Nebbits and cat problems

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When I had an HR job in a factory many years ago, a sick note came in from a rather wiley shop steward with the reason for his sickness absence as  ‘Nebbits’.

Now no one could ever have describe this guy as a new age man and he made it very clear that having to deal with a woman in negotiations etc. was very demeaning and was  just against the proper order of things. So I knew that this was his way of throwing the gauntlet down and the very last thing I was going to do was ask him what nebbits meant.

I rang the site medical department. These were the days of huge industrial sites employing many thousands that had fully equipped medical facilities with doctors and nurses at hand. But despite their undoubted expertise they’d never heard of the condition. I checked with my team and rang other HR people but I continuously drew a blank and then determined to crack it, it struck me –  nebbits was short for  nether bits in other words rear end problems. Well poor Felix, our grey Tonkinese cat, had similar trouble and proceeded to lick the offending region, which I’m quite sure my shop steward couldn’t have done,  to such an extent that that region became quite bald of hair.  As a consequence Felix, aside from a course of pills, pain killers and a probiotic, had to wear the dreaded cone of shame. Does this picture remind anyone else of the handmaidens in The Handmaids Tale?

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I’d made Skye a fabric cone when she was spayed a few years back using the cheap plastic cone she was given by the vet as a template. She didn’t like it but it worked and must have been more comfy. I tried that one on Felix but it was way too small. So it was just a case of making a new one and just extending the pattern to make it longer.  I used headliner as wadding to give it more structure. Then to secure it I added some buttonholes.

Now my machine does beautiful automatic button holes but it failed here. The extra thickness meant that the automatic buttonhole foot couldn’t cope so I made some pretty rough and ready ones just using a zig zag stitch. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone  to have a close look at the sewing but it worked a treat.

But it never rains but it pours because Bella having been spayed also had to wear a cone to stop her licking her wounds. But of course she fits Skye’s cone perfectly. I can’t work out whether she looks cross  because of the after-effects of the anaesthetic or she’s just cheesed off with the cone, I suspect the latter!

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But cross or not it does look comfy here doesn’t it

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In fact because of complications with the operation she had to wear the cone for 10 days poor thing.

If you have pets and want to make something similar then using a plastic cone as a template or make a cardboard version just to check the size, it’s really easy. I used the earlier cone I’d made.

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I just cut out a 2 pieces of fabric preferably something soft like flannel or fleece then a third piece as the wadding, chose the stiffest you have. Rather like a bag it needs to have some substance otherwise it will just drape over the head rather like a headscarf.

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Sew round the outer edges leaving the neck unsewn so you can turn it out. With fleece in fact I left the outer curve unsewn and just oversewed the outer curve as you can see above.

For Felix’s flannel one I now had an open edge.  I guess you could hand sew this closed but I used shop bought bias binding.  I didn’t worry that it was all a bit rough and ready and the binding, because of the sharpish curve, was a bit twisty.  Needs must, but careful hand sewing might have given a neater finish. On the other hand I like the two tone finish it gives.

And then the need to secure it to your pet.  We found attaching it to a collar helped so I added a three straps to hold the collar. They need to big enough to allow the buckle to thread through.

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And then the button holes. You can use safety pins although that would worry me and occasionally the cone has to come off as eating can sometimes be a challenge. Velcro strips can also work and that’s what I did on the fleece kitten version but with an adult cat or dog who will be stronger and more agile something stronger is needed. Well that’s been my experience.

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You can of course buy soft pet cones and I suspect they are very good but if you have the supplies and you like making things for the people and pets in your life then this can work very well.

I’d like to think my cats were grateful but I fear not….

 

 

 

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