February Update – a broken tooth, an ill cat, and other curveballs

While the whole of January was a bit all over the place, the last week was just, well, a curveball from start to finish.

The year started with some family members and neighbours being the victims of robberies (good old South Africa – you can always count on her on getting the year off to a good start), but luckily no one was hurt physically.

Then, just as I thought the last week of January would be a simple downhill to February, the universe laughed and kicked me.

I did learn, however, that I shouldn’t eat popcorn while reading, as I don’t focus on what I’m doing. I ended up eating an unpopped kernel and breaking a tooth. Okay, more like a big chip, but still. Luckily I wasn’t in pain as my dentist could only see me on Friday as he was ill part of the week. And, since I wasn’t in excruciating pain, I couldn’t blame them for taking the people who were in pain first.

The tooth was, however, mostly forgotten as Sir Tristan got ill this week. He’s fine now, it seems, and I suspect it was a hairball or something. But he honestly looked on the verge of death the one day. It was that awful feeling where you know if you take them to the vet now, the choice will be a few weeks of suffering or euthanasia now. I ended up deciding to wait one more day as he was still eating and it was just as well I did. By Saturday he was running around again and seems to be fine now. Huzzah!

Still, I’ve had him since 2007 when he pitched up in our garden a few weeks after my mom’s cancer diagnosis. So he’s been there through all of that and more with me. I know he’s getting on in years, but I don’t think we can ever be ready for the death of a beloved pet. (By the way, yes, I did try and find his owner and didn’t just adopt him. Although I guess he adopted me…)

The cherry on top, I guess, was that my anaemia came back. I hadn’t been sleeping well after the robberies, so it took me about a week to realise that I’m stupid and that the fatigue is from iron deficiency. I also only then realised that I hadn’t taken iron supplements for two weeks instead of the three days my brain had stopped counting at when all hell broke loose. Oops. But I’m almost back to normal now – well as normal as any fantasy writer can ever be!

And, hopefully, February will be more productive fiction writing-wise.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.


  1. I also broke a tooth! and found my cat tragically frozen in a pond. That was a huge blow. I’m happy yours was okay. Years ago I had a horrible time with anemia, but not since a hysterectomy. I remember that feeling, though. Once my daughter found me unconscious in the bathroom with a big gash across the bridge of my nose. I had blacked out and apparently hit the vanity on the way down, and my glasses broke. I needed nine stitches to close the wound, which bled like the dickens. She called 911 and the ambulance came and I couldn’t speak. I was in the hospital for a week. They found my hematocrit was 7 and think I may have had a TIA as well. February was not the greatest writing month for me. I had a great NaNoWriMo November and wrote a first draft of more than 50,000 words. Gotta get back up to speed again.


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