But first meet Maisie the Cat—MY cat—who’s the most boho member of our household, given that she does precisely as she pleases and gets away with it!
I would do just about anything for that face, wouldn’t you? It’s a sweet face, but it hides a mischievous and destructive mindset. I said I’d DO anything for her, but the truth is I’d put up with just about anything for her as well.
Take these chairs, for instance. The one she’s marking in this photo is a set of four upholstered dining chairs we bought a few years back from Pier 1. How I longed to trade in our plain wood slat chairs for something padded and sumptuous.
But my joy was short-lived.
At first I tried to snip off the snags and redirect her behavior. She has two large, more-than-adequate scratching centers, which she does use. But alas, they are not enough, and her youth and vigor won out over my age and lack-of-vigor, until, over time, I gave up and in.
By the time I let her have at them, I also had a plan.
Not an inexpensive plan, mind you, but a workable one nonetheless, because I discovered Crypton upholstery fabric.
These are the “after” shots of three chairs I had reupholstered in the fall of 2013, a little over a year after Miss Maisie came to live with us. I wasn’t blogging then, so I didn’t take “before” photos, but Maisie had completely shredded the back of the wing chair. The office chair upholstery was just old and stained and needed replacing. And though Maisie hadn’t done much damage to the Martha Washington chair at right, I wanted to update it with a more modern print.
So off to the upholsterer’s we went, where we learned about Crypton from Ted the upholsterer. He said it was pretty much indestructible, impermeable stuff. (A lot like crusty ol’ Ted, come to think of it!) Crypton is often specified in commercial applications, he explained, because of its exceptional stain and microbial resistance.
He didn’t guarantee it would stand up to kitty claws, but the good news is, it did! And how! The weave is so tight on Crypton fabrics that kitty claws have no better luck permeating its surface than spills. After a few weeks of watching Maisie try to mark these redone chairs, I knew every upholstered piece in the house must eventually be covered in Crypton.
So that’s why I gave up my preservation battle.
And wild cat that she is, she loved every minute of destroying them. I mean, REALLY loved it, as you can see here.
And Maisie is no different, particularly when it comes to these chairs. They have been, after all, where the two people she loves most sit to eat.
She, in fact, loved destroying them so much that by the time we saved enough to finally pack them off to the upholsterer’s and I thought to take “before” photos (since now I AM blogging, obviously), she didn’t want me and my camera paying attention to them without her focusing HER attention on them, too.
Yes, she put on quite a show of scratching, climbing, dancing, and head-butting before I got those photos taken.
Thank you, Maisie. You are a credit to your species.
We took the chairs into the upholsterer’s two at a time so we’d still have something to sit on to eat. And I gotta tell you, Miss Maisie was a tad confused and crazy when the last two left for the upholsterer’s and in their place were two chairs completely restored in Crypton-treated fabric.
When we once again had a set of four, her confusion doubled.
Though I didn’t take any photos of her trying to mark the new chairs (didn’t want to embarrass her, I s’pose, what with all that effort and no results), I did take these.
Thankfully, Maisie paid me no mind the whole while I set up the table for the shoot and snapped these shots.
Regardless, I knew there’d be no more snags and pulls to these chairs, no more cloth worn threadbare by the vigorous scratching behaviors of an indulged kitty cat. (Notice I did NOT say OVERLY-indulged!)
Which brings me to why we didn’t declaw Maisie.
Some countries have outlawed declawing, and some vets no longer do it. To make a long story short, Chris and I decided we’d no longer have our cats declawed, that it was inhumane.
Maybe you’d never stand for such destruction. If you’ve been a cat parent, you know you can’t make cats do or not do much of anything, least of all something like scratching that’s part of their healthy, instinctual behavior. You can only provide alternatives and hope for the best.
The only other alternative I can think of is not to have a cat. And that may be all right for YOU, but I couldn’t live without a kitty in the house. And this one, in particular, has stolen our hearts.
Now we don’t have to live without her or any future kitties in our life.
Because Crypton saved us!
The fabric we chose for our chairs was Mayer Fabrics’ Frolic in Fiesta, one of five colorways.
Our wing chair wears Mayer Jitterbug in Pansy (left), one of nine colors available. The office chair is clad in Frequency Hollyhock (middle), one of six colors available. And the Martha Washington chair sports Escapade in Aegean (right), one of seven colorways.
BTW, Maisie IS redirecting her scratching behavior.
She’s discovered the sofa, unfortunately. Which makes me thankful Crypton comes in a startling array of prints, solids, tweeds, chenilles, and velvets.
For now, our sofa has beat it to the boho byway, draped in kantha quilts across the arms and bottom front where Maisie is most prone to attack.
Yes, I know. It looks a little hippie-dippie for two sexagenarians. But for some reason Maisie doesn’t scratch where the quilts are.
And that will have to be enough until our budget allows for a sofa redo. Crypton doesn’t come cheap. Prices run from around $35 a yard to $200 (includes upholsterer’s markup). The dining chairs were on the low end of that scale, while the other fabrics were in the $80-$125 range.
I’ve already picked out the sofa fabric:
Nostalgia in Fog runs about $85 a yard and looks pretty much like what’s on the sofa now, minus the snags and pulls I’ve managed (so far) to trim away with napping scissors without creating holes.
So we’ll be living with the kantha covers for a while.
Because reupholstery costs about the same as a new sofa—a new sofa without Crypton, which hardly seems worth the investment. And, well, I don’t know…I kind of like those extra pops of color the kanthas bring. It reminds me of my misspent youth in the 1970s, you know?
And that face. I definitely love that face. Who wouldn’t?
- Follow the link to learn more about Crypton treated fabrics, which appear in many designer and other brand collections sold to the trade for both commercial and residential use.
- The items used to make a centerpiece on my table are by Cara Jean Clay. Read more about her HERE and get some of her porcelain beauty for yourself HERE.
- Table linens and decorative plates and mugs are all from Cost Plus World Market.
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