December 18, 2009

I Win.

Last year for Christmas, my sister gave me a pink floral metal lunchbox. Is this not squee adorable? (Even if you’re more the black leather and metal studs, goth, or grunge type, work with me here.)


However, the way I handle my lunch is efficient and unsquee-esque. No Rockwellian popping of a fresh-made sandwich and thermos of hot soup into a lunchbox and sending the lunchbox owner off to preschool with a loving pat on the fanny. I buy ten boxes of something frozen, lob them into the freezer at work, and I’m good for a coupla weeks. Welcome to the dietary habits of the busy modern professional; no lunchbox required.

Simultaneously, the cats continue in their quest to eat my entire stash and are growing smarter, à la Flowers for Algernon, by the day. Remember how, when I first adopted them, they learned immediately how to open drawers? Now they’ve figured out how to open zippers, rendering any and all of my (shamefully many) project bags useless. Example—the remains of four balls of leftover yarn that were in a zippered tote bag:


So, drawers aren’t safe, zippered bags aren’t safe, magnetically-closed and drawstring bags would make the Dastardly Duo keel over with laughter, and bags with Velcro closures, on their own, snag yarn in a way which makes this knitter clutch her chest in pain. Which leaves...not much. So, over the last couple of weeks my subconscious has been grinding away on finding a solution to this dilemma. This weekend, I was at a local nursery/high-end tchotchke store, thinking about anything but knitting—when apparently my brain reached the “L’s” in its database because it suddenly screamed, “LUNCHBOX!,” loudly enough to make me wonder if anyone else had heard. Voila, the Fort Knox of knitting-project storage:


And what makes it so perfect:


Bring it, cats.

[Update: After I took the photo of the yarn inside the lunchbox, I forgot to close it. Cats took one of the balls of yarn.]

Posted by Ryan at December 18, 2009 11:35 PM

Yes, yarn is irresistable kitty crack. Fortunately neither of my girls are interested in it unless it is moving very rapidly--as in if I've dropped a ball and it is rolling across the carpet at a high velocity.

Posted by: Kristen on December 19, 2009 01:04 AM

Pfft, it'll take more than that to thwart a determined kitty. No, seriously.

Posted by: Mel on December 19, 2009 01:16 AM

I'm curious to see how long it will help.

Posted by: Swapna on December 19, 2009 01:20 AM

Reminds me of a Seinfeld episode. After Jerry's apartment is robbed, he explains to Kramer that, for the super-duper lock on the door to be effective, the "DOOR MUST BE CLOSED!"

Posted by: Abby on December 19, 2009 04:26 AM

Now that box won't work at all if the kitties continue to be able to hypnotize you into leaving it open for them! (I can only presume that's the reason you didn't close it before, right?)

Posted by: toni in florida on December 19, 2009 04:41 AM

I dunno, they seem pretty determined. Are we taking bets on how long it takes for them to learn to manipulate the lock, now that they know that's where you've put the yarn? (I do love the lunchbox, for what it's worth.)

Posted by: Ruth on December 19, 2009 05:31 AM

Interesting. Keep us updated!

Posted by: ccr in MA on December 19, 2009 05:37 AM

I am so sorry, but I am just laughing my a** off here. Cats and yarn is not a good thing, I know I lost a cat because she ate some and screwed up her gutz but really, cats are soooo smart and so crafty, uh, not in a knitting sort of way but in a wise sort of way....
My image is of my cat running across the living room floor with a pair of socks on the needles (2 on 2 circs) in her teeth and the ball of yarn trailing (and unwinding) behind her...yikes they are all crazy!!!!

Posted by: Susanne on December 19, 2009 06:08 AM

Yeah, that latch isn't gonna stop 'em forever. In fact, you may be crying in your [opened and empty of yarn] lunchbox even as I type this. And then again, maybe not. Hope springs eternal, etc.

How about a drawstring bag? Until they learn to chew a hole in the corner (I'll give them a month or so on that one), the yarny contents will be safe. Or maybe they will team up, each one grabbing one side of the opening in its little mouth and tugging. I'd like a video of that, please.

Good luck!

Posted by: kmkat on December 19, 2009 08:40 AM

I have a couple of paperboard lunchboxes that I bought at the local Home Goods in the stationery/office organization section. One is lunchbox sized and one is suitcase sized for larger projects. They're cheap and pretty and oh-so-useful.

Posted by: Anne on December 19, 2009 08:49 AM

I agree with Kat. They'll figure it out soon enough.

Have you considered baggage locks? I wonder if that would work and/or keep them busy long enough for you to finish something.

Posted by: Cookie on December 19, 2009 09:35 AM

What a great idea - your kitties sound determined to munch on your stash.

Posted by: mrspao on December 19, 2009 09:36 AM

Maybe you should go ahead and wrap that lunchbox with a few high-tension bungee cords, just to delay the inevitable. At least then if they manage to unhook one it will slap them in the face and give them pause for consideration...

Posted by: Sheila on December 19, 2009 10:11 AM

Okay, so either the lunchbox was for the cats all along so THEY could look chic when lunching on their yarn, or YOU get to look chic by taking it to work every day to protect your best bits while eating out of the freezer, thereby pleasing your sister and saving the day for the yarn. What think you?

Posted by: Linda "K" on December 19, 2009 11:16 AM

If they can figure out zippers (really???), that latch won't stop them. I vote for luggage with locks like we used to use on our suitcases pre-9/11.

Posted by: janna on December 19, 2009 12:28 PM

When I used a lunch box like that, I had one that would pop open, therefore, my Mom took to threading a bobby pin through the metal loop formed to make the latch. If the loop is big enough, perhaps you could use two, one going each way, and that may slow them down a bit. Or a twist tie.

Posted by: picadrienne on December 19, 2009 12:51 PM

Yeah, I'm thinking picadrienne's suggesting is going to help you. Those cats are watching you and they'll figure it out.

Posted by: Carrie on December 19, 2009 02:26 PM

Clearly there are two problems here. (1) super-intelligent cats. (2) memory-deficient knitter.
Locks and bungee cords, while admirable, still have to be put in place by the (2). I suggest that a better solution is something that automatically closes itself - like a spring-loaded cover with a snap lock. Making sure that the spare key is safely kept elsewhere, of course, and the main key is kept on a retractable steel cable firmly attached to the belt.

Best of luck.
Yes, the box is very cute. Their claws may take a few minutes to hook that latch up. My mother's cat could open a door latch in the dark.

Posted by: =Tamar on December 19, 2009 03:45 PM

As a fellow knitting cat owner and frozen office lunch aficionado, I applaud your use of a lunch box to hide your yarn. Mine is in a closet, under lock and key. And then, there's an elastic hook thing around the handles because... well, my cat is a mechanical engineer trapped in a cat's body.

Posted by: Batty on December 20, 2009 06:12 AM

When the younger duo came to live in our house I went to Walmart and got two plastic boxes with handles and latching lids, luckily, because one of them turned out to be a major wool pig. They (the boxes, not the cats) are about the size of shoeboxes for clowns and they work like a champ. Also I can carry them around. I also have a lunchbox for a sock project.

Posted by: Caroline on December 21, 2009 04:47 AM

I have a closet that I have a latch at the very top. If I were any shorter I wouldn't be able to open my own craft closet.

And I know the ball of tangled yarn well. I still have a 1000+ yard of laceweight that is too painful to keep fixing, but too nice to throw away.

Posted by: Seanna Lea on December 21, 2009 11:28 AM
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