Tag Archives: Life

All About Cats

I am learning all the time what cats need and how I can make sure they have a happy and healthy life with me.  So I thought I would share some things I’ve been learning recently (yes my blog might become cat focused for the foreseeable future, but it is all part of my adventures in life).

Diet

I have decided to use the food recommended by the vets I take Merry and Pippin to and that is Hill’s Vets Essentials Kitten Food. Both of them seem to enjoy it and I gradually moved them over from Whiskas (what they were being fed by the family I got them from) and on to this dry food only on the advice of the vet.

Treats

This is where I give myself some flexibility with what I give them. I like to make sure they are good for cats, but I also want them to enjoy them and know they are different from the everyday food. I use a mix of Dreamies, M&S chewy treats, and any other chewy/soft sticks or shapes I can find and are reputable. I keep them in a jar and the kittens know where it is and what it sounds like. I use it to call them to me a lot (and reward them for it). I also give them tuna and fish I cook every so often – always on their own plate, never from mine – as a very special treat.

Toys

I am just starting to rotate their toys as I am aware that they will become bored of the same ones around after a few weeks. I also buy some new toys every month as Merry has a tendency to chew the feathers off the toys and I know that is the part they enjoy the most. I have also found that simple things such as boxes and the inside cardboard of toilet rolls can be just as much fun as anything I buy specifically for them as they are lights and can be chewed and thrown around. I keep a couple of stick toys out of sight as they tend to go a bit crazy for these and only bring them out for special treats or when guests are around and want to play without the risk of getting scratched.

Water

One of the first things I bought after I got them was a water fountain as it was very hot and I didn’t think they were drinking enough. I have also positioned it so they can watch the room while they drink. Pippin has taken to dipping a paw in and then cleaning his face (he also likes the bath tub for some reason).  I want to keep them off the kitchen counters so do not encourage drinking from the taps.

Outside

I’ve been taking them outside every so often as they enjoy eating grass and catching spiders. I’m keeping them as indoor cats, but I need to be more consistent with taking them into the garden on the leads so they know it is a regular thing. I am going to up my training and start taking them through the garage, rather than the front door, so if I ever decide get cat flaps installed they would already know the route to the garden. I need to get another litter tray as now they are getting bigger, so is their business, and find occasionally if I have been out longer than normal one of them will have dirty and smelly paw. So as they are extremely clean creatures I need to make sure I provide them the space so they do not get put off using the trays.

Sleeping

They like to sleep a lot. I have bought them beds that are on either side of my bed as they like to be up high or under the bed out of sight. I also keep the carriers in the front room, without the doors on, for them to hide in. I don’t think my house has that many hiding places, so I am trying to provide these for them. However they will also fall asleep in the middle of the room on the carpet or on the sofa arm, so I think they are okay.

I’m a bit paranoid at the moment about learning everything I can about how to make Merry and Pippin have happy, healthy lives. I worry that keeping them indoors or restricting the outside time is not a good thing to door, but everyone I talk to seems to have a different opinion. I’m happy if I know I can make the time to take them outside every day for 15 minutes. It would cause me a lot of stress and worry to let them roam freely.

Mynwood Cat Walking Jackets

I bought a lilac jacket for Merry and a purple jacket for Pippin and although they were not too sure to begin with they now know that putting on the jackets means they can go outside and catch spiders and eat grass.

Maria was super helpful when I contacted her about choosing the right size for the kittens. They have kitten jackets at the moment, which will last while they grow. The Velcro is currently all used, but there is enough to be able to extend the length of the neck and under body pieces for the future. I will very likely purchase bigger ones once they have reaches their full size.

IMG_2094.JPG

IMG_2100.JPG

IMG_2101.JPG

The jackets feel very secure and I don’t think limit the kittens manoeuvrability in any way. They have started to jump, pouch, and run in the garden. They are easy to put on and take off once I hold them firmly facing away from me as instructed in the video on the website. They are well made in terms of stitching and fabric and give me confidence when taking both Merry and Pippin outside.

IMG_2135.JPG

IMG_2127.JPG

I have only taken them out in the evening so far. Always around dusk as it tends to be quieter on my street. As we head into winter I will have to go out in the dark, but I can wrap up or take them out in the morning before work. I am only taking them out as a treat at the moment as I can’t get into a routine due to my commitments, but would love to get to the point of taking them out every day.

IMG_2204.JPG

Lead training is taking time, but they are responding to stopping and not being able to go any further than allowed. Walking alongside them is different matter. I can get them to make their way from the front door to the garden, but would not be able to walk them along the road just yet. Maybe in time I will be able to walk them to the field just down the road.

IMG_2206.JPG

I would definitely recommend these to anyone with indoor cats or any cat that you want to keep safe while outside. If I ever move or have to take them on a long car journey these will be great as I would be able to stop somewhere quiet and let them out along the way.

The Personalities of Merry and Pippin

My life recently has been all about cats, so I thought I better start sharing their adventures, as adventures, even the smallest ones, are why I started this blog in the first place!

My kittens are now over 5 months old! They moved in with me back at the beginning of August and have made themselves at home. They have been through a lot in the two months since moving in. They have been to the vet multiple times for vaccinations, warming, fleas, nurturing, and check-ups. Merry has even had to wear the cone for 10 days! Their shaved patches are growing back.

IMG_2164.JPG

I’ve been reading a number of cat blogs and books and wanted to do a post about their personalities. Even though they are brother and sister from the same litter they look different and act very differently.

IMG_2202.JPG

Merry

  • The girl, aka the boss (and will growl if you get in her way)
  • Silently judging from where ever she may be perched
  • Doesn’t meow, but rather chirps to communicate
  • Doesn’t like car rides – at her most vocal
  • Obsessed with tissues and socks
  • Approach to life is ‘claws first, ask questions later’
  • Aim in life is to reach the next level of the bookshelf
  • Sleeps either under the bed or in the middle (if I’m not there)
  • Fluffy and requires grooming, although prefers to bite the brush
  • Nick-names: Miss, Squeaker , The Wriggler , Spider-cat

Pippin

  • The boy
  • Vocal in his displeasure of me talking to him when he wants to sleep
  • Easy to pick up and more a lap cat if you sit still long enough
  • Obsessed with feet, especially when they move
  • Always hungry (excellent at catching spiders for bonus nutrition)
  • Approach to life is to ‘always show affection in the moment, especially at 3am’
  • Aim in life is to break the record for fastest decent down the stairs
  • Sleeps in a carrier or in the cat bed on top of the laundry basket
  • Nick-names: Bud, Speedy, Noisy, Explorer-cat

They are both definitely going through their teenage years and go from one mood to the next without notice.

IMG_2199.JPG

I have been taking them out in the garden on leads in their Mynwood Jackets (separate post to come) and they really enjoy it. They will now walk out the front door and make their way to the garden through gentle persuasion rather than have to be carried out. I am in constant debate of whether I should just let them roam free. It is purely selfish reasons I don’t want them to as I know it would cause me stress and worry wondering where they are and if they are safe. I am looking at safe collars for identification purposes, even though they have been micro-chipped. I don’t particularly want to get cat flaps as I would require two to go out through into the garage and then outdoors. I want them to be happy, but I want them to be safe.

IMG_2186.JPG

Dealing with Injury (again)

I have sprained my ankle again. I sprained it back in April and doing pretty much the same run I caught the edge of a pothole on Saturday. I now have a nice purple ankle (which Pippin decided he didn’t like the look of so I have a long scratch along it too).

I struggle to deal with injury. I feel quite frustrated. I start to blame myself and my weight for everything. It is easy to let this kind of thing bring me down. It is something that is out of my control and therefore I stress about it. Even though I have been slacking intentionally this lack few weeks due to the arrival of the kittens, I was just getting back into the swing of things and it’s thrown me off. So I have to approach something that is out of my control in a way that I would approach something that is in my control.

Therefore I want to deal with it differently this time. I’m going to follow the plan from April, but start earlier than last time. I basically held off everything until I’d see a physio, but this time I’ve done that bit so know what I should be doing.

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate)
  • Walk (as much as possible and correctly)
  • Balance exercises (from previous physio visit)
  • Swim (not breaststroke)
  • Cycle (with running club)
  • Movement exercises (from previous physio visit)
  • Physio (first appointment available)

Mentally I have to work as well. I have to avoid the temptation to give up everything for a week or two, as that will follow on and turn into a month. I have to watch my food and binge behaviour and frustration can lead to that for me. I need to spend this time being extra aware of myself.

I will make the most of the time by reading and playing with my kittens. I will catch up with friends and write letters and blog posts. I’m also going to help at running club by timing the next club relay event and cycle to road routes to make sure everyone is okay as the nights get a little bit darker each week.

So I have a plan I can control and will enjoy (probably more than the actual running!). I am going to see this as an opportunity to get more involved with the runners I don’t always get to see as they are a lot faster than me. It will be a nice change of pace.

Depression is Different for Everyone

I didn’t realise this for quite a while after I was diagnosed. It is not as simple as other disease where there is a pill to take and it will go away. It’s complicated and takes everyone a different amount of time and a different type of approach to fight it.

For me it was a complete sense of hopelessness and lost in a maze with no exit.

I felt useless and as though I could do nothing right. I constantly told myself I was a failure at life.

I felt alone, even when surrounded by people. I wanted to be on my own, yet needed to know there were people out there thinking about me. I was a complete contradiction at times.

I didn’t know why I was living my life. It felt like a waste of time.

I struggle with all-or-nothing thinking and depression makes this a lot worse. I am a perfectionist in my own way. I like to do the best job I can do at anything I set out to try. So anything less than that feels like failure. I don’t know what caused it. I think it was a combination of a lot of things that culminated in a tipping point that I couldn’t come back from on my own.

I’ve had to work hard to tackle this way of thinking head on. I’ve been on medication. I’ve take therapy, including a year of CBT. I’ve completed homework. I’ve read books. I’ve read lots of online stories. I used lots of free online resources. It takes work every day. I just signed up to an online course for the next 6 weeks. I’ve added a list of resources to the bottom of this post that I recommend for anyone struggling with any kind of mental health struggle.

The hardest thing for me though is other people – my family included. No one understands really unless they have also been through something similar. It’s hard to talk about with anyone who doesn’t really understand. I’ve been lucky and had two people I can talk to without hesitation, but it took me a long time to open up and be okay with that. Therapy really helped as I could talk about how other people made me feel without worrying I was going to offend anyone while working through my reactions and the causes of them. I was then better able to articulate what I meant outside of therapy and stopped worrying about other people so much.

I still find comparison thoughts tricky to deal with. In order to combat this I had to give up Facebook for an extended period. I decided I didn’t need to know what my friends or old friends were doing every day and I would prefer to hear from them personally. I now only view it when something from running club needs a reply. I also purged my Twitter and Instagram feeds to get rid of anything negative or unhelpful – otherwise these resources have been fantastic. Blogging has also been a way for me to sort out my thoughts. I don’t tell people about my blog in person; I let people find it on their own as I don’t want anyone to feel as though they have to read it because I’ve told them about it. I want anyone who reads it to find it interesting and useful because they like the same things.

What I want to get across from this post is that everyone has difference experiences of depression. Don’t let anyone tell you how you feel is not worth the help and support you need. Don’t let anyone put you down or depression down as something to get over. It’s real and it’s life threatening. You are worth fighting for.

Resources I’ve found useful:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...