A Two-cat Basket

two cats in a basket

The Two-cat Basket

Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe cuddle in my market basket, filled with all my empty canvas bags. Anything makes a comfortable bed when a sibling is willing to be your pillow! And Mr. Sunshine isn’t one to tuck in his tail—it’s curled around behind Giuseppe outside the basket.

This basket goes way, way back, and has known many cats.

There actually is a traditional basket called a “Two-pie Basket” which is rectangular with a flat bottom big enough to hold two pies side by side with a squared-off arched handle across the center that balances the weight. I learned to make baskets years ago, first from store-bought materials, mostly inexpensive round vine and flat pieces of the same material in various widths and thicknesses. I made the market basket they are in, oh, nearly 30 years ago out of those materials using a pattern in a book of traditional basket patterns I’d found in order to shop in Pittsburgh’s Strip District where you can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of other goodies directly from the wholesalers. This pattern is called an “Egg Basket” because the divide in the bottom of the basket holds the eggs in two groups so they don’t roll around and so that they don’t stack up all their weight in one central point in the bottom of the basket.

This basket is a little large to carry eggs safely without breaking unless you’re collecting goose eggs, but it’s just right for two cats! So in honor of the baskets I learned to make and the traditional patterns and their names, and all the cats who’ve slept in this basket, its honorary name is The Two-cat Basket. It has seen every generation of cats who have ever lived with me.

And I can tell you that, store-bought materials or traditional vine and oak splits, kitties do love to help you construct your basket! I remember making many a basket with Kublai grabbing one end of the weaver and trying to run off, or Sally hopping in when the basket was just a bunch of empty ribs and a handle.