By Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood
Ok, so I’ve been holding out on you folks. And I can’t blame the delinquency of this post entirely on the fact that I’m busy helping my students with a big end-of-the-semester project and simultaneously engaged in a battle with myself also known as an intense fitness mission.
The truth is I hesitated to post this because even after knitting cat hats on airplanes between Michigan and New York while interviewing unsuspecting passengers who could not get away from me about said knitting project, I remain a cat lady in denial.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my cat as any worthy cat person should. And Justine and I are tight. I’m her person, but not exactly as the term is thrown around on “Grey’s Anatomy.” However, I am the human Justine sits with most often and she doesn’t scratch me when I pick her up and carry her around in a football hold. (I admit that this happens at least once a day.) And while I do exhibit some obvious traits commonly associated with card carrying cat ladies, I have yet to embrace everything that comes with the title. It’s such a weighty label that implies that one collects cats by the half-dozen, annually buys cat calendars and mugs and sports cat print clothing and all that fur-covered jazz.
And that’s not me at all. I was born into a dog family and then raised another dog from puppyhood when I got my first house with a backyard. I have a cat because my husband, Jeff, told me a Siamese named Justine needed a home and we were just trying to help a former co-worker out. I guess I became a cat lady as a favor to him. (Thanks a lot, Mike!)
For the record, I don’t own one single cat print garment, not even a Justine sweatshirt. (Please, no one send me one because I would definitely wear it and then this whole thing I’m writing would seem even more ridiculous.) And I care too much about my fellow craftspeople to strut around this green Earth donning a pair of skin tight cartoonish cat print leggings. (Maybe I’ll reconsider this legging bit when I hit my target weight at the end of June, but I seriously doubt it. But maybe. I can’t predict what I’ll do when I get my mojo back. Just saying. Mojo is very powerful stuff.:)
But I digress. (And that happens more often than I pick up my cat.) So, after I knitted some hats for cats to prep for my recent interview with Sara Thomas author of “Cats in Hats: 30 Knit and Crochet Patterns for Your Kitty” things got a little cat lady crazy. On the way back from doing a very serious and emotionally charged interview with a couple of my students, I pulled out the cat hats and we rounded up a couple felines for a little impromptu photo shoot.
Many thanks to Sean P. Mulhall and his cat, Fern, for participating in my cat lady nonsense and Jonathan D. Lopez for documenting it all. As ridiculous as this photo shoot was, it came at a good time. We were in the midst of a very serious project and it felt good to laugh out some of the emotion that we had been holding back all day.
Fern might still be recovering from having to model a mohawk with her human, Sean, and she’s going to hate me forever when I gift her that silly hat for keeps next month on her 17th birthday, but the experience probably wasn’t as bad as a trip to the vet. She looked super cute, but extremely miffed. I’m grateful that she took the high road and didn’t bite me. I really respect that.
So here I am back again with more high quality cat hat photos. And, yes, I think I have a pretty good idea what this means. Are you ready for it? Lean in because I’m not going to say this twice: I, Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood, am a cat lady.
Ahhhhh! There, I said it. Now let’s all take a moment to enjoy a few more of Jonathan’s photos of our poor, spoiled cats wearing hats.
P.S. A quick Amazon search reveals at least 20 pages of listings for “cat leggings.” Sadly, I thought I was being clever and making up a product that didn’t exist when I mentioned the leggings up above. If you happen to spot me this summer sporting space kitten leggings you’ll know that the 7-minute workout really did the trick and you’ll have good reason to suspect that I may have adopted 11 more cats and knitted them all party hats.
Brace yourself, folks, because it sounds like summer 2015 is about to get really interesting.
*CraftSanity cats in hats photo gallery by Jonathan D. Lopez.
And because I never ask any person or cat to do anything I wouldn’t do myself, I must leave you with one more ridiculous photo. This one is a selfie, so I can’t blame it on Jonathan. This one is for you, Justine. I think we’re even now.