Long about a year ago, the Small housecats ran with fleas. We went with Frontline, which cured the kitties, but probably wasn’t ecofabulous.

So, guess what: The little fuzzfaces are infested once again. While a bona fide flea killer can’t be brewed at home, flea repellent can be DIY’d from household ingredients, says Craftzine. Observe:

Could this help my catskys? Anyone out there ever test drive a similar recipe?


About knitting:

And soup-swappin’:

And tchotchke-remixing:

And cat-snuggling:

What’s on your Feb. 21/22 to-do list?

Endnote: 1) Free Owl Sweater pattern at Needled. 2) My pasta e fagioli, a possible candidate for the Central District Soup Swap on Feb. 24. 3) A Living Small vignette, soon to be transformed. 4) Gulliver the cat, snoozing and snuggle-ready.

Say farewell to feline furballs! Professional cat groomer-turned-handbag entrepreneur Danelle German of Simpsonville, South Carolina, has harnessed the power of the Persian to create a line of bespoke knitted and felted satchels — made of leftover cat hair. Watch:

German, who calls her company Catty Shack Creations and who named the schmancy yarn “chatangora,” has made a tidy profit (and a clowder of cat-lady friends) by turning grooming chaff into something both useful and commemorative. Strikes me as Small, sure. But also a bit … eccentric. Though yarn drawn from my sweetie Domino could be so lush:

Or just loony. Your take?

Via TreeHugger.

If you’re like me, Christmas is an equal opportunity giftfest — which means that everyone in the house, animals included (like my sweetie-Gulliver, below), gets gifted.

Got a furry friend in your home? Have a pal whose four-legged sidekick deserves a special treat? No sweat, my pet. Here’s a quick roundup of DIY gifts that can make any animal lover’s Christmas the cat’s meow.


  • Kitty Condo. Swank it up for your favorite feline with this multilevel highrise. Via ReadyMade.
  • Corrugated Scratching Post. Face it: Little Kitty gotta scratch, yo. Via ReadyMade.
  • Knitted Catnip Dim Sum. Watch your cat get crazy with slippy, slidey, grippy, ‘nippy toys made with love. Via knitty.com.
  • Landfill-Bounds. No link for these DIYs, dovies, ‘cuz they are too easy. Think about gifting Catface with a trove of trashy treasures. Gulliver and Domino’s favorites:

    Old wine corks — they bounce! they slide! they stink like fermented things!
    Balls of tinfoil stuffed with catnip — wild, man, wild.
    Dried leaves — they float and fly and taste like the outside.
    Rubberbands — fire á la fifth grade and watch ’em soar!
    Empty Satsuma mandarin boxes — the perfect size for snuggling.


  • Mini-Dog Carrier. Looks like a tiny circus tiger cage, right down to the red trim and wooden “bars.” Plush it out with faux shearling, and your Poochiepoo can ride in style. Via ReadyMade.
  • Peanut Butter Doggy Biscuits. I’m told that dogs like PB, and I know that they like biscuits. How can you go wrong? Via Sugarlaws.
  • Quilted Canine Jacket. A project that is not for the faint of heart, but yowser! Bowser will look like the Queen of the Nile (or the King of Spain) in this awesome, almost asymmetrical warmer. Via ReadyMade.
  • Tennis Ball Toys. Traditional tennis ball tossing totally played out? Check out this handful of projects that will keep Canine happy, and keep you from that playtime breakdown. Via Planet Green.

And, for those whose pets boast fins or feathers, a few fish and fowl DIYs:


September 16, 2008

The cats have fleas.

These (gorgeous, sweetiepie, loveydovey) cats:

Have these:

Grody! And itchy, too! We tried baths in Dr. Bronner’s, vacuuming, flea combing — all to no avail. So we vetted it and got the Frontline, a nasty chemical cocktail that supposedly interrupts the flea life cycle to rid your pet of blood-sucking pests.

Just yesterday, however, I ran across this post on natural flea remedies at Apartment Therapy. From salt to cedar, essential oils to vinegar, it appears that you can bust the little biters with household goods. Has anyone tried any of these methods? Or is Frontline the bottom line?