Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 23: Recycling bin materials

The project that ate 3 days.
What is this thing?

So this project shouldn't have taken me three days, by which I mean I should have simplified it. A lot, obviously. It was also complicated by the fact that we don't have a recycle bin. Our apartment complex actually won't allow the recycling trucks in, so we're on our own for recycling and I admit we're not as gung-ho about it as we could be. This sent me back to the paper bags we've collected, which are easier to find a place to recycle at than some other things.
Also distracting me from the project, my cat, who already has some kind of issue in one side of her muzzle, abruptly developed a serious limp.
Construction material, or cat toy?
My cat is about thirteen years old, so these weird and random health issues worry me a little. She'd already been to the vet about the first problem, was given an antibiotic shot and diagnosis of 'probably not an abscessed tooth but keep an eye on it'. I looked her over for injury, felt her from paw pads all the way up to her shoulders without even finding anything that made her flinch. She limped through the evening and into the next day. Apart from these symptoms she seemed just fine, and took a few trips through my 'construction materials', which I clearly had out for her to play in.
Another trip to the vet got her diagnosed as having some kind of allergy as the initial cause of the face issue, and arthritis exacerbated by a bad jump or something for the limp. A bunch of money, a couple shots, and a day later she's no longer limping and back to begging to go outside and kill small animals.
For the other Squeaks I used paper bags, some really crappy thread that's almost gone, and I tried tea-dye for the Siamese markings but that didn't show up well and curled up the paper so in the end I broke out some old acrylic paint. This probably destroyed the spirit of using recycled materials, but it's still all older stuff we had around, at least. The finished model is a little gimpy, but I guess that's appropriate.
Two out of two cats can't read.

The book I had in mind is called 'The Christmas Junk Box' and our copy is itself recycled. It's a library discard, and as you can see they stuck the barcode sticker over the cover so the title only reads 'The'. It's full of woodcut illustrations, and is a simple little story about a father giving his family a box of useful junk collected from around the house as a Christmas present. The idea is they're materials for making all kinds of toys and things, and everyone in the family builds stuff out of the contents.
Why are you wearing my collar?
Their projects sounded simple, but apparently sewing paper into a life-sized three-dimensional cat takes a long time. I'm not sure the end product is quite as long as she is, but I put it down for the cats to inspect and even tried her collar on it with no adjustment necessary.
For anyone concerned it might replace the real cat, the paper model is currently on the floor now, while the real thing is sitting in my lap purring like crazy. Possibly she knows I'm writing about her.
I'm also trying to make up for the delay here with lots of pictures. Both our cats seemed really interested in it, although that may have something to do with my putting it by the scratch pad.
Squeaks has won the 3-way standoff, and the scratchpad.
Since I just now realized most of these pictures only show the front end of my cat (I should've included the one with just her butt sticking out of the paper bag), she is a Siamese/Manx mix, with long rabbity back legs and about four inches of slightly kinked tail. She's got a short, square Manx build, but the Siamese markings and definitely a Siamese voice. Yes, her name is Squeakers. When I first got her I tried valiantly to name her something more elegant, but in the end she outvoted me. Vocally.
The other cat in these pictures is my girlfriend's 3(?) year old cat, Froggy.
You smell like paint.
 Froggy was possibly even more interested in the paper cat than Squeakers was. Of course, this means if I leave it on the floor, I can probably only expect it to last a few days before she chews it to pieces or something.
Realizing it might not last, I did attempt to take a nice picture of the whole thing against a blank background (the back of the desk chair), but it was not to be. I'm not really sure what to do with a paper cat anyway. The real ones are more fun.
Be careful when introducing a new cat into the home.


  1. Love this one -- your 3D paper skills are awesome, Rey!

  2. Thanks! It's not much different from making a stuffed animal, just the seams are sharper angles.