to love your blog! Your writing style is fabulous. Your humor, dry, subtle & witty. OMG. I am laughing so hard I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for a great read and a wonderful belly laugh! Haha

  2. nantubre

    Easy to see why the cat is brain damaged! And the shawl is absolutely gorgeous!!