Tag Archives: Cat

Mini Mouse

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Above is the beady little face only a cat can love–especially when stuffed with catnip! These little guys are a bit labor intensive for the small package, but just wait until your cat goes bonkers over them. You’ll be so proud of yourself.

What you’ll need: fabric, twine or yarn for the tail, stuffing, and catnip. I hand stitched these but there is no reason you can’t use the machine for the first few steps, especially if you plan on making many of them.

This project is perfect for an old t-shirt. If you’ve been into making t-shirt yarn lately and have a bunch of sleeves and chests left over without any idea of what to do with them, here is a great use because these mice use up small snippets of fabric. And the t-shirt is nice because it is stretchy and you can make fat little mice.

Start off by cutting two half circles for the body and two small circles for the ears.
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Place the two pieces together. If your fabric has a good side and a bad side, put both bad sides together. Decide which end will be the “head” and cut a slit until about half way down. I only showed one side in the photo above, but you really should cut them together so they are even.

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I’m sorry, I skipped like three steps in the next photo. It’s just that you get really involved in the “production” of them and forget to take pictures. But the next photo reflects what the mouse looks like after attaching the ears and sewing on the tail.

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I will try and explain as well as possible, though. Take one of your little ears (circle) and roll it like a waffle cone so it’s a little wider on top. Take the rolled ear and stick the end through the slit and fold back the half circle so that you are holding the ear inside the fabric. At this point you should see only a small end of your rolled eat and have a seam to sew up along that slit you previously cut into the half circle. Now you have to do the same thing on the other side so that they mirror each other. When you are done with both ears, you will have two semi-circles again, but this time with ears in the middle-ish. Stick them together so the ears are inside.

Next we attach the tail by having one end of the tail stick out the back end. If there is a good end and a bad end to your tail, have the bad end stick out the back. It will be inside when you flip the mouse inside out.

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It may help to roll up the tail so you can keep it all inside if you have a particularly long tail. Starting with your tail end, start stitching along the outer half circle to close up the two sides. Stop at ears. Then sew along the straight bottom edge to close up the seam.

You are now ready to flip it inside out and should have all of your seams closed up except for “face” area.

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At this point, you have to decide whether you want to put whiskers and eyes on the little mouse. Trust me, the cat will play with it regardless, so you really can skip it… But they are so much cuter with the little details.

Now is the time to add eyes and whiskers if you want them. I used regular thread, but if you have something a little thicker, sewing some eyes on the thing will be sooo much easier. The eyes are self-explanatory. Stitch a circle with the thread.

The whiskers, those required more creativity… And explanation. We are essentially going to make one stitch– on the inside. Thread your string but don’t tie it off. Starting on outside of mouse, you want to pull thread through create a small stitch inside and pull back out. Leave the thread long for the moment. About one half inch from one end, tie a knot (enough to not pull through). Now pull through from other end until the knot stops the thread (yay, one whisker has emerged!). As for the other whisker, you now need to tie a knot on the other side of the stitch to keep whisker from pulling through. See the second photo below to understand how the stitch is on the inside and the first photo to see how the knot on the outside keeps it from pulling through.

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Now all of our hard work is done and we can stuff the little rodents. I used poly-fiber stuffing as well as catnip to make them nice and fat. Just shove it in there.

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When the mouse is as full as you want it, stitch up the face. Just pay attention to where the eyes and whiskers are so they line up.

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Final step: find a cat.

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The Post Post

We have painfully learned that sometimes when you want to save money, you actually have to spend more money. The painful part is not the final quality purchase, but, rather, all the crap we bought up to the point where we finally admitted we had to stop buying crap.

Case in point: cat scratching posts. We have two cats full of personality…and claws. We wouldn’t dream about declawing them, but we do dream of containing the areas their sharp little claws may damage. When we first inherited the cats, we realized that one area we needed to manage was the top of the steps. They would run past you as you were making your way up the stairs, almost taking you down,and then cockily clawed the carpet in a sick victory dance before you could get to the top.

We knew that we would need to have some kind of scratching thing in that spot. So I proceeded to buy a post. It was not the cheapest, but definitely was on the cheap end at around $12. They tore through it within six months (My husband swears it didn’t even last that long.) Bits of carpet from the post littered the entire hallway. So I bought another one- another $12, maybe this one had rope or something that seemed much sturdier at the time. The ones at the pet store (and I’m talking big box store) all seemed about the same in material and construction, they just differed in size. It really didn’t seem that my money would go further just because I bought a bigger version of the same crappy scratching post. Sure enough, the little animals destroyed this one, too, within a few short months. We may have even, embarrassingly enough, have gone through this a couple more times. There had to be a better solution.

There was. A bit of research and reading of reviews convinced us that we needed to finally just pay up and buy a scratching post that was a lot more expensive. We came across the Smart Cat Ultimate Scratching Post.  It was around $50 at the time we bought it (and for whatever reason is a bit cheaper now,which chaps me, but, still, read on) and worth every cent.

It is fantastic.  I told my husband that I couldn’t write about it until enough time had gone by to warrant all the gushing we were doing in private.  Finally, six full months elapsed and my husband officially declared it was time to boast.  The thing looks as good today as the day we bought it.  It is big and sturdy and very soundly built. No carpet in sight for them to tear off the thing in thousands of little pieces.  I am sure I will update this post as time goes by to confirm that it is still going strong, but for any of you out there have similar cat post issues, this is THE post to get.

You may be thinking that at that price, I would need to have this thing for at least two years to make up the cost difference.  While I fully expect this post to last at least that long, any length of time I have it for more than six months means less waste that I am putting in landfills.  That is an important thing.