Two sisters, Ann and Sara Reed, own a modest bungalow in Portland, OR, affectionately known as Catnip Manor. It is not only their home, it houses their basement workshop, as well – the place where community quilts and a line of catnip quilt products (Pootie Pads) are created, work which is the sum and substance of the sisters’ livelihood. The house is also their only remaining major asset.Ann went into bankruptcy in September 2016 as a consequence of a sudden deadly illness (sepsis) that struck her down in 2014. She was carrying credit card debt – and, up until her illness, was managing quite well to pay it down gradually by means of a part time job in a big box pet store. In the course of her work, she was bitten by a sick hamster and two weeks later almost died from sepsis. The Emergency Department of a local hospital saved her life but were, unfortunately, unable to identify the pathogen. Since that time, Ann has suffered continual pain that makes it impossible for her to stand for too long or to sit for too long. The pain also interferes with her sleep. Unable to continue working at the pet store, she fell behind in her credit card payments, the interest continued to mount, and finally she filed for bankruptcy three years ago come September. Her next hearing will be at the end of September this year, at which time payment will be due to the creditors. If the debt cannot be cleared at that time, sale of the house will be forced and the workshop will be lost. This would spell the end of the Community Quilt Project and Pootie Pads.The stress of this debt has not been good for either sister. Ann suffered several heart attacks last year and now has four stents in her heart. Sara suffers from severe autoimmune issues that have required a lot of treatment from different doctors. The sewing that they do at home is useful work that they can do that makes a living and makes a positive difference. Losing the sewing workshop would mean the end to this good work.
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