Cats and mental health

Tessa the builder

Some days after moving to our new place, I discovered something I’d rather not seen: a leaking water pipe in the kitchen. The following construction work drove me nuts, but surprisingly, the cats coped rather well.

I totally got Tessa’s excitement when our new kitchen arrived (mind you, after 6 weeks without a kitchen, I was very excited myself!).

 

However, I’ve to admit that I never understood why she was so fond of this very spot. She spent almost all her time there.

I know; cat logic, no idea to even bother, but I couldn’t stop wondering why on earth she was sitting there for many days. She never made a mess with the things around her, she was just relaxing on the concrete floor.

Anyway. She actually helped me a lot with her weird behavior. I was so stressed and annoyed by the construction work that I could do with some craziness. I normally had to laugh when I saw her and felt much better. So in a way I encouraged her sitting there, but I think she had another reason as well. A reason reasonable for cats.

 

Sometimes a belly is all you need

Tessa and Kajsa were helping me through a day full of anxiety attacks after bad news from my family today. They are very patient listeners, and oh they know how to comfort you: a purring cat on your chest, massaging your anxiety away, is hard to top.

However, there’s something magic about a belly of an excited cat that wallows in valerian.

Even if you’re not allowed to touch this beautiful belly.

 

Insomnia

My shrink decided to change my meds – which is probably a good idea in the long run, but not funny for the moment.

I’m so tired, but at the same time suffering from insomnia. I wished I could sleep through the night. Ok, this is one of the reasons my psychiatrist wanted to change my medication, so I can’t blame the transition of old to new meds for that.

My nursing staff is most excellent.

Warmth, love, coziness. Something to laugh about, and a reason to keep up. I’m lucky enough to have family and friends, but they don’t live with me. And they certainly don’t need me to go to the kitchen to feed them. It’s often hardest to get up, to do something at all, but when I’m already in the kitchen, I fix some food for me too.

 

Anxiety

These two pictures show the stairs at our old place. The staircase is very tight with walls on both sides and it was very difficult to move furniture. For some reason I thought that my bed would slide down the stairs if I “threw” it down. I removed the brown handrail and let the bed slide down the stairs.

Unfortunately it only got halfway. I couldn’t lift it anymore, and all my attempts to push it down made matters worse: the bed got stuck.

I was exhausted from moving, heat, quarrels and money problems. The *#$§”!** bed was stuck. I was locked on the second floor and in this very moment, I thought that I wouldn’t make it. I laid down on the floor and tried to call my friend, but I was crying so much that I couldn’t breathe. I had a very bad anxiety attack.

Two things happened while I was crying on the floor. Kajsa was sniffing at my tears, licked some of them away, sat down on my chest and started purring. Her purring always calms me down. Anxiety feels worse in my chest: like I can’t breathe anymore, that a very heavy weight is on my chest. Kajsa’s purring is vibrant and feels like a massage. I always imagine that she’s kneading anxiety away from my chest when she sits there and purrs.

I was about calming down when we both heard a sound.

Tessa was meowing and very very excited. She had been downstairs and wanted to know what’s going on upstairs – only to discover a fantastic climbing object and scratch tree in the staircase. She was so happy and excited that I just had to start laughing instead of crying.

I let her climb the bed many times until I got a saw and solved the problem. Good thing that I didn’t want to take the bed to our new place!

 

Status Quo: diarrhea, ear infection and mental illness

Mamma had one of her nightmares the other day. She was at the psychiatric hospital where she stayed for three months last year. The nurses had taken us away, because Mamma didn’t take care of us. Well, she did, but her house was such a mess, that the psychiatrists decided that Mamma couldn’t take care of herself, and certainly not of her cats. This nightmare never seemed to stop; she was cleaning all the time, but it wasn’t good enough. Tessa and I were lonely and on death row, and Mamma was exhausted and distressed. She tried to smuggle us somewhere in a parcel, but the nurses controlled all her bags and boxes.

I think the nurses sound very evil; I want to bite them and pee on their beds. Mamma says that it’s really bad to be on psychiatric ward, but the nurses weren’t evil. Mamma didn’t know her own best when she was there, and that’s why they decided everything for her, even though Mamma didn’t agree. (more…)

V as in Vulnerable. We’re getting to know each other

cat wakes me upSo who was at 7 am alive and in a good mood? All of us! Ok, you knew that they wouldn’t die tonight, but it’s a miracle that I was in a good mood at this time of the day. Kajsa is the best alarm I’ve ever had. Ok, sorry Mom, you were great as well, but you weren’t so cozy! She was again waking me up at 6.55 (she really has a great sense of time!), and she was so gentle! She carefully touched my face with her nose and paws, and started to pet me. She became so happy when I opened my eyes, and we cuddled for some time. This is really great – keeping my day rhythm is crucial to my mental health, and they’re really helping me to get up! (more…)

Weekly review – week 16 (2015), Sunday Selfie and Blog Award

My crazy week

Team Shelter had a really eventful week. I was very ill and crossed my limits. I was at the emergency room, but I could go home after a long day. I cut all my aloe vera plants, because I wanted to avoid that my cats need emergency treatment. I was worried about the power balance between my cats, but Tessa was very relaxed and showed off. Tessa was also easy-going when their cage was open, but Kajsa and I were overwhelmed.

In short: many things happened, but the real excitement is still ahead: THIS WAS MY LAST WEEK WITHOUT CATS! 3 days to go! (more…)

L as in limit. A long way to go

I planned on writing a post on cat litter today. It doesn’t work out. I’m so tired, and I’m feeling really bad. I haven’t eaten for 2 days, and I can’t get anything down. I’m having severe problems writing English. My language skills are always suffering when I’m feeling bad.

I’m very bad at accepting and knowing my limits. I wouldn’t have written a post at all if I was better at accepting my limits. But this easy solution is good for being me. I’m back tomorrow, because I already wrote the Wordless Wednesday post. Right now, I feel really word- and ‘worldless’. Thank you for all your comments and thoughts. Thank you, Ellen, for your awards. I’m not able to respond today, so I’ll try again tomorrow. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate it.

I as in Impossible and as in I’m possible

Today it’s time for a challenged challenge! This post is both part of the A to Z Challenge and The Lazy Pit Bull’s blog hop* 52 Snapshots of Life – A weekly themed photo challenge. This week’s topic is blessing.

I was in psychiatric ward exactly one year ago. I suffered from severe depression and anxiety disorder. I’m still on a long-term sick leave, but I’m feeling much better this spring. A year ago, it felt impossible to recover. I freaked out when people told me that I needed to be patient, and time will heal. I couldn’t imagine a future. At all.

The hospital’s psychologist asked me what I would choose if I could change something in my life. (more…)

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