28 August, 2015

it's always the quiet ones

So. My paternal grandmother was a knitter and crocheter. She taught me to crochet,when I was in middle school. I taught myself to knit when Nous was writing his dissertation. The point is, I am the only granddaughter who ever took up yarny crafts. So when Grandma died, it made sense that I'd inherit her yarn things. And indeed, I took custody of the crochet hooks, the tapestry needles, the ancient scissors--but the big wicker basket in which she'd stored her stash stayed in my parents' basement for 20 years or so. Then, last year, they decided to move, and the basket finally came to me.

This is not a story about a wicker basket and grandmas. It's a story about cats.

But first, a guest appearance by another piece of wicker, the ottoman! The ottoman lived through my Shiba Inu puppy with minimal damage. Idris, however, did a number on it. He'd sit underneath it and just gnaw on the legs. He ate holes in the cushion cover (not, by the grace of the gods, the cushion itself). So I predicted Grandma's wicker yarn basket would face great challenges, living here.

Thus, I am not surprised when I find slivers of wicker on occasion, where the weave's been...er, unwoven? Just plain broken off. No chew-marks, but hey. I blamed Idris anyway, because he's Idris the Awful, Destroyer of Worlds.

And then, this week, I hear the tell-tale crackling of wicker under distress. I look over, filling my lungs with Idris Dexter Oliver Mephistopheles Beauregard--and stop. For there is Louhi (Philomena Hepzibah Rue), picking with her tiny tiny paws at the weave, carefully pulling a strand out until the pressure of her claws on it snaps the wicker out at a ninety-degree angle. Then she dips her tiny tiny paw into the crack and pulls out a strand of some hapless skein, delicately, hooked on a single claw. She sniffs the yarn. Approves. Pulls a little harder, and more skein emerges.

Meanwhile, Idris sidles over, clamps onto the broken spar, and tugs. Off it comes. A new toy! Hooray! He galumphs away.

Louhi looks over, startled, when I say her name. Removes her tiny tiny paw carefully and stares at me like What?

That poor basket.