Here’s an idea for our crafty people out there, as the evenings draw in. If you are good with knitting needles, then what about joining the Cats Protection knitting bee and making a toy mouse or blanket for one of the 6000 cats in Cats Protection’s care.
They suggest that mouse-toy knitters can use the popular Captain Cat-Battler pattern, originally designed by Lauren O’Farrell (www.whodunnknit.com) – that’s a design that has been recommended by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home too. The pattern can be downloaded from the Cats Protection website. Another source of free knitting and crochet patterns they recommend is www.ravelry.com.
As with all pet crafts, keep safety in mind. Cats Protection advises that when knitting a toy or blanket, it’s best to avoid the use of stretchy yarns or small plastic items – such as those that can be used for mouse eyes – to reduce the risk of injury to cats and kittens. Loose weave blanket patterns involving the use of large needles are best avoided too. If you make toys for your cat, check the toys regularly for signs of wear or damage, and don’t leave cats on their own with knitted toys, or give knitted toys or blankets to cats that chew wool.
Cats Protection will be at the Knitting and Stitching Show (10 – 13 October at Alexandra Palace in London). Donations of knitted items can be dropped off there at the Cats Protection stand (P50). For those not visiting the show, the charity’s branches, shops and adoption centres will be happy to accept donations of knitted mice and blankets.