Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Knit your own cat: the story of Mini Mia

This is Mini Mia, the replica in wool of Shannon's new cat. Nothing could quite capture Mia's charm, but I took a shot at it because it has become a family tradition for me to knit the cats. I gave this to Caitlin for her 12th birthday. I only lightly stuffed the tummy on this one, making it much more poseable.

To be honest, the only cat I haven't knitted is my own. Bentley's tabby-markings are even more elaborate than Mia's. But I've knitted Oscar, Shannon's old cat who died a year or so ago, and Tiger and Autumn, my son's cats, one of whom has gone to his reward. OK then, I wasn't going to do this, but here they are.

Oscar, in memoriam. This was the first, and may well be the best cat I've knitted, because somehow, like Pinocchio, he became animated and catlike and could be posed in a way that seemed realistic to me. I got the face right, too, which believe me is hard. Beginner's luck, or not trying so hard, or something. I never quite equalled this one.

Tiger, who is no longer prowling with us. He had fairly intricate mixture of tabby and grey/brown/white markings. I did the best I could with it. His body was also longer and leaner, which I tried to replicate. As he got older, the stripes on his body virtually disappeared, making him a little easier to knit. His personality wasn't so sweet however, and he was prone to hooking me savagely as I walked by him.

Tiger with his meow-mate, Autumn, also quite intricately-marked in tortoiseshell. I cheated a bit on the body and used a variegated wool that implied her tortie markings.

AMAZING TIGER STORY! Tiger was a one-person cat and jealously guarded my daughter-in-law Crystal all through her first pregnancy. When she went into labour, there was time for Jeff to go gather up some things while Crystal sat cross-legged on the floor to ease the contractions. Tiger walked very deliberately up to her, placed his paw on her belly, and held it there for a couple of minutes. Crystal yelled, "Jeff! Come quick, and bring the camera!" I am sure he misunderstood what she meant.

Autumn, a woolly and very sweet cat, still hangs in, but quite a lot fatter than this. It has been suggested I add extra stuffing, but I declined.

The real Mia poses with  Mini Mia. Crystal has told me that when Autumn goes to her reward, she plans on getting TWO new kittens. I told her, please, please, make them one black and one white.

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