When Your Cat Interrupts Your Craft
Updated: Jan 25
This week has been a little rough, and I'll be honest; while I did finish the Three Fates Cowl from the Wonderland Yarns DeSTITCHnation Asgard kit and I did spin a little, I haven't done a whole lot of crafting. Instead, I've been obsessing over my cat.
Nicodemus is 11 and a half. I adopted him from the Luzerne County SPCA when he was ten months old. We've been through a move, some significant losses, and a lot of life changes together. When I'm sick, he's the one who will snuggle on the bed with me (my Maggie--RIP--was notorious for looking into the bedroom when I was laid up with a migraine and hightailing it out of there as fast as she could lest somehow I pass it on to her. For a dog, she really didn't care if I was unwell unless it meant her mealtime was delayed). Nick, though not a cuddler, likes to keep track of his people. Mostly. He is very independent, as most cats are, and needs his space.
Anyway, this week, for whatever reason, he's decided to turn his nose up at his food. Not all of his food. The Lobster Mac and Cheese treats are apparently an exception. Last night he couldn't get enough tuna. But his pate... well, he's looks at me like somehow he's being punked even though he normally loves his pate. And the meaty bits he used to like? A few weeks ago he decided he no longer liked or wanted them. And while we ate the tuna fine last night, we're back to being fussy, again, today. As in he'll take a few bites of tuna or chicken and rice in his bowl, see if I'm in the room, and walk away from it as though I have offended his excellency by feeding him such slop.
Needless to say, my poor vet is now on speed dial. She told me to keep monitoring him because he's clearly not 100% but is showing signs of improvement.
So, rather than crafting, I've been a helicopter pet parent this week, which I'm sure irritates Nicky even more. But, it's hard when your fur baby acts out or might be sick, and I know I sure as heck can't concentrate on a knitting pattern even if it's mostly stockinette when I'm wondering why the cat who won't eat is now rolling on his back and is spread Eagle in front of the fireplace, baring his belly in a clear trap to convince the unsuspecting to pet it only so he can attack with those kitty teeth and claws of death.
And I know many of you have had similar encounters with craft--where you would like very much to work on a project but life gets in the way and instead of taking a beat to sit and relax, you find you've spent an hour going down the Google rabbit hole of dire possibilities or you totally scratched the heck out of that dry patch of skin you promised yourself you would leave alone. Or maybe you sat and tried to binge the latest season of Ghosts only to realize after 90 minutes that you have no idea how or when Samantha and Jay hired an assistant for their B&B.
It's easy to do, the giving up of our precious time to worry and be anxious. And when we recognize that that's what we've done, it only feeds into further anxiety and worry.
The stock answer according to most craft sites is to "turn to craft" because it will help you sort through the anxiety, fear, frustration, whatever. And yes, it can, but sometimes the getting there is a lot more difficult than simply sitting down to pick up your yarn and your hook, needles, or heddle. No one ever talks about the complicated moments when you just can't focus enough to dig the project out of your bag or pick it up off the coffee table.
I don't have a magic answer for you. Believe me, I wish I did. But I've been struggling with that nebulous, uncomfortable moment, too, when you're just a little bit stuck, so it becomes easier to sit and play Block Puzzle on your phone for an hour while watching the Game Show network with your dad.
So that's what I'm exploring this week: the space within getting from point A to point B. Adriene from Yoga with Adriene would probably counsel that it's okay to be stuck and that taking the time to simply notice the moment has value, and I think she's right. Doesn't mean I'll necessarily stop playing Block Puzzle or WordStacks, but at least I can describe and define the parameters around this weird feeling of stuck while seeing how else I can convince my contrary feline friend to eat.
Edited to add: I believe he's feeling better as he's found that jumping on things he isn't allowed on (the counter, the kitchen table, the coffee table) is super fun. So is running around the house in the middle of the night while demanding food. And when that doesn't work, he bangs the doors on the cabinet in the hallway at 2am because that will surely wake everyone, so someone will have to give him treats or boiled chicken just so everyone can get a little shut eye. Oh, he's also figured out how to open the cupboard door where we keep his food cans so he can show us where they are in case we forgot.