Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My black cat and red sweater

Hi, remember me? It's been a while. Life is a bit overwhelming at the moment. I'm really sad because my 19-year-old cat, Monica is dying. She's older than dirt as my Aunt Ginny used to say, but she's been healthy up until the last couple of days. She clearly gone instantly blind, hides in weird places, and won't eat. I'm not taking her to the vet to prolong her extra long life by a few days or months. Life is death and life is sad and that's just the way it is. Here is Monica a couple of weeks ago looking as spry as can be. How quickly things can change.

My Beetle convertible also gave up the ghost last week so rushed around and around and finally settled on a 2012 Honda CRV. I got a great deal, bought the extended warranty whether I should have or not, and am happy with my new wheels, as you can see.

I'm crazy busy at work which is good since I'm self-employed and now have a car payment! I won't bore you with the details, but now you know why I've disappeared.

I haven't stopped knitting though. Right now I'm working on a great follow-up to the Sophisticate, another top-down raglan cardigan. This time though, I'm test knitting a new pattern by Deb Gemmell. It's really more of a complicated, comprehensive recipe for a perfectly fitting raglan. A couple of people told me they didn't like the way the back of the Sophisticate fits me because it was too large in the back; I thought that this is just the way it is with raglan sweaters.

But Deb says an excellent fit is achievable so I'm using her new pattern to prove the theory. I stash dove and found some Ram Wool Selkirk, manufactured by Briggs & Little, 100% worsted wool in a lipstick red. I'm going to keep the cardigan very simple so that I can focus on fitting techniques. I've been longing for a plain, red cardigan for years anyway. I will of course share with you what I learn along the way.

Meanwhile, I'm going to grieve the loss of the beloved Monica, a cat who has owned me for 19 years, has completed wrecked at least 19 couches, and has lived to tell the tale anyway. She's tolerated the completely spoiled Moose who sucks the air out of every room and loved me anyway. I'll miss my little companion. I really will.


  1. So sad about your dear Monica.

    I don't know where you bought your car, but we have 2 HOndas and I wholeheartedly recommend the service at Criswell if you don't already have a trusted mechanic.

  2. PS I love your Sophisticate and I am definitely making one too.

  3. So very sad to hear about Monica! She's had a good life with you.
    Your new car looks fabulous. Enjoy driving it!
    And your new red sweater - wow! I LOVE red! Can't wait to see how it all works out.
    I loved your Sophisticate so much that I'm now making myself one. I'm using Taria Tweed in a blue-green and just barely started. Just LOVE the style!
    Take care and don't work too hard!
    Sandee in PA

  4. Sorry to hear about Monica. I agree with your opinion about the vet, and I'm sure she appreciates not bothering with the icky vet when she already is not well. I hope her passing is peaceful.

  5. Julie, I'm so sorry to hear about Monica. I can tell from your pictures that she is just a wonderful cat. You are being so respectful of her not to take her to the vet and prolong her final days, but it is so hard. Sounds like Monica knows what she needs to do. Take care during this difficult time.

    Your new car is great--we love our 2005 Honda and we got the extended warranty too. We have been very, very pleased with Honda service too. My van has nearly 150K on it and no repairs except normal wear and tear items. After years of suffering through Ford repairs, we'll never buy anything but a Honda in the future.

    I'm looking forward to updates on the red raglan and eager to learn how to customize raglan construction.

    Ann, from Indiana

  6. So sorry to hear about Monica, Julie.
    I figured your silence was work related, or you were taking a breather.
    Love the new wheels.Love the Sophisticate too!
    Settling in for big snow overnight! Eat n' knit!

  7. So sorry to hear about your cat. You'll miss your constant companion. I'll be watching to see if the red cardigan fits. Fingers crossed, mine not yours because you're knitting.

  8. I'm sorry to hear about Monica. I can tell from the photos she's a wonderful kitty. I've got a couple of geriatric kitties myself and feel the same way about prolonging the end for them. They are still o.k. so I hope it's not soon.

    I think the red yarn will make a great sweater. Congrats on the new car.

    (hugs) to you and your "kids"

  9. >hugs< from me, too. 2 years ago, I lost a black kitty that was the love of my life for 15 years, under circumstances similar to what you had with your Monica, and I agree that it's best to let them finish their time peacefully at home rather than going to a vet for heroic measures. I know it's still hard to lose someone you love, though. :(

  10. I'm so sorry your beloved companion for so many years is leaving this world. I believe all cats, along with dogs, go to Heaven. It is so hard to lose our pets, they do become our children. Shed your tears and remember her with love.

  11. Good luck with the new red cardie. I know if anybody can achieve the perfect fit for herself when knitting something, it's definitely you. =0) Hugs your way in regards to your beloved cat, Monica. I know how hard it is to say goodbye to a part of your family- we lost 2 of our 3 family dogs in the last 3 months. =0/ We are still in mourning for them ,and they will always be part of our hearts, and our family's history.

  12. i'm so sorry, julie, for your Monica's 'end-of-life' time ;( it's never easy to have to make those decisions. love your new car! your 'red-hot' sweater will look great & certainly make a statement! can't wait to see it finished!

  13. Julie, I'm so sorry to hear about Monica! The little furry ones sure take hold of your heart. It's so hard to lose a dear friend who has been with you for so long.
    I'll be crying along with you because you know how I feel about animal family members and especially cats. Please give her a hug for me if it wouldn't distress her.
    HUGS to YOU!

  14. I too am saddened to learn about Monica - we do love our furry friends. She will be with you forever in your heart.

  15. Sending loving hugs to you. Monica is a lovely little friend, love shines from her furry little face. I am glad she took such care of you and that you are helping her out when she needs it.

  16. So sorry to hear about your old girl- Monica. We just lost our 18yr cat, Rusty, last month. Like Monica, he went from old and crotchety to old and very ill almost overnight. Every evening, I still look around for him to jump on my lap and fall asleep, purring up a storm. Hugs to you. (I am also looking at a CRV! And I love your Sophisticate!) Mary K (Rubysmom)

  17. so sorry for your cat, but you have had a long tme together... she will live in your heart forever. I lost my Oliver after only 7 years and it took me a long time... actually my daughter just yesterday burst into tears watching a leopard cub... reminded her of Olli, and it's been a yera. A big hug, you hav both been lucky to have eachother.

  18. I just started reading your blog and I love it; found your page via your posts in the ample knitters group on Ravelry. I love your creations that I've seen so far.

    I'm so sorry you're losing your fur-baby. After 19 years, she's like one of your children, I'm sure. I hope her last days are filled with warm sunshine naps and the adoration that a feline like her clearly deserves.

    Keep calm and knit on.

  19. So sorry to hear abut your Monica kitty. (((HUGS))) It is incredibly hard to lose them, but we would miss so much in life if we never opened our hearts to animal friends.

  20. I only recently found your blog and just love it! I, too, am sorry to hear about your friend. Felines are special beings.

  21. I'm so sorry for the loss of your kitty, Julie.
    We get so attached to our fur babies. I dread losing either of the two I have left, having lost my sweetest dog ever last year. It's so painful. Hugs to you, my sister.

    Now what's that new red sweater you're knitting, hmmmm? Do tell!

  22. I´m so sorry to hear that you lost a long time friend. I have been in same situation four times in 25 years I have been a cat owner. Actually our old lady Täplä was same age as your Monica when we lost her too few years ago.It is so hard to loose a good friend. Hugs from Finnish cat lover and hope you and your family feel better and happier soon <3