Stitchy McYarnpants

Confessions of a husband-neglecting, cat-shooing, yarn-hoarding knitaholic. But in a good way.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Your Worst Knitmare

Lurking in the shadows is a menace that knows no bounds. Its destructive capabilities are both mystifying and horrific. Equipped with eyes that observe the night when you are most vulnerable, razor sharp teeth in relentless pursuit of another victim, and a dark mind bent on mutilation, there is no reasoning with this beast. Take precautions. Stand steadfast in its wake. Prepare for ruination. Nothing you do will stop it or make its grisly vocation any less devastating. What is this ghastly creature called?


You heard me. Dot. That adorable white cat from such posts as "Book Binge" and "Long-ass Post" is also a destructive, fiber-eating monster! She has yet to get her choppers on any of my knitting, but it is a constant and debilitating fear.

Here is some of her handiwork. She has redesigned the hood on my favorite hoodie, widened the top band one of my favorite socks, and after careful consideration, decided that my shoes looked better without the little loopy thing on the back.

This morning, the Hub modeled his restructured bathrobe for us.

This is her finest work to date. See Santa? Isn't he cute? One year we put him out for Christmas. He really cheered the place up, until . . . (click photo to see the gory aftermath)

Please note Santa's rather conspicuous lack of arms. Do you know where those arms are? Over the past year or so, bit by bit, I've been scooping them out of the litter box. That's right, they were EATEN! If I had a decent camera I could show you that Santa also lacks ears. If you look closely, you can see that the very edge of his hat and coat are also meticulously nibbled.

I've talked to the vet and done extensive research online to learn more about this fiber habit. Turns out it's common in Siamese cats and it's referred to as "wool sucking" or "wool chewing". It appears the intent is not to destroy anything but rather to ease some compulsive need to suck. Yeah, she sucks, alright. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to curb it. You can try to reprimand them when you catch them doing it, but we rarely see her in action. One site reported that it could be treated by removing the molars! But pretty much everything I've read starts off with ridiculous ideas about putting hot sauce on stuff to deter it (yes, I would love to cover everything in my house in Tobasco!) and ends the article by saying that meds are probably the best way to deal with it. So basicaly, our dear Dot has a touch of the OCD. It worries me that she's ingesting material, but as long as she's getting rid of it, the vet says she should be ok. What really worries me is that one day she'll get into my or knitting bag or stash bin and have herself a buffet! I just picture her wearing a lobster bib and winding yarn around a fork like spaghetti.

In the end, we just try to keep stuff off the floor (it's not easy for either of us, my husband and I are not exactly neat freaks). I think my mother actually likes that the cat has this behvior because it gives her the chance to say "Well, if you picked up after yourselves . . ." and trails off with a smug look that only a mother can pull off.

In knitting news, the Manly sweater is coming along smashingly! Another inch or so and I can start doing the shaping for the arms! In the photo, it looks like I've added a spiffy pocket, but that's the swatch I did. I wanted to show how different it looks from the WIP. For some reason, I'm amazed at what a little washing and blocking can do.

Since I've been working mainly on the sweater, the poor neglected Hallowig has been pushed to the bottom of the knitting bag. I'll have it done soon, I promise!


Blogger Elisa said...

ROTFL - Poor Santa!!! Poor everything else as well, but, Poor Santa!!!

I got two huge belly laughs today (which is good, because it's about the only exercise I got today) - one when I read Yarn Harlot's post, and the second when I read yours.

I can't wait for the next installment!

9/22/2004 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger melanie said...

Oh Dear. You must love Dot very much to endure her destructive side. I don't have any pets myself, but my husband assures me that we'll be getting a dog as soon as we have a house. I have to say, I don't know how I would handle the consuming of my favorite things by canine, feline or whomever. Even little kids (egads, don't get me started on that fear). Thanks again for the tip on posting!!!

9/23/2004 07:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow. The siamese cat we had when I was growing up had the same problem - she only ate wool. None of my wool baby clothes or blankets survived Cina's short life.

9/23/2004 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Amie said...

If it makes you feel better, my cat Trevor gives hickeys. He'll crawl up onto your chest, find the softest exposed skin (usually neck, but occasionally inner arm or tummy) and then you hear "ftftftftft" and realize that you're slowly getting a tingling sensation. If you don't stop him, you will indeed have a hickey mark.

Aren't cats fun???

9/23/2004 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Stitchy McYarnpants said...

Amie, not only does that make me feel better, it makes me feel fantastic! That is possibly THE best thing I’ve ever heard. Honestly. I can’t stop laughing. We need to set Dot and Trevor up on a date.

Elisa, thank you! That’s a huge compliment, Yarn Harlot is hilarious!

Melanie, as it turns out, Dot has the most adorable personality I’ve ever known in a cat. She’s an absolute doll. She has some quirks, but in a weird way, it makes us like her more. If she were human, she’d be Ramona Quimby, and I LOVE me some Ramona Quimby!

Anon, in my research, I discovered that one theory about why Siamese cats are more prone to this behavior is that Siamese and other Oriental breeds have a longer weaning period. So even at 12 weeks, kittens might not be ready to leave momma. And it is theorized that when they suck wool in particular (something about the lanolin, I think) it smells like the fur around the nipple when kittens feed. Weird. So your Cina was actually finding comfort in your stuff while she was ruining it.

9/23/2004 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Knittens said...

Hi! Nice to meet you :) I found your site through Elisa's link. It had my laughing very hard! Much to my embarrassment because I am in a quiet little computer lab right now.

I've never heard of a kitty doing that before! Its like Jeckle and Hyde. she looks so cute...

9/23/2004 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh my heavens! POOR SANTA!!! Poor you! I came here today courtesy of Knittens, and it was well worth it!

My cat Finnegan is part Siamese (or so the vet has told us) and he has a sucking thing too. Genearlly he likes to suckle fingertips, but he also eats elastic cords off cat toys (we have yet to find a considerable lenth of elastic that disappeared two weeks ago) and paper. Fortunately, he doesn't seem to be too interested in wool or fibers.

I enjoyed your post immensely!

9/23/2004 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Sorry for the second comment, but I really do know how to spell length! (I wouldn't sleep tonight if I didn't tell you that.)

9/23/2004 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, it's a long story of links that brought me here, but I'm glad I did. Welcome to bloggerhood, and you're so good already. I'm watching my rear-view mirror!!!

Norma (

9/23/2004 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cece said...

Hi! I'm a new addition to the New England Knits webring too! And I'm doing the man-a-long. Your sweater is great - I'm working on a vest for Aaron - but had to hijack the needles for something else right now.

Good luck with destructo-kitty (that is the nickname I gave my cat, Gus - look like it may fit Dot also!)

9/24/2004 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger mayflwr said...

heheheh, awww...i have such cat-envy!

I've been contemplating knitting a sweater for my guy, but he's being such a i'm holding off ;)

9/24/2004 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just love your blog, love your cats. My bro's cat did the same thing. They called it Pica - eating things that aren't food. His cat mostly ate plastic bags, though.
BTW, missing your posts on the Knitty board. Hope you weren't scared off by the semi-anti-newbie posts, we need your sense of humor!

9/24/2004 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Amie said...

Let me know how to send you some stuff for the animal blog. I can have Aslan and his blanket, and possibly Oscar (the pitbull) and his felted mouse....

9/24/2004 02:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG I know this is a latecomer post, but I was not expecting that Santa picture! Good thing I'm in the office alone this morning because I laughed so loud! I just stumbled upon your site and you crack me up! I too love love love vintage patterns and I'm so jealous of your yard sale find! Don't you love when that happens? Anyway, Hi. LoriO (

9/30/2004 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to uses so many exclamation points... sorry about that. LoriO

9/30/2004 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Life's a Stitch said...

My scottie, Gracee, has OCD. Hy husband swears it's a side effect of the prednisone she's on. She licks carpet constantly and sucks her leash. Ah ha - this sounds like a post. Will work on that. Love your blog.

10/01/2004 11:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I had such a laugh! Poor Santa! My cats never went for anything but plastic - plastic bags, plastic page protectors, you name it. Never could figure out what the attraction was. Enjoyed reading your blog!

Lea >^..^<

10/05/2004 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger jon said...

I was searching for puppy dog info and found this post. I agree totally!


10/02/2005 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Ceallach said...

My Isabelle who has no apparent Siameseness does this...mostly socks though.

Be glad that Dot does not like to hump teh stuffed animals like Taboo does....the Polar Bear has not been quite the same since. Imagine what Santa would think of that.

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