another day – lockdown 2 day 40

This morning Eric joined Lainee and I on our morning walk: the short walk up the hill Lately Eric has been going out on the porch the minute I open the door (he loves it out there) and hangs around with the other cats till we get back. This morning he followed us all the way up and back. At least he knows the way home from there now I guess.

When we got back Cheeky was sitting on the window sill looking pretty.

Today I started a new dog and, as you can see, I have myself a new assistant.

I wonder what will happen when he’s twice the size and wants to sit in my lap or on my chest while I work…

I’ve decided to go a different way with Lainee’s issues for now by putting her on medication for her heart for 2 weeks to start with and see how that goes, then putting her on meds for her growths as well. Vet 2 said that a medication meant for drying milk has been shown to reduce the size of mammary lumps so we’ll try that. We’ll treat her and monitor the situation and hopefully her heart will be better and her lumps will be smaller and easier to remove when the time comes.

Other than that, not much to post about today. And I’m tired…. Its still early but I’ve had it. I’m going to bed!

z

all quiet on the island front – lockdown 2 day 39

Eric says Hi. He’s generally a great kitten, he has his insane moments but thankfully they’re not too bad. He enjoys his ‘playstation’ so I’m not getting claws and pounces too much. I’m waiting for the teens to strike though. I’ve been warned about them. Hopefully he’ll survive them in one piece. He already knows the look and sound of the spray water bottle!

Lainee has had her xray (all clear) and a second opinion. I’m probably going to have to do another test for her heart, but the first vet said it was simply a riskier surgery due to her murmur which the second said she could barely hear. So its up to me basically. If I’m willing to risk it either vet will do surgery. I’ve risked it before on my dogs and I will again cause this has to be done. I won’t risk her getting cancer from these growths. So its just a matter of deciding on vet 1 (who removed her teeth) or vet 2 (that my friend swears is the best) and booking it. I will decide tomorrow and make the appointment.

Is it just me or do others feel guilty when getting a second opinion?

Anyway, today has been a very low key day. Its been blowing a gale out there since yesterday which makes being outdoors rather unpleasant so I’ve stuck inside and done a few bits of clay work. I was longing for a day spent at home. For some reason I’ve been really tired and even fell asleep on the couch while watching TV. Probably cause I’m going to bed later and later and Eric insists on waking me up at 7.30 every morning.

The big flat thing to the left will be a fish eventually (once I decide what the scales will be made of) and the dog in the back is on the last stretch. Right now his ears are drying.

I put together 2 of the small houses I made to hold tea lights. They’re crooked as all getout, but I like ’em. Now to make one more and set them up to live on my coffee table or bookcase or somewhere, if I can find the room…

I’ve been putting off painting though I’ve been thinking about it. I have some boards prepared and some paintings I started that need finishing. I really should get onto that but I need to build up to it. Meanwhile I ordered more clay online. I’m on my last block. Air dry again of course. For the time being.

Now the big question remains… What should I have for dinner? I made some pasta sauce with a bit of bacon and tomato for lunch/dinner last night. I can make more pasta and have the leftover sauce. Or I can have a salad before the cucumber I bought goes entirely rotten*…

Oh such big decisions!

z

*What are vegetables? They’re those things we select carefully, squeezing and inspecting each one in order to chose the best ones, then let them slowly die in our refridgerator.

not a productive day – lockdown 2 day 35

I had a pretty non-productive day.

I spent a couple of hours taking mom in to see her cardiologist and then picking up some shopping (cat food, dog food…) and got home in plenty of time to actually DO something, but didn’t.

I spent most of the afternoon and evening doing beached whale immitations on the couch.

However, I did manage to get inspired to do a few things. I sorted out the sewing table which had become a hold-all for all kinds of crap. I can see the surface of it again which is nice. I’m looking at a couple of sewing projects I have on there now, including all the sea rope I have waiting, and I might actually feel inspired enough to do something.

I sanded and smoothed my latest clay projects. I tackled my underwear drawer. I baked shortbread cookies. I listened to 80s music. I watched Netflix shows on tiny houses, re-decorating and organising.

But mainly what was on my mind was Lainee…

Since the day I got her, Lainee has had growths in her teats all down one side. One of them was quite big and hard. When I questioned the vet as to why they weren’t removed when she was spayed (I thought that would have made sense) he said it was too much to put her through at the time most likely… I don’t know. Maybe it was.

Anyway, the vet said they had to be removed but her teeth were the first thing I opted to have done as she looked like she had a sore mouth and had really bad breath. At the time she had 6 or 8 teeth removed. The growths weren’t bothering her, they weren’t growing and there’s a 50-50% chance of them being benign, so no rush to remove them…

Last weekend I noticed the biggest of the growths had changed shape and seemed a bit bigger. Its now become quite important to remove them. So I took her to the vet quickly.

The vet said, yes, the whole line of mammary glands need to be removed on that side as there are growths all along. I knew that. I googled it. She took blood to check on her overall health before going under so I’m waiting on results of that. And she said she needed an xray of her chest to make sure nothing has spread (!). And she said Lainee has a heart murmur.

I’m sure she told me that last time, but maybe it was ‘no big deal’ as they didn’t bring that up as a reason to not do surgery on her so I must have forgotten it. Maybe the murmur has gotten worse?

Apparently that on its own isn’t a reason to not do surgery, but its something that concerns her and she recommends that after we do the tests, I may have to take Lainee to a specialist in Athens for the surgery.

Now, obviously I want the best for Lainee. For sure. But I also don’t really want to take her to Athens. Its a bad time with Christmas for one thing. There’s the lockdown for another… I’d have to wait till they lift lockdown mid to late January…

Lainee is 11.5 years old now. So doing the surgery sooner than later is the way to go.

I’ve booked her in to another vet next week, the only one that has an xray machine on Paros, and asked that I see both vets in that practice for a second opinion. If they’re happy to do the surgery, then I will have her done there as soon as possible. I want my girl to live a long and healthy life.

Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile I took Eric with me to the vet and got more worming treatements and his first vaccination against cat flu and whatever else it is… I’ve never had a cat before so I’m not up on that stuff.

Eric is still sweet but he’s also crazy. He plays like mad in his cat ‘play station’, then runs like he’s being chased around the house, bouncing off walls almost. Then suddenly he’ll collapse and want cuddles. That’s my favourite part.

I ordered him some acrylic nail caps but by the time they arrive Eric will probably be an old man as I could only find them from China. Till then I have to trim his nails often. Ugh. Guess its good for him to learn to put up with stuff like that.

He and Lainee are getting along fine. Lainee is happy to see him when we get home though she’s still not thrilled if he wants to play with her. Eric has learned not to try and eat her food. She’s pretty strict about that!

That’s our life.

z

kitten playland – lockdown 2 day 21

Today was a busy day. Very busy. I had a ton of things to do… none of them creative.

But after visiting to supermarket I went through their bins and got a few small cardboard boxes to make Eric a kitty playland.

I used 5 small boxes and an extra large coffee cup to create this monstrosity, now sitting in the middle of my living room.

Lainee was a bit envious. I never made her a playland… (its ok Lainee, Eric doesn’t get to sleep on my bed!)

Ok, so its not pretty, and its small, got small doors and crawl spaces, plus slots for little nails to poke out of. The boxes interconnect with little doors leading through one to the other, side to side and up and down. I hope he likes it.

It still needs a few things. I could only find one bit of crinkly stiff plastic that I hung off one side. Eric approves of that. I plan to add more. I need some small toys attached with string or ribbon, plus something bouncy and dangly on wire. That ought to get his attention. For now he’s only barely explored it.

Like I said, not very creative today, but at least I got this done.

I’ve been giving thought to my next dog sculpture though and have some ideas. Who knows, I might start tomorrow. I have some air dry clay bowls to finish before I make more, so plan to work on them tomorrow too.

I PLAN to…

z

fish door – lockdown 2 day 20

No, I’m not losing my mind. (Yet.)

Its not a door for fish to come and go, as in ‘dog door’… Its a door with fish painted on it!

I mentioned a while ago that my cousin wanted some fish painted on his front door and I finished it yesterday.

Given that I normally work with watercolours and pastels, its always a challenge for me to work in acrylics. I need to put in the time to work with them in a dedicated way in order to conquere them. I’ve used acrylics many tmes over the years, but never feel as comfortable with them as I do with other mediums.

Anyway, here is the door before:

And in progress:

And here are the fish in closeup. Again, not the best pics. Man, I really gotta get on top of the fuzzy image problem…

Once again, I have a kitten in my lap as I write. He doesn’t ask to be in my lap, he simply climbs up my legs. That’s ok if he climbs up to play gently with my bracelets or the ties on my hoodie, but if he gets rough and bites or scratches I’ve been picking him up by the scruff and just plonking him on the floor. I think he’s learning… Mostly he just wants hugs.

He’s getting peskier as he gets more comfortable and grows. He’s now started exploring the ‘upper levels’ of the house. Yesterday he climbed onto the small cabinet in the bathroom and broke a glass holding some items. This morning when I went outside to water the plants I came in to find him on the sewing table. UGH.

This is what I dislike about cats.

Last night I started looking at ideas on how to make him a scratching post/cat tree sort of thing that will look nice, not take up too much room and I can make myself using things I can find. But where to put it? The tiny hallway space outside the bathroom is already tagged to hold a cabinet I plan to make (THIS YEAR) to hold linen and towels above and shoes below. I guess I could add a couple of shelves on the side which he can climb up to sleep…

I dunno.

Eventually he’ll grow into a big, hopefully lazy, quiet cat. But till then I have to deal with the crazy kitten phase… I hope my stuff survives.

Maybe I need to get a large container and start putting things away, wrapped and safe till I can have an exhibition…

Good thoughts.

z

its cats vs dogs – lockdown 2 day 18

Above is a preview of things to come… drying on my stove top. Cause I never cook. Couldn’t even if I wanted to: there are things drying on there (and in the oven)!

Today was a very productive day. It started with grooming Lainee and kept going, no lazy time today! I spent the whole day working on scuptures and playing with clay and loved it. I have about 8 things drying right now and will be posting them soon. I have to do something with the clay I bought otherwise I’m just wasting money and hoarding supplies.

Meanwhile, Eric helped by sitting on my lap and inspecting everything I did. He decided he loves my work apron and is constantly crawling up INSIDE it. Its good when he climbs up to the top and sits there, looking out. Its a safe spot, out of the way of clay hands and less risk of falling when I get up and move around.

Here he is below with a part of one of my sculptures. He obviously thinks its his toy.

No new pics of Lainee in her new hairdo, but here are a couple of photos of my uncles’ dogs.

Spitha
Rosie

I see these guys almost every day when I go to my uncle’s to spend time with mom. Its actually really nice to go there for coffee in the morning and chat with the family surrounded dogs.

Which reminds me, my cousin is waiting for me to do some more painting in his house… oops. totally forgot about that… Better get onto it tomorrow! Seems like the day is panning out busier than previously expected.

No rest for the wicked they say.

I must be very bad!

z

i’m a cat person – lockdown 2 day 17

I’ve always been a dog person. I love all animals, but dogs are the best. They’re the ones who live in my heart.

This summer alone I’ve helped 3 small kittens and a few older cats, and every time I’ve been able to let them go, find them homes, care for them outside my home, etc.

Kitten #3 is different somehow. I’m not sure what it is. The way he looks at me, the purring. He’s managed to wriggle into my heart.

I’m still trying to impose logic here: I don’t need another pet. I can barely afford the animals I care for already. Lainee deserves to have all my love and attention. I hate cat hair. Cats walk on tables and benches. Eww. Kitty litter – (gag) GROSS. I will try to find him a loving home… yet I still haven’t looked for a home for him. Maybe he’ll do something really annoying and I’ll be able to let him go….

Till then, I admit defeat and give in to kitten love.

Today a friend of mine told me she saw the photos and thinks this kitten has brought out something special in me, love, a glow… Lovely words. Yesterday another friend told me I was opinionated but not judgemental and was one of the very few people who didn’t annoy her. hahaha I have great friends. I often tell myself I must be a good person cause I have the best friends, people I love and respect.

This morning Lainee curled up in Eric’s basket, maybe in protest. Eric managed to push in and eat some of Lainee’s food. They both got on my lap and Eric searched for milk while Lainee gave me miserable looks. She’s only told him off once and now seems to have accepted him, though not enthusiastically. Sort of like rolling her eyes, grumbling under her breath and tolerating him rather than actually welcome him.

Its hard enough to work with a kitten climbing up my legs into my lap, wanting attention. Trying to work with two needy critters in your lap is impossible. They were both banished now and are both on the couch, at opposite ends. Fine. The last thing I need when I have clay fingers is to pry a kitten off my chest.

I sound whiney. I’m not really. I’m loving Netflix evenings cuddles with Eric and my morning cuddles with Lainee in bed. And I like the company of them both. Maybe I will keep him.

Maybe I don’t have a choice.

I gotta get to work. I have loads to do today, including giving Lainee some TCL. She needs a groom.

Later dudes!

z

shutters – lockdown 2 day 16

Day 16 and counting. First they said it was going to be a 3-week lockdown but nobody really believed that. Now it will be extended but when and for how much longer I don’t know. As it is, we never get truthful info on just how many cases of COVID 19 there are on Paros… Last I heard the free testing day resulted in 12 cases being diagnosed. No idea how many more there might be which haven’t been tested.

Yet my days are busier than ever with mom and mom-related activities.

Meanwhile this is me right now:

Not easy to type with a kitten wanting to be hugged all the time. When he isn’t typing for me he’s climbing all over me and yowling if I put him on the ground. sigh. Worst still is he’s learned to climb up my legs (ouch) to get up onto my lap.

What’s really wierd is that this little guy is getting under my skin. Maybe its the way he just sits and stares at me, or the fact that he wants to be on me all the time, purring and rubbing against me. Maybe its that he even made my mother (who hates cats and who swore at me for taking in Spartacus who gave us all ringworm) laugh with his cute face and antics with an empty paper bag.

This morning he played with the paper bag and ran around a while then went quiet. I looked for him everywhere as I wanted to put him in the bathroom when I went out and couldn’t find him. Thought he’d gotten under the couch again. The paper bag was in the middle of the floor so as I passed it I scooted it out of the way with my foot. Odd… heavier than usual. Turns out the little ratbag was asleep IN the paper bag!

I’ve always loved all animals and can’t resist helping any animal in need. Yet so far I’ve managed to resist keeping a cat. I’ve thought about it but always managed to say NO. I’m not sure if I actually want to give this boy up. Maybe logic will prevail if I can find him a good home.

Ya think?

Still, at least I managed to do something different today. My cousin asked me to paint the shutters in his ‘attic’ room… This is what I did.

The paint dribbles started accidentally cause the surface wouldn’t hold the watered down paint, but I loved the broken up look of the paint where it didn’t hold on the surface properly so I kept going. A thicker layer of paint held but I liked the result. I love accidents. Sometimes the best bits are the unexpected bits.

I’m not sure my cousin feels the same way. It might be too ‘arty’ for him, but that’s ok, I’m happy to redo if so.After all, he’s the one paying (in coffee…). I’ve been wanting to do octopus tentacles on his living room wall or on the ‘aloni’ (a cemented threshing circle in the yard) for years, at least I got a chance to do them SOMEWHERE in his house!

I really am missing working steadily without interruption. Today was a great day, but I only got to be creative for a very short time, the rest of the day being spent with other people, albeit happily. Tomorrow looks like the entire morning is blown… but I intend to put my foot down about Tuesday. I’m going NOWHERE. In the words of Alan Jackson:

I parked my car ’round back
I’ve got the shades pulled down
I told everybody including my mama
I was leaving town…

I’m just a rockabilly country hillbilly r’n’r dancing greek australian arty creative dog cat and animal loving (especially poodle loving) Netflix addicted home renovator book reading dog grooming blogger living on Paros in a tiny house surrounded by things I love and a serious case of garden envy.

That’s all she wrote folks!

See ya tomorrow!

z

bone charm – lockdown 2 day 15

Sharing a little charm I made for a bit of leftover air dry clay the other day. A lady I know has the most gorgeous silver bone charm on a chain around her neck and I really wanted one. So… not finding one, I made my own.

It might not be as fine or silver, but I still like it. It’ll be fun to wear in summer.

I made this a few days ago but finished it yesterday afternoon with a couple of coats of varnish and a large jump ring.

This post is a day late (again) cause I got busy with mom last night. Yeah, curfew is at 9pm so I had to be home by then, but I made the mistake of starting to watch Messiah on Netflix and I got hooked. I couldn’t get off till my eyes started to close around 12.30am.

Eric the kitten is starting to settle in a little. He doesn’t always run and hide when I walk close to him (like he did yesterday when I spent about 15min trying to get him out from under the couch). He’s using the litter tray reliably, cuddled while watching Netflix with me last night, and even started to approach Lainee for friendship. She continues to not be impressed and told him so, but she’s gentle. I think she’ll come around. I still don’t want a cat, but he has something special. Even mom was saying how cute he was and laughing at his antics. And she dislikes ‘filthy cats’!

And now I have to go. I got stuff to do! Can’t sit around on the computer all day!

z

dog with ball – lockdown 2 day 14

Before I say anything else, let me apologise for the pitiful photos. As I mentioned, I still haven’t found a good spot/setup for inside photography, even when using the camera instead of my phone.

Its been really cold, wet and windy here lately so going outside isn’t happening, and inside is just not well lit enough to take decent pics.

Anyhow, here is a finished dog sculpture: dog with ball. He was made the same way as the others – starting with cardboard, wire and foil, then papier mache and papier mache clay for the details. This little man was finished using fabric decoupaged on, not stitched like the first dog – Stitch. (yep, that’s his name!)

As I said, the photos are pathetic. Sigh. I really hope I get this right soon.

Here is the step by step gallery:

I love working with paper mache clay and now I’ve used all the bought stuff I’m going to have a go at making my own. I’ll keep you informed on how that goes… (or doesn’t).

So… looking for opinions. Do you like the finish? Better or worse than Stitch? Fabric or no fabric? Natural clay colour or paint?

I kinda like the old frayed fabric on the face…

Meanwhile at home things are not quiet… this cat (below) has decided she lives in my house and has been coming to my bedroom door/window every night and scratching at the flyscreen to be let in. My back yard (courtyard) is a cat-free zone so I don’t appreciate her digging up and pooping in my pots. I’ve put skewers in them now, but hopefully she won’t get into the yard any more cause today my neighbour had had enough of her pooping in HIS pots and he put up some wire where she was getting in. Clever girl was jumping through a small gap in his side fence and then leaping up and squeezing past my very unsturdy bamboo divider fence.

I’ve been calling her Fluffy, yeah real imaginative, I know. But I had to be able to differentiate her from Bob who looks similar but has a short coat and I really can’t think of another name!

Up till now every night when I hear her scratching at the flyscreen I’d been getting up and letting her in, then scooting her out the front door. When it got really cold I let her sleep in the bathroom one night. But that’s it. No cats in my house (she says… hmph)

I’m not a monster. Its cold out there. I’ve been running around the neighbourhood providing boxes, old drawers and plastic crates lined with cardboard and mats for cats to sleep in. I put them in undercover areas where they’ll be protected from the wind and rain. And today, to top it off, I went and bought a small dog kennel for the silver kitten (who I’m calling Selina as she’s the colour of moonlight) and Fluffy to share on my front porch since they are friends. I have no undercover areas at all.

And then… this morning… I heard a pitiful cry outside and found him!

Eric. A small kitty, bigger and healthier than Spartacus who gave me ringworm or staph or something. This boy is about 2 months old and healthy except for the fact that he’s had diarhea from his new food and I don’t know how to deal with it… He uses the kitty litter but didn’t make it last time and did it on my new rug (NO!!!!! HORRORS!!!) so he’s locked in the bathroom close to the litter box till tomorrow. Fingers crossed his tummy settles…

He really is sweet and gorgeous but I’m not a cat person. I have a low grade allergy to cats and cuddling him all afternoon hasn’t agreed with my skin which is now itchy… I know I can/will develop some kind of resistance, but hopefully I’ll find him a great home or soon as he’s big enough to stand his ground he will move out and share the dog kennel with Fluffy and Selina.

Why do kittens keep finding me? If I see kittens near big cats I leave them be, after all, one of them is probably the mother, right? But when they’re alone and have been outside crying for over an hour or two? sigh. I can’t help myself.

z