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The Cats from Outer Space FAQ
by Judy Heim
The Cats from Outer Space FAQ originally appeared in my book "Internet for Cats" (No Starch Press, San Francisco, 1995). Since then it's appeared in animal magazines around the world. Unfortunately it's also become one of those things that people pass around in e-mail messages--after deleting the author's name and copyright notice. I've found people posting it on their Web pages too. I've even found it plagiarized on commercial services in Europe.
You may link to this Web page, you may tell your friends about the Cats from Outer Space FAQ, but please don't distribute this little essay in e-mail messages or post it on your Web site without my permission. I don't make a lot of money as a writer, I'm only a scribbler because I'm seriously handicapped and can't make my living in any other fashion. I eek out a living as best as I can. I don't mind sharing what I write with other people, and in fact enjoy it very much. But when I find things that I've written on other people's Web sites without my name and used without my permission, it's hurtful and it's frustrating. In the past year I've found entire chapters of books that I've written posted on other people's Web sites without my name or my permission. Please respect what other people write. Please don't become a plagiarist. I'm happy to share, but I ask only that my work be respected. If you'd like to publish this essay in your cat lover's newsletter, I ask only that you drop me a note asking permission and that you include my name and copyright information.
The Cats from Outer Space FAQ
by Judy Heim
Copyright 1995 Judy Heim. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced except with authors' permission.
Have you ever suspected that your cat may be from another planet? Do you sometimes wake in the night to find your cat standing on top of you, peering into your face, as if poised to perform some diabolical extraterrestrial experiment? When you feed your cat, does he or she look up at you skeptically as if to say "My rations in the spacepod were much better than this."
If so, your cat may be from outer space.
Many people live with cats from outer space. They may not realize it for years. Then one day, they're reading the Weekly World News and they notice that the pictured space aliens bear remarkable similarity to the moony-eyed, potbellied feline enigma crunched on their lap.
Reading further, they begin to suspect that their own cat may be involved in the alien abductions. They consider bringing it up with the cat, but fear that they themselves may end up rocketing across the galaxy on a spaceship full of cats, an empty bag of kibble stuffed in their mouth.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CAT IS FROM OUTER SPACE
If you suspect that your cat may be from another planet, ask yourself these questions:
Do you sometimes wake in the night to find your cat fighting with extraterrestrial beings from another dimension that no one but the cat can see?
Does your cat often simulate life in an anti-gravity environment by rolling on his back to look at you upside down, or stretch into peculiar ballet positions in your arms? Does your cat pretzel into strange sleeping postures that suggest she has undergone extensive astronaut training?
Does your cat try to communicate with extraterrestrials by meowing at the TV, sitting on short-wave radios, lying on the computer monitor, or in any way attempting to serve as an antenna for a piece of consumer electronics?
Does your cat stare at walls for hours as if receiving radio messages from the mothership through the plasterboard?
Does your cat respond to the phrase "Beam me up!" Does your cat respond to anything in Klingon?
Does your cat meticulously push the sand around in her litterbox so that it looks crater-pocked like the lunar surface?
Does your cat's style of communicating with your computer seem more advanced than your own? For instance, does the cat sit on the monitor and look at it upside, or lay on the keyboard until the computer won't stop beeping?
Does your cat seem more intelligent than you are sometimes--and superior to you as well?
If you've answered "yes" to any of the above, your cat may be a visitor on earth, sneakily gathering reconnaissance information to aid his race in their plan to conquer human civilization and blanket the earth with carpet-covered kitty condos. Whatever you do, don't give him directions to the carpet store.
WHAT CATS FROM OUTER-SPACE LOOK LIKE
Cats from outer-space look very much like ordinary cats. They have four feet, a tail, whiskers, ears that swivel side to side to pick up sounds from deep space, and eyes that look at you as if they can't believe how dumb you are. In addition, they are remarkably adept at getting you to do things that you wouldn't ordinarily do: like pulling yourself out of bed at 3 a.m. to freshen the bowl of liver bits, or opening the back door a dozen times in less than an hour to let the cat in and out.
WHAT TO FEED CATS FROM OUTER SPACE
Nothing that you feed your cat from outer space will be as good as what they ate on their home planet--and they will remind you of this frequently. So don't even try to placate them.
SPECIAL CARE TIPS FOR CATS FROM OTHER PLANETS
Remember that sometimes your cat will slip into an alternate universe in which he will confuse you for a giant spaceship vending machine--one that he needs merely to stand in front of meowing in order to elicit bowls of tuna and bits of cheese. Depending upon what corner of the galaxy your cat harkens from, he may confuse you for a robot instead--one that he must repeatedly trip in order to procure treats and transport from.
HOW CATS FROM OUTER SPACE DIFFER FROM CATS WHO'VE BEEN ABDUCTED BY ALIENS
Finally, you should not confuse cats from outer space with those who've been abducted by aliens. While the two kinds of cats are similar in many ways, cats who've been abducted by aliens like to run through the house crazily at night, jumping over furniture and scooting behind potted plants, re-enacting their escape from green men in saucer-shaped ships. Cats that have been abducted by aliens also like to remind you that they would have happily remained on the spaceship, for the aliens fed them fresher milk than you do (from those abducted cows), as well as lambchops (from those abducted sheep), except that they worried that you would be apt to make a fool out of yourself by running to the National Enquirer, claiming that your cat had been abducted by aliens.
Cats Who Quilt is a trademark of Fruitful Plains. Text on this Web site Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,
2002 Judy Heim. May not be reproduced in any form--in either e-mail
messages or on Web sites without written permission. All illustrations are
copyright 2000, 2001, and 2002 Irina Borisova. They may not be reproduced
without permission. Photos and quilts are copyrighted by their respective
artists, and may not be reproduced without their permission.