Monday, 5 September 2016

Julie was a feral cat who showed up outside the house two springs ago.  Slowly we gained her trust and could pet her and she would sit on our laps and eat dried fish.

It was time to get her fixed but it was too late. She was very pregnant. She had four sweet kittens this spring and we kept "Whiteboots".

A month back  the dreaded appointment was made and it was time to catch Julie and take her to the vet before she got pregnant again.

She was lured into catch proximity with a dried fish and picked up by the back of the neck. She never minded this in the past as it usually lead to a tummy rub and a few more dried fish. But when it was time to put her in the pet carry cage she went wild and bit and clawed.  Her teeth went right through the heavy gloves. I dropped her and then lunged to grab her.  She bit some more and scratched some more. She got away a second time and she ran right into the carry cage and the door was closed on her.

There was blood everywhere. 30 deep deep gashes on my hands and forearms. Bone deep bites on my thumb and fingers. As I drove her to the vet a realized I was having severe chest pains. Right over my heart.

Oh is all over.

Heart attack.

The vet saw the agony and I gasped...chest...pain...arghhhh.

"Are you having trouble breathing???"

No..... A few presses and he said..."It looks like you have severely pulled your left chest muscle and may have cracked a rib when you grabbed Julie."

Over three weeks have past and I averaged two hours sleep a night because of the pain.
Today was the first almost pain free day.

 Computer work was fine as long as there was no laughing, coughing or sneezing...

Things did get done. Slowly and with a grimace.

Indigo got harvested and dried in the sun. My old knit machine is running smoothly. A lot of thread got dyed and coned and knitted up in the last few weeks during and between typhoons.

Autumn is not quite here yet. The autumn insects chirp in the evenings.

There is still enough punch in the sun to dye with persimmon tannin.

Silk thread for kumihimo braiding soaking up ultra-violet rays to turn the persimmon tannin golden brown. 

The indigo is starting to flower.

Harvesting indigo below the house. It was the third harvest of the year from the same plants. There is a mountain of dried leaves waiting for January to start the fermentation process.

A lot of cotton thread has been through the indigo vats this year.

Greens and grey from oak leaves as well.

Coning....... it takes time.

Beautiful Indigo Dyed Coned Mercerized Cotton Thread.

My old knitter is from Brooklyn 1959. 

The indigo knits are gorgeous and they will be t-shirts before Christmas. 

Whiteboots may get a little indigo cat sweater for Christmas.


  1. Sorry about your aches but your blog brings back memories.

    1. I hope they aren't memories of torn chest muscles..sorry to trigger them!
      Memories of kittens are almost always good.

  2. what a story Bryan! And did you bring Julie home?? Great dye colours. Do you use bamboo?

  3. I forgave Julie. We are suspicious of each other and keep our distance. Hiro still spoils her everyday. Bamboo is too subtle of a beige for this denim barbarian!

  4. Sorry to read about your pain and damage but so glad it wasn't a heart attack. I laughed to read that after all that Julie put herself in her carry cage! Cats eh?!! Love the gorgeous blues in your pictures.

  5. Hi Lis, Yeah with blood dripping down my arms I found a micro-second to snicker at Julie backed into the cage hissing at me. I flipped the cage door shut with my one intact finger. I wasn't feeling very sympathetic to her ordeal. I was kinder the next day when she came home looking terrified and wobbly.

  6. ouch! triple ouch! the indigo looks wonderful. i bet that machine is a treat to design with!

  7. Oh no! So sorry to hear about your misadventures with Julie. Hope you and she have both mended and can start to trust each other again.

  8. Bryan!!! your chest muscle :( sorry to hear about that. An indigo cat sweater is a must though.