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Invisibly Ill Animals?

You know you’ve abandoned your blog for too long when your Dad mentions it’s been a while since your last update. And if you have an overly attentive stalker dad then this means nothing to you, but you get my meaning.

Here’s what’s been going on with me. Since my last post:

  • I was unexpectedly offered my first full time job with a salary and benefits.
  • I abruptly put in my two weeks notice at my job at the school.
  • I spent two emotional weeks mourning the loss of “my boys” that I’d come to love so much there over the past two years.
  • I moved to another city, leaving hubby and kitty to fend for themselves until he graduates – putting us in an awkward long-ish distance relationship for 2-3 weeks.
  • I moved in with my parents and got settled.
  • I started my new job – literally the day after my last day in my old job – zero transition time.

And that’s not including old boring news like dealing with two incurable illnesses that flare under stress.

I’m sure some of you have noticed me liking or commenting on really old posts from literally weeks ago – I’m very behind in my blog reading, but I’m also very devoted and I try to not skip out on reading your posts. But excuses aside, I did want to post at least a little content for you, even if it is lighthearted and silly.

Last night I had a Face Time date with my cat, Mimi. Hubby facilitated this of course, but I mostly talked to my cat and she talked to me. She’s very talkative. And since my angel baby is on my mind, I thought I’d write a bit about her for you.

invisible illness cat sick allergies

This is Mimi. She’s been my kitty baby for three years, and she is invisibly ill. She doesn’t look sick, does she? Just a normal cat, sitting in a box and being a fatty. But it’s true. She’s a special needs kitty.

I got her on a whim. My high school theater teacher was moving. I’d asked about her, since he referenced her in conversation occasionally, and he said he was actually on his way to drop her off at the shelter. I was at my wedding shower, and the moment it was over I called him and intervened. I said I’d take her. I’d never met her, knew nothing about her, and heck, I was still living with my parents (one of whom actually HATES cats) but it just felt like the right (and the most fun!) thing to do.

Mimi is shy with strangers, and spent the whole night in the kennel cowering. All I saw of her were her green eyes and the cute half-smile markings around her mouth.

medieval times facepainting cat pet special needs allergies

Imagine how surprised I was when she finally came out! She’s a big girl. Like….when I took her in to get her annual shots this year, the vet stopped me and said “Oh, please only bring one animal in at a time.” I blushed and said “Oh…she’s just one cat….she’s kinda big I guess….”

cat sneeze allergies

But the surprises didn’t stop there. I’m ashamed to admit that despite being ill myself, I was not a good mommy to Mimi when I found out she was sick. You see, Mimi has chronic allergies. As in….all the time allergies. She’s allergic to EVERYTHING. And that means that she snores, cries little kitty tears, and she sneezes. Oh God, the sneezing. There were giant….green…..jiggly….dried up….goopy….MASSIVE…..cat boogers. EVERYWHERE. ON EVERYTHING.

Oh, and guess where her favorite place on earth is? Under the covers. WHERE I SLEEP. But can’t see. Yeah, I learned pretty quick to triple check before I ever jumped into bed. It was just so, so disgusting. It was disrupting my whole life, which was hard enough with my own illnesses. I don’t know this cat, I have no obligation to her, why am I letting her paint every thing I own with her nasty nose jam? I was ready to kick her out the door. Forget the shelter! Her illness inconvenienced me far too much. Who needs that?

Well. Lucky for her (and for me) I had a loving fiance who not only scrubbed up her boogers, but brushed her, fed her, and loved her just the way she was. She sneezed a lot less as she felt more relaxed (shocker! Isn’t that EXACTLY how my illness works?) and she became the sweetest, most loving pet. All she needed was a little compassion.

pet cat sneeses allergies illness

Now, I can’t imagine life without her. She can always tell when I’m sick, and is quick to climb into bed and talk to me. I’ve become a much better kitty mama. I clean up the boogers, I give her medicine (which means I let her claw me up and bite me), I wash her, I brush her, I even make her special homemade kitty treats. I’m truly ashamed that I was such a hypocrite. I know my illness is gross, inconvenient, and that my then boyfriend had no obligation to me. But he took me home, nursed me, and loved me until I was as well as I could get.

There are still some mornings where I step into a fresh warm kitty booger with my bare feet and think “That’s it. I’m throwing her out the window.” But I don’t. I wash up, calm down, pick her up, and say “Mimi, I love you.”

IMG_3051

And it’s been worth every booger.

I started out wanting to write a really silly post and perhaps even do a fake kitty interview, but I wound up counting my blessings instead. That’s never a bad thing

Has having a pet helped you relate to your caretaker’s role? Do you have an invisibly ill furry friend? Tell me all about it and show me some pictures too – there’s no better use of the internet than looking at cute pictures of animals.

IMG_3075

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About rachelmeeks

My name is Rachel Meeks. I have endometriosis, an incurable pain condition, IBS, a digestive illness, and PCOS, which causes irregular periods and infertility. After keeping my illnesses a secret, I started to get upset about how my fellow sick people were being mistreated because of ignorance. I knew that I'd need to stand up, make some noise, wear my heart on my sleeve, and admit that I am not well to make a difference.

36 responses to “Invisibly Ill Animals?

  1. jezzybel

    I’m luck to have a very healthy (if slightly overweight) kitty who is needy but generally low-maintenance. Growing up, however, we had the world’s most handsome and lovable siberian husky named Toban, who had skin issues (needed special shampoos, tablets, brushing, and sunscreen on his nose – he was a ginger like me!) and later injured his hind leg, which never healed properly. He developed arthritis in his later years. He took a lot of extra work and care.
    I’d never equated special-needs-pet-caring to being a partner to someone like me before reading this. I constantly feel guilty and selfish at how much extra work my partner does because I’m sick. But I’m realising – I never resented or blamed Toban for the extra work, and never loved him less for it. I knew it wasn’t his fault and he was doing his best. And if love for a dog can override the inconvenience of caring for a sick creature, no wonder my partner thinks the love we have makes being with me is worth the extra effort πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the post and making me contemplate all this – and congrats on the new job and successfully navigating a move!

    • What a lovely comment! I’m Rachel’s hubby and I don’t comment as much as I should, but this post and this comment have REALLY made me feel appreciated! I think the nail has been hit on the head here and I am so glad you have a new view of your dish!

      It’s a labor of love for us dishes to take care of our spoonies and we don’t expect much recognition. But it feels so great to hear something like this every once in a while. Thanks so much to both of you!

    • Thanks so much! That was a truly sweet comment, Toban sounds like a sweetie. I’m glad I could bring you more peace on this subject – it’s one of the hardest feelings to deal with when you’re ill. πŸ™‚

  2. We have 2 special need animals- both pekingese Missy who is around 8 years & Mandy who is around 4 years old & both have special needs & are both on special diets–& they are our girls & have no idea in the world they are D-O-G-S!! We saved Mandy from a puppy mill & she has lots of health problems– Missy has developed health problems as she has aged & both are also bothered with chemicals & so I say they both have MCS also– as they both live in an MCS safe home also!!! I am sure you have seen both of their pictures many times on my blog http://sondasmcschatter.wordpress.com. Your cat is awesome!!! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much! Haha yes, as I’ve come to learn more about MCS through yours and others blogs, I’ve concluded that my cat has MCS too! So we’ve tried her on a new au natural cat littler that seems to help. But she’s still very bothered by dust and pollen! 😦

  3. Good luck with the new job and all the challenges that it necessitates! Welcome back!

    • Thanks, though I do wish I was “back” for real. The lady who was training me had her two babies get sick, so I’ve been mostly on my own for these first few weeks! Scary! I’m getting the hang of things, but I wish I had more time to blog! Soon, soon. πŸ™‚

  4. I no longer have any pets but our Isabel looked a lot like your mimi and she was a big kitty too.

    Blessings on your new job.

  5. MCS Gal

    I have a high maintenance dog with food allergies. I learned to read labels, treat and prevent his hotspots, and make him homemade treats. It was second nature when I became chemically sensitive to manage my triggers.

  6. MCS Gal

    Oh, I forgot. Congratulations on the new job!

  7. Alicia McDonnold ⋅

    Great post Rachel, I love my grandcat, Mimi. Can’t wait to see more of all three of you! So glad your back home:)

  8. Rachel, I have nominated you for the SUNSHINE AWARD! Please go to johannisthinking.com to copy the logo for the award and for the SUN RAYS you, in turn, are asked to spread! Congratulations!

    * Rachel Meeks https://doilooksick.wordpress.com

    Rachel, you are amazing…you have a unique sense of humor and you use it to deflect the pain you suffer from endometriosis. I am amazed at your strength. You give us all SUNSHINE rays of HOPE!

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  9. Rachel, I would be honoured if you accepted this WordPress Family Award. You have meant so much to me! Your words of love and encouragement have sustained me through horrible, grief filled times. Thank you for caring. http://tersiaburger.com/2013/05/07/nominated-for-the-wordpress-family-award/

  10. Awwwe cute kitty!! I don’t know what I’d do without my Sally cat, she makes me feel better when I’m miserable from the pain.
    Congrats on the new job! Here’s to hoping it’s a fit and you’re happy with it! πŸ™‚
    I see that Tersia already nominated you, but I also have to include you as one of my nominees for the wordpress family award. You truly are a member of my wordpress family so I can’t not include you!!
    Thank you for everything – the support, the kindness, the understanding, everything!
    http://connectivetissuedisorders.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/wordpress-family-award/

    Hugs,
    Katie

    • Thanks so much!!! πŸ™‚ I’m honored to be included. The job is going well, but it’s taken a lot of adjusting! I’ve never worked full time before! Hopefully my blog posts will stop being so sparse soon!

  11. Ditto, on what Tersia said. Good Luck and God Bless!

  12. Lindsay

    wow, lots going on! congrats on the new job!

    when i first got sick, i lived with a roommate who had a dog that i LOVED. on the night i came home from the ER, the dog could immediately sense something was wrong and didn’t leave my side (except to take care of business) for the next few days. one night, i felt overwhelmed and started crying, and the dog started whimpering, too. it was very sweet.

    • D’awwwwwww that’s such a sweet story! Dogs are so intuitive. It’s sweet that he cried with you!

      Thanks! New job is going well so far, but eating up a lot of my time!

  13. You truly have a loving heart! as does your boyfriend…blessings on you all –YOU, your boyfriend and your cat!

    • Thanks very much! πŸ™‚ We’re a very happy little family. One small correction – my boyfriend is actually my husband! We’re a couple of rascals who were crazy and married young. πŸ˜‰

      P.S. – I’m extra grateful for this comment – I needed to re-read this post after giving kitty a flea bath last night. She was distinctly un-lovable during the whole foray, lol.

  14. Yoshiko

    Wow πŸ˜€ your cat reminded me of my stray cat whom I play with when I stayed at my uncle’s house
    Thank you for liking my poetry ‘Constant Nagging’, your future visits and likes. Hope you enjoy πŸ™‚

  15. I loved this post ❀
    My older kitty Shadow has been blessing me with kitty boogers for the past year or two – haha while reading this i was like OMG yup. yup! and especially YUP to stepping them! lol! So many people don't even know just HOW gross cat boogers are! I certainly didn't before him. But you're right, they are worth every gross booger.

    Shadow has been a healthy boy until the past year or so, when i found he was diabetic and has kidney disease. Since then i've tried different foods and been giving him insulin twice a day. When Drew died… my friends up in Dallas all rallied and took turns giving him his insulin for like 2 whole months while i was down in Seguin. So this little kitty reminds me not only of how much i cherish him, but also of what others have done to help care for me when i couldn't do things on my own. =)

    Sadly Shadow is nearing his time to pass on to be with his daddy… he is in major renal failure [I found this out today =( ] and has – at most – a few more months with me. I'm devastated. But just going to keep him as comfortable as i can. Now that he's out on the ranch, he has a beautiful view of the country and gets to see cows and horses and dogs from up in his "tower" my upstairs bedroom… haha, i really love that he's had that during his last year with me. =)

    Thanks for this post. You definitely are a great kitty mama!

    • Oh goodness, that sounds so awful. I have a hard time getting Mimi to swallow a pill, I can’t imagine having to wrangle her in for a shot! It sounds like you’re a great kitty mama too. I’m glad there’s someone out there who can really appreciate the kitty booger world.

      I’m so sorry to find out that Shadow is so unwell. But I bet he loves that ranch! Mimi is NOT at all fond of Dallas, poor thing. Hopefully she’ll warm up to it. Enjoy your time with Shadow. I’m glad he’ll have company in the next world. Pets are such a blessing, but it’s sad to know from the start that they are so short-lived. Whenever I see those ads about how adopting a dog or a cat is a huge commitment, I think it’s a little strange. I’ve lost two dogs now, one that was my companion as an infant up through school-aged, and one that accompanied me through my schooling. It didn’t seem long at all. Even now, I’ve started noticing little gray hairs on Mimi’s face and wondering how much time we’ve got left – talk about morbid! But I think it’s kind of wonderful and beautiful about Shadow – I bet Drew misses his kitty friend. And Shadow can update him on all the earthly goings-on. Probably very interesting from a kitty point of view! :3

  16. Hey Rachel,
    Thanks for the like, btw. I love this post (still looking for the like spot on here)! My tuxedo has allergies (more skin issues), but she got a very bad cancer nearly 4 yrs ago (not invisible) and I had to have one of her front legs amputated to save her life. It was so awful. She had to figure out how to walk on 3 legs and after the surgery, she just slept on a pillow for weeks while I fed her heavy narcotics and syringes of baby food and water to keep her alive.

    I found her in a bush as a meany cat had chased her up there and when I went to figure out what all the meowing was about, she flew out and ran after me up the stairs into my apt. (12 yrs ago) and she’s been with me since. I think pets come into our lives for a reason. Her surgery/check-ups were very expensive and I think most people would have just put her to sleep, but she’s all I have and was a total mess over the ordeal. That’s my story…
    A

    • Hey there!

      The like button is the last one, next to a list of profile pics. Thanks for literally liking the post tho! Haha

      That’s a wonderful story, and I’m glad your kitty has come through it all. πŸ™‚ It does sound quite harrowing!

      • I did finally figure it out! I think my vision makes everything a tad hard. I have a disclosure page due to some past issues on my blog and it actually says something like, “If you get a like from me, it’s because I actually read your post and liked it.” Haha. Yes, the experience with my beloved cat was beyond horrible, but the fact that it saved her life was worth it. It’s odd that losing a leg changed her in many ways–just like chronic illness does with us. Take care…

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