My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Be Prepared

Thank you to one and all for your good wishes. Lucy and I are doing fine and I finally have my condo as cold as I want it. πŸ™‚ As long as the common areas of my condo building reek of smoke, I won’t be turning my heat on and risk sucking that smoke into my condo through the heating vents. The condo management team is doing a great job of getting rid of the smoke, but it’s still pretty stinky out there!

My stash is fine — there is no smoke smell at all in my condo, and 90% of the stash is encased in plastic.

I smiled at some of your comments — some expressing sorrow at my lack of knitting project when evacuating the building, and some expressing amusement at my having a camera at the ready.

While I was never a Girl Scout as a child, I do believe in being prepared. Lucy’s carrier is in my stash room, and easily accessible, so I can get it out and use it quickly. Well, as quickly as is possible when you have to stuff an angry wriggling cat in a carrier. My tip for expediting that process is to stand the carrier on end (if your carrier is configured thusly) and lower the cat in — that way it is harder for the cat to get out while you secure the carrier.

Lucy has a Sherpa bag that zips opens on the top as well as on one end. I’ve used these carriers for years and highly recommend them.

So anyhow, I can stuff Lucy in her carrier relatively quickly in an emergency. The only other item I grabbed was my purse.

My purse contains (among other things) the following items:

  • Wallet with checkbook, cash, and credit cards
  • Compact digital camera with extra battery and extra media card
  • Media card reader
  • Sock in progress
  • Cellphone with extra battery
  • iTouch
  • iPod (yes, I realize this is overkill)
  • Flash drives loaded with important data
  • Prescription NSAIDs

So as you can see, I did have my camera at the ready, and I did have a knitting project with me (which I did not pull out of my bag).

If you can stand on the sidewalk with a cat carrier in one hand (no way would I set a carrier containing my precious Lucy on the ground) and a purse over the other arm, watching fireman break out windows to fight a raging fire as it starts to sleet, and pull out your knitting to work on, well, you are a better person than I. (I can however mindlessly snap photos, apparently.)

But I have made some progress on my sock because I returned to work today and worked on it a bit on my commute — see?

And I was very happy to come home to this:


  1. I am duly impressed with your purse contents and….I need a bigger purse!

  2. Having your iPod with you at all times is NEVER overkill. (Actually, “Overkill” is my favorite song on my Pod at the moment, so it’s funny that you put it that way.) πŸ™‚

    Glad everyone is all right – and I love Lucy’s Sphinx pose!

    juless last blog post..Last of the red hot zigzags

  3. So glad to hear you are better. Lucy seems to have come thru the ordeal purrfectly (lovely pic of her). and the sock is looking great :^)

    Your prepared purse has given me some suggestions should I ever need to grab and run. Thanks!

  4. I’m glad you were able to make it to work today – getting back into the regular routine helps lower the stress level. I have one suggestion to add to standing the cat carrier on end – if possible put the cat into the carrier head-first. This has an element of surprise and can help prevent kitty from going spread-eagle with one paw on each side of the door!

  5. ahmcguffin says:

    Lucy looks so content. So nice to hear things are almost back to normal. I started reading your knitting blog, but being a pet person, well Lucy is just so sweet. Although some of the looks you capture seem more “would you quit with the camera already” type of look.
    I too use Sherpa bag for my cat. “End Loading” her with the bag sitting on it’s small end doesn’t work as well as she can spring up out of my hold before I get the end closed enough. But I do use the end opening more than the top. I live in Kansas City and AnnieCat knows the only time she gets her favorite freeze dried salmon treat is when the weekly weather test warble comes on my weather alert radio. If she goes in the bathroom with me she gets a treat. The warble can be “tested” by me if I miss the weekly auto test. She has gotten over hiding when it storms and follows me around. Much more convenient if we need to “take cover” for the tornado warnings. And with the radio I always have the current weather. I keep an inexpensive backpack with anything she might need if we had to leave quickly. Eating dishes, sample sizes of food, treats, can opener, leash, etc. Her vet info gets stuffed in the end pocket of the Sherpa.

  6. With 8 cats and a bunny, I do worry about evacuation should it become necessary. My biggest fear as that one or more will hide. I have hard-sided carriers, and they stay up as the cats like to sleep in them. I know people on my floor would try to help, but all but 1 have pets of their own.
    Thank you for the reminder that we need to be prepared.

  7. What excitement! Having cat carrier(s) at the ready is the way to go when you are a pet owner. I am so glad that you and Miss Lucy are back home and doing fine.

    Earins last blog post..

  8. Hmm you are better than I. I don’t even have a purse. Although my wallet is usually in my back pocket or next to computer due to recent online purchases. πŸ˜‰ I am glad you are all safe and sound.

    LittleWits last blog post..Brendan 50/50 Raffle

  9. I should have such a well-stocked purse!

    And I”d be happy to come home to a cat like Lucy! That’s a great photo.

  10. You’re a better person than I Gunga Din πŸ˜‰ Totally prepared! I can relate about not putting Lucy on the ground. I’m like that too when it comes to my katzes!

    Hopefully Brad and I will never have to stuff two irate, whirling dervish kittahs into their respective carriers, but here in SoCal – state of firestorms – ya just never know!!

    Thank goodness all is well. Hopefully you (and the other tenants) will be informed of the source of the fire. This is scary.

    Love the sock AND the beautiful pic of Lucy – a picture of contentment – a well kept kitty! 2 adorable, 2 darling! luv.m.

  11. I’ve found the end up dump in (although less than graceful for the feline) is a very effective method of inserting cat in carrier. I have to ask, if I recall, your phone is an iPhone now, is it not? So do you have 3 i-products in that purse o’yours? And I love the purse.

    Jennifers last blog post..Sweater in November?

  12. While I have been converted to a dog person, a Great Dane Person specifically, your photos of Lucy do carry me back to my days as a cat person and my dear departed Maine-Coon-Knock-off Garage Cat, Harpo. He must have had some Siamese/Himalayan/Burman behind him because he had lovely blue, slightly crossed eyes. I miss the crabby fella! But don’t tell Sophie, my Great Dane. She is very sensitive.

  13. My kitty is absolutely impossible to put into a carrier. I am sure that if it was she and I in your condo, we would never have been able to get out and I would be completely covered in sweat from all of the effort. Glad to hear that life has returned to near normal for you!

  14. I’m so glad to hear that you and Lucy are safely back at home! What a scary experience just getting out of the building. I expect that Lucy was more on your mind in that moment than yarn anyway πŸ˜‰ Nice that you are ALL safe now (you, Lucy, and the stash).

  15. So glad you are both safe, and there was no damage to your condo!

    Beckys last blog post..Ollie Ollie Oxen Free!

  16. Great Zeus, woman, I miss reading blogs ONE DAY and the world starts burning down!

    Glad y’all are ok, and no significant damage was done to you and yours.

    Janice in GAs last blog post..Our trip to the mountains

  17. My handy trick for getting a cat in a carrier? Have the cat in hand before you grab the carrier. Once the carrier is anywhere our cats can see it, they’ve vanished, and not even the rattling of their treats can coax them out.

    (Oh, and that purse is awesome.)

    Imbriums last blog post..Playing Hooky

  18. i was pretty amused that you had a camera at the ready as well πŸ™‚

    you’re a lot like me in that your purse is filled with useful stuff at any given time. i do not, however, load up on the electronic gadgets as you do πŸ™‚ i mostly have toiletries at the ready, haha

  19. I’ve done the open the door to smoke bit, the peeling the ocicats out from under the furniture to evacuate them bit, and the smoke making respiratory issues worse bit, though fortunately not all at the same time. I really empathize with how stressful it can be even with a good outcome. I hope everything’s completely back to normal soon.

    And thanks for the idea of the flash drive stashed in the purse. That’s one I hadn’t thought of, though I might not stop for the purse if things are too dicey. I was the nurse administrator for Blood Services at a trauma center and when I hear a fire alarm I grab the cats and run. Maybe I’ll attatch one to the emergency keys by the door, also.

    KarenJoSeattles last blog post..Alternatives Are Good

  20. I’m so pleased to know I’m not the only one who carries my back up data in flash drives in my purse. If there were ever a fire and all my financial information (never mind knitting patterns and photos) were lost… But extra batteries – wow you are one organized woman πŸ™‚

    I have a top loading collapsible carrier for Perry P. It’s a whole lot easier than the hard plastic end loaders!

  21. Glad you and Miss Lucy are back home safe and sounds with no effects from the fire. Nice that your purse is well stocked in case of an emergency, you never know when something will happen. I hope the rest of your week is peaceful.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. Great tip re the cat carrier: I will set it up that way…… CA you never know: so be prepared………once in a place I was working we grabbed the back up tapes & got chastised by the firemen………ah!…….adventures……..another time (we were in a hotel) a colleague decided to ignore the fire alarm: fortunately it was not a bad fire………..and boy was it cold: we could see him waving to us!! glad all is well……….

  23. That’s exactly how I get the cat into the carrier: carrier on end, and drop her in, all pointy bits pointing away from me.

    Your purse doesn’t look big enough to hold all the stuff you listed. Mine isn’t!

    pdxknitteratis last blog post..We have lift-off

  24. So glad you and Lucy are all right and your sense of humor remains intact. Yes, it is funny that you had a camera at the ready in an emergency – you must have been born to blog.
    In a true emergency, should you ever find yourself carrier-less, use a pillowcase. You open the end up and throw it over the cat. This is also good for the carrier resistant cat. However, it can only be used in true emergencies – for example, when you have had to cancel the vet four times because the cat once again wised up and hid behind the stove and you don’t think you could get a sixth appointment. Ask me how I know…
    And ever after the cat will run and hide when you change the sheets.There will be hissing for the first couple of years.

  25. I like how prepared you are! And I like how that sock is coming out. :3 Lucy is looking sweet as ever.
    I think I’m going to take a cue from your organization.

    Cookis last blog post..null

  26. Wow. You are prepared!! Glad everything is ok.

  27. I loved your strategy for getting Lucy into carrier. I had one that would go in even with carrier on its end. Taking her to vet usually resulted at least one crawl under the bed to retreat her. Again I’m glad you’re safe and that your stash isn’t smelly.

  28. Way too much excitement. WAY too much!
    I am so glad it’s just an suspenseful (and illustrated!) blog post and a temporarily disgruntled cat resulting from your excitement.

    I was going to suggest that your neighbors started it by cranking their heat, but apparently not (reading on).

    Hope all settles down to normal very soon. Whew!

    Cathy-Cates last blog post..A Little Midweek Art

  29. You should try getting TWO cats into the same carrier when there’s a tornado warning! I always grab my girls when the sirens go off so I know where they are.

    And I adore your purse! Details, please? πŸ™‚

    Tammys last blog post..November Already?

  30. Lee Cockrum says:

    I have the problem that some other people have mentioned, I have 3 cats, and at least one, and sometimes 2 are “hiders” as soon as I get the carrier out! I have had to go to the vet for shots with one less animal than I planned quite a few times!!

    And I can add further to the carrier on its end trick: nab the cat inside of a pillow case, stuff it in the carrier, being careful that you can grab the closed end, and then “abracadabra” pull the pillow case out of the slit before you totally close the door!! I came up with that trick out of desperation when I had to get my husband’s (then boyfriend!) cat into a carrier. The cat only tolerated me at that time, and he was big and STRONG and fully clawed!! My bf was out of the country, and I had to transport the cat- necessity is truly the mother of invention!

  31. Theresa in Italy says:

    Wendy, you don’t need to have been a Girl Scout—you are much more organized than any scout I ever met! Glad to hear things are getting back to normal and hope they get rid of that smoke soon.

  32. I just got caught up with everything and I am glad it turned out well. I was laughing that you had your camera with you and had all those great photos, very impressive. I have two cats and use the same method except I have a few treats at the bottom that help with the reluctance. Not during a fire mind you. For the vet I take it out a few days b4 so they won’t have the association. Very impressed that you managed all that during a fire and kept you and Lucy safe. Everything else can be replaced. Would you please share with us what the cause was when, if, you find out?

  33. Try this advice from a vet clinic. Leave a towel on the carrier when you
    have it stored. Use it to gently wrap your cat as you scoop her up to put her in the carrier. It’s usually much easier to slide them in.

  34. Luci always reminds me of this Hallmarks of Felinity strip

    Nunts last blog post..Sock yarn doesn’t count!

  35. That Lucy is looking quite majestic on her royal cushion. I’m glad all is well now in Wendyland… or maybe I should say “in Lucy’s queendom”?

    Carols last blog post..This just in. . .

  36. Well, taking pictures is a one handed activity. My camera is big. It makes my purse too heavy.

    Ann in CTs last blog post..Splutter

  37. The tiny flashlight is on your keychain, right? (This isn’t my comment, it’s my husband’s – he collects flashlights like I collect yarn.)
    My comment is: I’ll be pulling together my bag tonight so I have a “grab it and go” option, should I ever need one. That’s a really, really great idea!

    CraftyGryphons last blog post..Murphy’s Wednesday

  38. Isn’t it amazing how wide a cat can make itself whilst attempting to insert it into a carrier?

    miss sandras last blog post..What Season Is This?

  39. I have a relatively large backpack that I carry everywhere, so my supply list wouldn’t be that far off from yours. The only difference is right now I have a score in mine in addition to the knitting and tech toys. I love knowing that if something bad happened that I wouldn’t be completely without supplies or other useful gear.

    Seanna Leas last blog post..supposedly 10 for Tuesday…

  40. Thank you for reminding us all of the need for preparation. My greatest fear about a smoke alarm going off is that all 3 of my Meezers will promptly go into deep hiding. I have a one-story house with many windows, so exiting from any room would be simple, if only I could find my fur-people!

    Barbara-Kays last blog post..Antidote for sock knitter’s blues

  41. Oh my what excitement! Not that much fun for sure. We are all so glad that you and Miss Lucy are safe.

    Good luck with getting back to normal. We can all send you cyber-hugs for comfort.

    Take care !

  42. While I am not really a purse person, I LOVE YOUR PURSE. What kind is it?

    Mos last blog post..More potatoes than you can count

  43. I didn’t get a chance to read your blog yesterday, so I just got caught up. Wow! What an adventure! I’m glad everything turned out well and you don’t have to deal with any damage and no one was hurt. Hehehe…do you think they make Febreeze in Condo Building-sized bottles?

  44. Best way to get rid of smoke smell? Ground Coffee. (Unused, natch), on a plate. It absorbs the smell.

    Miss Knottys last blog post..Follow up to man in stripes:

  45. OMGosh – I’ve been away from blog land for a few days and am so sorry to hear about the fire scare! Mwah and many hugs and tuna treats to you and Lucy and KOARC! Well, the tuna treats are really for Lucy but so glad to hear all is well!

    farm-witchs last blog post..Oh, hi, uhm…..awkward silence….

  46. I’m very glad you, Lucy and the KOARC are okay. Your fire crew must be pretty darn good to contain things so well.

    Dorothys last blog post..Sort of Ribbed.

  47. I’m glad to hear you and Lucy are okay. I hate fires. It’s my biggest fear since I was 7 and my mom told me the building nextdoor was on fire. Think row houses.

    A suggestion for your condo management: If they’re going to clean up the mess themselves, have them wipe the hard surfaces down with lemon oil. Servpro used it to clean up smoke damage years ago when there was a fire in the building where I worked.

    Sylvies last blog post..Monday, bah humbug.

  48. Your preparedness has inspired me. I must get myself better organized should an unfortunate event happen. And yup, that’s the way I get my cat in his carrier with my arms and hands still in tact. Though sometimes I think he braces himself with his paws putting up a respectful resistance. πŸ˜‰ Just glad you and Lucy, and your yarn are OKAY!

  49. As my horsemanship mentor Pat Parelli is wont to say, “Prior and proper preparation prevents P-poor performance”. To that end, I decided to desensitize the herd of cats to the carriers by leaving them casually strewn around the living room, gates open, for them to explore at their leisure. At first, they wanted nothing to do with them. After a while, however, they discovered carriers are neat places to hide and sleep in.

    Problem solved. Now, my cats go into their carriers the same way my horse goes into the trailerβ€”I lead them to it, point, and in they go. No worries. πŸ™‚ (So glad you both survived the excitement!)

    Jeanne B.s last blog post..Pressure Relief