I launched my column, Cat Dandy, in 2013 with a question: “Am I a ‘Cat Guy,’ or Just a Guy With a Cat?” I concluded that I’m just a guy with a cat, and it’s an important distinction. Why? Because it leaves me open to new possibilities. See, I’ll stick with something — such as a cat — but I won’t hold back when I find something intriguing and potentially revolutionary such as a pet rock. Instead, I’ll challenge it to prove that it’s worthy of my love and adoration.
So I met this pet rock recently, and OH did he prove himself. How? He let me dress him up and give him some style. His name is Stoney. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my cat, Thomas, but Thomas doesn’t let me dress him up. Stoney does. He’s like that. Selfless. Durable. Solid, yet malleable.
Today I embark on a new column, Rock Dandy, but I won’t explore whether I’m a “rock guy” or just a guy with a rock — right now I’m so smitten I don’t know what I’d say. Instead I’ll provide some basic fashion and style tips for a pet rock based on my makeover of Stoney.
This is Stoney.
I met him on a foggy California beach a couple of years ago, just after I proposed to the love of my life (and my “wife twice over“), Daphne. I’ll cover six accessories I gave Stoney, ones that you can give any pet rock.
Pet rocks can’t really see, but we humans are shallow and narcissistic, and we give them eyes so they’ll look more like us. What’s more lovable than that? To do this you’ll need a pair of eyes (ones made for dolls should do fine) and some mounting putty.
Put some of the putty on the back of each eye and squish it onto your favorite side of the rock until it sticks.
I take pride in my ability to tie a real bow tie as opposed to wearing a clip-on. That said, I do have a clip-on in my wardrobe from long ago. I was glad to donate this to Stoney. Pet rocks don’t usually have collars, so you’ll need a thick rubber band. I got this rubber band off a bunch of asparagus last weekend.
Open the tie and wrap the rubber band around the clip, like so.
Then close the tie.
Gently pick up your rock.
Stretch the rubber band and slip it around the back.
Adjust the position, and you have one damn handsome rock. (Your results may vary based on the shape of your rock and the strength of your rubber band.)
This is tricky for two reasons. First, most rocks have no ears. To place the earrings, speculate based on the position of the eyes. The second challenge is density — most rocks are hard. To pierce your rock you’d probably need a drill bit made of military-grade alloy that’s illegal in civilian hands. So I just used duct tape. The earrings are a pair of my 2-gauge curved barbells.
I tore off a couple of thin strips and put them around the earrings.
And here’s the result. The tape will probably lose the adhesive needed to hold the earrings after a few days, but by then I’ll realize a rock looks silly wearing 2-gauge stainless steel curved barbells, so it will be time for a change anyway.
Here’s a squishy little foam chair covered in some pliable plastic material I pulled out of a box in my art studio. It looks to be an ideal fit for Stoney. You can probably find something similar at a thrift store for your rock.
Stoney can lean back and avoid toppling because of the chair’s generous horizontal surface.
In order to appear happy, a pet rock needs visual and aural stimulation as well as food and drink. Near Stoney I placed a piece of my own artwork (a junk sculpture called The King and Eye) as well as a miniature bust of Beethoven. What’s that you say? You figured Stoney would like rock music instead of classical? I did, too. But I don’t have a miniature bust of Jimi Hendrix or Henry Rollins, and this is more about appearance than substance. So hush.
For food and drink, I gave Stoney a pack of Pop Rocks and a bottle of zinfandel from Rock Wall Vineyards. Note: With a pet rock, unlike with a cat, you don’t have to worry about whether the sugar or alcohol will make him sick. Also, a pet rock will never drink the last of your wine. Believe me. I left this next to Stoney all night, and he didn’t touch it. Goooood boy!
The set is complete. Here’s a rock who’s doing well.
Now that my pet rock looks like a tiny (and malformed) humanoid, he’s ready for love and adoration.
I’m pretty proud of myself.
I gaze into Stoney’s eyes like I once did with Thomas. Speaking of Thomas, I visited him after my style session with Stoney to see how he’s adjusting to sharing his territory.
Man, he looks worried.
How have you accessorized your pet rock? How does he look? Is your cat jealous? Let me know in the comments.
Read more about pet rocks on Rockster:
About Keith Bowers: This bipedal mammal is bald as a stone. His style sensibilities are as hot as lava. His devotions include rescuing wayward rocks and giving them makeovers. He can trace his lineage to the town of Bedrock, the birthplace of his favorite cereal, Cocoa Pebbles. His pet rock Stoney has suffered through centuries of erosion, but his beauty reminds us to always keep a diamond in your mind. Bowers is senior editor at Rockster.