Generations of wizards and witches before us have survived plagues and raging illnesses like the Dragon Pox pandemic and Scrofungulus outbreaks, long before COVID-19 descended on us. As nefarious as this virus is (one that’s made even more ominous when looking at its origin from captive wild animals in overcrowded wet markets where they are slaughtered), and as uncertain as the times are, one thing we can count on is what the esteemed Albus Dumbledore once said as he spoke to a crowded hall of Hogwarts students:
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
This includes not only our happiness but the happiness of our companion animals, too!
For those of us who aren’t on the front lines, like Healers working overtime at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, or being dispatched all around the country as part of the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad to fix healing spells gone wrong, chances are, you’re homebound. And many of us share our homes with our beloved Kneazles, Crups, and Puffskeins.
During these quarantimes, it’s more important than ever to give our companion animals the care and attention they need to thrive and go beyond merely meeting their basic needs.
Last time we talked about animal companions, we channeled our inner Molly Weasley and hit the kitchen to bake up some biscuits for our Crups and other canine companions. But, if cooking gets your wand in a knot, and you’re more of a Kneazle person, we’ve got your back!
In celebration of International Cat Day on August 8, here are five toys you can craft for your Kneazle with a simple swish and flick, to keep them entertained and active for hours of play!
1. Kitty Clysm’s Sock Fish Toy
Have an abundance of stray socks after that time you freed all of those House Elves? Don’t let them molder away in the bottom of your partially-melted, discarded cauldron (Hogwarts potions class, amiright?!), tucked into the depths of your closet. Stretch the sock in your hands, stuff it with some crinkly parchment paper (bonus points if it’s from that potions class that you bombed), sprinkle it with a little bit of catnip, and give it a quick twist — and you have a toy fish sure to please Kneazles of all ages!
2. Allons-y Kimberley’s Felt Golden Snitch Toy
No matter what position you played on your Hogwarts house Quidditch team, this felt golden snitch toy is a keeper! Simply accio felt, some catnip, an old copy of the Daily Prophet, a styrofoam ball, scissors, and a hot glue gun (Thank goodness you took that Muggle Studies class, huh?), and you’re halfway there! Follow the instructions and the handy pictures and you’ll have a Kneazle-friendly snitch faster than you can say, “Quidditch”!
3. Mom Dot’s Tulle Pom Pom Ball Toy
These poofy pom pom toys are a blast for Kneazles to bat around the house. Especially if you’ve noticed your Kneazle preying on your Pygmy Puff more than usual! Accio distraction! Tulle, twine, and cardboard are all you need to create this poofy pom pom Puffskein decoy.
Don’t feel up to taking some fabric shears to your old Yule Ball dress? Don’t fret! Madam Malkin surely has plenty of extra scraps of tulle lying around her shop that she’d sell you for cheap. To assemble these pom poms, all you need to do is cast a quick spell on some cardboard to cut it into a doughnut shape, wrap the tulle around it, and use some yarn, string, or twine to tie it off.
4. Muslin & Merlot DIY T-Shirt Sweets Toy
Honeydukes chocolates and sweets are legendary. Nougat, treacle fudge, peppermint toads, licorice wands, and of course Honeydukes finest chocolates, are the things dreams are made of. But why should you be the only one to indulge in the deliciousness of the crown jewel shop of Hogsmeade? While none of the Honeydukes candies are Kneazle-friendly (not even Honeydukes Mice Pops), this DIY takes inspiration from the Exploding Bon Bons. All you need is an old tee shirt, some scissors, and a good twist, and you have a toy that looks just like a Honeydukes sweet for all your Kneazle’s playtime pleasure!
5. Knotty Spider Toy
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Ron Weasley lamented: “Why spiders? Why couldn't it be follow the butterflies?” We think Ron would change his tune if he encountered these cute and entirely inanimate “knotty” spider toys. Crafted with strips of felt tied around a keyring or a plastic ring from that empty gallon of Pumpkin Juice in your recycle bin, this no-sew knotty spider makes for a thumpin’ good playtime. Don’t be surprised if you catch your Kneazle trotting around your house possessively carrying their knotty spider toy in their mouth. This toy DIY comes from the muggle cat chow manufacturer Friskies. But don’t worry! No need to actually buy their products to craft this felty (and cruelty-free!) arachnid-inspired entertainment for your Kneazle.
If you’re more of a visual learner, here’s a video showing how to make these knotty spiders.