Viewing posts for the category marbles

litteral frame of mind

Sunday, apr. 20, 2008   |   0 comments

One of my all-time favorite Onion headlines is “Want Boxes Of Shit In Your House? Get A Cat,” a sentiment that I know gnawed at tidy Marco just a wee bit when we first started talking about moving in together. Where, exactly, would Marbles’ dumping grounds live?

I’m a big fan of putting littterboxes in bathrooms, since they make thematic sense there. But the bathroom in this place is kind of an open book, with no nooks or available corners to tuck a box into. And the limited closet space is already dedicated to clothing, and who wants to smoke out their clothes with shit and piss fumes?

Ultimately we decided to put her box in the strange auxiliary cabinet that lives on the outer side of the breakfast bar.

Marco removed the door that was there and painted the inside an upbeat puce-y color, and I sewed up a little curtain using a fun woodgrain fabric I found on the internet.

And it kind of turned out okay! We use the miracle crystal litter (NOT the ball bearing kind), which sponges up the smell quite nicely so you almost don’t know the shitbox is in the room at all unless Marbles is actively mixing and scratching in there, something she likes to do for a good five minutes at a stretch.

But recently we’ve been talking about maybe converting the back room—which is now set up as a sort of second living room, with a couch and some chairs and my desk scenario—into an actual dining room, which may or may not help us break out of our bad habit of eating in front of the television. But if we do decide to refocus that area on serving food, I’m not so sure I want to have the shit where we eat?

So I’ve started doing some peering around at alternate strategies, scouring the design-focused sites for some examples of other people’s solutions for the problem. But there’s a surprisingly limited selection out there! Which I don’t really get—surely we’re not the only people who like having a cute-looking house but who also have an indoor cat? (And yes the whole feline toilet-training thing has been tried, but had to be abandoned after it triggered some nasty side effects along the lines of Marbles shitting up the bathtub, a fun habit that took years to break her of, yay.)

I did manage to find a few semi-interesting options (thanks Mosaic Maker)…

1. The Kattbank (via Design*Sponge, of course) is very pretty, and it comes in a satisfying array of colors, but at a whopping $1750, my sphincter says what? Also, do our friends want to sit atop a bench packed with feces? Don’t answer.

2. The Scandinavians sure know how to do meatballs, and also cat shitters. Meet the handsome Dog and Cat Cave (via Modern Cat, who knew?). Cost: a steep $480. Also I’m now thinking it’s not actually meant for litter, since there’s no way to get the shit out of there, which seems kind of key…hmm.

3. The Cottage Litter Box House, just $65. I kind of love the idea behind this, but I’d want to push it even further, with more ornate, Made With Love By Hannah-style detailing. Like a giant coo coo clock, or gingerbread house, only with shit inside!

4. I’m also weirdly attracted to the Red Barn Litter Box House option, also $65, though heads-up: “haystacks and sunflower pot not included,” which is a disclaimer I’m considering adding to my signature file at work.

5. Sara’s DIY wheel-away litter box (via Ikea Hacker), made from Ikea Snack Boxes.

6. Or Dee’s DIY kitty litter hideaway (same link as above, just scroll down) made using the Ikea Hol.

7. Dave’s Handcrafted Litter Box Hiders (via Apartment Therapy), $129.99. Dave makes these to order, and they arrive fully built, sanded, and ready to paint. Best of all, they’re “dog proof so they cant get to the litter and eat it.”

8. DIY Shoji Litter Box (via Apartment Therapy), another serviceable option.

9. Marly Gomman’s “Cats in Style” felt litter box (via Modern Cat), which you can actually watch in action. I LOVE this option, and really: a big, organically shaped felt box that mimics the birthing process with each exit, what’s not to love? But unfortunately even if I did have the millions of dollars it surely costs, I can’t seem to find it for sale anywhere, anyway.

And then there’s also the “Hide-in-plain-site” DIY cabinet, or the weird fake plant holder with hidden compartment, or the Merry Pet Cat Washroom, none of which are exactly quite right either. Shit.

more words on: decoration, marbles

bon voyage, pug boat

Sunday, mar. 16, 2008   |   0 comments

We were all very sad to see Zelda go back home, with the exception of one very happy, sunshine-toasted cat:

more words on: marbles

the go-between

Saturday, mar. 15, 2008   |   0 comments
I don't know if buy my pants too low and my shirts too short or I simply have an unusually long torso, but more often than not, my pants-based outfits leave me with a strip of Evany-tummy twisting in the wind. I used to safety-pin my shirts to my belt loops, which kind of worked but made restroom breaks time-consuming and pointedly hazardous. But then I came up with this really good invention: The Go-Between! Just look:

Brrrr! It's cold in here!

Getting warmer ...

... warmer ...

... now that's hot.
(Note: That there's the Birtee.)

I made this grover-fur go-between using a thread-through neck scarf I bought at Old Navy years ago. I simply stitched up the thread hole, trimmed the width a bit, hemmed it, and added a few sturdy snaps. I even had enough fabric left over for a weird, wormy little neck-tie thing:

I made a second go-between using an old tee-shirt that I'd accidentally ruined by washing with a red splotching item. I didn't even sew anything, just trimmed off the bottom,

folded it under to hide the red stains (which for some reason you can't see here),

and voi-da!

Before: Uh-oh. Somebody's got ass-crack fever
(and I'm not talking about Marbles the Cat).

After: The the jukebox is officially out of order!

Let's take a closer look at that go-between in action
(hey, isn't that one of my beloved tops?):

more words on: marbles

the pug boat has landed!

Wednesday, mar. 12, 2008   |   0 comments

We've lucked our way into pug Zelda for the week, thanks to friends Amy and Greg being called out of town on SXSW duty. And now our standard early morning walk has become this most unruly circus on earth...

...with Piggy and the Pug lurching and twisting left to right, back to front...

...their leashes tripping and toppling and slicing me into pieces like I'm a giant block of cheese.

Does anyone remember the bulldog in the leather S&M cap and his...donkey?...sidekick, a puppet duo who made their fame doing commercial breaks during early afternoon television in the Bay Area in the 80s?

Anyone? Update: Kind JennieB just sent a memory nudget that the puppets -- a bulldog and HORSE -- were named Charlie and Humphrey, and they were a Channel 54 standby throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s. See why the Pig and Pug made me think of them?

In the afternoon, the pug o' war begins, and the house is overcome with the rainfall of dog toenails on hardwood (the floor in the kitchen and hallway) alternating with the thunder of small furry bodies making tight turns and rolls on carpet (the floor in the living- and bed-rooms).


...and weave.

Pugs and kisses!

Pork Chops and Applesauce!

When Marco got home yesterday, he took Zelda and Piggy into the backyard; en route, Zelda took a small detour into the dojo martial arts training center next door, surprising a class full of karate kids. Piggy tore in right on Zelda's heels, and -- like a scene straight out of The Pacifier -- the two dogs raced circles around the squealing children as Marco and the Sensei tried to herd them back out onto the sidewalk.

At dinnertime, a small fist of a face hovers on the horizon, carefully watching our every move:

And at night, Zelda is reduced to a puggle of soft ears and chubby uncoiled tail-ness, and the house fills with the gentle sawing of small, smash-face snoring. And Marbles the cat finally emerges from her hiding place in the closet. (Hey, look at our new pillow! A happy spillover from Brian and Sandra's recent move!)

See more pugnaciousness at Marco's Flickr hole.

more words on: daisy, marbles

so self-help me, god

Wednesday, feb. 7, 2007   |   0 comments

If ever I publish a series of self-help books (and if you’ve spent much time reading this site, you know that’s exactly where things are headed), this is the photo I’m going to put on the cover:

And here’s what the title will be: If a Dog, a Cat, and the Meanest Turtle That Ever Was can Share a Patch of Sunlight, Why Can’t You [X], Where X=Dress Age-appropriately? Or Learn Where to Stand? Or Dance Like Everybody’s Watching?

more words on: daisy, marbles