Cat Treadwell – the afterdeath

By Frampton Jones

Several months ago, Cat Treadwell installed herself in one of the empty warehouses, and began knitting. Many islanders responded to her request for knittable materials – although I think we have stretched that concept to its very limits. In the week that followed, Cat knitted with every scrap of wool we could find for her. She knitted with hair from cow’s tails, unpicked strands of rope, even seaweed. By the end of that week, she had knitted herself into a giant, impregnable cocoon.

Of course the strange cocoon spectacle drew attention, visitors, and attempted sabotage. The cocoon held firm, and from inside it, the sound of knitting continued. None of us knew what was going on in there, but for a while, the cocoon became a popular visiting point and an object of excitement. Island life can be so tedious and predictable, it’s always a delight when something like this comes along.

Three days ago, the cocoon was found to be moving. All knitting sounds had ceased. Rumour spread quickly and a sizeable crowd gathered on the off-chance something would happen. Nothing happened that day, but, given it was that or watch the Chevin twins setting fire to each other’s trousers outside the town hall, most of us stayed to watch anyway. We’ve all seen the trouser lighting act before, and it wasn’t that entertaining the first time.

Yesterday, the cocoon began to open. It was a slow process of a seam unpicking itself. A reverent silence fell towards the end, broken only by the sneezes of unwell orphans. At last the cocoon fell away and we watched as a large, dark, moth-like creature emerged into the night. It flew up into the rafters of the warehouse, and has been there ever since. A number of people have gone to it for advice and predictions.

In the cocoon we found bones that must fairly be assumed to belong to Cat Treadwell. There is some uncertainty about what has happened, and we have two opposing schools of thought. School one believes that Cat had moth eggs laid in her – no doubt a consequence of her wandering round in the woods at night. According to school one, the moth is a creature who has eaten Cat Treadwell and should therefore be reviled and probably killed so as no one else has eggs laid in them. School two says that Cat Treadwell clearly knitted herself out of her previous shape and into this moth form, leaving only her unknittable bones behind her, and that we should treat this moth as a friend and source of wisdom.

As the moth remains in the roof of the warehouse, school one is currently losing the argument. I expect we will follow our most usual course of action and do nothing and then get distracted by something else, leaving only a small, devoted cult behind to keep alive the memory of what might or might not have happened.

You can find Cat Treadwell’s Hopeless Maine story here –

And the kickstarter that has taken so many lives, is over here –


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