Things I have learned from this adventure:
1) following directions may have resulted in the colour I'd actually intended...but wouldn't have been nearly as much fun (and I love the midnight-blue that I ended up with!);
2) blocking sucks, which leads to #3;
3) I need blocking wires;
4) there are an astonishing number of ways to make bad plays on the word "dye"; and
5) cat hair doesn't take dye. You know, for future reference. In case I ever turn into that much of a crazy cat lady.
Thanks to all who sent happy thoughts! I think it worked.