Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Friday, August 29, 2008

Crush Your Cat's Head Friday-You Can Lead A Cat To A Kitten But You Can't Make Her Like Him. Who Am I Kidding, You Can't Lead A Cat Anywhere.AC

Here is the kitteh update you’ve all been asking for.

How is Yoshi doing? Well…not great but not terribly awful either. She stopped eating all together a couple days ago and still occasionally (meaning pretty much every day) yaks bile which, I’ve discovered, leaves a lovely green stain on my carpet. Who said having cats was not like having kids? My berber disagrees.

So I started getting desperate and bought all sorts of yummy things Yoshi might successfully ingest with no luck. I vacillated wildly between guilt and exasperation. It was not pretty around here.

I tried to push the limits a little by keeping the cats separated all of the time except in the evenings when I allowed them to be in the same room with each other-supervised for fair play and safety. And the thing is that Yoshi, while not happy, was fairly calm and resigned to Dexter flinging his noodley kitten body all over the living room. She didn’t even blink when he chased a toy under her chair or ran close to her head. One night, when I was playing with Dexter and some toys she jumped down from her perch and crouched about two feet away to watch us, her eyes never leaving the kitten or the feather wand.

I thought I was seeing a very faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Not so much because Dexter started really wanting to be with Yoshi and to approach her and play with her and if he so much as looked in her direction that is when the hissing, spitting, and growling frothed up in full vitriolic volume. Only on Yoshi’s part as Dexter is probably the most laid back kitten I’ve ever met. Nothing fazes him at all.

So as I watched Yoshi losing weight and some days getting worse instead of better I started thinking that maybe this whole kitten idea was just not meant to be and that Yoshi simply couldn’t handle a new addition. I resigned myself to returning the kitten after the long weekend and feeling very incredibly horrible about it.

Then I saw this.

And I got MAD! People introduce new cats and dogs into their house all the time with little or no problems. I saw all those cats living together in harmony and I decided I wasn’t going to let a 9lb cat with a bad attitude run my household.

But I wanted a medical assurance that pushing her further wasn’t going to jeopardize her health. So off to the vet we went today and this is what she said:

-I do not have to get rid of the kitten!

-Yoshi is an exceptionally high-strung cat.

-It is possible if a cat has not eaten for a very long time for their whole digestive system to shut-down permanently and they can die.

-Yoshi is not even close to this stage.

-Yoshi has lost almost a pound this week but she is not underweight by any stretch.

-When a cat is stressed and vomits a lot their digestive tract gets all irritated and they lose their appetite. This is probably what is going on with Yoshi.

-They took blood and urine to rule out any other issues that might be complicating things.

-Being a jerk is not an official feline medical condition.

-I have to give her an antacid pill every night.

-I have to give her a syringe of laxative twice a day.

-I have to pry her stubborn Siamese lips open and force feed her a foul smelling cat mush every couple hours. Literally poke it down her gullet. Although she makes terrible noises and spits most of it out doing this will get her tummy working again and her appetite shall return. However, she will hate my ass for some time to come.

-This unanticipated and expensive vet visit means I will not be getting a new pair of winter boots next week.

The main thing I came away from the vet with is that while Yoshi is very high strung she only is so when it suits her. She did something similar to this several years ago when I went on holiday. I returned and that night she started vomiting uncontrollably and then started barfing blood. A visit to the emergency vet and almost $2000 later it was decided that she was stressed about my absence. And we all know what happened when I brought Lulu home. Yet every time I’ve moved into a new apartment she’s adapted just fine to her new surroundings. No hiding under the bed or anything. She was fine when I was going through treatment and in the hospital a lot. She acts totally freaked when the dogs come to visit or friends and family are over but the minute they leave she is all perky and cute like she didn’t just hiss and try to bite them. So there is definitely a component of my energy that is affecting her as well so I’ve got to get rid of all the guilt and fear and concentrate on visualizing exactly what I want to see happen in my house.

MY house.

Fight the feline power!

First co-mingling of death ray kitties- lasers on standby. Yoshi rasps, "Dexter, I am not your mother" *gaspgasp*

Second meeting-Yoshi is more relaxed. Dexter is trying to eat the kitty crate/cat jail/feline transport unit.

Third meeting. Dexter bogarts the kitteh drinking fountain. Yoshi is not amused. Barfs on my bed later to prove that bad manners go both ways.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kitteh Update

Day 3 of Kitteh Intro Hell:

Yoshi is really, really, REALLY pissed. She has taken to barfing twice a day on a 12 hour-you-could-time-your-watch-to-it schedule. She also will froth at the mouth to make a point of her displeasure. She won't eat. Not even tuna. Today she has taken to her bed with the vapors. In Yoshi world that means she is in her Snoozen Housen and won't come out. Last night after a little hissing but mostly curious sniffings I brought the kitten out and I think that is when Yoshi realized that he was not even remotely phased by her growlings and might actually be hanging around. Things got nasty when the kitten went to jump up on the sofa where Yoshi was. She literally screamed, punched the kitten in the head and then levitated off the couch to behind the plant knocking over the phone as she went. The kitten was unhurt and totally couldn't care less. I tried to stay calm and laughed it off. The sad part is that the kitten is absolutely fascinated with Yoshi and clearly wants to be friends.

Yeah... *swallows a handful of anti-anxiety meds*

So I am staying firm on this. I'm not sure how long Yoshi can go without food but she has some weight to spare around the rear end. The kitten is in my bedroom for now. I am really hoping Yoshi will finally get so hungry she will give up. I am trying to stay positive and visualize the results I want out of this. Yet, there is a little tiny part of me that wonders if Yoshi could starve herself to death out of spite.

I thank you all for the most excellent name suggestions. I took the ones I liked and tried them out and ended up going with one I had written down many weeks ago when I started this whole adoption process. So with a nod of recognition and imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery acknowledgement to Torrie and her pooch I have decided to call the kitten Dexter. Dexter von Cheddar. It simply suited him the best.

Dexter purrs constantly. I am totally serious. He purrs when he plays, when he snuggles, when he is getting a huge vaccination in his neck, when you accidentally step on him... The vet couldn't hear his heart because he wouldn't stop purring. When I lay on the couch with him he will walk up my body and throw his furry self onto my face drooling with purrs and joy. Settling in under my chin for a snooze is his favourite thing. So cute. He is absolutely the sweetest, bravest, cutest kitten. He loves everybody and is not remotely shy or scared.

Thank God because Yoshi will try to break his spirit after she finishes with mine.

Making Biscuits on Yoshi's Bed.
She Won't Sleep On It Now.

Den of Despair

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer Lovin' Happened So Fast

Well, let’s see what I’ve been up to lately. You know; typical summer stuff. My very good friend, Pablo came for a visit from Montreal and we went to the beach a couple times and even went Par 3 Golfing with my mom. I was caddy with the putters.

I put my panic disorder to the test and actually ate out in a restaurant twice. So YAY!

On the down side I mysteriously broke out in terrible hives for about three days. I had huge welts or hives on my knees, shins, one foot, upper arms, hands (including palms) and chest. A monstrous dose of antihistamines did the trick. No clue what I might have reacted to. My doc thinks it could be sun. I may have to rethink a Cuban vacation in the near future.

Also Pablo had to cut his Vancouver vacation very short due to work issues. Dammit!

So I’ve been planning the upcoming 2009 Iconic Women By Yoshi Calendar and hopefully will avoid the heinous time stresses I had last year. So far so good.

And, um, let’s see…what else is new with me?

Oh yeah…


9 Weeks Worth of Flame Point Terror Recently Neutered

Yoshi is separated from him for now and they have seen each other from behind bars. Yoshi is clearly not impressed with lots of hissing but when the kitten is out of sight she is VERY curious lurking outside the bedroom door. The attitude seems to be turned on and off as she sees fit. Everybody pray hard for us that Yoshi and The Kitteh can become friends. Or at least tolerate each other.

His name? No idea yet. I didn’t expect to get him so soon so I am kinda unprepared. He is absolutely the snuggliest and friendliest kitten I’ve ever met. Constant purring. Wants to be on you all the time. Very clingy. I REALLY want to keep him but the SPCA says I can bring him back if Yoshi freaks out. But that is not going to happen, right?


Any name ideas?

You Know, Just Thinkin' 'Bout Stuff.

I Has A Tired.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Crush Your Cat's Head Friday-Doppelganger

When I recently dog-sat Lulu and Xiola for 5 days I bought them some new toys to play with at my house. Their particular favourite was this hedgehog that made an alarming "ack ack ack" noise when shaken. The dogs LOVED it. They loved it so much I found myself tripping on it quite often when it was left in the middle of my floor. Except when that would happen I'd do that awkward 'sacrifice your spine alignment' avoidance skip/jump/lurch because I always thought this toy was actually Yoshi and I was about to step on her. If I didn't actually have any reflexes and had the luxury of time to think about it I'd never make that mistake as Yoshi, for the first 3 days never left my bedroom. Never.

I started calling the hedgehog Yoshi since it was under my feet far more than she was that weekend.

Then on the last day Yoshi got brave and started emerging from the bedroom merely to walk right up to the dogs and hiss in their faces only to turn around and walk right back into the bedroom again. The best part was when she would walk up to the hedgehog toy and hiss at it too for good measure. You know, just in case it was trying to make friends or thinking of eating her kibble.


Show it how you really feel, Yoshi.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Doing My Part

I'm off to get a DQ Blizzard as all proceeds go to the Children's Miracle Network.

It is a sacrifice I'm willing to make for the kids.

One Of Those 'Life' Posts Filled With Questions That Have No Answers And Lots Of ' Marks

Do you ever find yourself in the same difficult and perplexing situations over and over again? You start to wonder if the universe is trying to teach you something or it is some heinous personal defect since the only constant element in all these situations is you.

Or in this case, me.

My particular situation is that am finding it increasingly difficult to be in the company of people.

I have a couple things going against me. First of all I have terrible social anxiety complicated by some pretty weird phobias. Any social situation is pretty agonizing on most levels. Secondly I am very sensitive to the emotions of others and so called ‘vibes’. Just very aware of the undercurrents of most interactions. Some therapists think this is why I have such bad anxiety. It is like I am lacking some sort of protective life filter.

That is another consideration as well. I’ve had a lot of therapy. A LOT. Some really bad but mostly good. I’ve learned a great deal about myself and the various limits and problems I deal with daily and as a result I am also able to recognize various psychological ‘issues’ (pronounced ithews) in others.

Let me give you an example. I have some family members who bicker a lot at family gatherings. You know, insults with smiling faces. They would also talk poorly about other family members behind their backs. When I first started seeing these people socially I would become seriously depressed for a day or two afterwards. On a couple occasions I was even teary. It got to the point where I would decline invitations to be social with them. With a couple therapy sessions I came to realize that bickering is the way some families show affection. Certainly not how I am comfortable with showing affection but each to their own, right? And I also learned that I could very subtly and politely show that I was not accepting of the negative talk about other family members. It totally worked and I am now able to be social with these people again.

The fact is that I was not raised to be assertive at all. I was raised to be ‘good’ and we all know that being ‘good’ often means being a doormat. For years I have not stood up for myself when being treated poorly and have swallowed all the emotions that go along with that. No wonder I have depression and anxiety, right? It is only in the last few years that I have stood up for myself and become pretty open about how I am feeling and, especially, how I want to be treated. As when anybody learns a new skill it is not always performed perfectly but overall I am happy with these changes. I’ve learned that not only am I a pretty quirky outspoken person with people I know and trust but in fact a leader in many respects opposed to the follower I always thought I was.

But here is the thing; I still am not sure how to deal with people who hold back from me. I’ve had a few friends/family members/acquaintances who I could sense were annoyed, displeased, or outright angry with me and for whatever reason couldn’t tell me so. I trust my gut that I am right about this and can probably guess what I had said or done to make them feel this way. Usually it is that I have an opinion that differs from theirs or have done something that they disagree with. And fair enough. I am happy to say that I am ok with all this and am totally happy to be disagreed with. I can safely be sure that I’ve not done or said anything out of malice or anger. Or it might simply be a misunderstanding. But they won’t tell me. They just start treating me differently. Sometimes it is just a feeling and sometimes it is outright passive aggressive behavior. In any case I just don’t know how to talk to somebody who cannot tell me what is wrong. And I hate being afraid to be myself and have my opinions and own ideas when I think they clearly are uncomfortable with that.

A few years back I had a very good friend who I met at work. We totally hit it off and became very close very quickly. We had a blast hanging out and were very similar in many ways. I totally trusted her and really felt like she had my back. After a couple years she seemed to be having some problems at work. I tried very hard to be supportive but found it very hard to know how to do that. So I just tried to listen and agree with her feelings. A few months went by and her behavior towards me started to change. I’d ask her if everything was ok and she’d say it was just work. But I knew it wasn’t. Unfortunately she decided to bring up everything that had been bothering her about me while we were on vacation together. Stuff that had happened over a year or two in the past and unto itself not a big deal but over time it had festered within her until it became so overwhelming she damned near lost her freaking mind. Her behavior scared me and after she brought up personal stuff I’d trusted her with and thought she accepted me for (mostly about the limits of my anxiety disorder) and then threw it in my face I knew I couldn’t save the friendship and I’ve never spoken to her since.

I hate that it got so out of hand. I really missed her but ironically not as much as I thought I would as I didn’t realize until I was out of the friendship how much I had to tippy-toe around her ‘stuff’. It was somewhat a relief in many ways to have her out of my life.

So what do you do when you just wish your friends/family/aquaintances would come out and say what they are feeling? How do you deal when you feel like you can’t be straight with them or else they will disengage or ‘punish’ you in some way?

Is this a common situation with friends and acquaintances or am I just some crazy lady? Is being up-front, honest with how I am feeling, and willing to talk about how we can agree to disagree maybe not a good thing?

Being with people is hard.