Splendor in the Grass

Sadie and Smitty went on an excellent adventure yesterday. Ever since Sadie came to live with us, she has wanted nothing else but the freedom to explore her surroundings. That, and a heavy dose of lap-sitting each day, and her life would be purrfect. We, on the other hand, have been reluctant to let this unpredictable little waif of a cat outside without a leash. That has not prevented her escaping to the great outdoors several times. A few nights ago, she escaped...after dark...which put both of us in panic mode. Try finding a black cat at night with flashlights. The language that was spoken that night is unprintable.

After lengthy discussion and a great amount of soul-searching, we decided to give her the run of the place for the afternoon yesterday under the close supervision of her good friend Smitty and the humans that inhabit the Three Cats Ranch. It went very well.

There was a whole lot of grazing.

Nom, nom, nom. Snuffle. Snurf. Wow, Smitty. Grass is purrticularly delicious this time of year.

You really should try the taller stuff, Sadie. It's the most tender.

They went this way and that way.

They lounged and rolled.

Sadie! Look over there!

I'm not looking, Smitty. I know you played that 'made you look' game with my purrdecessor, and I'm not falling for it.


we should climb these trees, Smitty!

They climbed both cherry trees, and the evergreen tree.

What kind of tree is this, Smitty?

It's called a Douglas fur tree, Sadie. It has bark...nothing to do with woofies, so don't worry.

We should build a tree furt up here, Smitty! That would be purrfect!

Sadie discovered a squirrel habitat where the decking meets the retaining wall. Smitty helped her flush out a squirrel and a mouse. Sadie caught the mouse, and they played with it until it was dead, then walked away.

Eventually, they were back to where they started, having thoroughly explored the propurrty and run the humans all over hill and dale.

Our goal was to keep them out of the woods. Smitty won't go into the woods, but Sadie seemed hell bent on getting there. Finally, she got around both of us and headed down to the edge of the trees. Smitty went right behind her. This gave us a few anxious moments, but within a few minutes they were back without a single fur out of place. We're not sure whether we'll be doing this again any time soon, but we're hoping that giving her a little more freedom to roam will make her less crafty about plotting her escape from the house.

While we were out, I took a few pictures of the garden. The lavender is beautiful right now.

The daylilies and lavender are the stars of the garden.

Also, I had some time to work on the scrub jay yesterday afternoon. I switched out the orange for this orange check. It still seemed too bright.

Then I remembered I had the same fabric in a color that was nearly identical to the orange poppies.

I switched to that, and also remade the section just above the tail so that it spans both borders in appropriate fabrics now. The poppy fabric was placed so that one of the orange poppies ends up adjacent to the orange check, and I think it looks better.

And then I tested out the orange check below the perch. I wasn't sure how I would like it, but it seems like the right choice to me. It puts me in mind of a lattice fence.

That's where I left it yesterday. I'm itching to get back into the sewing room today to finish up the right leg and the rest of the perch. There's just a little bit of the bird to finish toward the bottom of the breast, and then I'll start sewing everything together. There's probably too much to finish today, but possibly tomorrow I'll have this top completed.

16 comments from clever and witty friends:

Betty said...

Looks like an epic adventure for Sadie! Smitty is a good big brother for giving her the tour of the propurrty. Sometimes we as cat parents struggle to find a good balance between safety and letting a cat engage in their natural instinctual behaviors. My boys would be miserable and so would we if they had to stay indoors. I want them to have a happy life so it's a risk I'm willing to take.

Quilting Babcia said...

Now that Sadie's had this romp-about I don't think there's any keeping her inside, at least during nice weather. Look at it this way, following them about makes for good walking/jogging exercise! And it's sweet the way they stay together. I love how your jay is progressing, quite amazing to me actually, all those teeny-tiny pieces.

Robin Klein said...

From my experience once cats/kittens discover the smells and excitment of the outdoors you will have a heck of a problem keeping them in. BTW, Love the Scrub Jay. Looking forward to see how you sew together the small pieces.___Robin

Goofin' Off Around the Block said...

Glad the kitties are enjoying all of the exploring. Your block is truly a masterpiece. I have really enjoyed watching this come together. Have a great day! --Andrea

Olka said...

Wow, I would also panic if I were you!
Some time ago I had similar situation when we adopted black cat and my husband forgot that we can't open window which doesn't have installed net. And we were sure, that she run away. We were looking for her at the home and outside - we didn't find her. Finally we went back to home and we saw her going out from the hole between the wall and radiator!! What a relief!

claudia said...

I have to admit, I was holding my breath while reading the Adventures of Sadie and Smitty. I just don't think I could do that without panicking!
I'm so glad that they came back with the tour of the propurrty under their belts and unscathed. You are brave people! It looks like thay had a great time though!

I like the lighter check by the tail of the Blue Jay. The whole thing looks much better. It makes the bird stand out nicely.

WoolenSails said...

I wish I could let my kitties out, but too many things out there that would have them for dinner.
Looks like Sadie did well on her first adventure. Love the check, gives it a nice look for texture.


Vroomans' Quilts said...

I like the check and makes for a bit of conversation without taking over. Smitty is a good big brother showing Sadie the 'ropes' and watching over her.

Debbie said...

You found the perfect fabric for the Jay and the background. Much better now. As for the outdoor adventure...heart pounding. The wooded area here would be scarey too....foxes and hawks around too much.

Dana Gaffney said...

I'm happy for Sadie, but I feel like you must have been so anxious. We've been having way to many adventures with critters the latest was Maya catching a poisonous Bufo Toad, I'm trying to figure out how to litter box train the two of them.

piecefulwendy said...

What a grand adventure the two kitties had. It was fun to see what and where they were exploring. Max is limited to the deck and only when we are there to watch him. We had a coyote in our yard the other day, so deck visits are off limits for now. He did have an in-house adventure awhile back when he got into the ductwork when we weren't watching. Hubs was painting a hallway and had removed the duct cover and he sneaked in. Talk about panic. I lured him back with tuna. Your scrub jay is looking really good -- I like the choice of checked fabric!

Rosemary Rivas said...

Two of our feline "children" rarely try to escape, but our "new-be", Jonathan is cunning and fast and we have to be careful when we have visitors that he doesn't escape. He has no fear, He'll run right out in the street which is scary for us, as cat parents. While the street we live on is not busy, it seems that he picks a time to escape when there are multiple cars coming and going. We had one previous cat, Snuggles, and orange tabby, killed by a garbage truck early one morning. That's when we had indoor/outdoor cats, but since then we've decided to keep our felines inside for their own safety and health and recommended by our vet. Smudge, our other kitty at the time developed skin cancer due to basking in the sun. He was pure white and it eventually led to his death. We had our front windows treated with UVA/UVA film, but it was too late. While I understand that they would like to roam outside, we prefer to keep them inside for health and longevity.

Lori said...

looks like your idea for the two kitties to go out together might have worked.
your bird is very pretty,

Brown Family said...

We use to take our babies out in the back yard. They explored all over and never attempted to go under the shed or over the fence. When Max came to us, we were unsure hoe he would react so we stopped. Kirby is the only one that ever asks or tried to get out.

I do like the pale orange check!

quiltzyx said...

What a grand adventure Sadie had with her big brother the Smitster. Looks like it was a great day for wandering too.
The flowers are lovely, I can almost smell the Lavender!

The Jay is looking amazing. Too many teeny pieces for me, but I like watching you work it all out. :)

Beth said...

Oh, you are brave! So glad that Sadie's Big Adventure wasn't a harrowing one. (My heart was racing a bit, just seeing her in the great outdoors. I guess there's no denying I take after my Grandma, who used to stand on the shore at the beach and holler that we were out too far, courting danger. I have more compassion for her now.)

Do you find that Sadie's longing to explore outside comes in waves? When we transitioned our cat from being an indoor/outdoor cat with no restrictions, many, many years ago, to being a strictly indoor cat, she made the transition fairly well. But there would be stretches when she would suddenly want out--staring out the window, stalking the doors, etc. I could never figure out if it was related to a cycle of the moon, something in the weather, or if there was a cat version of the Midnight Howl going on. I am grateful, though, that she lived a long, safe life indoors; despite a serious heart condition, she made it nearly twenty years, confirming the stats that say that indoor cats live twice as long as outdoor cats. (I know this is controversial, and heard the opposing opinion from my sweetheart's sister very regularly--still do, as we are on our third round of indoor cats, a decision we made after losing two beloved cats to cars.)