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  • Peta Hawker

Big emotions need time to be felt, seen and heard.

Two weeks ago this crazy creature gave us the fright of our lives when he stopped breathing for far too long. Perhaps it was a random cat seizure (this is a thing?), or maybe he choked on something, but either way, it was one of the most terrifying things to happen to our usually healthy cat family.

The experience shed light on the challenges of living remotely. The utter desperation we felt when we realised that with no vet on the island and the ambulance ferry only taking human patients, our options to save the life of our baby were limited.

Our boat, always intended to be ready to go at any moment, wasn't seaworthy at the exact moment we needed it to be. We thought we might lose Freddie before the next passenger ferry arrived.

Fortunately, he came back to us (slowly, far too slowly) and started breathing again. The vet doesn't know what it was, but they weren't overly concerned. Maybe a seizure, maybe something blocked his windpipe. Standard cat things.

He's fine now, back to his usual crazy self, but for my partner and I the last two weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster. My usual resilience (thanks yoga practice) has been hampered by the ongoing chaos of the world, by a snap lockdown on the same day, by 18 months of not feeling grounded. I've been an absolute wreck.

It's as though the effects of all the fear-mongering and wild polarisation have finally hit me. 

And in the background of all of this - my novel is in editing, the cover design and branding are well underway, and I've secured a mapmaker. The wheels are in motion, and I'm grateful for all the work I put in earlier so that I can sit back and feel these big emotions without needing to put so much energy into book production.

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