Hello, my name is Sandy.

A sleepy day for cats

a cat, sleeping

It is a sleepy day for cats. And also for not-cats. Rain has been bucketing down for hours... I should enjoy this free garden water while it lasts, since I will have to do it all myself come summer.

Dora decided it was nap time and kicked me out of my chair. So here I am, sitting on the floor, writing to you.

my tea and book on a high-pile rug

My 20 book pledge is going slowly, but I have passed the halfway mark - hooray! The fan art, however, is less successful. Some books just haven't inspired me to draw. Altered Carbon, for example, was a great read, but once it was over, I was ready to move on. Pretty much every other book since then has inspired me to do something other than drawing.

Does this mean I don't get to call myself an artist after all, because my default medium isn't art? On that note, the distinction between job titles and identity will only get more confusing, as things are in flux here again. I will write about it another day, though, because now I want to tell you about Mona's visit to the dentist.

another sleeping cat

Yeah, you heard me. We took the cat to the dentist.

We picked up this little darling at the Cat Haven four years ago, after losing a cat of a similar breed to a car accident. Thinking she would be just as lovely as he was, we adopted her and expected she would slot right into her new life off the streets. We were so wrong.

She is a noisy, crochety old battle-axe who sounds angry when she's happy, and really pissed when she's somewhat annoyed. She loves a pat, but freaks when you go to pat her; don't even try giving her a butt scratch with your foot. That's just her way. I think she was accustomed to a more violent or accident-prone lifestyle.

So over the years, we thought nothing of her crankiness, and slowly got her accustomed to the affections of this household. She's always had the worst breath, but the Haven nicknamed her "Stinkerbell", so we thought that was also just her way.

Recently, we saw an ad for pet dental appointments, and decided to take her in, just to check. The vet confirmed her teeth and gums were in good condition, but WHAT... there were huge things around them. They looked like lumpy extra teeth!!

"This is a cat who doesn't chew enough," said the vet. Mona had huge build-ups of dental scale, likely from too much wet food for the amount of dry food she eats. So, we got her new dental biscuits and a revised feeding plan... but not before a rather traumatic affair.

She got used to being restrained, got used to having her mouth held open, but you could tell de-scaling was the absolute worst. The only time you hear her make that sound is when a computer chair runs over her tail.

However, once it was over, she seemed uncharacteristically chill. In a better mood than we've ever seen her. Her teeth must have been giving her some real trouble if she's not holding a grudge against us for the rest of the week.

So, there it is. If your cat is a moody cow with breath that could fell a tree, get her teeth checked.

Have a break, have a kit cat

Gracie the overweight cat at Cat Haven's Wet Nose Day

This weekend's been awesome because we've had no plans except for Wet Nose Day and football. We saw lots of cats. And I ate a hot dog. And got a hat trick. I'm taking all this as a sign that quiet time is so right right now.

It's hard, though, because garden school is over and it's springtime and I've got the crazy. I want to do all the things, and then I fry my brain thinking about them too much.

Close friends have told me to take a break. And you know, I absolutely mean to, but then I'm swept away by the excitement of all the things, and I'm making plans again. This is my vicious cycle, my downward spiral.

long cat taking a break

People have been asking me what I plan to do with my Horticulture qualification. I must sound so boring when I tell them, "Not much," but that's the deal.

I dream of running my own self-sustaining hobby farm one day, and have a hazy idea of what to do with my life, but in the last few years, I've learned I'm not good at fixed long-term plans. Things change. So in the near foreseeable future, I'm going to continue learning and experimenting, making and sharing, and see where that road takes me.

My head is full of all the things, but I don't want to set goals just yet. I feel a strong inclination to focus on my process moreso than my goals, and this kind of gutfeel usually takes me to a pretty good place. And also, I'm supposed to be taking a break.

man and cat, having a conversation

OK, so, raaaaa~ my break. Between now and the end of the year, I will try to take it easy. I will spend more time on my home and creative space. I will work on my Cruyff turn and try to be more conscientious about martial arts.

I will enjoy sinking hours into the new Civ and not feel guilty. I will quietly write to my penpals and play mail games and enjoy tea with my cats. I will not take on any stressful projects, including making promises about this break because that would be stressful too. I will try to slow down, and read and sleep more.

Hm, well, it's past midnight now, so I better make the effort on that last one. Good night!