A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


Rosie the explorer

Rosie is allowed downstairs now, apart from her mealtimes, and after being a bit nervous to start with, she’s really gained in confidence and has explored every nook and cranny.

She has the small rollerball toy upstairs, which she loves, and she has great fun with the larger one we have downstairs.

Rosie030716-06_bIn the photo above she has her paw on a small toy, which she was tossing around and she also played with the two silver balls, putting them inside the roller circuit. I love that I caught her with her tongue out!

We have three tunnels plus a Hop-in cube which are all connected. She loves the Hop-in and sometimes has a little nap in there after playing in it for a while.

Rosie030716-09_bI love this photo that I got of her coming out of it.

Rosie030716-12_bShe was meowing, hence the open mouth. We think she was calling to Frodo to come and play some more, but he was tired out and sleeping on the back of the sofa. They’re getting on brilliantly now and seem to be very relaxed with each other. They play together and even snooze together sometimes.

Rosie also loves the long tunnel and likes to nap just inside it.



We’re still only letting her downstairs when we’re there to supervise as Sammie still isn’t completely happy, but I’m sure it won’t be long before Sammie accepts her. She’s definitely getting a bit more chilled around her now.



Our little gymnast

Sammie has always been lively and active, and from an early age was leaping all over the house. Until recently though, she hadn’t managed to get on top of the one wall of bookcases as there wasn’t anything that she could use as a starting point, unlike the other bookcases which have their cat tree close by.

Stephen has recently moved one of the sofas round so that it’s a bit closer and she’s been sitting on the back of it looking up at the bookcases. Finally she just went for it and got up there in one go.

Sammie241215-01_bIt was still a big leap but she’s so agile that she even made the jump back down onto the sofa without needing to think about it first.

While she was up there, she found the abandoned advent calendars. We’d bought them one each but they turned their noses up at the treats in there so we put them on the top of the bookcase and forgot about them.

Sammie had a little chew of one of them and seemed to be trying to open the doors to get the treats out.

She then pushed one of them onto the floor. She seemed to find that quite amusing.



Who is training who?

I think Frodo is training us to play with him on demand. He has lots of toys that he likes to play with but what he likes best is if we get out his Flying Frenzy. It’s a feathery toy on a string and stick that we can wave about for him to jump after and chase. Both cats love it, but recently Frodo has made us use it more and more.

First he goes and sits by the drawer where it’s kept and looks at us.

Frodo090316-08_b1Then he looks at the drawer.

Frodo090316-06_b2Then he looks at us again, to encourage us to open the drawer and get his toy out.

Frodo090316-07_b5If that doesn’t work he looks back at the drawer.

Frodo090316-03_b4Then back at us, this time trying to hypnotise us into getting the toy.

Frodo090316-02_b3Then back to the drawer.

Frodo090316-05_b6Then he tries to open it himself.


I’m pretty sure that he’s going to figure out how to get that drawer open soon.

We usually cave before he tries to get in there himself and play for at least ten minutes, maybe a bit longer. I’m sure he’d play all day if we let him.

Frodo jumps for it and chases it and pounces on it. Sammie watches for a while then sneaks round the back of the sofa and stalks it. She waits for her chance and quick as a flash, she leaps for it. Once she gets it she hangs on to it and growls, just as if she’s caught live prey. Frodo just sits down and waits for her to relinquish it and then starts jumping for it again.

So much fun!



Frodo and Sam playing rollerball

The large rollerball toy has been upstairs for a while but the other day we swapped it over with the smaller one to give the cats a change. We’ve put it on the new rug and Frodo loves it even more than he did before. He plays with it for ages, diving at it, lying on it and really throwing that ball round the circuit.

I managed to catch both cats playing with it a few days ago, and it was as if they were batting the ball back and forth to each other for a while. I love to see them playing, especially when they’re playing nicely together.


A new craft light

I’ve got so used to using a magnifying lamp to cross stitch, that I can no longer work without one. It makes such a huge difference and lets me stitch for longer. I’ve been using a free-standing one that I bought at the NEC a couple of years ago and it was fine up until the point when it broke. The part where the flexible tubing meets the rigid tubing came apart so it wouldn’t stay where you put it. I’ve had duck tape on it for a while, which helped but then I spotted mention of some stuff called Sugru that might fix it a bit better.

Sadly, it was too heavy for the Sugru.

maglight01It was worth a try but after this failed attempt, I decided it was time for a replacement. A couple of days later, this arrived at my local Waitrose. (I really love shopping from the comfort of my sofa)

maglight02It was quick and easy to assemble and is almost identical to my old one. It’s a different colour, but the dimensions, design and specs are the same.


It didn’t have a clip on it, but the old one fitted it just fine.

maglight04Look, it’s perfect!

maglight03The only other thing it was missing was a cover for the light, to protect it, but being the same size as the old one, my original cover fitted this one too.

maglight06Now that I have a working magnifying lamp again, I can carry on with some stitching without having to sit awkwardly to accommodate a broken lamp.

Oh, and as a bonus, it came in a lovely big box, which the cats took possession of before it was even empty. I’ve let them have it to play in.




The Hop Inn

When we went to the pet show at the NEC, we bought a few of the cats’ Christmas presents. One of the gifts that we were tempted by was something called the Hop Inn. I think it was originally made for bunnies but it’s also the perfect size for cats so is now marketed for all sorts of pets. It comes in a range of colours but we liked the purple. We bought a cube plus one of the three-way tunnels, which just slots into the cube to make one piece. You can extend it indefinitely, limited only by your wallet and the size of your house.

We helped the cats to unwrap the two parts, popped them open and put them together. The cats were straight in there.

Cats251215-01-bThey definitely like them as not only have they both been running in and out of it, but they’ve also slept in there.

Frodo251215-03_bFrodo likes to curl up inside the cube so he can keep an eye on what’s going on elsewhere.

Frodo251215-02-bSammie likes the cube, but she goes right into the middle to sleep and curls up tightly where I can’t take her photo.

Sammie251215-02-bThey’ve played chase through the tunnels and sardines in the cube and generally seem happy with it. How long we’ll leave it assembled in the living room though is a different matter. It does take up quite a lot of space. Once the room goes back to normal after Christmas, we’ll see if we can fit it in anywhere for a bit longer.

I think Frodo would like that.


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Frodo’s first Christmas

Frodo is really enjoying his first Christmas. The cats have had lots of presents, some of which Frodo opened early when he nicked them from under the tree. He really loves tearing paper! One of the presents, which was in the tree rather than under it, contained a squeaky mouse. He discovered that earlier today and had terrific fun opening it.

He even took it over to one of his earlier presents, a wibbly, wobbly tree, and tried to get the paper off it over there too.

Frodo251215-06-1_bI had to help him a little in the end, but he had a lot of fun with it, and again once I’d got it out of the paper for him.

They’ve had tinned tuna for their Christmas dinner, which they definitely enjoyed. They’re both fast asleep now, after an exciting day. More presents for them tomorrow as we thought it’d be more fun to spread them out a bit.


Birthday girl

As I may have mentioned before, it was Sammie’s first birthday on Thursday. She had a lovely day, starting with a big cuddle after her breakfast. Then it was time for her birthday cards. I’d bought her one, and another one arrived from Jackie and Fliss.

BirthdayGirl2015-01_bShe had a special birthday lunch. She usually has Whiskers or occasionally a treat of some Gourmet, but today she had a tin of white tuna with shrimp. With one of her favourite chewy sticks stuck in it. I’m pretty sure she’d prefer that to a candle 😉

BirthdayGirl-02_bShe was very keen to get her paws on it while I was preparing it, but she seemed a bit bemused about how to eat it once it was down.

We took it off her for a moment and mashed it up while she sat and waited.

Sammie200815-01_bShe really enjoyed it, and left a few crumbs for Frodo, who had his lunch upstairs so Sammie could enjoy her treat undisturbed.

Next we made a ball pit for them to play in. I’d seen the balls in Asda and thought the cats might like them. We used one of the boxes that the cat tree came in.

Sammie200815-03_bThe cats were a bit dubious about it, and we’ve since taken most of the balls back out to see if they prefer that.

They love chasing the balls round the house, so I can see that we’re going to be finding them everywhere now. They’re easier to find than the little ones though and can’t squeeze under the sofas so at least we won’t be finding them all hiding under there.

Frodo is a budding footballer and will chase a ball round for ages. He seems to really like these balls as they’re very soft and light. Good job really, as we do have rather a lot of them.

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It’s here!

Sammie’s birthday is coming up soon so we’ve bought her a lovely present. It arrived a couple of days ago and Sammie seemed very interested in it.

Cats060815-01_bFrodo soon came for a look too.

Cats060815-02_bThey both had great fun playing on the boxes, although Frodo did seem more interested in what I was doing at one point.

Frodo060815-01_bHe does this thing where he tilts his head to one side as if he’s giving something a lot of thought. It’s the cutest thing ever. He’s six months old tomorrow so we’re calling it his half-birthday so he can share in the fun in a few days.

The boxes won’t be opened until nearer the date but then I’m sure the cats will love their new boxes once we’ve emptied them. Hopefully they’ll like the contents too.