Scratch That: Unsnag a sweater in 2 minutes flat

You love your cat; your cat loves your sweater. Not the cardi you got on clearance at Target, oh no โ€“ he's pitching linty woo at the cashmere you saved up for six paychecks to buy. Now you've got a big honkin' snag right at the collarbone, and five minutes to fix it before you leave for work. What's next?

First, carefully separate feline from treasured woolen item. This step might seem too obvious even to mention, but we know all too well the temptation to scream and spray water when a cat companion is "making biscuits" on a pricey pullover. Take a second; breathe; resist the urge to yell and wave your arms, which could cause even more snaggage (not to mention anxiety shedding) by startling Fluffy. A cat treat or a sprinkle of catnip can lure the cat gently away from the mohair.

Next, hide the damage with Real Simple's two-step solution; we like it because it's cinchy and fast. Watch the video, or just follow the written instructions for pushing the snag back through the sweater, then tying it off on the inside. On the road with no sewing kit? No problem: try a chopstick, a push pin, the jack end of your iPod headphones, or โ€“ for dark-color sweaters โ€“ a blunted pencil. Any tool that won't split or shred the fibers works fine. And whatever you do, don't cut that snagged yarn! You'll turn a merely annoying pull into a way-harder-to-fix hole.

Got more time and keen eyesight? WikiHow and DoItYourself.com both have primers on re-weaving a snag into the sweater's fibers.

And when you take your good-as-new sweater off? Put it away promptly, in a drawer your cat can't access.

Need a fast fix for a pet mess? Leave us a comment!