Life Challenges

Cassandra Tondro collage art

Hi Friends,

This has been a challenging week for sure. Luci, my cat, had to have dental surgery, and five teeth were extracted, including both upper canines.

Fortunately domesticated cats don’t need most of their teeth to be able to eat. In the wild they use their canines to tear meat, but then they swallow it whole, without much chewing. Commercial cat food is ground or cut into pieces for them.

I knew her teeth were bothering her, and I’d been putting this off for a year because her kidneys were weak. She couldn’t handle the anesthesia. Thanks to homeopathy her kidneys are better, and I was able to take her in for the procedure.

It’s been difficult to manage her pain, and I’m using a combination of a painkiller and homeopathics. She’s doing OK now, but there were some rough days that made me feel like a really bad mom for putting her through this.

Luci the cat

As if that weren’t enough, trauma flared up. My trauma coach seems to know exactly how to trigger my issues, which is good, in a way, because it allows us to see them and work on releasing them. But it’s not a fun process to go through.

He managed to get me into a state of despair, but a couple of days later something amazing happened. I suddenly had a feeling of complete clarity and peace, and I felt like I was OK. More than OK. It was a feeling that no matter what happens, I’ill be fine. It was an uplifting feeling, and all of my worries just fell away.

I’ve noticed that more interesting art seems to come from struggle than joy. I’m not of the opinion that artists need to suffer for their art, but I do find it more compelling to express difficult emotions in my work. Maybe that’s just me.

How has your week been, and how do you engage with pain? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,

Collage at top: “Broken,” 14 x 11 inches, collage on wood panel



  1. You area great cat mom, with a beautiful cat. She looks like a queen. I appreciate that you share your personal struggles, and your issues with trauma. Many of us have experienced trauma and it is helpful to bring that to light.

    1. Thanks, Holly. Fortunately Luci is doing better now, and she can eat a bit on her own. But she prefers to be hand-fed! Not sure how I’m going to break her of that habit. There are many different ways to release trauma, and none of them seem to be easy! It’s like you have to re-experience it to release it, which is no fun at all. Wishing you all the best in your journey!

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