Giving and Receiving, and cashmere kitty blanket give away!

the kitty blanket

A few weeks ago I posted that I had made my own patchwork cashmere blanket from old sweaters and scarves, and then made one for my cats who adore it. I’m not sure who suggested it, but the idea was planted in my mind to make another kitty blanket (a lot less work than the human version) to give away here on the blog. Yesterday, I made one ( it is about 19 inches square and the top is all pieces of cashmere sewed to a backing of  thick padding). I even cut out a piece to look like a cat and sewed a little smile on his/her face.

It is so imperfect. Sewing is not one of my talents, but giving and receiving gifts is something that I love to be a part of.

So, If you would like to enter this contest, just comment about anything that you love to give or receive. I will randomly choose someone on December 8th (Bodhi Day) and mail the blanket out to you. (P.S. You don’t have to have a cat to enter, you might want it for a little dog or some other critter, or yourself!)

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver”. Maya Angelou


***Oprah has been doing a 12 days of favorite things give away. I have entered the website below. Wouldn’t it be fun if one of the White Feather Farm community won the Oprah giveaway?!

62 thoughts on “Giving and Receiving, and cashmere kitty blanket give away!”

  1. Hi Mary, what a great idea…my cat would love his own blanket! I love receiving books and I love to find just the right gift for someone. I like to take the time to think about what someone would like or be surprised by so I am definintly not a gift card giver.

  2. First of all, I love reading your blog! I also love to give gifts… much more than receiving them, and this year I am super excited to shower my boy with all the gifts that he has missed out on over his previous 11 years. Last week he said,
    “This is going to be the best Christmas ever.. with my new family.” Merry Christmas!

  3. Hi Mary,
    I pray every day that I am generous in giving of my self and money (or other “things”). I love to give a smile or kind word to people. Love to help. I love to give $ at the checkout at the store. My thinking is that if everyone gave even only $1 at every checkout what a wonderful thing that would be. I also give as much as I can to different charities throughout the year. Finally, I love to give gifts that make me think of the receiver.
    What do I like to receive? Anything that lets me know someone is thinking of me. I love the word gift.
    I think it is a gift to be able to give and receive easily.
    Oh, I love your kitty blanket. What a great gift!
    Have a great day!

  4. I love to give people all kinds of things. I am not crafty so I tend to have to buy them but I find the hunt is so fun! One of the things I find people love are these little custom photo albums I can put together on a certain retailers website. I make them with pictures that pertain to them and even some comments that are appropriate for them.

  5. Dear Mary,

    Thank you so much for yesterday’s blog! I’ve been smiling ever since reading all the heartwarming comments, then that cartoon this morning which just about sums it up for many of us!

    What is Bodhi day??, or will that be revealed on the 8th.

    That’s a beautiful blanket for some very fortunate reader and maybe a furry friend.

    Thank you for the gifts you give us every day, which I love receiving.

    From Fran

    1. Thank you Fran!( Bodhi Day is the celebration of the Buddha’s enlightenment)

  6. I love to give and receive those gifts that have an element of surprise to them! Like picking up on something someone said and tucking it away and weeks later surprising them with it. Or opening a gift and finding a surprise and recognizing the loving thought that went into choosing it. Sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes meaningful, sometimes practical…but always a surprise!!!!

  7. I love to give and receive Hugs! Whatever happened to the Hug Fest mentioned on this blog some time ago? I was watching a piece on BBC news a week or so ago. It was about a woman who gives HUGS. She appeared to be Indian maybe, wearing long robes. There was a huge crowd of uptight British people sitting in stiff-backed chairs waiting to get into a long line to receive their HUG from this big and very loving woman who gives long, loving hugs. You could see that the people who got their hugs were very moved by them. But I kept thinking, “Why don’t all those people just turn to the person next to them, hug each other, and go about their day.???”

    I know why I am sometimes inhibited to hug others. And I’m guessing that this special Hug Lady has established herself as a “no expectations or explanations needed” public hugger. So that probably gives people permission to just get their hug and go about their day with no strings attached. What do you think, Mary and White Feather Friends??

    Here’s a cyber HUG from me to each of you, with love, from Mary Rita.
    p.s. I am wearing my ratty old white terrycloth robe at the moment!

  8. I love the cashmere kitty blanket Mary, you are so clever! I love the comments here about giving. it doesn’t have to be a material thing, it just feels so good to give something that you have chosen for another. I worked as a hospice nurse for 10 years, and people would often become so serious when they learned this and say things like “that must be so sad,”or ” how do you do that?”. Truth is, it was sad at times, but what I loved the most was the gifts I received from my ,patients and their families. So much love concentrated in this finite space and time-it was truly a privilege to be a part of that process. And Mary Rita and Mandy, the hugs were awesome!

  9. My scrawny 19 year old tabby would love to snuggle in that blanket! And I love to give smiles and positive thoughts to others. Helps keep me in a positive frame of mind!

  10. I am not one who is good at receiving gifts (still have some of that “not worthy” in me). Therefore, it feels different to participate in your contest because I would love to receive this gift. It would be meaningful because it came from you and because it is part of this group energy. I know my 3 cats and I would share its warmth. I’m a tactile person so the touch of cashmere would feel great. It would take me back to my teen years when having cashmere sweaters was “the” thing to have.

    As far as what do I like to give – I like to give/share/network things that hopefully express that I am thinking and caring about someone. Usually not so much in a material way, but in small acts of kindness.

    My cats and I eagerly await Bodhi day.

    Speaking of Bodhi – I finally watched the taping of “The Buddha” from PBS so I’m spiritually ready also to receive.

  11. What a sweet little kitty blanket. My two cats would love to snuggle up on it together. I love to give little gifts, or get them, that are “just because.” Little things I see or make that just seem like they belong to the person I give them to. I have one friend who often finds that perfect little thing for me at garage sales! Last little item she gave me was a black ceramic kitty that holds a tea light – perfect for me because I love cats and candles. Little cost money wise but time and thought went into it.

  12. How beautiful and inspirational Mary! Thank you and I am honored to be able to share my thoughts here.
    I just love to give! .. my handwork, my photographs, my writings, my heart, and my Labrador Lily’s love. Lily first made my heart smile and come from the inside out when I saw her as a pup almost 9 years ago. I tested her with Therapy Dog International and have shared her with nervous GED students, Hospice/Palliative folks, and anyone in need! My heart continues to shine on the outside! Giving is a boomerang!!

  13. Such a sweet little blanket! And tee hee, I was thinking, gosh, I don’t have a cat, but I have a little dog who certainly would love to snuggle in this blanket.

    I LOVE to give… often times my favorite thing to give is a copy of my children’s book to charity and fundraising events, or some unsuspecting child. Frankie (my dog) and I recently surprised an 11-year old boy for his birthday and it was the BEST- he is a big Frankie fan!. My heart still flutters with joy from that experience.

  14. I love how a cat adores a good blanket, it is always sweet to find them snuggled up, tucked away with their tail tip over their nose. I love to buy presents for my Mother, she loves receiving them and usually gives a good “whoop” upon opening. They are usually not sensible, my favorite are little wooden German handcrafted figures – angels, or little girls holding a flower or tiny farm animals. Such a treat when I score a good “find” and then I remain excited until I give it to her.

  15. I love to pass on hope! maybe a picture or a poem, even a smile. Layoffs yesterday at work took some special people, so this morning I have been emailing hope……maybe even giggles.

    Thank you for providing daily posts and suggestions, I use some of your thoughts and Jon’s photos to send abit of hope forward to my group of folks.
    Thanks for the little bits of sunshine everyday!

    Sweet sweater creation 😉


  16. I am sure one of my cats would enjoy it – The kittens, Bootsey and Snickers are just over 3 months and their brother Little Joe from a different litter, same parents is just over 6 months and their big brother Simba is 12 years old and was abandoned and now he has a forever home, since his family abandoned him. Our kittens momcat was taken in by a friend and is now fixed and their brother Charlie lives with the momcat. There is pic of Simba on my facebook and then there is Dusty our Shih Tzu who plays with the cats and they like chasing him. I think that little quilt was get good use for these guys. It sure is cute.Whover gets it will certainly enjoy as I am sure it was made with love.

    Lindy Fellober

  17. There’s nothing better than finding some great little thing at a garage/estate sale that reminds you of someone. Recycling and giving a gift – win/win !!

  18. Oh Mary that blanket sounds so cute! My favorite thing to give or receive would have to be something handmade. It doesnt even have to be fancy just something that had thought put into it and was made with love. I cant wait until David is old enough to make little crafts with me for xmas gifts and draw me little cards on a piece of paper folded in half (misspellings and all!). I just love that kind of stuff. Love anything handmade…keep rocking on with the blankets, it doesnt matter if they are perfect as long as they are made with love ❤ Have a great day Mary, if we win, Calieko would surely enjoy a new blanket and we would cherish it cause it was made by you! Sending lots of love xoxoxo

  19. Thanks for the give away and the gift of your blog! I love to give and receive MAIL, of all kinds—postcards, mailart, letters, the random wish or thought….

  20. Dear Mary,
    I love to give baked goods to people I love. I recently made gingerbread cupcakes and gave most of them away. I love to prepare a delicious meal for
    family and friends, with dessert of course. I am happiest in my apron, in my
    kitchen, enjoying the warmth of my stove and the aromas of herbs and spices.

    I have a cat named Dolly and Stanley my dog. They are both rescues and
    have helped me through many a dark day. Dolly is the most intuitive cat I’ve
    ever had. When she jumps in my lap, if I’m not paying attention to her, she
    pokes me. She wants me to make eye contact, to let her know that I know she’s
    there. She would love one of your blankets.

    Thank you for your daily posts. They have helped me in many way.


  21. I try to give the gift of time. To sit with a friend in need, or help a fellow equestrian with barn chores.

  22. My favorite thing to give (and receive) is positive reinforcement. I try to point out the good in everyone; you never know when a simple, kind word will change someone’s entire day.

    Just looking at that smiling kitty made me smile. Adorable!

  23. My Max would absolutely love the kitty blanket so put me in for the drawing please. I love to give out light. Especially if someone isn’t feeling quite up to par. Just putting my hand on their arm and focusing seems to help them. Thank you so much for this blog. It is much enjoyed.

  24. I love to give away Love. I know that sounds a little funny. But I like to show love to other as in hugs, smiles, laughter and kind words.
    Some times a kind word to someone is a great thing.
    Loved the blanket.

  25. I love to give favorite books to friends because I know the message will resonate with them. I also treasure that my two grown sons still live here in Phoenix and I have the gift of giving my love to them and receiving theirs in turn, seeing each other a couple of times a week. The best gifts to me are those kind of regular day moments when you feel so close and keep the connection vibrant and alive, sharing the happy times as well as their now grown up challenges. What a blessing family is. Mary’s gift to us all this year was getting this wonderful blog up and running! A daily gift from Mary, and in turn we are all the beneficiaries, giving and receiving. Thanks to all!

  26. Mary, Has something changed on your posts? Yesterday and today…the picture is huge…one of those pics you can’t see in the whole…you have to cursor down and left and right. Same with the typed body of the post. It can’t be viewed…or a line of text read…one must cursor right and keep going then cursor left to read the next line. Perhaps the problem is on my side, but I don’t think so…Kay

    1. I don’t know Kay (I have not changed anything but someone else wrote that they couldn’t print the pictures) so far, no one has said that they couldn’t see them…a bit of a mystery on this end too

      1. I’ve been having the same problem as Kay. I’ve been typing in the site and then it comes up normally, but not through email.

        The blanket is adorable, love the cat on it. Not sure I’d let my cats lie on it, would maybe hang it on the wall! They would love it though, especially bony little Tootsie who so loves to be on a blanket by the register.

        As far as giving, sometimes for Christmas my family will choose a place we wish to give gifts to and give fewer to each other and have fun visiting places with our donations. For example, there’s a farm animal sanctuary we’ve chosen and we donate some needed items as well as make a monetary donation. In return, we are given a tour and get to fuss over the animals. It’s so much fun and we get more than we give.

  27. I love that you made another sweet soft blanket and I espcially love the kitty with the smile. My two little puppies (12 year olds) would love to cuddle up on that blanket. Like Terrie, I also give my time. Now that I am retired I spend a lot of time at our local Humane Foundation, walking dogs and being with all the wonderful animals they take in. I also give some time to our local Salvation Army and help in their amazing services. Thank you Mary for your blog, I’m very grateful for you and the best flock of followers.

  28. I love to give the gift of listening when a friend has a need to talk. I love to receive letters via snail mail as they are something tangible to read again and again.
    The cats of Lakeview Point would cherish sharing the cozy blanket stitched with love. Thank you for the giveaway and merry Christmas!

  29. Blankets, quilts, comforters, throws…wonderful gifts of warmth and comfort for anyone, I think:) Your give-away of the kitty blanket has made me think…it would be a great idea to collect a few blankets and donate them to a women’s shelter, or some other needy cause. Thank you for inspiring me, Mary.

  30. I love to receive your post in my inbox daily. Always gives me a positive boost. to my day. I am more of a giver than a receiver but I would love to receive your kitty blanket for the four throwaway kittens I have recently adopted. What I love to give, and every year myself and my grandkids buy a lot of Christmas mugs at our local thrift shop and fill them with candy, hot chocolate, tea, and whatever ideas we have and deliver them to our local store employees, our Doctor, bus driver, mail driver and we all get so much out of it.

    1. Vicki, may I say your post particularly struck my heart strings because before I retired, I WAS the bus driver recipient of many wonderful gifts of love (and home-made muffins and hot cider!) from my “regulars”—not just at holiday times but throughout the year. It’s hard to convey how deeply touched I was at the thoughtfulness these acts of kindness always engendered. The ripple effect it created lasted much beyond the day or shift I worked; it made a lifetime of memories and connections within the community I served. Blessings to all who have so bestowed such love.

  31. It’s fun to read how many different kinds of giving we can give! In the end the giver gets as much or more joy out of the gift! I am making a Percy Cat quilt for my guy friend for Christmas. It is such fun to make and I know how much he loves that cat. It will keep them both warm this winter. I like to make things for all my friends. And . . . your images and text haven’t changed on my computer.

  32. I love giving the gift that the recipient wants but doesn’t expect because it is impractical, useless, etc. This year, our 17 year old grandson is receiving the “leg lamp” from the Christmas Story, one of his favorite movies. Whimsy is good for the soul and the laughter on Christmas morning-priceless!!

    Charles Winchester the III, an abandoned old, 18 pound cat who found his way to us, would love the cashmere binkie!

      1. Every once in a while we call him Hercule Piorot because his gaite is similar and sometimes we call him Chuckles. But no matter what we call him, he has won our hearts..

  33. first let me say that i love reading your blog – i always feel myself taking a deep breath and relaxing as i read it –

    i like to buy small trinkets over the course of the year – [put them in the closet and take them out when i need a present – perhaps a candle i saw – or a picture frame – it is fun to have a stash of presents to use when i need them.

  34. Can I add a P.S. to my comment that my kitties – Madeline, Tiger and Lily would love to “make dough” (knead) that lovely blanket? Didn’t dare mention my desire this morning, but hey no one else is shy 🙂

  35. Hi Mary, What a uniquely warm and fuzzy little throw. It sure would keep my man and my feet warm on these cold nights!
    I think the greatest gift of all to give and to receive is love. I feel very blessed.
    “Love is patient.Love is kind. Love never ends.” From the book of the Corinthians.
    Happy Holidays, Cindy Chambers

  36. Very creative! I noticed the smiling cat right away. My cats, Celly and Wild Thing would adore that blanket.

  37. What a wonder gift, Mary. I’m one of those obnoxious people who buy Christmas presents all year. It’s such fun to see something that just prefect for someone in July.

    My cat Sniffles has the luxury of sitting on all of my knitting, usually three projects at time. She even has her own prayer shawl to sleep on at night.

    If I am the randomly picked one, please give the beautiful cashmere blanket to your local animal shelter. Those sweet animals need a little Christmas, too.

  38. I love to give fancy showy pointsettias to anyone that has done a kindness or a service for my mother. The sweet waitress loved the double petal pointsetta I gave her last year. The garbage man was stunned to see a beautiful pink plant on top of the recycling can. I buy my fancy plants from a non-profit so hopefully many people benefit.

  39. Curious, I wonder what it is about giving away that is so pleasurable? I knit, hardly ever for myself, but love to make something and give it away.


    I found you through Jon Katz’s blog and look forward to finding your postings in my email box every morning. That’s me receiving your daily “giving away”.


  40. Hi, Mary. What I love to give are cookies that I make from an old family recipe that goes back generations in our Italian family. They are called Italian white knot cookies. Making them is therapeutic. I sit at the kitchen table looking out into the vast expanse of the yard and form them one by one. No music is on, as I feel this as a form of meditation. Once made they are disbursed to family and friends as far as the California coast (I live in NY State). Although there are several in the family carrying on this tradition, a younger family member says mine are the best. I think perhaps the peaceful atmosphere and love of the act of making them transcends into how they taste!

    1. Wow, Rosemary, I just finished reading a provocative novel titled “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” by Aimee Bender based on the premise of a young girl who has a gift of tasting the emotions of the cook!
      So perhaps you’re on to something when you say the atmosphere and love transcends into how they taste—very special and insightful.

  41. Mary, how I understand your feeling of not being a professional “sewer”!! I am in the same category but refuse to give up. I just finished 32 potholders and decorated a small Christmas tree for my adult son’s annual Christmas party for clients and friends. I know they aren’t perfect, but I got such joy sewing them up and felt so relaxed while doing it and smiled when I thought of each person taking one home. . I never sew anything for myself. Sam, our adopted shelter cat, who is now long in the belly but not short on love, lays near me as I sew, so that he will know the instant I am done and can get up and follow me to the next place! Thank you, Mary, for your daily givings in my inbox. Sam would love the blanket but God bless you and anyone who is fortunate enough to receive it!

  42. I like to give advice. Nobody takes much heed, but…… Seriously, I like to give my time and talent to my family and friends, community and church. I give money to favorite charities when I can. Never large amounts, but eveyone’s small donations add up too.

  43. Hi Mary,

    What a wonderful idea….your blanket is so sweet and unusual. I like to give gifts of time especially on a whim. As an animal communicator one of my favorite things is to give on-the-spot communications (no-charge) for those who have sincere concerns for their beloved animal companions. There is no payment that surpasses the love and connection I am able to witness between two species! I’ll also be giving your incredible Healing Salve for Christmas gifts. I recently ordered some and LOVE it. Thank you! By the way, you asked me to let you know when my blog is up and running. Here ya go:


    1. Thanks so much, Mary! This was so fun to watch, and interesting to see Jon Katz sitting and talking to the camera rather than always behind it. Really enjoyed this.

  44. Mary, my new adopted kitty Rose Alymer would love your blanket. G-g put me on this earth to nurture people and animals so that is what I try to give. A kind word and a smile are easy to give.

  45. I love making things…gifts in a jar, lotion bars, and now have taken up knitting…washcloths, egg cozies, scarves etc! So much fun to make & give!

    1. Brava to you for knitting. It’s my favorite form of meditation. I belong to a group that knits for charity. We learned last weekend that there was a need for mittens for little children in our small town. As of yesterday 50 pairs had be made and donated.

  46. Mary, you are so wonderfully generous. I’d love to have your kitty blanket. And this year, instead of material things, I would also love to receive prayers and love from my family and friends, and I would like to give the same back to them. Thanks again Mary for all that you do for us!

  47. i have several cats that would surely enjoy your blanket. I like to give the gift of kindness, whether it be helping an elderly person, holding a door for someone, sharing a smile, or bringing laughter to brighten someone’s day. It’s such an easy thing to do! 🙂

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