In the new Sparkle Stories collection Libby & Dish, Libby and Dish are best friends. The two spend slow hours building pillow forts in the cozy corner of Libby's bedroom, organizing crayons on the art table, and watching the busy dog-walkers on the street below — all from the comfort of their ninth floor apartment window.
Libby is a five-year-old girl with curly chestnut hair and a big imagination. And Dish isn't a child at all — he's Libby's silver-gray cat.
Due to family members with allergies, I've had to join up with #TeamDog in my later life, but I'll always have a friendly lap for a soft kitty. As Anne (of Green Gables fame) once said, “I love cats, they are so nice and selfish. Dogs are TOO good and unselfish. They make me feel uncomfortable. But cats are gloriously human.”
And to have a cat that deigns to love you back, as Dish does Libby? Well, that's a rare distinction, and one that should foster pride in the human who receives such an honor!
To celebrate the launch of Libby and Dish, this week's craft project is an easy-to-make cat toy. These “cat wands” use around-the-house materials and are simple enough to whip up in just a few minutes. Don't let their simplicity fool you, though — they'll be good for weeks of fun for you and your best feline friend.
Easy Cat Wand
½ of a small dowel rod (or a stick about 24 inches long)
3-4 scraps of fabric (about 24 x 2 inches each)
Scissors or pinking shears
Super glue (optional)
While you could complete this project with a full sized dowel rod, I find that wands are less likely to end up being accidentally poked at the other humans in the house if they're a more manageable size. The diameter doesn't matter as much — just make sure it's thick enough that your cat won't be able to break it.
Once your dowel rod has been selected, cut the fabric scraps. Scissors will work fine for cutting, but if you have pinking shears they will help keep the toy from fraying too quickly.
Tie the strips of fabric to one end of the wand, using a bit of super glue (if you like) to secure the fabric to the dowel rod so that your cat can't pull it off.
Once any glue is dry, it's time to play!
Dangle the fabric strips above your cat's head for her to paw at or slowly trail them across the ground in front of her until she pounces after them. When the fabric strips start to get frayed, you can snip them off the dowel rod and start over again. Have fun!
If you liked this tutorial, here are others you might enjoy:
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.