So I used to have a cat, but developed allergies. When the cat died, that was it.
I DO have a garden - flowers, not vegetables (there are too many farmers' markets and CSA options near where I live). Working in the garden centers me. I find something very primal about scrabbling in the dirt feeling the sun's warmth on my back and breathing in those earthy plant smells.
Plants have a passive-aggressive way of communicating. If they like a spot, they flourish, sometimes spread enthusiastically. If they don't like the spot, they slowly wither and die, unless I intervene to correct the situation.
Gardening teaches me patience. It takes time (sometimes years) to see if what I thought would work together actually does or not. So I have to keep plugging away and patiently making adjustments, just as I do with knitting and weaving.
Flowering plants provide me with color inspration, too. Think about siberian iris with their combinations of deep purple, whiteyellow and green. Or wiegelia, with it's brilliant mauve and fuschia blossoms, green leaves and brown stems.
I never realized at the time I was making this where the color combination originated. And then the snow melted, the squill bloomed, and I saw! Voila!