The importance of cats

I don’t feel well.

This is not the same old whining about my back pain, whimpering about the fatigue, or general complaints about the myriad of symptoms from the depression and fibromyalgia that I’ve generously sprinkled amidst all the posts since I began blogging almost a year ago.

This malaise may or may not be cat related. I’m harboring LaLa’s cat while she and her boyfriend seek housing of their own as opposed to being reliant on the availability of couches to surf amongst their friends and associates.

As a matter of fact the week long series of migraines I experienced last week could very well have been caused or exacerbated by the poor feline’s lack of supplies to maintain necessary levels of sanitation and cleanliness. She currently resides under my bed and due to lack of other options and the fact that, according to the rules and regs of the property we live at, pets are not allowed.

So, why would I risk the consequences and take her cat in?

Because LaLa loves and is attached to the cat the way I love and am attached to my children. In much the same way I became a parent and responsible for the well-being of those I was ill-equipped to care for but loved and cared for with a desperate need, Lala came to care for and be attached to this animal. During the times I wasn’t able to care both for myself and for my children, I did everything I could to ensure there were others able and willing to provided for them.

I am powerless over LaLa’s life now and it is not in the scope of my ability to fix and change things for her at this stage of her life. Legally and technically she is an adult and responsible for her own choices, actions and circumstances from the day she turned 18. Another factor is that I don’t have the necessary resources to provide the kind of assistance and support she needs financially and we both know her moving back in would not work out well for either of us or our relationship. I wish it were different and I hope she does too.

So, I am providing a safe haven for her cat.

I woke up with another headache and, I could be mistaken, but it feels like my sleep has been more disturbed and less restful. Now I am also experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms that make me want to stay close to the “water closet.”

I seriously hope it is a case of all the emotional and psychological stress from doing all the work I have been doing triggering the IBS aspect of the fibro, the insomnia and the migraines. If it isn’t and I’m dealing with an allergy to cats, I’m about to be in for a whole bunch of additional misery for the sake of the people I love.

We are in the process of getting the child and family services therapist sign off on the mental health “necessity” to bring two of our family’s cats that have been living at Jerry’s mother’s house to live with us.

I think I can hear a collective, gasp, sigh and protest. Perhaps even see, in my mind’s eye the shaking of heads and rolling of eyes. There goes the progress in the battle against co-dependency, right?

Yeah, well, sometimes a conscious choice to sacrifice one’s comfort for the sake of loved ones isn’t anything other than a sign that you love them.

Jerry has always had a cat in his life that has been a source of attachment and comfort, a representation of love for him. Having to foster her out to his parents house when he moved in here last year just about became the straw that broke the camel’s back after the separation we had gone through, the loss of his job, and the loss of his apartment. Since his dad died and the difficulties his mom has had, resulting in her losing her house, he has continued to struggle. She won’t be able to take all three cats with her and since two of them used to be ours, they either come back to us or wind up at the shelter and likely euthanized because none of us have the money to get them housed in a no kill shelter until someone rescues them. Jerry is as attached to his cat as LaLa is to hers.

The third cat has been part of our family and our lives for about 13 years. He had been a tiny, starving, kitten who had been found by Jerry’s parents the Summer of ’99. We became his de facto owners when Jerry’s dad refused to allow him inside but was willing to take a different cat we had taken in but who didn’t get along with the others. Yep, multiple cats then and now. Maybe one day I’ll do a series on all the cats who have taken over my life at different times. Anyway, he grew to be a very good sized cat, lean but long and tall almost the size of a small wild cat. He is also the cat that will allow Luna to channel the Tiny Toons Adventures character of Elmyra. In other words, in her childish desire to love and possess him she can do all kinds of things and he won’t react in any hurtful way. It is my hope and belief that bringing him into our home will help Luna to deal with some of the attachment issues she does have and give us another parenting tool to help in her social-emotional development.

So, yeah, I am willing to risk some discomfort for the sake of the ones I love. Now, where did I put that Benadryl?

Gratitude Day 15
Domesticated animals of all kinds. I know of so many people who might have completely given up on their lives were it not for their animal family members. Just because I don’t feel the same level of attachment and am uncomfortable with the extra care, expense, and mess they might contribute to my life doesn’t mean I can’t understand, appreciate, validate or accept their necessity and significance in the lives of others.

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6 comments

  1. As a crazy cat lady myself, I wish you luck with your feline family members. They’re a weird little group, but as long as you can handle them health-wise, they’re wonderful. God bless allergy medications.

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    1. Mary,
      I have a great appreciation for cats, being semi-catlike myself. Meaning I prefer to rest, do what is of interest to me, and receive affection on terms which I dictate. They can be the best companions, but if you neglect their needs, boy are you in for it. They are pretty good teachers of cause, effect and natural consequences in that way.

      I completely understand their appeal. I just have difficulty meeting my own and Luna’s needs and keeping clear walk ways along the paths of our destruction each day, the additional responsibility for the continued well-being and maintenance of three additional bodies, no matter how small, is a tad exhausting.

      It will work out and I’ll try to focus on the benefits as much as possible.

      Be well,
      Kina

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  2. My animals are like my babies. I love them *almost* as much as I love my daughter, especially my dog, since he follows me around like a clingy toddler, haha. When we moved to New Jersey from Pa, we had a hard time finding housing that would let us bring the dog (we didn’t have the cats yet. They’re only a year old). I almost had to leave him with my mom, and that thought broke my heart. She was more than willing to do it, though. He’s a good dog ❤

    Good for you for recognizing this attachment and putting your loved ones above yourself. If only everyone could do that!! I'm sure they appreciate this more than you realize!

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    1. Pam,
      Thank you. I’m really glad this resonated with you and I truly appreciate you sharing your experience. Glad you got to keep your dog when you moved.

      I’m starting to think that part of the reason behind my inability to fully appreciate and love the various animals who have claimed our family over the years is that same part of me that has affected my ability to fully bond and attach to my children. Something else to explore and another reason to ensure Luna gets to experience it.

      Blessings,
      Kina

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