Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Free Cat & New Hobby

I still have tons of photos from Saturday's farm auction to post, but in the meantime, I'll tell you about the greatest purchase that Clint and I made. The auction advertised tools and farm implements, so we were surprised to spy a gorgeous cedar chest back in the background, with a few other stray pieces of furniture. We set our top dollar, and waited.

Clint had reminded me to keep a poker face about me when our item was up, so when the bidding began, I remained stoic. Bored. I didn't even notice that it was my boyfriend bidding on that chest, $50 OHMYGOD, IT WAS SOLD TO US FOR ONLY $50!!! CARTWHEELS, IF ONLY I COULD DO A CARTWHEEL!

Isn't it gorgeous? We did a bit of research, and think it was built in the 40s. There's a skeleton key and a working lock, and it is pristine.

Our first piece of new furniture for the new upstairs. God, we are both so proud and excited! We coo and coo over it.

Monday, however, didn't start out as well as the weekend had been. Clint got off work at 7 a.m., and went straight to the country casa, while I prepared for work. I was speaking to him on the phone as I readied to leave for work, nonchalantly throwing out, "I can't find my keys." We talk, I search, we talk...I search....and finally I just had to get to some hardcore searching.

Nothing. No keys. The spare key was in Clint's truck, so I had to break down and ask him to bring me the spare. I e-mailed my boss, and waited.

Clint arrived, we searched for a few more minutes before I noted that I was then 1 hour late for work, and I simply had to go. I grabbed my bag and marched by the sink, only to have this catch my eye:

Need a close-up shot?

The CAT! I'd carried groceries and my purse in the night before, and set everything on the side of the counter. She had toyed with the keys and batted them right into the kitchen drain.

To make matters WORSE...

...sadly, sickenly worse...

...I can hardly bear to share this with you...

...the cat, in the middle of the night, knocked over a glass of water I'd left on the counter.

Our beautiful, 70-year-old cedar chest had been pushed up against the counter so that we could walk through the dining area...

The water poured all over the top of the chest, and sat, apparently for hours.

God, our beautiful chest; the top of it is ruined. RUINED, we want to lash out! Ruined, ruined, ruined; how did this happen to us? Stupid Cat! Stupid water! Stupid us!

When I stopped wanting to vomit (ok, I still want to vomit), I decided that there's nothing to be done but to fix this. Stripping, sanding, staining, and re-beautifying the chest is in my future; I've already begun reading up on proper procedures.

If you have any experience or advice—patch it or refinish the top entirely?—I'd *love* to hear it.

And if you're in the market for a sometimes cuddly, sometimes spastic cat with some current behavioral issues, it's a good time to make an offer.

I'm still mad at her.

Hurry up, before I fall in love with her again.


  1. Anonymous3:23 AM

    Basement cat is back in the, err, basement again?

    When you said the '40s for that chest, I thought you meant 1740. Now $50 for a 1740's chest and you would have been ecstatic until the water episode and then you would have just been static.

  2. That is a beautiful cedar chest ... and a beautiful cat =)

    At $50, the cost to refinish it will still be well worth it.

    Keys? Ahh, Lori? This isn't the first post about losing them ... may I suggest one of those "clappers" to find things? Bwahahaha

  3. We have refinisher here in town,he might be able to give you some advice on how to fix it.. It is a beautiful piece, even if you had to tap a little more money into it would still be a steal.

  4. Try some Old English scratch remover. I've had really good luck with it. It comes in different shades. Just wipe it over the entire top of the chest and maybe a little extra over the spots.

  5. you might try something like this before you do anything else....


  6. If you take the top to Sherwin Williams they can try to mix a stain to match what is currently on there. Take your time and practice applying the finish on scrap wood before tackling the top. Refinishing is a messy process, but well worth the end results.

    We were "Sunday Driving" through the countryside this weekend and I spotted your country casa. Its looking good!

  7. no need to refinish! try this -
    Jasco White Ring remover. I bought some at my hardware store a few years ago and it works really well.

  8. Well, being the devil's (and cat's) advocate, I'd have to say: "A glass of water on the counter? Have you never heard of Murphy's law?

    If you wanted to get the chest professionally redone, they might be able to just fix the spot because they can match the colours. If you want to do it yourself, you'll probably have to redo the whole thing.

    I love refinishing furniture. I did a dresser and was going to re-stain it, but the wood was so beautiful I simply finished it with tung oil - I just re-oil it once in a while and it looks fabulous.

  9. Aaaaaah! Minxy! What a mess!

    I agree with Sandwich Life, try Restor-A-Finish...I think I found some at that antique store "Country N More" near Thara Thai...

  10. Glock: Your suggestion had already been considered, believe me.

    DB: 1740, and I would have taken Glock's advice, and cooked the cat.

    Nancy: Hush,you. If I blogged about every time I misplaced my keys...well, I could start a blog with that title entirely, actually.

    Diane: A good way to look at it. Chin up, chin up!

    Catcher, Sandwich, Jody, Momo, FMM: You've talked me in to trying "product" before stripping it down.

    Jazz: It is not lost on me that the cat did not actually place the glass of water on the counter herself, hence the urge, still, to barf up a hairball my own self.

    I hope I can restore it to it's former beauty, and may email you for tips!

  11. Good luck. Even if you pay a professional, it's sill a steal.

    For the new house, buy a cute whimsical hook to hang your keys on. Ironically, my key hooks are brass cats and the hooks are their tails.

  12. I have a hook right on my keys, and "try" to keep them hooked to my purse. Or near my purse. The cat saw to it that that wasn't happening, though.


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