Riley the kittenA new kitten adopted me a couple of weeks ago… his name is Riley & he is the cutest!! Terribly handsome, elegant & princely.

I figured this debonair young gentleman required a decent place to hide & nap. In my earlier days I had made several cat tents for the felines in my family & I was pretty sure I still had the pattern… Yessiree! Simplicity 9004 from 1999, now out of print but available on ebay & such. I had found it, so I decided to try my hand at the fish bed.

Simplicity 9004

When I first decided to set out on this trip little did I know of the odyssey I was embarking upon… one that involved 12 feet of foam.

I googled a bit for tips… if I hadn’t already been committed to making this thing I may have chosen a different pattern when I read one lady who wrote: “I left the eyes off because I didn’t want to look at it any more.”, but I continued on.

Turns out foam is mighty tough to work with, you need a decent sewing machine & heavy duty needles. I’ll add that if you don’t use a walking foot & some sort of interfacing, you might as well not bother. The foam is not only thick, but the dog feeds have a tough time grabbing on to the stuff. Even with interfacing & the walking foot getting through all the stitching was frustrating.

The pattern itself is not the easiest to follow. I probably added a good 6 extra hours on for mistakes made because I didn’t understand the pattern. The tail is quite tricky. The only modification was the eyes… using batting, buttons, material & cardboard where the pattern uses ping pong balls & felt. Here’s an image of it nearly being done, but still inside out. The inner lining includes its own layer of foam!

Crazy fish bed inside out

After all the hard work & a little time passing, I’m pleased with the result. He looks pretty good. Riley isn’t that impressed with it though. Turns out I have the one cat on Earth that doesn’t like caves & hiding places of this sort. Nor does he care for catnip, which failed to allure him into the snuggley fish belly. Who knew? I have had fun hiding his toys in the fish bed though. He pulls ’em all out when he finds them. Perhaps he’ll warm up to the crazy fish bed in time.