an ode to jeff the cat June 26 2024

i said goodbye to my cat, jeff, who was equally loving and challenging.
i have had cats my entire life, and i have never met one quite like jeff. i adopted him from the humane society as a traumatized adult... i wish he could have told me what happened to him. the shelter had named him stumpy (because he had a strange cut off and curled tail) and the note on his cage described him as ‘friendly and angry.’ with that description and his dashing looks, he became mine. 

jeff was unpredictable with people. the way he stared into people’s eyes and souls made them uncomfortable. he was a consistent bully to cats, dogs of all sizes, and neighborhood raccoons. he always pushed myra away so he could be closest to me. he was needy of love and also a fearless fighter until the end, even when he was blind and in arthritic pain.

i just loved him so much. he always ended our staring contests with some gentle blinks and a few rough tongue licks on my cheek. i miss you, sweet boy. may you rest in more peace than you had in this life. i hope that you felt loved and well cared for during the 10 years we shared.

i made this small batch of heavily stitched cat hearts in honor of jeff. stitching these was a balm for me. each one-of-a-kind heart is made with tea-dyed felt on the front, plant-dyed felt on the back, and is densely stuffed with buckwheat hulls. i used mohair/silk yarn from the lamb & kid for the pops of color, tassels and crocheted chain. 

half of the proceeds from the sale of these hearts will be donated to my local humane society in the form of the cat food on their wish list.

stitch up some love for an animal in your life... the projects below are two of my favorites. my collection of 50 free sewing tutorials is filled with ideas to keep your hands busy this summer. happy stitching!

as always, thank you for supporting small makers and shopping handmade. i feel so lucky to be able to do this work.

alison kaplan
kata golda handmade

PS: how is myra faring? she has much more of a personality without jeff and is thriving now that she has my lap and her food bowl all to herself.