This is my bedskirt. Machine-made Battenburg-style cotton tape lace from China, circa 1995.
This is my cat. Suburban-born American Shorthair rescued from a box marked "free", circa 2000.
I love my cat. He's 13 years old and still a total badass. No mole, vole, mouse, shrew, or unsuspecting bedroom slipper is safe on his watch.
I also love my bedskirt. It's been with me longer than my husband, and required substantially less upkeep. It looks like magic against the cherry rails of my pencil-post bed. Sure, it's starting to show its age here and there, but so am I, and we don't hold it against each other. And it's totally out of style, which I can prove, because yesterday I tried to replace it. There's not a tape-lace bedskirt to be found throughout the land. Not for love nor money, which is too bad, on account of the Cat.
See, when I woke up yesterday, there was something Icky on the bed. And by "Icky", I mean "Call the husband and tell him he has to touch something so gross it can't be named". "Phillip!" I called. "I need you to touch something Icky!". He bravely appeared on the scene, in spite of the fact that he has never encountered anything pleasant after hearing me utter that sentence. Husbands are a useful lot. He found me crouched in the corner of the room furthest from the bed. I may have been twitching. Promising to manage the situation, he gently banished me to the kitchen where coffee, mercifully, waited.
Phillip reported back: The sheets were in the washer. Stain remover had been judiciously applied. The bedskirt may be forfeit. It seems that the Battenburg had borne the brunt of the mess. In the process of removing it from between the mattress and the box spring, a LOT of lace came loose from the edge of the fabric.
Oh, and the Icky substance was actually the regurgitated remains of a rodent. That's right, Gentle Readers. If awakening to cat throw-up on my bed wasn't revolting enough, Phillip felt obliged to report that the offending substance was actual rodentia.
Phillip kindly pre-treated and washed the tattered remains of the bedskirt for me. I figured it was a goner, but thought we owed it one final attempt before throwing it out. While it was in the wash, I searched the whole internet for a replacement, to no avail.
But miracle of miracles, after a hang on the clothesline, the poor old bedskirt looked practically new again - ravaged lace notwithstanding. I decided to take a stab at lace restoration. I can knit lace, and I can mend things that are torn, so why not give it a whirl? Certainly I wouldn't make it worse.
And it turned out that my understanding of lace was at least good enough. The damage wasn't as bad as it had seemed before the rodentia was washed out. In fact, the restoration was just in time, because where it wasn't torn, I was able to reinforce. Now, thanks to the CAT, I bet it's got another few years of wear left in it. Maybe even enough for Battenburg lace bedskirts to come back into vogue and yield a replacement.
I was so pleased with myself for saving the thing that I even busted out the ironing board and gave it a proper starch and press. Now it looks better than ever, and I can begin the process of forgetting the whole foul experience. I hope.
None of which, you may have noticed, has troubled the Cat in the least.