Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Good Questions - Textiles and Animals

Now, I love Lucille, I do. However, I would be lying to you if I said she wasn't disgusting and didn't occasionally pee on things I love. So when this question came in from reader Laura, I was like, I feel you on this nasty ass subject, girl.

Dear Meg,
I need some serious help with textiles, or really, I just need them. I can't have a rug, although I'd love one, because one of my cats has bladder issues. I want some fun pillows too, maybe, but where else can I get them for cheap besides Ikea? I don't want to invest too much in pieces that won't make it for the long haul. 

Okay, let's tackle this one step at a time. Having an animal with bladder issues does not mean that you can't have a rug. Urban actually has a ton of affordable rugs that can very easily be tossed in the washing machine in case of pet accidents. 

The "Magical Thinking" rugs tend to be really thin and really cheap. The one above is less than $70 for a 3x5, others go for as low as $19. Somehow, a stupidly expensive store has taken the one thing that is almost always stupidly expensive and made it affordable? Mysteries of life, people.

Anyways, I shared a few options with Laura, who liked what she saw but was still worried about cat pee going through the rug and ruining the original hardwood below. The solution would be waterproof rug pad that could be washed, and could be easily cut to size to fit below the rug, which is somewhat easier said than done, especially on a budget.

Running hot glue along the base of a rug keeps it from slipping all over the damn place. Well, just as we used canvas and plastic drop cloths to make picnic blankets that don't seep wet grass all over your butt, you can use that as a waterproof rug pad too, that keeps cat pee from seeping onto your floors. Run the lines of hot glue on the top, canvas part to grip to the rug, and along the bottom, plastic part, to keep it from slipping around the floor. 

So that solves problem one, of cat pee ruining design dreams. Buy thin, inexpensive easily washed rugs, and protect your floors with DIY no-slip plastic dropcloths underneath. 

But what about throw pillows? First, lets look at some decor spam to show how much pillows make a space cozy and homey. 

But yes, throw pillows are fucking expensive. If you can't sew, but still need pillow covers you can slip off and wash all the time, I hiiiighly suggest making envelope pillows. They are the easiest to make, require no sewing machine, and wash easily. Best yet, you can make them out of just about any fabric. Do you ever find a great skirt at the thrift store but set it aside because it's not your size? Take it home, and make it into an envelope pillow.  (I've done it with old sweaters!)

Check out Yellow Brick Home's clever solution, where a thrifted button down shirt became a button-closed pillow cover.

Or Centsational Girl's use of pretty cloth napkins whipped into no-sew pillows.

So yes, animals are disgusting little beasts who will pee on everything you love, but I love them so much I don't care. I hope these small workarounds can coax Laura, as well as any other owners of aging pets, to not give up hope of having a cozy home just because you have older animals.


PS: Click here to see r/p on Apartment Therapy, and to see people lose their fucking minds over painting a table that the original owner hated anyways. I love you, wood purists, I truly do.


  1. I have a cat who has a very furry butt so there are occasionally really gross problems in my house, too. These are great tips! And yea, it's totally baffling how Urban Outfitters has expensive everything, but cheap cheap rugs. I've marveled over that myself!

    Also, I'm loving reading the comments on Apartment Therapy from people freaking out about you painting over the top of the table. Guys. It looked like pizza slices. It's now gorgeous. Cool yer jets!

    Ladyface Blog

  2. lol assholes. going to read the apartment therapy post comments right now.

    barney doesn't pee on the things i love. he humps them. and tears holes in them while he does it. (if it's not rough it isn't fun).

  3. I have had issues with my one, temperamental cat peeing on my things before when we had more cats. Now we only have her and her buddy so things have calmed down a lot less. Cat pee is so much more disgusting that dog pee too, YIKES! But I try to stay on top of the issue as much as possible. Try and find and care for the mess as soon as it happens.
    On the note of pillows, I do know that goodwills and targets have some sort of deal where salvaged items are sent to goodwill, usually they will have different tags than regular donated items. I just yesterday bought two floor pillows for 6.99 each!

  4. You are a genius! I have a pug with bladder and mobility issues so we had to buy cheap rugs at home depot, cut them down to strips for the hallway so he could walk without slipping and then hot glue rug pads and it's been a mess. I am going to try your version next


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