A stomp in the park

I am a little angry. I came to this realization this morning as I shut the front door behind me (very firmly) and stomped (or maybe trudged viciously…it can be hard to tell the difference) down the street on a self imposed walk to High Park to burn off some fury.

I didn’t stop muttering (things like “furthermore” and “another thing” under my breath until I had speed walked 20 minutes. )

I was too angry to knit, and that’s saying something, especially since I’m back at the Tinks sweaters…and if itty bitty fair isle can’t get your mind off your whimsical temper, what can?


When I calmed myself down a bit, I made a list. I am a big fan of lists and find them clarifying and emotionally gratifying. There’s something about the numbering and naming of your problems that both makes them real enough to deal with, and simultaneously reassures you that they don’t number in the thousands.

(We can discuss another time the absolutely tragic fact that I’m making all the same complaints my mother did, which speaks to a poignant lack of progress.)

List of reasons I was mad enough to spit. (but didn’t. That’s gross.)

Laundry, my relationship to it, and the absolutely unending, perennial nature of same. (Also, the way no matter what you have washed, you have not washed the right things. Eg: I have washed every single pair of pants, but there are inexplicably, no towels.)

Housework. See above complaint and factor in the apparent learning disability everyone in the house seems to have when I use the phrase “We all mess it up, we all clean it up.” You should see their eyes glaze over. They might do what I ask then, but their teenaged brains seem to be completely unable to take that message to the next level and do it again the next time they see some dirt without the application of speech 3b. (“This is not a hotel and I do not work here. I live here. Like you do, only with less help.”)

The injustice of the world at large. I realize there is precious little people can do about this in the immediate future (like the next 14 seconds) but I am pissed none the less.

Cats. Specifically mine, and the way that she has taken to sleeping on my head. Sadly, I have not taken to her sleeping on my head, and each and every night has turned into a repeated and monotonous cycle of me taking her off my head, me falling asleep, her getting on my head, me waking up and taking her off my head.

Repeat until you threaten to smack your insensitive lout of a husband for daring to find a shred of humour in your sleepless plight and ability to string together filthy expletives related to aforementioned *&^%$!!!! cat.


Cat seen here looking innocent. She is not. (Suggestions for ending this problem before I die from sleep deprivation gleefully accepted. I love my cat, but I am not interested in taking her crap as long as I pay for her kibble.)

Work. This is really the big one. For various reasons, Children, holidays, husbands, houseguests, family, school boards and so forth….I have not had a single day of uninterrupted work in 21 days.

What would happen if you didn’t go to work for 21 days? Can you imagine? My inbox is overwhelmed, things unwritten, phone calls unreturned….a plethora of problems screech into my lap every day and I am helpless to correct them because there are PEOPLE IN MY OFFICE. People with goals that are different from mine. People who want their blue pants, to have help with a problem of their own, want a meal, want a conversation, want to sleep on my head or talk while I write. People who will actually stack orange peels on the living room coffee table and then stand there and have a screeching argument about who it was who left them there and who should pick them up. (Hint: If, even while you are screaming about the injustice of the world, even if you claim that your sisters are treated better than you, if you swear that you have never, ever even touched a single orange in this house….Even if you have made all of those points? I am still going to think you should pick up the orange peels if your breath of fury reeks of guilty Citrus.)

21 days. That’s why, when one of the girls told me this morning that they were too ill to go to school (again) I went for a long walk…and realized this:

I would like to formally and publicly apologize to my mother for not fully grasping the injustice of her life during my growing up years, and take back all of the stuff I muttered about her sanity all those times she was out for a walk. Sorry Mum.

238 thoughts on “A stomp in the park

  1. Ummm. At least you can find humor in your plight? Hmmm. Maybe not. At least *I* can find humor in your plight? Yeah, that’s it.
    Dude, I feel your pain, I really do. There are days when I am thrilled that I work a 40 hour week away from home.

  2. You poor thing ๐Ÿ™ (insert many pats on the head and hugs here).
    I had a kitten that used to like to sleep on my head – I think it was because my head was the warmest part of me showing during the night.
    Maybe try wearing a hat? Cover your head with your quilt while you sleep? Close the bedroom door with the cat out? Encourage the cat to get to know the warm nature of your children’s heads?
    Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. hugs.
    and anger and long walks are good. I had a day like that myself yesterday. I finished off (after a long walk) a double hot chocolate and a chocolate crossoint in a 15 minute sitting.
    So hugs. and gentle thoughts. and btw.. you are fully justified in having an angry day.

  4. Fresh air and sunshine usually help my pissy moods. I’m going for my stomp right now……might even take my current sock knitting with me.

  5. I love my cats, but they sleep in a different room. (I have 4 cats by the way). They used to sleep in our room, but I got crazy of cats on the bed on all impossible places and finding heaps of hear on my clean clothes (we have an open closet-thingie). So now they – sadly – have to spend the night in their own little place with cat beds and all, and occasionally ONE of them (only one at the time) is allowed a night in the bedroom. Doggy is up there more frequent, but she prefers my feet up to my pillow, so that’s ok!
    *grin* cats and kids are sweeties, right? ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Amen and pass the Lysol!
    I wrote a formal apology to my mother the day my 4-year-old, upon being asked for the 45th time that morning to pick up her books, laid down in the middle of the living room floor, hand to forehead, and moaned, “My life is _over_.”
    I believe my mother framed that note. Can’t wait to get two of my own from my beloved offspring.

  7. I think there’s a lot of anger going around today, unfortunately.
    I am setting aside my anger towards my job and sending you good thoughts!!

  8. Used to have the same problem with my cat and I fixed it with mint! My cat hates the smell of peppermint, and I found some mint aromatherapy linen spray at one of those little (expensive) linen stores – I spray it on my pillow every night, it helps me sleep – very soothing – and the cat doesn’t come anywhere near my head – still sleeps on my feet, but that I can deal with – I’m not sure if disliking peppermint is a universal cat trait, or just a particular quirk of my feline – but it’s worth a shot!

  9. I will resist the urge to say “I’m first” and then post a “real” comment later, just to sneak in there before others who are posting real comments. (I did it once, and I’ll grow up.)
    Steph, re: cat. I will suggest a water gun, kept full on your nightstand. One or two squirts with said water gun and your cat will think twice about sleeping on your head.
    Also, I’ll tell you the phrase my mother told me: “I didn’t ask if you put it there. I told you to pick it up. Another word and it’s your job forever.” (It worked on me then, and it works on the stepdaughters now.)
    If I didn’t go to work for 21 days, I’d be gloriously happy, because it would mean that I suddenly became rich and didn’t ever have to go again. And think of all the yarn…

  10. I have a cat who, as a kitten, loved to do the same thing. Either that or jump up on my fridge (it was a short fridge) and use her paw to repeatedly open and then slam, not close, the cupboard that had her treats in it. I used to get up and give her a treat to stop the racket…then realized that played into things. The cat probably figured in order to get her treat she needed to do that.
    Anyway, if you want to stop the behaviour, why not close your bedroom door, or shut her in another room…that might work. She will probably kick up a fuss which would happen for a few nights but after a week it should stop…hopefully.

  11. Sorry the world is conspiring to tick you off (and BTW? it’s not just you it’s conspiring against).
    For the cat, is there a door that can be closed to shut her off from you? All 4 of mine have free run of the house durring the day, but are sequestered in the basement at night to avoid such issues. Otherwise, perhaps keeping a spray bottle full of water handy and giving her a bit of a shock each time she tries this would work?
    Hope things settle down for you soon.
    Liza {who’s also got someone home *again* today}

  12. I realize you’re angry, but I have to tell you that that itty-bitty Fair Isle is hugely gorgeous. I suggest you shut the so-lovely kitty out of your bedroom tonight and get a good night’s sleep, NOT that I’m suggesting that you are angry because you are sleep-deprived, because that is clearly not the case and there are obviously slacking teenagers involved, but we all know that being sleep-deprived decreases one’s ability to cope.
    This is an odd question, but it sounds like this “sleeping on the head” is a new behavior–is there anything going on that could cause your cat to suddenly change its sleeping habits?

  13. Oh hon. I know. I’m sorry. And I fear the whole teenaged thing.
    That whole room of one’s own thing? Virginia Woolf was no dummy, is all I’m saying.

  14. My dad liked having cats sleep on his head, then again, he was bald and his room was somewhat cold.
    Wear a spiney helmet? Not sure what else would discourage a cat, they’re a stubborn lot. I do hope you get some sleep soon! (and that people start picking up after themselves. Perhaps I was just a strange strange kid, but I picked up the house daily, did dishes, and my own (and sometimes other peoples) laundry. Nevermind, I know I was wierd ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Will it make you guffaw bitterly and derisively if I ask whether you have implemented a chore rota in your house, and threatened the withholding of various privileges from those who do not do their assigned chores? Is there a ghost of a chance that you have not already tried that? (Though I don’t know what you could possibly threaten Joe with. And he’s been good lately anyway, hasn’t he? His picking up of assorted slack merited a whole blog post not that long ago…)
    Anyway, much sympathy. I consider myself very lucky to have a spouse who knows about the washing machine (though the dishwasher is still terra incognita.)

  16. Would you / could you consider an office/work space outside your home? Is there an artist’s community there, where you might be able to get office/work space at a starving artisit rate?
    Working at home sounds great! but would be difficult for me. I’d have a hard time making and keeping the ‘work’ boundary.
    You owe it to yourself to do something that makes your family understand you have a job too!

  17. We briefly had a kitten just like that. My kids ended up kicking her out of their rooms at night and shutting their doors. I was dumb enough to leave mine open. After she slept on my head for the 2nd night in a row (and after she amused herself by leaping off the chest of drawers onto my feet whenever I moved in bed) she was off to someone else’s home. (She had been abandoned on a high shelf in our carport by an anonymous person).
    As far as those little people is concerned, just keep counting the days until they move out on their own… and bring their laundry home for you to do.

  18. Cats are never innocent, even though they’re good at posing that way. A little surreptitious catnip on Joe’s head, perhaps? Or the kids’? Or leave a ball of really expensive yarn on the sofa (no, no – ingesting yarn could kill cat – never mind). Keep telling yourself that it’s temporary – cats often get bored and do something else after a while.

  19. two other words – Stella Artois.
    Dude, as much as I feel your pain, I found myself giggling at your plight – sorry. My son is only 6, so I haven’t had the joy of teenage angst and total indifference to parents, but I remember my own, and I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. He has given me the “this is the worst day EVER!!” speech a few times already, so I assume it just gets better. Oh joy.
    As for the cat – I do have a suggestion, but it is so politcally incorrect that I can’t bring myself to type it, lest people (and cats) descend upon my head. Not fun for a dog person.
    Hope the stomp helped.

  20. I’m no help on the cat at all. I love my cat, but she loves the barn and the horses and the hay more than the house, so that’s where she sleeps. It seems to be working for everyone. Not that I’m in any way suggesting you put the cat outside, because I’m not. I’m just saying I’m clueless about the minds of an indoor cat. ๐Ÿ™‚ I too often ponder the wonders of laundry, and dirty dishes for that matter. They seem to be related. I shudder at the thought of your problems with your teenagers and join you in saying a huge “I love you, Mom” Why is it takes us so long to truly appreciate them? By the way, the fair isle is gorgeous.

  21. Your mum is probably doing the “Happy Dance of Maternal Vindication” right now. Your turn will come someday. And then you will have the added satisfaction of blogging your children’s mortification. See? Some good will come of all this…if it doesn’t kill you first.

  22. Can you not have your office off limits? Even if at first only for an hour or so a day – put a notice on the door saying your are busy call back later? Unless they are hurt or on fire as you mentioned in an earlier blog entry? The only thing you can do is set limits and make all of you (including yourself) stick with them – besides you need time to finish that sooo beautiful fairisle, I’ve promised myself to try fairisle this yearand that is inspirational!

  23. Well, cats really dislike aluminum foil — So you could fashion yourself a little tin-foil chapeau and then use the peppermint linen spray on it. . .
    If that doesn’t cheer you up (and make you feel quite pretty) then what will?

  24. I have moments like that occasionally. It usually takes me about two miles of walking to stop sputtering. (Have you ever gotten so mad at your kids that there are sounds coming out of your mouth, but not actual words???? and possibly a little spittle – teenagers.)
    Just kick the cat out of your room. If you like to sleep with your door open, put the cat in the basement. (the above comment about the squirt gun gives me the strangest visions as you miss the cat and you are laying with a wet head in bed and the cat just adjusting him/herself.)
    I have kids that are responsible for certain areas of the house and they rotate each week. One gets the bathroom, another gets living rooms and dining room, and the other the kitchen. They do the basic cleaning during the week with a better cleaning job on the weekend. Also gives you a point person for the week if you don’t feel like going 20 rounds over used Kleenex. Though with teenagers there will be some other area where they will look at you like you have stalks growing out of your ears.
    ricka, fricka,… sputter…

  25. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have called my mother up in recent years and thanked her PROFUSELY for not killing me and my sibs (5 of us total). My restraint is getting weaker every day.
    My admiration for her grows daily and I understand now her tenuous hold on sanity when we’re all together for family “do’s”.

  26. my sister’s cat slept on my head ONCE. I threw the cat across the room before I was fully awake. and it never happened again. Of course that may explain why the cat slept in the attic for the rest of her visit with us.

  27. I should send my husband up there. He is the one in the family who does the laundry.
    And the last few weeks, he’s been on a cleaning rampage. Dishes, tidying up, making the bed, everything but scrubbing the bathrooms (which is OK, I made him that deal when we first got married. He could choose. Bathrooms or laundry. He chose laundry).
    I feel a little bad (I’ve been tired & sick from the pregnancy, and then sick with a cold/pinkeye on top of that for 2 weeks, so have not had energy to do much of anything myself), but not bad enough to get in his way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. I had to shut my two cats in the laundry room while I was pregnant – they were drawn to my warmth like moths to a candle, and I would wake up frequently during the night smothered by cats.
    My 4 1/2 yr old spent at least 20 minutes having a tantrum because there wasn’t time to brush and braid her hair before leaving for preschool today. This after I repeatedly asked her all morning to get dressed and not leave it until the last minute… it’s not a pleasant feeling to think about how many more years of this kind of behavior I get to look forward to!

  29. Ok.
    Inhale red; exhale blue. Deep breath in; slow breath out.
    Nicely done.
    Now repeat after me, “bee shoes.” Now with a bit more love, “beeshoes.” And finally with utter and complete happiness, “beezhoujs.”
    PS I think the walk to the LCBO is probably about as far as High Park…I’m just sayin’…

  30. Perhaps if you surreptitiously sprinkle catnip on the hair of the insensitive lout of a husband it would take care of one of the problems for you?

  31. As for the cat: Definitely the squirt bottle. (And if a little squirt should land on Joe? Whoopsie! Gotta get that cat trained.) Now my babies just have to see the bottle in my hand and they quit their misbehaving. I can even just make the “psshht” noise the squirt bottle makes and they scoot.
    A suggestion for hostile children: Ask/tell one time what you want said child to do. If it gets to time #2, then they owe $1 for each time they are asked thereafter. At the first week I tried it with my 2 I had $24.
    Good luck. I won’t ask you to keep in mind how few (MANY) years there are until the kidalas are all growed up. You’ll be walking for days!

  32. I would just close the bedroom door – I do this with my cats when they are having a romp at 4 in the morning. (Romping includes using the bed as a spring board which equals no sleep for me!) They have the rest of the apartment to run around in, I have the bedroom to sleep in, and they are so happy to see me in the morning (just like coming home from work)! I’d be careful with the peppermint – one of mine loves the smell of it. I discovered this when I was using peppermint lip balm and he kept smelling my lips. No. I’m not kidding.

  33. We moms just want the residents of the house to be clean and helpful WITHOUT the nagging, the threatening, the chore chart (and its enforcement- ugh) that turns us into scary mom caricatures.

  34. If you figure out the cat thing let me know. I have the same problem but haven’t the heart to shut them out.

  35. The knitting for the Tinks is lovely, and so is the kitty when she’s not sleeping on your head.
    My most uncomfortable middle of the night wake-ups are (I am convinced) a coordinated effort by all three of our cats. For some reason, sleeping adjcent to my body is more enjoyable than my husbands and none of them like to sleep *too* close together.
    I have woken up with one cat on my left shoulder, one on my left shin and the last somewhere on the middle of my right side. This is when I wake up with a muscle cramp in an extremity that I can’t move without significant effort and cat sleep disruption because the comforter is totally pinned in place around my body like I’m a mummy.
    If it happened more than once a month our bedroom door would be closed. My sleep is more important than their happiness.

  36. So my question is why are you doing laundry for three teenage girls? My brother was 6 and I was 9 when my mom taught us how to do our laundry, my brother stood on a chair to reach the washing machine. Once we were proficient we were each given a day of the week to do our laundry, no exceptions except for illness, if we didn’t do it no clean clothes. I’ve posed this question to many of my girlfriends who have teenagers who complain about the laundry and the answer is always “they don’t do it right”. My response has always been when they move out of the house they still aren’t going to do it right, so why not make peace with it now instead of later. I really vote for the girls to become friends with Mr. Washie sooner rather than later. Seriously think about how much more knitting you could get done if you didn’t have to worry if they have clean underwear.

  37. Ooooh, Carrie, I am SO gonna use that one.
    We have a cat who does that. There are 4 human heads in the house; mine is the only one slept on. OTOH he is 18 years old and the sweetest cat ever born (apart from the head thing) and I have kinda gotten used to moving him without waking up.
    As for laundry and orange peels, all I can say is if we each grab an oar and row like crazy, maybe someday we’ll get out of this boat we’re in together.

  38. I can only comment on the cat sleeping on your head thing.
    My 20lb cat likes to do this. I made this discovery once after feeling sorry that I kick the cats out of my bedroom at night.
    20 pounds of cat on your head can kill you (i.e. weighty fur induced suffocation).
    I do not feel sorry for them any longer and they sleep outside of my bedroom at night.
    My dogs, however, do sleep in my bedroom and they manage to stay on the floor. My bed is much too high for them to hop up on, as much as Sam would like to think is untrue. Even if they did sleep on my bed, Sam and Jessie love me just enough to only spoon me.
    Kick the cat out, get a full night’s sleep and keep your sanity.

  39. I am a student, so I write at home as well. I have not been alone since about Dec. 7. Argh. Needless to say, may paper’s long overdue. Thankfully, the SB who follows me around the house and talks to me no matter where I am or how nasty I am goes back to school in ten days, aaaah.
    Once I was ten, and tall enough to reach into the bottom of the dryer, we’ve all done our own laundry. My mother got us to do this by dint of being in graduate school and being too busy to do it, so it was that or have no clean clothing to wear. It’s not cruel and unusual punishment–otherwise you can’t earn enough $$ for those teenagers to ever have any more clothing ever bought for them, ever. I’ve also bought my own clothing since I was 16.

  40. Book yourself and your computer into a hotel (or a single freind’s house who has no kids) and let the monsters fend for themselves. They managed while you were on tour, they can do it again.
    As for the cat, CLOSE THE DOOR!

  41. Oh yeah: when I went to graduate school and was living in a student house I had to teach three other people how to do their own laundry. One was 20, another 21 and the most pathetic 26! The year ended with the 26-year-old becoming so fastidiuos about his clothes that he would spend hours washing and ironing them in our dining room, before very carefully folding them and putting them away gently in his room.

  42. Send your cute and innocent kitty to me! Chaos will whup her into shape. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hmm. Move with no forwarding address? Set up chore lists so that the laundry and cleaning get cycled through other members of the household? Teenagers need to know how to clean and do laundry. (Not that they will agree, but…)

  43. {{{hugs}}} I can relate to a point, but since my kids are only 4 and 2 it’s not quite the same. My husband, on the other hand, is okay with leaving empty plates and glasses where he sits and when asked to move them or put them in the dishwasher, swears they’re not his. Geesh!
    As for the problem with the cat-head-sleeping thing. I had that problem. My cats now get locked in the basement (which is nice and cozy and has a recroom with a nice chesterfield) at night … I sleep better and I love my cats more.

  44. 1. Laundry. Right there with ya. In this house, his underwear.
    2. Housework. Bleh. That’s it, bleh. Hire a cleaning crew??
    3. Injustice of the world. Well, now, that’s a tough one. But just by blogging it, you made me think about it, and doing more. Does that help?
    4. Cats. Give up, Steph, give up. They will sleep where they want. It’s their house, haven’t you realized that yet??? (Ungrateful human)
    5. Work. Yep, feel your misery there. We work out of the house and we just moved. Yeah, that’s like, fun. Uh huh, answer phone, unpack box, dig for lost file in pile of boxes, throw phone that won’t stop ringing against wall, and on and on.
    In other words, thanks for making me realize I’m not the only one and hoping you realize we’re right there with ya. Well, ‘cept for the kids. None of them yet. I could take borders… ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Love the sweater. I love doing babies’ stuff – its so achievable, delicate and cunning.
    My mum’s favourite saying is “Why do grandparents and grandchildren get along so well? Because they have a common enemy”.
    Institute an own washing regime, ban people from your office, lock the cat into the laundry or raise the thermostat – it sat on your head for heat in the first instance but now it’s just fun razzing you – and if your children are sick enough to stay home from school, they have to be in bed WITHOUT TV! (well that was my mum’s rule. If we got out of bed for anything but the bare necessities, she’d make us get dressed and drop us off at school cos we were malingering. Damn it, she was usually right) : (
    Enjoy your walks. They’ll be the most fun part of the day.

  46. This will not help in the short term (I think a lot of people have made some very useful suggestions), but it does address the eternal nature of laundry: Pick a day of the week to be laundry day. Wash, dry, fold, and put away (dividing these chores among family members however you choose). You don’t have to think about it again for six whole days, and you probably got some quality knitting time in while you waited for the dryer.
    I hate doing laundry, but I’d rather do it only on Wednesdays than on every blessed day of my life.

  47. First thing: Put a closed door between you and the cat at night.
    Second thing: Post office hours for your home office (even if you have to vary them from day to day. Include a warning detailing what will happen to someone who disturbs you during office hours for anything less urgent than gushing blood or imminent death.
    Third thing: All three of your daughters are old enough to do their own laundry, and since from your description of them they seem to have at least average intelligence, there is no reason why they couldn’t learn this simple skill in one day. I posted laundry “rules” beside the washing machine, along with sequence of events, while mine were learning.

  48. Stephanie —
    I heartily support the fleece idea mentioned earlier. My cats used to sleep on my head because of the warmth (you release most of your body’s warmth through your head) – but once I put a polarfleece blanket on the bed and they discovered “the joys of fleece,” no more sleeping on my head — which was rather sad, because I kind of liked having a purring heater on my head. So…try the fleece – it really works. We now have polarfleece blankets scattered around the house in the places where the cats like to sleep (or where we would PREFER that they sleep), and those little feline heat seeking units can’t be dragged off them! As for the frustration — chocolate and/or Bailey’s Irish Cream always works for me!!!!

  49. Re kitty: I have found over many years of living with kitties (almost said owning before I realized the untruthfulness of that) that they are much smarter than generally thought & that they can learn a lesson. If you shut said cat out of your bedroom for 3 or 4 nights, she will be better behaved. I can almost promise that. It has worked for more than one of my cats. They apparently KNOW what behavior bothers you (after all you’ve tried to make that clear haven’t you?) & will stop it – for at least a while. After a period of time (which seems to vary from cat to cat but usually at least a couple of weeks), they will forget what they are not supposed to do (or hope you have forgotten) & resume the noxious behavior but another round of shutting them out for a few days will remind them. Some folks may think this more bother than it’s worth but I love my kitties & shutting them out of the bedroom for a few night every month or so is worth it – keeps me enjoying their company the rest of the time. [My 13 lb cat thinks it’s OK for her to sleep ON TOP of me. I sleep on my side & she curls up along my waist or hip making it impossible for me to move or even breathe freely. But being banned from the bedroom for a few nights refreshes her memory that that is unacceptable behavior.]
    Re laundry: I have nothing to say here. The biggest change in going from one child to 2 was that I couldn’t EVER catch up with laundry until they were old enough to do their own.

  50. I’ve been waiting for my one teenage girl to develop housely responsibility for lo these twenty years. She has her own apartment now and when I visit, I marvel at the neatness, the cleanliness, the attention to detail as we load the car for her visit home. But as soon as she walks in the door of the parental home, she reverts to her teenagerly piggie self. Towels on the floor, food left lying around, no laundry however because, good God we might shrink one of her precious garments. How do you ever manage with three? We also have a cat who likes to share the pillows. Fortunately it’s on my husbands side so I don’t give a hoot. After all, I get the 80lb dog who can’t sleep anywhere else but on my feet. Is it consoling that even on your worst days, you manage to bring a smile to those of us who wait for your daily blog gift? I hope so. Hope tomorrow is better.

  51. All that, and your sense of humour still shines through. I’m starting a religion around you ๐Ÿ™‚
    As for the cat, find the curliest wig you can, stick it on Joe’s head, and watch hilarity ensue.

  52. Addendum: I’m not so sure about the fleece working. I bought a sheepskin for my kitties at Ikea. They absolutely LOVE it but they want to be in the bedroom at night when I’m there.

  53. You know those sharp spikes building owners put outside their windows to prevent pigeons from landing on the ledges? You need to somehow create an artful hat out of these that you can wear to bed. I promise the cat will stay off your head. Problem solved. Although, yes, I do realize that you will probably get even LESS sleep wearing a crown of sharp spikes on your head than you do wearing a cat.
    And as another word of encouragement, at least you’re somewhat better off than my friend who had a cat that would sleep on her head AND drool.

  54. Your innocent-guilty kitty girl looks like one of mine. Who also has/had a tendency to try to sleep on my head (although, when he has done it recently, it’s generally only in the morning, to notify me in his passive-aggressive way that he is *awfully* hungry, and can you please get up and feed me now…)
    My methods of correcting kitty bad behavior in and around sleeping involve bodily tossing them off the bed and a small water bottle kept within arms reach (the night stand if it’s near you, or tucked between pillows on a double bed). I don’t just take them off my head, I throw them off the bed entirely. Or grab the water bottle (set on stream, not mist!) and squirt it in the direction of the offensive member, especially if they are out of arms reach.
    Or, just ride it out. Because these behaviors seem to be phases, just like the so-called phases of teenagers. ๐Ÿ™‚

  55. You know in Donnie Darko when the teacher played by Drew Barrymore explains why ‘cellar door’ are the most beautiful words in the English language? I suggest substituting ‘bedroom’ for ‘cellar’, and adding a wedge if said door has an annoying habit of swinging open. I have yet to meet a cat who can wriggle through a keyhole. I know this because I used to share my parents’ home with a cat who liked to demonstrate her affection by leaping onto my chest at the deepest darkest point of my sleep cycle, and thought I’d better put measures in place before experiencing a nightly cardiac arrest. You’ve gotta love ’em.

  56. That Tink sweater is gorgeous.
    Having a cat sleep on your head is bad, especially if she ends up on your face. Much as you don’t like listening to howling, you may need to close that door firmly in her face.
    As for teenagers … it amazes me that so many of them actually survive to adulthood, with them constantly aggravating their parents. You might want to try a line Bill Cosby claims came from his father: “I brought you into this world, I can take you out of it!”

  57. Since you say the cat sleeping on your head is a new thing maybe she hasn’t been feeling well and needs more comfort? I have a 10 year old male cat and we have been working on his food (finding a good one that doesn’t make him shed or stink) and he was getting really needy at night and needing to be right next to me. A friend told me he might be cold and having circulation issues so i’ve been a bit more generous with him. I don’t let him sleep necessairly where he wants but I try to remember that he may be cold (and since I have oh 3 comforters on my bed one being a down comforter) he might need a little bit of closeness. So I let him sleep near me but not on me. Not always easy but I don’t kick him off the bed as much and he settles down more when i cuddle him and pet him for a bit and get him settled in a position that works better for me.
    Hope this helped!

  58. I know it does not solve your cleaning problem now but some day they will mature and do things without being told to. I’ll never forget the day my then 17 year-old son took out the trash without being told to and when I managed to close my mouth and say “You’re doing that without being told to?” he replies “I figured I might as well because you were just going to tell me to.” Ah, it was a glorious day in motherhood’s history and eventually such occurances happened with my daughter too. There is light at the tend of the tunnel — it is a very very very long tunnel but the light is there so hang on and keep walking.

  59. Oh My God, I have soooooooooooo been where you’re at right now. About laundry – when my kids were in their early teens I bought them each a clothes hamper and announced that we will all be doing our own laundry from now on. When they complained that I was still doing their dad’s, I said, “He fixes my car and I think that’s a fair deal.” Carrie’s suggestion about squirting the cat with a little water can’t hurt. It worked with my mother’s parrot. I have never allowed canines or felines to live at my house so nobody thinks I love animals, but they’re oh, so wrong. I love them so much and I’ve been tempted so many times, but I treasure my sleep and I resent stress, so I do not give in to that temptation. I have perceived my mother’s life quite differently myself, many many times and I applaud you for sharing that sentiment.

  60. I would heartily second (ninth? twenty-third?) the water bottle thing. HOWEVER — the key (and this is *very* important) is to squirt the cat just as she is exhibiting the behavior you want to stop! In other words, if you don’t want her to sleep on your head, you have to catch her as she’s laying down upon said noggin. If you wake up and find she’s already made her bed there, it’s too late — squirting her at that point only tells her you don’t want her to engage in her current behavior, i.e. sleeping (which, presumably, you want her to do).
    Alternatively, I’ve found that hissing works. When our cat is jumping around and meowing her head off as we’re getting ready to sleep, a couple of hisses from me get her to lay down and shut up.

  61. Hmmm….
    Suggestion 1: Rub catnip on children’s heads as they sleep. That will take care of two things–cat off your head, revenge on ungrateful little snots who are making your life miserable.
    Suggestion 2: Bury yourself in your inbox. When people interupt you, look up at them as though they were speaking ancient Mandarin Chinese, backwards and underwater. Maintain that expression on your face until they think you’re insane and leave.
    Suggestion 3: Bring your knitting to the park. Stay there until your bottom starts freezing, pretending everything else doesn’t exist. When you stalk back home, pretend as though you were never gone. Then repeat suggestion 2.
    Suggestion 4: Go to the yarn store and take solace from your people… we understand you, Steph… we would never talk to you while you were working, unless you were working on the computer, and then we’d want your undivided attention…
    I’m sure your mum has just read your post and is laughing her keester off because, as every mum on the planet has cause to know, kharma is a funny old dog… (and she’s bitten me on the ass many a time…)

  62. Oh, yes, I forgot about that Tink sweater. It’s gorgeous. I have turned a ghastly shade of Envy Green.

  63. Fabulous, fabulous fair isle sweater. Just gorgeous! You know, we all need to sleep without interruption from cats, no matter how much we love them.
    My kitty used to not only sleep on my head, but also woke up every night at 3 a.m. to inexplicably race around the house, jumping on and off tables, etc. I finally made him a cozy bed downstairs, with layers of old blankets and during the winter, a heating pad set on low temp underneath all the blankets. He learned to adjust, he really did.
    Once the cat knows that you mean business, the cat will adjust. And you’ll feel so much better for getting a decent night’s sleep.
    Take care and keep those fair isle goodies coming! Hugs, from Daryl Lynn ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. Can I get a witness!? I hear you on all the reasons, except substitute one very persistent whippet for a head ornament. You have my empathy. She said, as she listened for the sound of the dryer stopping so she could go put in another load of laundry for someone to wear and get dirty so it could be washed again next week.
    I guess the only thing I can say is, some days it hits harder than others and those are really good days to have a cup of tea, add a few extra biscuits to the plate, hell, put something IN the tea like a goodly shot of hooch. Whatever it takes to get through until tomorrow which will hopefully feel better.
    Feel better.

  65. This post is as good as birth control for me.
    As for the cat, I suggest a squirt gun or spray bottle with water. If your husband happens to catch some friendly fire in the process, so be it.

  66. Its interesting to see that there are more suggestions of ways to prevent the cat from sleeping on your head than for behavior modification of children. As I always suspected, cats are more easily trained than teenagers.

  67. Many Hugs and good thoughts to you and hopes that everyone goes to work and school, and the litter box, and leaves you some quiet free moments tomorrow.
    As for the cat, she does this to me and is now banned from the bedroom during sleep hours, be they nightime or nap. If the cat mews incessantly at a closed door, then keep something it hates near you. Spray bottles usually work and help if you don’t want to wake Joe up, a bottle of pills to shake loudly and scare the cat, if you do want to wake Joe up =) Then even if the pills don’t work, perhaps he will be more likely to help you in your plight since he loses sleep too. Also, if you have your choice of loud pills, make them good, strong, painkillers which are always useful when dealing with stubborn cats.

  68. LOL. When I read the bit about the people in your office, “people with goals . . .” I read it as “people with goats.” Did a double-take on that one! But you see, it could be so much worse!
    Hang in there, kid. It’ll get better soon.

  69. You know, my mother had five kids and when I ask her how she handled it she says, “I don’t know, I can’t really remember. It seems like somebody else’s life.” I’m sure your mum forgave you long ago and has forgotten most of the bad parts. And you’ll live through this, and conveniently forget the maddening teenage years (and chuckle to yourself when your girls are going through it with their own kids).

  70. I’m Julie, too, and agree with julieu89 above. BOOK TOUR! When, oh when, are you coming to Mpls-St. Paul? I know people at the Yarnery, the Sheepy Yarn Shoppe, Neelework Unltd., Three Kittens. Everyone wants you here, Harlot. When will you grace us with your presence? Sorry, no advice on cats or kids– I’ve scrupulously avoided both in my life!

  71. We solved the cat-sleeping-on-head problem by closing the door at night. It was sad at first because she would sit out there and mew sadly and scratch at the door, but now she sleeps somewhere else and wreaks havoc with objects made of wool. We consider this a small price to pay for nocturnal peace.

  72. Payback’s a bitch, right?
    And lock the cat out. ‘Experts’ say people who sleep with their pets do not sleep as well as people who don’t.
    Of course, this means nothing from me, due to the fact that most nights my head is the middle of a cat sandwich. That’s right-it could be worse. It could be TWO CATS.
    Hang in there-

  73. Delurking momentarily because I am so living this experience right now, I was nearly driven to tears by your post. I have an 8 mo. old boy instead of three older girls, but I haven’t been able to do any work since early December. I have a final deadline for a HUGE job at the end of next week. Having finally sent hubby back to work last week, the baby promptly got sick and adhered himself to my body. This week he is making up for it by being really happy and NEVER sleeping. And when he does, like now, I tiptoe my shuddering form over to the knitting corner and guiltly go ’round and ’round, promising that after the NEXT round I will go to my office and work. Sigh. I guess I should get going…

  74. Awww, cat sleeping on the head! My cat did that before she died. Every time I think of her, I think of fur in my face when I woke up. And sneezing. A lot. I miss that about her. My other cat won’t sleep on me, only on my legs. It’s just not the same.
    As for laundry, my solution is to say to hell with it, use the washing machine as a hamper and just run it on cold whenever it gets full (which seems like daily). Got delicates? Reds? Whites? Who cares?! If it can’t handle the cold cycle, get rid of it! Dried clothes just get put in a pile. And folding schmolding. If the clothes-owner wants their clothes folded, they better do it themselves. What I really want to do though is convince my husband that all of his clothes should be dry cleaned once a week. Then I wouldn’t have to do his laundry at all!

  75. Someone probably already mentioned this, but I’m lazy and don’t want to read all 80 or so comments before mine. The cat is probably sleeping on your head because it’s warm. Put a hat or headscarf on to keep the heat in instead of radiating, and maybe she’ll stop sleeping on your head. Or you could put an electric heating pad or something near where she usually sleeps and maybe she’ll choose that instead.

  76. Suggestion – Hot chocolate with Bailey’s. Preferrably in the morning.
    Suggestion – Laundry service. It’s actually surprisingly cheap. And you’re worth it.
    Suggestion – Have laptop? Then you are portable and so is your Inbox. Go to the nearest library. Or Starbucks. I imagine the park is Canada cold. Do not bring knitting. Just inbox. It’s amazing how much psychic space an inbox takes up and how little time it takes to go through it when you’re focused.
    Suggestion – Lower your housekeeping standards. Mine are pretty low in the water these days.
    Suggestion – Outsource as much as you can (carpet cleaning, painting, whatever). You are a Knitter. With a capital K. Housekeeping can stay lowercase. No one loves you for laundry. They love you for you.
    As for the global crazy, knit a teeny tiny little hat for a premie and send it anomynously into the void.

  77. Oh Steph. A blistering walk to cool down. Man, do I remember THOSE days. Re. the cat — I bet the cat scratches at the door incessantly if shut out of your room (mine does). Try flying lessons — seize the cat firmly and throw it off the bed. Not hard, just firmly. When the cat comes back, throw it again only further. The third time, you have permission to bounce the cat off the wall. If it’s at all intelligent (and they generally are), it will figure out after that one that you are serious. Note — this does NOT harm the cat, just shakes it up. Also allows you to vent a little frustration, enabling you to return to sleep more easily. Re. the teens — my pediatrician recommended short chains in the back yard. Sounds cruel, I know. But … just sayin’
    I’d invite you to work at my house — I can guarantee undisturbed hours … it’s the getting here that’s tough. Hope tomorrow will be better.

  78. My cat sleeps on my head sometimes. Generally I find this out when I wake up because: a) I’m uncomfortable, b) the cat is snoring, or c) the cat has decided this is a bonding moment and starts licking my forehead. When he gets in these moods, it does not do any good to move him to another part of the bed or put him on the floor. I have to shut him out of the bedroom. After about a week of being shut out of the bedroom, he’s good for another few months of sleeping in other awkward places on the bed.
    As for the peppermint, I would test whether or not she hates it before spraying it all over your pillow. Catnip is part of the mint family. A friend of my found this out the hard way when her cat started eating her toothpaste. I had a roommate who had a cat that would rip apart teabags containing mint tea. I would hate to see the result if you sprayed your pillow with mint and it turned out the cat didn’t hate it.

  79. Isn’t it a sad day when you realize you mother was sane all those years!
    I can’t really help you with the cat, I am highly allergic and therefore don’t have one. Maybe try sleeping on her head.

  80. My husband use to make “kitty wallpaper” out of our cat that likes heads – you know – pick up cat and hurl it into the wall. It didn’t help LOL. Now the door is closed.
    And my adult daughter was joking around when we were discussing children and I just told her that she was a hellion when she was a teenager and to watch the paybacks.

  81. Hi there! I discovered your blog after reading your book, which my best (boy)friend gave me in the summer. I couldn’t stop reading it. it made me laugh and i felt less crazy about my knitting, after all, there are people like me, in the other side of the ocean.
    Thank you.

  82. Steph,
    I agree with the PP. Your girls are definitely old enough to do their own laundry. I started doing mine around age 10 because I didnt like the way my mom did it. Plus, think of it this way: it’s a survival skill. Soon they will be going off to college etc and they will need to know how to do laundry properly- or else they will have to pay someone to do it for them. An aside, some friend of the family once boasted to us that they didnt teach their daughters to cook and clean because they didnt want them to be doormats when they got married. But they didnt teach them to change a tire or their oil either. So instead of being independent, they were completely helpless and dependent on their partner for everything.
    Re: the cat. Close the bedroom door. Get earplugs for the first couple of nights.
    Honestly, I think there is something going around. My sister just called and she is forcing her whole family to start doing stuff. She just isnt taking it anymore!

  83. There is a two-word phrase that strikes fear into the heart of the majority of felines:
    Water Pistol.
    A couple of well-aimed squirts and a hiss for reinforcement has trained my cats out of annoying behaviors.
    I have to admit, though– our two will sleep anywhere except on my bed. Unfortunately, any cat on our bed will be promptly launched when my large husband rolls over and pulls up the covers– a sort of catapult effect, if you’ll forgive the pun.

  84. I’ll stop lurking long enough to suggest a hot water bottle for the cat – heat it up and put it somewhere she can snuggle it, maybe wrapped with enough fleece to make it cuddly but not to much to muffle the heat. They’re heat-vampires, all of them. Works with mine and she used to be a head-sleeper when she’d come out from under the covers (my boyfriend is allergic so something had to be done.)
    Maybe the house needs to chip in (including those on allowances) on a once a month or every other week maid visit? Some of them aren’t so expensive.

  85. You’re going to laugh – the solution to the cat is the orange peels. They hate citrus – hold out an orange peel to them and they scrunch their innocent little faces up in disgust and slink away. One of my cats used to come BITE my head in the night. I was very angry. I put orange peels on each side of my pillow, all garlic-like, and he left me alone. They have to be pretty fresh. The orange peels.
    Now lately the cats have been fighting in my room in the middle of the night. I don’t have a solution for that yet . . .

  86. My sister has a cat named gumby that looks exactly like your cat. And she reports that her cat actually sleeps on her throat/face. So, if this behavior has only just started, its possible that there was a cat swap. I think you may have my sister’s cat. ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. Oh, how well I know the Walk of Fury. It does make you feel a bit better, doesn’t it?
    And oh, how well I know the Midnight Head-Dance. It doesn’t help that’s I’m terribly claustrophobic…waking up with a cat’s arse up my nose sends me into a panic. I hated to do it, but I had to start putting the cat out of the bedroom at night, at least on weekdays (when I have to get up early and work).
    Of course, we just got a new cat yesterday, and she’s staying in the bedroom while she adjusts to her new home. She spent last night under the bed, but I’m dreading the night she discovers the comfort of head-sleeping. Maybe I’ll be lucky and this cat will decide that the Boyfriend’s head is comfier than mine.

  88. You’ve made me feel better now that I know I’m not suffering alone. And to make you feel better, I don’t have a cat sleeping on my head but I do have an elderly dog who has started pooing in the house. There’s something about walking through your house and realising that you just stepped in “something” that seems wrong, wrong, wrong.

  89. the Cat– Sleep in a tiarra.
    the anonymous orange peeler — No more oranges. Any orange eaters can walk to the market and get their own.
    laundry – don’t wash their favorite clothes for a week –just the ones they don’t seem to like. Offer the use of your equipment for a small fee.
    Work — earplugs? Viscious shin kicks? Possibly an odor in the room that only you like?
    Your esteemed parent– public grovelling and abject appologies seem to satisfy my mother.

  90. Oh, Steph
    You MUST get those other folk in your house to do their own laundry. Seems we’ve heard before about the trials of laundry. You need to stiffen your backbone and *just do it*. Stop doing their laundry after telling them *once* that it’s theirs now. And that holds for Joe, too, if you want. Remember you’re the Harlot, so I just don’t get why on earth you’ve chosen to be monogamous with MR. WASHIE, of all things. What’s with that?
    I taught my daughter to do her own laundry when she was 8. You’re WAY behind schedule.

  91. You mean that working at home doesn’t get easier when your kids are older?
    No advice, just the knowledge that I Get It.
    And if you ever need to run away, I have a very nice spare bedroom with wireless internet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  92. Re:Children
    Go on strike and lock them OUT of their bedrooms. Remove laundry, pillows and blankets from the ingrate’s bedrooms, place in the hall. A private space and clean laundry are a priveledge, not a right. When it dawns on the pack (be stong, don’t cave in, they can smell your fear) that family is a TEAM and that RECIPROCITY is not a one way street only then they may be allowed the priveledged comforts of their bedrooms. Not having access to their own space(note: may need to remove the lock from bathroom door to thwart adaptive teenage squatting behavior)to retreat to may also grow respect for how much it sucks when other people are in your (work) space.
    Sorry. No suggestions here. Never had one even try to sleep on my head. Currently have three and they each retreat to their own selected spots, an IKEA flokati fleece, a qwazuple-thick polar fleece mat or a basket of too-coarse-to-spin washed mohair.
    Re:Tink sweater

  93. Okay, I was in a pretty good mood (despite the PMS) until I read your list and remembered that aside from the cat (I have my own complaints about the cat, but she doesn’t sleep on my head or interupt my sleep in any way) I have the same freaking list and then I looked up and around and saw the laundry room and the kitchen and the family room and it all seemed so dark and dreary and “DON’T WORRY! THE MAID WILL GET IT!” was coming out for the billionth time and now……… I NEED A WALK!

  94. um, if it will help at all I’ll email you a picture of my completely trashed home. and i think we’re in a ‘good’ phase lately. my two cents vote for not doing the laundry. don’t make an announcement, just stop everyone’s but your own.

  95. Seriously!
    I don’t understand the teenager logic when it comes to housework either. Apparently my teenagers believe that if they wash a few dishes one day that they have done their share of the work load for the entire week. Using this logic I wonder how well they would like it if I made dinner only one night a week. I mean seriously, if you plan on eating every day, am I so off base to expect help with the dishes everyday? Dishes are everyday, has become my new mantra. Good luck with cat, the only thing that is more difficult to reason with than teenagers is most definitely a cat.( But only by the slightest of margins)

  96. Steph – Sorry, but your day made me smile. When my kids were teenagers, I asked who turned off a light. Everyone denied it until I asked who turned it off today – then I got an answer. I still think they stay up at night and think of ways to torment me. So my sympathies, but they will grow and go and you might not believe this right now, but you will miss them. As for the cat, shut the door or the peppermint sounds like a soothing solution for you.
    I really enjoy your writing. My daughter gave me your book for Christmas and I read it in one day, I enjoyed it so much.
    Your work is beautiful and your sense of humor is wonderful.

  97. Steph — how about making your cat a nice, felted Cat Borghi cat bed? I’ve got one started and hope my cat will like it.

  98. What is it about teenagers? They’re brain-dead. That’s the only explanation I can find. When I had a toddler, a friend who was the mother of a teen said, “God made 17-year-olds so obnoxious so that you don’t mind too much when they leave home.” It made no sense to me at the time, but a dozen years later I found myself repeating her comment daily!
    The best thing I can say is that they do outgrow it. Mine is 23 now and a pleasure to have around.

  99. I had a cat who would jump in the baby’s bassinet to sleep. Cured that with putting a piece of foil in the bassinet. Cat’s hate the feel of it and the sound. Could you handle one night with some foil on the pillow above your head?
    Love the baby fair isle. Would really like the pattern.
    Good luck!

  100. Instead of squirts of water, which may harm furniture, bedding, hair, etc., try those little cans of compressed air – used to clean keyboards and stuff and available in office supply stores.
    This hisses, doesn’t harm kitty, and keeps everybody dry.
    Beautiful baby sweater!

  101. Cats: the spray bottle really works for all cat misbehavior. Keep it 1/2 full and soon you will only have to shake it to make them stop.
    Children: My friend’s mother got mad and told her daughter,”I hope you have children just like you!” She did, and they all survived. P.S. hard work never damaged any teenager I grew up with. Love your writing and knitting, was sent to your blog a few weeks ago and just had to read the archives. Kept laughing so hard I had to read lots of it to my husband, 2 cats, no kids, 1 retired husband who will vacuum the entry if company is coming.

  102. Typing at a dash here because my inbox is threatening to leap up and strangle me, but in case no one else has suggested it, have you suggested squirting the cat with a spray bottle or water gun whenever she jumps on the bed? I don’t have cats (hideously allergic, even more than to my inbox), but people I know who do have them say that water guns work a treat for discipline problems.
    Might help to work out some of the anger, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  103. I have the same cat problem. Shutting the door doesn’t help because she screams and wakes the dogs and my husband. My solution….VICKS. I keep a jar of Vick Vaporub by my bed and when she parks on my head I get the opened jar and place it by my pillow or hold it lightly next to my head, She hates the stuff. Good luck.

  104. Loverly baby fairisle for the tinks! So glad my boys are grown. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had them doing laundry and garbage duty since they were around 10. They would swap every week. And, anyone who complained about supper had to cook the next night. And ordering out for pizza wasn’t a “cooking” option. Cat’s… I’m a “cat mattress” to 2 of our three felines… so no help there.
    Love and Hugs! Happy knitting!

  105. Only last night after walking through the door and quickly throwing a load of laundry in the dryer, then discovering toys, clothes, shoes and a half eaten apple did I rant about the exact same thing. Except mine probably included more bleepty bleep bleep bleeps! And more muttering for an hour after said rant, OMG I MUTTER! Help, and I still have teenage boy years to come. I feel your pain Steph.
    Ever since having children I have apologized profusely to my poor mother. Not to long ago I asked her how she could possibly still like me let alone love me after making it through my hellish teenage years.
    A good stomp in the park is good for you, I should join you next time.

  106. Ditto to all of the spray bottle comments. My youngest cat used to attack my feet in the middle of the night. Several times a night, EVERY night. It was not so cute after the first week. I squirted her once with the spray bottle and it worked wonders! The next time she attacked my feet I just shook the bottle so she could hear the water and she ran away just as quickly as the first time. Now she doesn’t attack at all. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Good luck with the teenagers and the housework! ๐Ÿ™‚

  107. My cat loves to annoy me at night. She is always too close to my face for my comfort. Often, I will feel something tickle my nose and wake to find her right in my face wide-eyed and scary.

  108. From the comments, it sounds like you should use the orange peels on the cat and the spray bottle on the kids when they knock on the door. And perhaps knit Joe a hat stuffed with catnip to wear to bed?

  109. I feel your pain! My cat starts clawing on furniture at 3:30am, i get up, put her out, then 5 min. later, she is clawing on the door to get in. She comes in then 5 min. later wants to go out again. She does this until I get up at 4:45, when I get up, and she goes back to sleep. i could kill her! Then i walk three miles with my mom, and deal with my two getting to school and then teach kindergarten all day! Then back home for laundry, basketball practice, dinner,and homework, and sleep to do it all over again! It makes me really appreciate my mother too! i hope you have a better day tomorrow. Just know that reading your blog makes my day! hope that makes you smile!

  110. I apologized to my mom when I was in college. I was home for the weekend and my younger sister (about 14 or 15 at the time) was being a bratty nightmare. I realized then how I had been the exact same way not too long before, and in front of my whole extended family, I apologized for being that girl.
    I also told her that I was proof of a light at the end of the tunnel and that she would survive until my sister moved out. She and my aunt (whose own daughter was hitting the early teens) took it very well.
    You’ll make it, you really will. And you won’t even have to kill them. :-b

  111. Sounds like you need another booktour. Staying in hotels where people do the housework for YOU, and your kids left behind, hopefully realizing how much you do for them.
    And, I don’t have kids, but I do have a dog who’s very skilled at looking particularly pathetic when I need to go out the door to work, or sit at the computer, or whatever, and yesterday, he was being particularly cute about it. I turned to my Dad and officially apologized for all the times, as a child, that I did the pathetic, pleading look . . . I was really quite good at it . . . but I apologized for it yesterday, just the same!

  112. I love the colors of that sweater, and the pattern. Maybe if I knit it in bulky it would size up for me? Or, maybe not…
    My laundry is not caught up, my house is a mess, it is depressing. I keep thinking it’ll all come magically together *tomorrow*. On the up side I learned how to finger knit last night (ta-da) and taught 4 1st and 2nd graders today. One girl told me that she thought knitting was “almost like hand coodination.” Still smiling over that one.
    As for kitty – my solution to night time cat disturbances was to open my mouth and forcefully exhale on said cat. I like this solution because I didn’t have to do anything different – no finding the water spritzer in the night, or dealing with crying cat outside the door. The power of night breath!

  113. I found out it’s national de-lurking week, so I thought I’d come out from behind my fence and give you good wished that everything will get better soon. Also, I can slightly relate to your problem as I have previously been a teenager with 2 older sisters. Make em do their own laundry.

  114. The girls should definitely do their own laundry. If your teens are like mine they may choose to wash everything together in one load because they it all fits and doesn’t really matter. Say nothing, just make sure to show them how much is an acceptable maximum load. Also, make it clear that if they ruin something they will have to replace it out of their own money. Um… they get an allowance, right? And buy their own clothes? It makes them ever so much more careful about what they buy and how they look after it.
    And yes, Joe could do laundry too. To paraphrase your grandmother, if he’s smart enough to run a recording studio then he’s smart enough to do laundry.

  115. I was about and ranting this morning too! Can’t mothers ever get a break? Can’t help you with the cat problem I’m a dog person (don’t shoot me). I feel lucky that I get to go to work outside the home! You need a door with a lock on your office door!

  116. Wow, too many comments to read through to see if this has been suggested (but somehow you’re going to read them all – Oy!)… what about changing your shampoo? Perhaps kitty won’t care for the new one since the current obviously doesn’t cause a problem.

  117. Are there any writers’ studios near you where you could rent space? Something like this lovely deal we’ve got here: http://www.writersroom.org/who_we_are.htm
    It won’t help with the rest of the stuff, but you really need to be able to work peacefully. Writing doesn’t take kindly to fits and starts.
    (and I would close the cat out of the bedroom)

  118. spray bottle of water for both the cats and the kids.
    i grew up in a different time but if i behaved like that my mom backhanded me.
    since we dont believe in beating the crap out of our kids anymore…
    i think a spray bottle would resolve the issue…
    or at least make you feel better:)
    oh and lots of chocolate!

  119. I feel your pain. I had a Siamese kitten who would nibble my extremities (toes, ears, nose, fingers) and MEW. Tucking every blanket edge under me didn’t work because he’d dig and scratch to get at me. Crazy cat- I had to make him a bed in the closet and shut him in each night. As for the kids- I was just muttering up a tirade about mine for pretty much the same reasons before I sat down to the computer. They’re all like that!!
    Hope you can get a good night’s sleep soon.

  120. darlin’ steph, enjoy the luxury of whining about being whined at. Enjoy the fact that they’re there to whine at you. Enjoy being there to be whined at. Enjoy seeing middle school and high school. And recognize this craziness is the blessing it is.
    Bad things have happened near my little universe lately, and we’re so lucky. Whine with impunity … as long as you keep a firm grasp of that fact.
    Any House of Freaks fans out there? Yeah.
    blessings. And pass the screech. Whatever that is.

  121. Um, close the door at bed time and make sure the cat is on the other side? I haven’t read the other comments, so sorry if this is redundant.

  122. If using a hot water bottle seems too risky for a cat with stickers, try an old sock filled with rice and heated for a few minutes in the microwave. Makes a dandy heating pad. Providing heat is what she wants. The Vicks Vaporub sounds good, too, and a spray bottle on stream works really well. Too bad that doesn’t work on the kids.
    I always wondered if my kids would survive their teenage years, I felt so much like killing them at times. They do eventually turn into human beings, though.
    Hang in there, and don’t stop writing!

  123. I apologize to my Mother daily, sometimes more than once. And mine aren’t even teenagers yet, can’t imagine how that will be (they are 9, 6, and 2.5).
    Sorry about your day, please know that millions of mothers around the world are united with you in utter frustration (and all the mothers that came before us, can’t count the up and coming ones, we can only hope for payback)

  124. It has got to be the time of the year, or month or something. Last night DH and both(!) fully grown sons spent two hours walking around the kitchen and telling me that there was a sticky spot. Note: no one stopped to get out the spray bottle and clean up the small sticky spot, no, we had to make sure that the sticky was spread over as much of the floor as possible. Argh!! Someday we’ll be standing in our clean houses and missing them.
    As for the cat, I’ll trade you one very old kitty (DH says he’s “feenile”) who leaves nightly (and sometimes daily) lumps and puddles next to the extra litter box we set up for him so he doesn’t have to run up and down stairs.
    Love the little fair isle, I perfer to knit lace and arans, but thanks for giving me something wonderful to admire.
    Stomp around in the fresh air and go home to sit, knit, and tipple a bit.
    Love ya!

  125. Oh my gosh, the Invisible Kid lives at your house too? ‘Cause at my house, that’s the kid who is responsible for everything. The three visible children are all loudly and repeatedly innocent of __________ (fill in the blank) so that means it has to be the invisible one, right? It’s a sticky problem. Hang in there, you are not alone.

  126. when my babies were little, and i would complain to my mother about all that STUFF, she would gently say…”so? you used to do that to me.”
    marie in texas; laughing with you not at you but heartily laughing

  127. I am the parent of a 4 year old and 4 month old who both will hit the big 5 soon. I have to tell you that your tales of terror have me shaking at how much harder it will all get when their older. I chuckle because you tell it in such an endearing way, but I shake late at night when I think about it. Just think you could be in my position. Going from being lazy staying at home with the kids for nearly 9 months, without having to work, to sleepless nights with a newborn, an over worked husband who is too tired to help, a pre schooler who alternatly loves then hates school, AND the ever closer return to school AND work at the end of January. I know we all think our problems are the worst, but right now I would prefer teenagers that are old enough to leave and go for a stomping walk. Now all I can do is go in the bathroom and hang my head between my legs and hope that I don’t hit my head on anything when I stand up. My accident quota has increased drastically with lack of sleep and a 15lb. appendage named Malcolm. The upside I have learned how to pour juice, button and zip clothing, and a host of other former two hand activities with one hand. If only I could learn how to knit with one hand. Sigh

  128. This is why, at the young and tender age of 22, to have dolls instead of children and dolls instead of pets. Plus, lowered food costs and there being no chance of them not liking or growing out of what you’ve sewn/knit for them.

  129. Doors are good. I used to have a cat that liked to run around in the middle of the night. Not so bad, but she’d get the dogs to chase her, and the bed was a mattress on the floor. You know what happpened…………. And one of the dogs weighed 50 pounds, too………… SO when the cat got up and started soliciting the dogs, I’d get up and remove her to another room and shut the door……….
    Post sign on door to office: “I do not care!” Shut door to office. Wedge chair under doorknob. Wear headphones and play soothing music.
    As for laundry, I agree with the advice to let them do their own. This solves the “all pants, no towels” problem, as well as taking some of the household load off you. Wash what you feel like washing, and when they don’t have any clean underwear, well, whose fault is that? Theirs. As has been pointed out, knowing how to do your own laundry is an empowerment, NOT a punishment…. And if they don’t like it, tough toenails.
    On the topic of horrid teenagers, a wise friend of mine suggested that they are horrid because otherwise *they* can’t bear to leave………
    I do think their brains just do not perceive “things that need to be done”. I saw soemthing on tv about how teenage brains are growing and making all new connections. Emotions are the first part to reach adult status, and judgement the last (whose idea was that — fullblown adult emotions in a critter with seriously impaired judgement!?!?!?).
    I think part of what’s missing is the part that notices that things need to be done……..
    Though that doens’t solve the issue of denying the oranges…………………………..
    Now on to general injustice and the mess the world is in — remember the candles and the starfish. “It is better to light one candle than to only rail against the dark.” That’s my memory of it, rather than the actual words, but you can get the sentiment. The starfish one is the kid on the beach, pitching stranded starfish back into the water. An adult says “That doesn’t make any difference, you know, there are thousands of them stranded!” and the kid, looks thoughtfully at the one in hand, and pitches it into the water saying “It matters to this one!’ If everyone made things a little better, things would be a lot better, indeed………. When we do a little, it *does* matter, even though we often have not FIXED it………
    One final thought. I’m afraid we are often not treated any better than we demand to be treated. No one likes to do laundry/dishes/cook/shop/whatever. All of us would love to have someone else do that. So I think the easy path is to NOT, when someone else IS. It is very often more work to make someone else do something than to do it ourselves, which is why we just go ahead and do it, a lot, I bet, however much we resent it……
    Anyway. Require that you be treated reasonably. Or pick up the laptop and head to Starbucks.
    — Vicki in Michigan, with one teenage daughter (away at college), sending you sympathetic mother-of-teenager vibes………

  130. Yes, Right. NOW your’re sorry. And you didn’t even mention the &7##!/**cat of your youth, who PLAYED THE PIANO every cursed night, if someone (guess who?) left the piano open. And who would throw his 18 pound body at any closed door until it was opened by YOUR sleep deprived mother.
    You have my every sympathy, sweetheart. But don’t worry, cats in our family only live 18-19 years or so.
    Your in-no-way embittered Mother.

  131. I’m grinning here because I apologized to my mom after my oldest was 2 years old. I clearly remember her sitting down and crying because we were all such brats!

  132. I’ve never run into you here at the house, but it really sounds like you might be living with me. Not that I would notice another person rambling around. Those kids screaming about who left the orange peel/crunched up paper towels/half full cup of tea/dirty socks on the living room floor/desk/kitchen table/stove; the disappearing towels, my clothes in their bureau drawers, the bags of kitty poop thrown into the garage floor instead of the trash, wiping their feet on the run INSIDE the door instead of the rug OUTSIDE ….all sounds very familiar. Or maybe it’s just your kids who live with me. Dude. It’s why I will never retire from my 40 hour a week job. And why my Xanax bottle is never empty.

  133. It’s an unending cycle of mom’s hitting the wall with their daughters, and wishing the same upon them. This is you suffering at her behest.
    Seriously, I had the same discussion with the Divine One because she comes home from school all pious and shit talking about saving the planet and conserving enrgy and lauding the biodiesal car her mother drives now and why can’t her father have a biodiesel car too (“Don’t you care that the planet is dying?” she shrieks), and then she tries on clothes, rejects the outfit and the whole thing goes in the laundry basket because that’s so much easier than putting it away, never mind the water involved, and then she leaves for school with all the lights burning in her room, which for some reason she has to turn on at 8 in the morning. Oh, did I mention the mechanical pencil fetish? She throws them away when the eraser runs out.
    We’re on the same side, babe.

  134. And just think tomorrow is Friday the 13th and as I left work this evening (yes, my contract says 4:20 but the reality is almost always 6:00) the moon looked like it will be full tomorrow night. Don’t you know I can hardly wait to go to my job tomorrow! We are giving midterm exams, add that stress with the environmental factors as they are and sounds like more than the usual Friday craziness at the high school! ๐Ÿ™‚ ( I am going to go out with some friends tomorrow night to, of all places, “Howl at the Moon,” a dueling piano bar. Should also be quite interesting as there will be “adolescent boys” inhabiting grown men’s bodies! They really never grow up you know!)
    Big Hug and more knitting (with whatever beverage it takes)

  135. Ah, Steph, you made me dread the years to come. My girls are just 5 and 2 and they already are a handful. However, here what I did with my brother. I had to play the part of mother while in college. One week my high school brother complained that he got mold on his cloth(we live in very humid climate), I told him he could have done the laundry by himself on his own schedule instead of waiting for my free time. Well, the kid got it, and learned to do his laundry, sew and clean house. Now his married with two kids and he even look after the kids when after work. And my SIL never even thank me for training her husband! My MIL did everything for her boys and they don’t do a thing around the house unless is chopping down overgrow vines! My husband is the only one showing some improvement after nearly a decade. You have to insist on making your family do their share. Both doing it and making them do it will make you angry at some time, but the latter will get you off the hook sooner or later.

  136. I still think my mother is nuts. But now I think it because she had three of us. I have one, and the drama is astonishing. We haven’t even reached teenagehood yet and I feel like I run a hotel with four-star restaurant attached.
    Now I know why there were “what mother? you think you have a mother?” days.
    Catnip in the husband’s shampoo ought to cover a few of your bases.
    My husband is just now offering to help me fold the mountain on the couch. I think it’s because there is no longer a place for him to sit. And I STILL have no clean towels. C’est pas juste….

  137. Amen. To each and every one. The mother curse strikes yet another.
    The cats…We barred the door with a piece of plywood tall enough that the cats couldn’t jump, moved the kittie blankies to new homes in the office and livingroom, then armed ourselves with waterpistols. Kitties sleep elsewhere now (although I have no doubt that could they scale the plywood they’d be back in a heartbeat.)
    So get up, get out, get on a plane.
    We’re waiting for you at Threadbear in Lansing, Michigan…no laundry, no cats (only Tate and Connor, lovey doggies,) no dishes, no teen squabbles, no interruptions. Plenty of extraordinary fiber, two wonderful guys who run the Mecca of the Known Yarn World, super takeout (did I mention, no dishes?) and loads of people who appreciate the eloquent way you speak for many of us of the knitblog genre…

  138. Stephanie, I feel your pain. I live with not only a husband but two young sons and I swear, they think the cleaning fairies come along after them to put things back where they belong.
    I love it when one of my cats sleep on me, but as not everyone does, I would suggest just shutting kitty out of your bedroom at night.
    Maybe my day would cheer you up a little. Went yarn shopping and even got a great deal on baskets in which to store the yarn, that match my knitting room.
    Hang in there, girl. One day, you’ll be framing notes from your daughters!

  139. Here, here well said!!
    Plus my own 2 kids girl 15yrs and a boy 5 yrs, I do home daycare…have munchkins home 2 days one week, 3 the next plus 2 weeks of hubby home during the day due to shift work….I have become excellent at the art of the silent scream!!!!
    Mind you, more sinister thoughts come to mind when hubby dare suggests that perhaps it is just that “time of the month” and I should lighten up a bit!!!! ๐Ÿ™

  140. I just hopped over to post a comment and realised your commenters are almost as funny as you….dang.
    Re your beautiful cat, have you tried asking her politely why she likes your head? What a beauty she is!

  141. Stephanie – The list of extraordinary things: holidays, houseguests, book tours, followed by the quotidian, boring aggravations of life make me think the honeymoon is over. Get a little help – take a weekend away with only your husband, put a lock on your office door or rent a room somewhere else & go there to work every day. STOP doing laundry for anyone by you and your spouse. Just because you’ve spent some time away on your tour does not mean you have to make up for it when you get home. Love and light to you dear.

  142. My only suggestions are spray bottles for the cat and http://www.flylady.net for the housework.
    The FlyLady system made me get organized. My husband is involved, and things are much easier now that we have “his chores” and “my chores.” There’s no more of that “We* need to get X done.” bull anymore. The person assigned either doesn’t or they don’t. Now if we can just train the cat to do light dusting…
    *We, pron., Def. see “you”

  143. I know your pain. Three girls here…13, 8, and 4 and a half… I have many years ahead of me!!

  144. I like the aluminum hat idea. It might work for the kids, too. Babble a little and speak in tongues while you’re at it.
    I’m joining the chorus about teens doing their own laundry. I know someone who dealt with the recalcitrant by putting all their dirty laundry in the trash and refusing to replace it. After all, if they had wanted it they would have washed it. This is best done while they watch. If you use clear plastic trash bags, they can see the contents. If you are soft-hearted and just leave the trash bags of dirty laundry in the cellar, they can watch them grow mold.

  145. Regarding the Teenagers in Your Office:
    Perhaps if interruptions cost them something, they would be less likely to interrupt? Like, “for the next four hours, every time I have to stop what I’m doing to address your issues, it will cost you one day of telephone priviledges.” Make it clear that this is time you are paid for, and if they haven’t got money, they’ll have to pay some other way.
    Better yet, every interruption could cost a load of laundry…

  146. You think you have cat problems, check out mine!
    Oh and by the way, once the children move out it’s smooth sailing! Everything your way.

  147. as of age 10 we did our own laundry. seemed fair to me.
    at the very least, the weather was lovely today!

  148. “your breath of fury reeks of guilty Citrus!”
    May I shout that randomly at people? I think it would be very fulfilling.
    *goes to practice on husband who cannot grasp that glass of soda left on floor + dog = sticky rug even after 10,000 repetitions*

  149. I’m sorry, Steph, its your imagination the cat does not look innocent! The cat is saying “I know how to drive my mum nuts, how to totally throw her over the edge.” I only have boys at my house, I had dreams that if I had a daughter I might have a natural helper (sexist I know, but I can really be held responsible for my dreams!?!?! I also thought if I had a girl she’d want to go shopping with me, we could talk girl talk, etc. So I’m clearly delussional and everything I say should be taken with a grain of salt, but I digress!) Well, its nice to know I’d still have to fight with the kids to get things picked up regardless of their sex. So I do have the better deal my house, it smells like a locker room and the only one that has PMS is me. But remember the kids are all thinking the same thing as the cat!! But of course you should have remembered to shut the piano!!

  150. I vote: make the teenagers do their own laundry! I mean, sure if you’re putting in a load and there’s room, then throw it in. But I learned to do my own laundry (and did it!) in my early teens and I thanked my mom when I got to college. ๐Ÿ™‚

  151. Just had a bright idea – from all the other comments: How about keeping a spray bottle of water in your OFFICE!! Use it on any who dare to interrupt while you are at work! If it works on the cat, it ought to work on the teens. (Both are trainable. Neither will admit that.)
    I’m a knitting, one-cat Grandma who has just found your blog. Love it! Christmas knitting for grandchildren included 2 Harlot ponchos. I found you while looking for a pattern that did NOT involve sewing anything! Thanks for being you!

  152. First of all, who are all these people that know immediately when you put up a fresh post? I check your blog morning and evening (pathetic, I know) and yet by the time I get here, there are 197 comments? Are all these people blowing as much time online as I am? God help us all! We could be knitting, spinning, weaving, writing…
    Second. My cat no longer sleeps on my head, and I miss her. She got too fat to jump onto my bed and finds it easier to sleep on the children’s beds, so now she just comes to scream urgently at me at 4:30 a.m. when her breakfast alarm goes off. Apparently she slept on my pillow over the holidays when my husband was here alone. That’s a laugh. If she was looking to him to keep her company, she clearly overestimates his affection for her.
    Third. I have four kids. None of them understands that I might have different objectives for this house than they do. Or for my time. Or for their evolving codes of responsibility. As far as they are concerned, there is absolutely nothing wrong with leaving jam on the pull-out cutting board, then sliding it back into its slot. Or leaving nutshells in an interesting pattern around the computer keyboard. For days. I have failed. I have completely and utterly failed as a mother.
    It was quite a day when I was fried, and trying to figure out who would understand what &%$# my kids were putting me through, and realized my mother would probably have a pretty good idea, but not much sympathy… What goes around, in my case, comes around.
    Peace and comfort for you in your own home.

  153. Have you recently changed shampoo or conditioner? Perhaps in a time frame which coincides with the head-sleeping?
    One of my cats was a head-sleeper, at first. I foiled him by sleeping with a sheet pulled up over my head. (The weather was too warm to sleep with the actual covers over my head, so I deployed a spare flat sheet for the purpose.)
    It took a few nights for me to win the battle, during which he stomped around the pillow area and sniffed and poked and attempted to claw the sheet back. But I clenched my teeth, and tucked the sheet tightly beneath my head, and after those first few nights (during which I actually LOST more sleep than if I’d just let him continue with his attempts to suffocate me to death), he decided that my head was simply unreachable, and gave up.
    Be stubborn! You will win.

  154. Maybe you should try going to sleep with some kind of spiky object on your head….like a viking helmet. You never know, that warrior-like spirit might seep into your brain while you sleep as well….

  155. I feel your pain. I have 4 children, 17 year old twins–girls,no less–among them. So the cat problem is the easy one. Close the door to your room at night. I know, the clawing at the door and whining will drive you mad, but still maybe better than the head thing. We mothers don’t have the privelage of living without insanity, but I like to (delude myself) believe that we can at least control the degree to some extent. Hang in there!

  156. My darling daughters & I have been fighting about housework for years, and it IS amazing how quite intelligent teenagers can suddenly become amazingly stupid and do the whole eye-glazing-over routine when I mention that maybe if they wanted clean clothes they should bring down their laundry and maybe even do a load. I asked one of them a few days ago if, when older and sharing an apartment, if she would do all the work while everyone else sat around and did nothing, and she said no, that wouldn’t be fair. I then pointed out that she expected that of me, and her eyes not only glazed over, they rolled. I work 12 hour days in the summer, while my teacher husband and the kids don’t work at all, and I’d come home to find that the laundry that I’d hung out the previous night was still on the line, every dish that was dirty when I left was still there, and all the clean dishes had joined them, the dogs were desperate for a walk, the house was a mess…
    It has reached a critical point where this year we will probably not be celebrating birthdays and Christmas etc., because I’m already doing all the work that is being done, and can’t be bothered to add to my already heavy work load.

  157. I had the same problem with my cat because we live in a very old house with sporadic heating (at best) and my head was the warmest thing going most nights. I knit one of those awesome felted cat beds from a pattern floating around on the Internet and stuck it next to the one radiator that consistently worked. Now the cat could care less about me – day and night (and I’m left a bit lonely to be honest). Good luck. Now I’m going to go try that peppermint spray idea on the houseplants.

  158. Dearest Harlot-
    My children wonder why I work so much (upwards of 100 hours a week, if you count call) when there is so much to be done at home! When I ask why they don’t do some of the work….they “didn’t ask to be born” or “didn’t ask for a pool” (not true) or “didn’t ask to have (fill in the blank).” Then they look at me like I’ve lost MY mind when I go on strike! Hugs to all mothers of teenagers, tweens, or just GIRLS!

  159. Two suggestions: If possible, work away from home. Take a laptop to the library, or maybe even rent a small room (commercial space is very cheap). Create private work space and allow yourself to leave the stresses of home behind to get things done.
    And two – if you can, hire a once a week maid! I know many people who resolved household misery this way. I know the whole family should just chip in, but they don’t – so you can either stew in fury about it (justified, but fruitless), or get some occasional help to bring down the level of annoyance and reward yourself for all the work that you do. Four hours once a week can take care of the gross work like toilets and tubs, stoves and floor washing. Gives you something to look forward to. Maid services are expensive but keener highschool students looking for work can do a good job for much less (I did this all through my own highschool).
    Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  160. I wish I could help your teenagers, but having twin 12 olds all I can say is keep the walks short enough that you don’t get lost.
    As for the cat, give it some catnip about 2 hours before you go to bed, it should crash well before you go to bed and if it does happen to get on your head, just move him, I doubt he’ll wake up to come back.

  161. Well if it helps any, you might be pleased to know that when you posted about the “2 hour scarf” back on December 13th, I innocently wandered down a road that has caused me unending torture. (Specifically, I have been forced to see the evidence that I am a complete moron.) As you must feel toward your cat, I am feeling toward you, the weest bit hostile. All I do is read your blog, and now I have to contend with the misery of my first project.

  162. That is my life – the washing machine is always full and the house is always a mess even though I am constantly cleaning. I argued with my daughter just this morning about doing the dished (supposedly her job) – she swore she’d done them but when I showed her a sink full of dirty dishes she swore up and down that she didn’t know where they came from. Apparantly aliens came and ate all the food and left their dirty dishes in the sink because it surely wasn’t the kids. My thoughts and prayers for quiet are with you. If you find that quiet (clean) place on one of your walks will you please tell me where it is?

  163. I have to side with the squirt bottle strategy for the cat. Works for me. Three good things happen: 1. the cat stops doing what it’s doing
    2. I’m not hurting the cat
    3. I get to laugh at the frantic body language used by the cat to get away from the water.
    I have a 15 year old daughter who I love and who loves me, but sometimes doesn’t like me. At times I am, I’ll have you know, the most uncool, dorkiest, dumbest person in her eyes. I can do no right. If I can at those times, I just walk away. It helps that I’m away from home at a job 40+ hours a week. Although the stupid job does cut into knitting and stash accumulation.
    Best of luck – I think your strategy is the right one and you should stick to it. This too shall pass.

  164. You could try knitting a sleeping cap, give to a neighbor for their dog to sleep with it, and let it drag it around and get it really “doggy” smelling, then you wear it to bed. If I were a cat I wouldn’t sleep on that. Or, do what I do with my 3 cats…they, like my 6 children who have over the years also tried to sleep on my head, my feet, my stomach, etc…they get their own room! The cat’s room is also called the garage at our house. And, there are all kinds of fun things to sleep on out there! Like the stroller my friend loaned my for our new baby that is now so covered with cat hair I wouldn’t use it if i felt like strolling, which i haven’t for the past 3 kids (which is why I didn’t HAVE a stroller, thank you! That i now have to clean before i return it unused by anyone other than the cats!) Also, when your kitty wakes up and is bored it can run around from shelf to shelf, hoping and playing while knocking off stuff from the shelves! Wheeee! What fun! Maybe it might “score” by stuff hitting the car and making dents… 2 pts! I must run, my muffins are sone and i must get them out of the oven. My peace for the day! A muffin and coffee, then your wonderful little book! Thanks for the fun reading! I have atlast found my twin! I am convinced that every woman has a twin, if not by birth, then by souls! You are mine! Have a great day Sis! ๐Ÿ™‚

  165. yes, well… All in the same boat them, hein?
    For the cat, I have to confess that I gave it away. Not cause of the lake off sleep though. She tried to murder my baby (!). For the kids, well, you can always try, like I did, to stop cleaning for 2 days. Hard. If you’re luckyer than I am, they will get something. Or, you’ll spend the week-end getting your carpet back. But with the proud of beeing able to say “I tried”. For the work, sorry, I’m drawning myself…
    as we say in France “Haut les coeurs!”

  166. As someone that averages 20 loads of laundry a week(DH wears a uniform to work and 4 kids all of whom take karate which means more sweaty uniforms), I can sympathize. I even know how you feel about the fruit. Right now I have a brown, half-eaten Granny Smith apple on the corner of my desk, that I don’t recall eating. I tell my DH that if I didn’t knit, I’d drink – heavily! Is Screech available in the States?

  167. The rule at my parents’ house was “If you enter the office – or if you yell through the door – you will be given a chore to do. Even if you are in the middle of a dire emergency. If it’s that urgent, you won’t mind doing the chore in exchange for my assistance.”
    Funny how much less important one’s concerns get if one has to vacuum the living room in exchange for a not-so-sympathetic ear.

  168. The only way I can think of to keep the cat off your head (they are stubborn) is to lose the bedroom door with the cat outside or close the cat in another room. Of course, this might create yowling all night. :O

  169. I can say it here, because they’ll never see it. Thank god my kids are grown and live 3000 miles away. I feel your pain. I can’t help with the cat–maybe wearing an aluminum foil hat to bed?

  170. At least you get to stay in bed while flinging the cat off your head. We have an elderly dog who “needs” to go out during the night, sometimes every 2 hours. Get out of bed, let the dog out. Get back into bed because it is too cold to stand at the door and wait. Get out of bed, let the dog in. Repeat. And, we have a second dog, who sometimes thinks, hey, I’d like to go out too, only not at the same time as the first one. My biggest fantasy involves one sleeping pill and a hotel room all to myself so I can finally get some sleep. LOVE the sweater. I aspire to such beauty, but not in my sleep-deprived state.

  171. Well, let’s review: your biggest problems are squabbling teenagers, laundry and a cat. Steph, Steph, even you realize it could be worse, much worse. Let’s take those kids, first. My teenagers have grown and moved on to their own lives. I actually miss their squabbling and roughhousing (I had boys, they roughhouse)and you will too. This temporary frustration shall pass, and you will yearn for the days when they were home, honest. As for the cat, close the bedroom door, for pitty’s sake. Get her her own bed, sprinkle it liberally with catnip and tell her she’s made her own bed, and to lie in it. End of problem. Laundry goes on forever. At least 2 of your girls are old enough to do their own. I turned this chore over to my boys when they turned 15. Yes, they did wear dirty clothes more often than I’d like–at first–but they got the hang of it and are now well-dressed, clean young men who have an air of independence about them. Yes, they will whine about the laundry–but it doesn’t sound like they could be squabbling any more now anyway, and this way, at least, you have less laundry to do. Tough love, hon, tough love. Mary in Seattle

  172. I am owned by one of these cats who loves the heat coming from my sleepy head. I usually just pull the pillow over the top of my head (leaving face out to breathe) and that now lumpy spot near the headboard is too uncomfortable, so he leaves. You could also try a citrus scent…most cats hate the smell of citrus, and there are some lovely bath sprays and linen sprays with lemon in them. I’ve never tried the peppermint, but that sounds good too. (If you can’t find a spray, just take some mint leaves from your spice bottle and put them in a cloth drawstring bag, or a ziploc bag with tiny holes in it).
    Your fair aisle is beautiful…hope you are feeling encouraged today!

  173. Who knows if you’ll read your comments all the way down, but maybe I can add something useful to the cat recommendations. Cats (and many other animals) do not like strong smells. Maybe that’s because they can interfere with their keeness of smell — who knows! But many smells that are acceptable to humans are off-putting to cats. Peppermint could work, as others have suggested, but you could try other smells too if that doesn’t work. Any strong smell is worth a try – tea tree, patchouli, clary sage, lavender, whatever. If you have a bottle or two of essential oils around, it’s easy. Hope it helps! (I wish I’d had some ideas when I was a little kid and my family’s huge, mean cat liked to sleep on my head. It was terrifying.)

  174. I’m so glad to hear you had the presence of mind to put away the pointy sticks while you were feeling like that. Yes, we’ve all been there. My kids threw clean, folded clothes back into the laundry *once too many times* and therefore earned themselves the responsibility for doing their own $#@%^ laundry, at the tender ages of 12 & 13. Anybody who can work a TV remote can work a washing machine. Hang in there, Girl!

  175. Why the bleep aren’t those people doing their own laundry???
    And yes, a squirt gun. Works wonders.
    My daughter called from her communal house and apologized about the housework.

  176. Well said!! I make that phone call to Mum about once a week. Along with the “how in tarnation did you not throttle me before puberty??” phone call.
    My theory is it somehow completes the whole Motherhood Cycle ๐Ÿ˜‰
    p.s the cat got his own pillow : it finally shut him up and got him off of my head!

  177. heated kitty bed covered with “faux” sheepskin. It’s default temp is 96 degrees. Once the kitty crawls in, it goes to 104 (or something).
    Worked at our house. It’s interesting to see who controls the bed. I meant among the cats, but that idea works for the big bed, too.

  178. My husband has the complaint that I am always doing laundry. And I am. There is only 3 of us! But when the child and I are out of town for a week he does laundry once. ONCE!! Why does he seem to run out of everything 2 days after I washed every piece of fabric in the house? I swear he buys new clothes then disposes of them.
    You will get a break soon. A friend mentioned that you will be in Tacoma, WA in a few weeks. I’m making the trek from Portland to see you an add to my stash.
    I hope the stomp helped. See you in Tacoma.

  179. Seriously? Go into your office and shut the door. Now LOCK it from the inside! No door? Consider it a business expense…. Let them scream outside the door and handle the laundry (no towels), dishes, etc themselves.
    One of my cats also goes through phases of sleeping on my head (and purring). Try moving her under the covers by your shoulder. Novelty might entice her.
    Hang in there!

  180. There’s a woman at my office who’s just taken up knitting again because of my influence (ya – Me – influential. who knew!). On Wednesday night when she was struggling with a new project her 2 teenage daughters kept asking when dinner was going to be ready. Or even started for that matter. After a few “just one more tries” she finally just glared and said “am I the ONLY one able to make dinner in this house? I don’t think so”. and kept working. One of the girls wisely slunk to the kitchen to get things going.
    And this morning? 2 hours into the workday she looked at me and said ‘I just wanna go somewhere and knit and not deal with any of this crap’, pointing at her email.
    sniff… I’m just so proud…

  181. Be glad your cat does not weigh over 20 Pounds! My cat, “LilGuy” tops 20 pounds and insists on sleeping on my head. He doesn’t stop there, he also thinks that my hair is in need of grooming… 20 pounds of purring flub with a very rough tongue scraping my scalp all night…

  182. I love that laundry tops your list — and I’m with you on that one. It’s almost like the relentless onslaught of letters in the post office — it never stops, it just keeps coming at you day after day, there’s never any progress, etc.
    So I guess I’m saying that your walk of fury might have been the mom equivalent of “going postal” — I like to think of it as “being in the spin cycle.”
    I think you should threaten to make anyone who stays home learn the ways of doing laundry (no one is too sick to fold clothes, right?) Should clear everyone out of the house immediately.

  183. I thought of you this morning, as my almost two year old who is suffering through her first ear infection, and therefore sharing the family bed could find no comfortable place to lay her head, other than directly on top of my head.

  184. Dearest Steph,
    as a fellow mom and knitter, not necessarily in that order ๐Ÿ™‚ , I completely understand the daily dilemas.. please accept my happy thoughts for you and know that walking or doing the dishes are both great relievers cause when you do the dishes you have to go slowly about it or you break something and then are even madder.. and on that note i need to get mad today so i can do that stack that is sitting waiting for me and not my daughter.. haha.. hug.. hugs and loved reading both books which i couldn’t put down till i did.. i’ve even marked both books with stickers to reread my fav parts ๐Ÿ™‚ Karola in the heart of New York City.. and hoping you will make a book tour down here some day K

  185. I have two kitties and they are only usually allowed in the bedroom at night on weekends or during vacation. Otherwise, the door is closed. My husband suffers from similar problems… one of our cats needs to climb over his head to get to me. The only exception is if we are going away on vacation and the “luggage-it-out-something’s-going-on” terror has stricken the cats, causing them to follow us around non-stop until the day we leave for an undetermined number of days. Undetermined to them at least.

  186. 21 days of frustration because you’re not accomplishing those things you need to do? You poor, poor woman. I feel for you, and understand your funk. Yet add RAIN to every one of those days, and you’ll go out of your ever-loving mind. Our part of the Pacific Northwest (Seattle and western Washington) is nearing the record of 33 consecutive days of massive precipitation — next Tuesday will meet the record and Wednesday will exceed it. And so far, no end in sight. As EZ said “Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crisis.” Spinning works, too.
    I enjoy your writing. Thanks for my daily blog fix. Peggy

  187. peppermint as a cat repellant? my cat is over there rubbing her head on the empty oil of peppermint bottle! dang, guess that won’t work for my Baby.

  188. Have so been where you are today.
    I have DH that thinks everything he owns should be stacked on the entertainment center in the living room. He claims that it is the only space ‘in the entire house’ that is his…and that putting all of his shoes away is actually accomplished by lining them up in a row on the floor beneath the previosly mentioned entertainment center IN THE LiVING ROOM…followed by putting the can of hot chocolate mix away (every night) really means leaving it in the middle of the center aisle counter in the kitchen which actually takes more steps and effort than putting it back where he found it, which by the way is 3 foot away from said entertainment center in the LIVIING ROOM… whew, I feel better, but just in case I think I will go take a walk…. thanks for the idea. Hope your day is better!

  189. ok, i’ve been reading the comments and now i have to comment on the laundry issue. a male friend of mine is raising his three young children on his own. single father type; those kids do not even keep their dirty laundry in seperate hampers. i have to tell you what i told him, i love you but you’re wrong on the laundry issue. you should do yours, and joe’s and they should do theirs. that’s it. seven days a week, four people, each person gets a day of the week, that’s all.
    i do love you, remember that;and …wow! my Baby is really loving’ the peppermint room spray . LOL

  190. My bearded and mustachioed tom, Mister French, had the annoying habit of howling at the basement door to go exploring ๏ฟฝ at 2 in the morning. The first night, I got up and opened the door for him. The second night, I threw things in the general direction of his piteous wailing, then got up and opened the door for him. The third night, I got up, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, took him to the bathroom, and soaked him in the bath tub. Mister French had to spend several hours re-grooming after his surprise bath, and thankfully, left me alone. There was no fourth night (of howling, I must add, lest I give the impression that I did away with my precious ๏ฟฝFee-foo Roach.๏ฟฝ)

  191. OK, it’s embarrassing to fall out of your chair laughing while you are at work. Do you have that penis recipe, I think we all need it. LOL.

  192. Rub catnip all over your hubby’s head before retiring for the night.
    Fill his pillow with cat nip. Note: tuna would work as well, but it can be messy.
    Or do what I did, slam (or close firmly) the bedroom door with the cat on the other side of it.
    Good luck!

  193. Oh yeah, then when we get really stomping furious, the teen daughters act like we’ve bizarrely gone crazy (“What’s the matter with her?”) I cling to the hope expressed by above poster that when they’re gone, we’ll miss them! There’s such a disconnect between the respect we moms get in our professional lives and the opposite in our personal lives that can make us feel, at times, such failures at mothering – am I not the same person outside and inside my home? About the cat, the Kitty Pi bed is amazingly attractive to a cat – our cats now prefer their pis to our beds.

  194. Dear Stephanie, AHHH, life with teenagers. I have two of those myself, and an 11 and 9 year old to boot. My teens had finals today and are off having celebratory lunches with someone other than me–oh well—I love what you said about your mom–I, too, feel the same way; my mom raised 11 kids and is still around to talk about it!!! Question: What is a steek? or steeking?? Thanks.

  195. Oh, boy. Well, as someone has noted, it *is* after all national de-lurking month. And thank you for this new book, which like others who’ve posted I read in one sitting. Thanks especially for giving us “freakin’ birds” again–I remember that one on the knitlist I think.
    The teenager in our house is 15.5 and oh, it does indeed suck. Sometimes. Every once in a while, she shows us a glimpse of the no doubt wonderful woman she will be one day. This keeps us less insane. At least you aren’t homeschooling yours, eh? This is where it isn’t just nice that our house is pretty big–it’s a survival thing.

  196. First of all honey that cat does NOT look innocent. I’m in agreement with the others — she has the look my Angus used to get when he’d hidden the TV remote: “I know where it is, you don’t know where it is, and I will now be entertained for the next hour while you desperately rip the apartment apart in an attempt to turn off ESPN, as I lounge here on the couch you may NOT sit on because the couch belongs to me and me alone, knowing all the while that I put the remote in the garbage can. Under the empty tuna can.”
    I swear that cat was worse than my then-boyfriend. He’s now living happily as lord of the barnyard at a farm. The cat, not the boyfriend. Dunno where the boyfriend is. . .
    But oh dear. You deserve much champagne for having 3 interrupted weeks of work. You could try doing what — ahem — a certain acquaintance of mine’s mother did — she started charging. Once that acquaintance had forfeited two weeks of allowance for her failure to 1) remove her dirty dishes to the sink, 2) remove from the dryer and fold the towels and 3) stop annoying her little brother so that he’d run yelling to mom — well, heck, okay, I admit it, I learned my lesson. Loss of funds always makes an impact . . .
    And — uh — wow. Fair Isle. Dang. Haven’t even attempted that one.

  197. So my 6 year old threw up on me this morning at 4:00am. And then I read your blog. And I KNOW what you are saying. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of early morning vomit and later morning poopy diapers (see? count your blessings–at least the citrus-breathed harpy doesn’t still crap her pants), I shall not fear. Because they have to grow and leave at some point, right? RIGHT?!?

  198. Stephanie, I apologize profusely on behalf of formerly teenaged daughters everywhere. At 24, I haven’t lived at home in five years, but have three younger siblings who still do. It amazes me the crap that they expect my mom to put up with, until I remember that I used to expect it too (eep!). I do recall that I started doing my own laundry and spontaneously sweeping when my mom went on strike. No groceries, no laundry, no cooking, no cleaning, no taxi service, nothing. At the end of a week we had a family meeting and decided that perhaps we hadn’t all been pulling our weight…
    When I visit my parents, I live on the couch. No privacy, no room of my own, siblings who don’t drive and expect me to become a chauffeur because “Don’t you MISS driving? Especially at 3am when I want to come home?”, and family who don’t understand that I didn’t leave school on campus; work came with me, and must be done. They wonder why I don’t like to stay longer than a week, and came back to my empty apartment 10 days before classes started…obviously so I could dance around in my underwear and drink endless pots of coffe whilst I knitted to my heart’s content!! Kingston has absolutely lovely B&Bs, a lively spinner’s guild, some fantastic coffee shops, and many parks to stomp in. Could I suggest a week (or even a weekend!) to yourself, with no book tour or conferences, just you, a latop, and much wool? I could lend you a cat (during the daytime) if you really want!

  199. Wow. I’m in my late 30s, never married, never cohabitated, no kids. Many people express fear and concern about my unfettered state–but it is never my mother! She is the one who made it clear to me that women pay a very high price in drudgery for having a family.

  200. No suggestions, other than perhaps a new bag of roving? Crap roving won’t do; I know her type.
    Millie’s separated-at-birth-evil-twin here likes to perform similar acts of random sadism, but sometimes bribery works and buys us all time. Patrick has always sworn that she is trying to steal his breath. He is convinced that if he didn’t wake up, realizing that the cat is actually staring intently at him (I imagine trying to invent many other ways to do him in…..), that she would, in fact, kill him by suffocation, or ‘steal his breath’. Does anyone else feed the cat? If so, I would begin taking your own well-being into consideration and feed her yourself, so as to seem more useful to her. She may not actually be aware that you buy the food. The more important you are, the longer you get to live, or at the very least, sleep. Patrick does not feed Millie. It is a good thing that Millie is not 10 times her size or I fear Patrick would simply be a mouse-butt on the carpet.

  201. Take comfort in history repeating itself. They will get theirs-as you are yours and as I have mine.

  202. I made my cousin a felted kitty bed, also known as a Kitty Pi, from Wendy’s pattern at http://wendyknits.net/knit/kittybed.htm . She puts the Pi on her bed and the cat now sleeps in the Pi rather than right where my cousin wants to put her feet. Maybe you could knit up a Pi and see if your cat prefers it to sleeping on your head.

  203. As to cats…
    lock them out of the room. Mine scratched at the door for 5 days then quit. The door jamb suffered but I slept. If you give in once to scratching and meowing the 5 days starts again. They get REALLY obnoxious just before they quit.
    As to hosework…
    sort of an online housekeeping coach. I’d say it has helped me but I’d rather knit than clean.
    As to family…
    I got no husband or kids so I got no clue!
    good luck with it all and I hope something here helps.

  204. Hi Steph — I know that I’m late with this comment, but I definitely wanted to second all of the folks who suggested that it’s past time for your kids to do their own laundry. Our working mom started us on chores when we were about ages 5 & 8; we were each doing our own laundry by about age 10 — it’s not rocket science. When we were teens, the whole family was part of a cooking and dish-doing rota. My brother and I often say that one of the best things our mom did to prepare us for adulthood was to force us to learn to take care of ourselves as teens. Stay mellow — Yvonne.

  205. All those news stories blaming the economy for all those late payments at the beginning of the year? Secretly, I know that it’s the 21 days of vacation. Who has the attention for managing a checkbook, or anything beyond the most immediate crisis, when all the kids, including the 40+ one who calls himself your husband, are at home? Personally, every January I think about getting a job, but then school begins and I get over it.

  206. Isn’t incredibly how utterly wise our parents are when we reach the age that they were when we thought them to be idiots??????
    Just remember, you kids will do the same when they reach our age. It’s a law of nature.

  207. Well, I have two teen girls, aged 14 & 15, and you know what works the best? Take away their make-up!
    Ha ha, you have to go to school ugly! And isn’t it true, cats always love “mom” best!
    Oh well, just keep knittin’…it’ll be all right when it’s all over.

  208. My cat sleeps on my head and kneads my hair and tries to nurse from it. All while purring like a locomotive. My husband is away this week and she now is using licking as a herding technique. She licks my face, and I inch my head away from her onto my husbands flat, crummy pillow. When I wake up she’s sprawled on like the Queen of Sheba on my feather pillow.
    I wouldn’t trade her for anything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  209. {{{Stephanie}}} I have felt those exact feelings and have gone on more than one stomp in the park.
    I have two cats that sleep elsewhere. I eject them from the room every evening in a scene reminiscent of the Flintstones. Cats are mostly nocturnal and we are, as my six year old says, nocturnal the other way around so out they go. To get even I suggest poking said cat periodically during the day.
    I have five children and the laundry thing put me over the edge. The best thing I ever did was make the older ones do their own laundry. Once they enter middle school they get a laundry day and a lesson on the correct usage of Mr. Washie. They each get two sets of sheets and two towels for their personal use and that is that. If they are without underpants on a given day they have no one to blame but themselves. This will only happen to them once, by the way. It is working out quite nicely.
    The housework thing is a problem for me too. It’s a lot of work and I don’t always have it in me to have a tug-o-war with the kids over this stuff. I look at my mom’s now child-free home and see that it is clean and orderly so I figure when all my monkeys grow up and leave, my house will be clean and neat too. I’m hanging my hat on that.

  210. Lavender aromatherapy drops on the pillow stop my Lulu cat from sleeping on my head and it is soothing and a nice scent for me.
    The squirt bottle works well for bad cat behavior like fishing under the pillow for a hand with claws–but lavender on the pillow means being able to sleep uninterputed by the cat.
    My dad was in charge of laundry, dishes, and trash in our house growing up and he had no problem delegating to teenagers.

  211. My two cats sleep in my bed with me. One of the cats is permanently attached to me whether I am awake or asleep. Yesterday an allergist told me I am ALLERGIC TO CATS. She suggested I at least keep the cats off the bed and out of the bedroom. Now you have to realize I live in New York City, AKA the most expensive city in the U.S. Therefore I live in a place the size of a shoebox. Therefore I do not have a separate ‘bedroom’ with a door that shuts. When I told the allergist that I lived with two cats and a husband in an apartment that did not even have a separate bedroom she gave me a look of such pity that I felt depressed for the rest of the day. Today I began looking for a bigger apartment and realized I can’t afford to move. Sigh.

  212. I am reading your book “Yarn Harlot.” What a hoot. I gave my first non-family knitting lesson tonight, I am now too excited to sleep. Watching those sweet ladies making their first stitches gave me such a feeling of historical significance in their lives.They caught on quickly, too. As the loops appeared, I wanted to clap, sing, whoop, cheer and hollar. Sorry guys, nobody is here and I had to tell someone that would understand. Thanks for listening.

  213. May I please participate in the Knitting Olympics? My goal is knit 2 pairs of socks. They include: Vine Lace Socks and After Bertha socks from “Socks, Socks, Socks”. This will be a true challenge for me as I have Multiple Sclerosis and my hands seem to rebel against those little needles! Or maybe it’s just an age thing… hee. Thank you for your consideration.

    Your cat is very beautiful. She looks very soft. I have a 10 year old cat that USED to sleep on my head. She had been dumped and injured and wanted to be around me all the time. She slept curled around or across my head for several years and it really didn๏ฟฝt bother me, especially when she was little. I mentioned it one time to my chiropractor who said my head was not made to support 8 lbs of kitty on it without hurting my neck.
    So we struck a compromise: I got her a heated kitty pad and when she wants to snuggle with me, she can do so in an approved location, not on my head. When I sleep on my side, she can sleep up against my back/shoulders and she sometimes puts her paw across my neck. When I sleep on my back, she sometimes lays her head and paws on my shoulder. I trained her by gently (and repeatedly) moving her to the appropriate spot that was allowed and she eventually got the hint. In addition, I purchased a heated kitty pad and placed it on a chair next to the bed (where a nightstand would be). That way she can stay close to me and be warm without always being on the bed. Two or three times in the night, she๏ฟฝll get on the bed and snuggle for awhile (in an approved location) and then return to her heated pad. It has worked out pretty well for the last few years. Be sure and purchase a heated pad made especially for cats, AND NOT for humans! The pad I purchased stays plugged in from October to April. When there is no cat on it, it stays at room temperature. When a cat lays on it, it heats up to cat body temperature and stays there without getting hotter. It๏ฟฝs called the KITTY KOMFORT heating pad. I hope this helps.
    By the way, have picked up knitting again recently, saw your URL in a magazine.

  215. About the cat….I have a cat that sleeps on a regular heating pad. I just turn it on low. He used to be a house cat until in his old age…he wouldn’t use the liter box, so now he lives outside in a big covered cage. In the daytime, he is free to roam, because he is too old to leave the yard. At nighttime, he goes to his spot on his heating pad, in his cage. Must be nice to be a cat!!!

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