Moving in together is an exciting point in any relationship, but when Bear and I U-hauled it, one of the greatest perks was getting to double our number of meows, forming our tiny family of 4. Since we’re not the kid-having kind, Lula and Ollie are, of course, our less messy, way furrier, substitutes and we’re fairly obsessed with them. I mean, sometimes we make up songs about them. They also each have a (totally fabricated) dramatic backstory of their lives before us and about 14 aliases a piece. Don’t judge. The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?
Anyway, while putting the final touches on my Lazy Kitten Sleep Mask two weeks ago, I was swarmed by the fuzzy gray and white duo who had suddenly developed an interest in crafting; or at least in things like spools of thread and the crinkly sound of Velcro. Plying them with treats, nor gentle scolding, really made much difference, so I put my sleep mask on hold to accommodate my two feline assistants and stitched up a quick cat toy for them of excess fabric to bat around the house.
I had no stuffing around to fill the toy with, but being fairly resourceful, I dug out some cotton balls from the bathroom to use in its place. This is just a small toy, so just a few cotton balls did the trick. Before filling the little heart shape I had cut out and hand-stitched together, I rolled the cotton balls in some dried catnip to give the toy a little something extra.
Breaking out the catnip and filling the toy only invited more investigation, so I acted quickly to sew up the remaining open space on the side and tossed it into the living room. There, it was promptly smothered with love before becoming the prize in a mutual game of keep away. Needless to say, they thought it was the cat’s pajamas and that made me feel pretty darn satisfied. Bringing joy in even the simplest ways is truly the heart’s best medicine, no?
Quick Heart-Shaped Cat Toy
Enough scrap fabric to cut out two hearts about 3.5-inches in width and 2-inches in height
Coordinating thread of your choice
Approximately 5-8 cotton balls
1 teaspoon of dried catnip
Step 1: Cut one heart out of the fabric either by freehand or by making a simple paper pattern. Use the first fabric heart as a guide and pattern to cut out a duplicate. Step 2: Put the two hearts together with the frontside of the fabric facing inward and pin together. Step 3: Thread your needle and stitch the heart together leaving a 1-inch opening remaining. Tie off the thread, snip excess, remove pins, and turn the heart right side out. Step 4: On a plate, or in a bowl, place the cotton balls and sprinkle catnip on them until they are fully covered. Fill the heart with as many cotton balls as needed and stitch the remaining hole closed.