Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Slow stitching with the elder cats & Walter and I are in the in-between time

This week I took my threads out to the cat room and began taking a couple hours a day to slow stitch amongst the old cats. This is a very special time for me and Walter. 

Walter and I [and the other three remaining elders, all are 18-20] are in the in-between. He seems to be losing strength in his hind, which is very common when they get this old. I've seen it a million times. I've noticed that his bone structure in his face is shifting, more sunken as muscle is lost. It's been a few weeks since Lemon passed. While Walter had surely lost weight over the year like Lemon, Lemon was much thinner and clearly on his way in due time. In the past couple days I've seen something shift in Walter. He is not depressed or anxious or sad or ill. He simply seems the most content I've ever seen him, and the most bonded to me he has ever been. Our journey together has been so rewarding and we took our time to get here. 

Today he wanted to be with me, sitting on my stitching, then my lap. He got up a few times but always came back. If you had told me this would be our final part of the journey when he first arrived, feral and scared, I might not have gone along with it.

I think these moments we are having our the most beautiful and profound moments I've encountered for awhile. I had been feeling the muse provoke me over and over to take my stitching out to the cat room and kept forgetting or got busy with something else. But in the last few months there has been a shift in me too. I simply want to do the work I feel like at the moment and not feel any push to do something speciific for the shop. I still make my living this way, but these past months have felt more liberating. I don't know why.

Anyway, today I was thinking -did my muse urge me on to work in the cat room, or did Walter also urge me on, so we could be together even more in these final weeks or months that he has? Yume too is clearly transitioning and she too came and sat in my lap yesterday as I sewed-this is unheard of. She is tiny but now is very, very tiny, and pretty blind too. One can't predict the muse, but when it speaks, an artist learns to listen. If they can't follow the muse, they get all messed up and confused. And if you can't follow the muse you are probably in a part of your art career that is taking you on a certain path that you feel is necessary to make a living or grow a clientele. I'm glad I'm passed that part. I always played with the muse but it is really since I started my own shop and quit reps and galleries and focused on my writing too that things settled into what I have now. It wasn't luck. And it was a winding path. And I made some wrong turns.

I've decided that I like working out there, and I also like having fewer cats in the elder suite [we had 12 at one time and usually had around 8-10, but we are down to four, and they are all very old]. I think I will make it my slow stitch and sewing area. They get my time, I get their time. I think I'll take my sewing machine out there too.

{I post my art and stitching and creative work regularly on Instagram}