Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Bit of an update... & what would you do???

I'm still down in Kent, staying with mum. She definitely seems more like herself now, not low like last week, which is great. Luvbug came down for the weekend and we all went for a drive on Sunday, seeking out country lanes to show mum the last of the autumn colours. Then we stopped at a craft centre for a roast lunch and enormous desserts. I think it did her good!

This Sunday I'll be going back home- and we're bringing mum to stay with us in Essex for the week. Also, we're moving the cats up to our place. Mum will miss them, but they are so much work now they are 16 and needing daily meds.

All the time I've been here (Lor! This is my 3rd week here! Where did that go??!) I've been doing their morning feeds and pills as there was no way I was going to have her getting up early for them after what she's been through!!!! Besides, they're really my cats so why should she have to? (Although she usually does when we down for a weekend visit... I feel so bad about that now...)
In case you're wondering, when we first moved to Essex in 2003, we rented a flat for 6 months so I asked mum if she could foster the cats. Then when we got our own place and a garden I asked to take them back and she said "NO! Oh no! Not take them!"
"Um, okayyy... but as they are still technically mine I'll still get the food, vet, insurance, cos you shouldn't have to do that....." ..... so this is how she came to have my cats!

On the day she was coming home from the hospital I went out and bought her a memory-foam mattress topper and a new, big thick duvet for her bed (thank goodness for pre-Christmas sales!), so that she would be warm and cosy and sleep better. I didn't want the mogs to spoil that, so I told her, don't get up early! I'll take care of it!

The mog-med run starts about 6.30am, with Fluffy singing a song so loud that even though she can't bring herself to actually MOVE and come and get us, just sitting in the middle of the living room and yowing full belt has the same effect. And no amount of "Ssh, Fluffy, it's ok, I'll be there in a minute..." will have any effect whatsoever as she is so deaf she won't hear you. I doubt she even hears herself, which is why she keeps on and on and only uses the same two notes. But ahhh, bless her cheesy toes =)

We've only got one pet carrier and it's quite small. It's OK for quick drives to the vet and back, but not for 170+ miles. So I'm hiring a 'pet taxi'. There are two firms I'm looking at. One will charge £62 and the other £150. Am I mad???
Well, the £150 one will ensure they have large cages with access to food, water, bed and litter tray. The other firm can only offer water and I've had to email them to find out just how big their carriers are, as I suspect they might be rather small. I want to make the move as less frightening as possible for them, poor things. Also, if they arrive at our house after a smooth journey, they will settle down more quickly. A big worry though.

It's a lot of money for a 2 hour journey for moggies, but the cheapest I've seen large carriers for is £24, and I would need 2.... so the cheaper taxi is only £14 more. And we can't fit me, Luvbug, mum, 2 cat carriers, bags and my bike all in our little Fiat Punto..... Hmmm....

Mum will be with us till the following weekend. Really I want to keep an eye on her for as long as possible and continue trying to feed her up(!) and get her into a routine of eating. She did at first say, "No, I won't come up: I have to be able to do it on my own..." hmmm OK, but not yet! But instead of saying this I told her that her being there would help the cats settle and then she agreed =) but really I just want to be around her for as long as possible.
We went to her doc today to make sure he knew what had happened (no, the hospital hadn't been in touch) and he said that it could take weeks to get over a TIA. -So if she stays with us till the last weekend of the month that will be 4 weeks since the attack.....

I'm really not sure about the cat move at all. I feel sick thinking about it as they are old and are used to this territory of theirs. But I said to mum, if you can bear to part with them, maybe you should, as it is so much work for you and you need to look after yourself- concentrate on yourself for a while now.....once you've moved up near us you can see them all the time anyway, and if in six months time you haven't moved yet and you want them back, we can bring them back.... but for now, concentrate on yourself and stop having your sleep disturbed....

But then I remember all the stuff about pets being good for recovery and all that.... am I being cruel, blind and horrible???????

I have ummmed and errrd about it both ways so much today that I am now tied up in knots about it and really don't know what to do! AAAAARGH! What do you think??? Of course, I am currenty furiously and premenstrually hormonal and it's a miracle I can think at ALL let alone back and forth and all over again, so I may very possibly be fretting over absolutely nothing.

Or not.


Angel and Kirby said...

That is a really hard decision. Your Mom needs her rest, but will she miss the cats so much that she frets about them? how will they adjust to the new place and will they grieve for her? I think your only decision is to move them. Hopefully she will move closer to you and resolve a lot of problems.

Feronia said...

It's a tough one, Helena. I'll start off by saying that I have never had a pet. But, having said that, I can see arguments for and against it. I know that there was an elderly lady who lived opposite my parents' and she had a similarly elderly cat who she was devoted to but, as her health declined, caring for the cat became an ever greater burden. But I can also see the argument that pets are an enormous comfort. Sorry not to offer a clearer opinion. I'm sure you'll do the right thing.

Lorianna said...

Oh Helena! You have certainly been through it haven't you sweetie?
I missed out on all of it while Sam, (my daughter) has had the flu.
Honey, I'm so sorry your Mum has been so ill. You and she must be rather frightened and you have so much to manage. You must follow your heart with this. The kitties will adjust to your home because they know you and know you love them. The posh taxi service with the food and water and litterbox sounds great! Worth the money for the kitties. I think keeping them with you will be easier on your Mum, though I know she will miss them. She will be staying with you for a bit? That will help with the adjustment.
You are handling this really well. Second thoughts and worrying are to be expected and I understand. I fear I would just curl up and cry. But, truly you are a great, loving daughter and you will do what's best. Just be good to yourself too. Perhaps your brother can help a bit?
I will hold you and your Mother and the kitties in my thoughts and hopefully you will all be settled, snug and resting.
love and hugs for you dearest Helena,

Sandi McBride said...

This is one of those catch 22's...damned if you do and damned if you don't. But really, I'd go with coming home with you (and for 150 pounds you could get a great carrier for the car, no? Anyway, I believe they'll be fine since your Mom is coming too...and when she's recovered, who knows? I'd cross that bridge when you get to it. It'll all work out, never fear!

Dragonstar said...

This is such a hard decision for you to make, and you're bound to question it whatever you do.

My personal decision would be to move the cats. I know your mother is used to coping with them, but she needs to concentrate on getting well. If you can afford it (and that's a big enough question on its own!) go for the dearer pet-taxi. My pevious cat-moving experience has NOT been fun, and litter trays (and someone else to clean up accidents) sound a great idea. It doesn't sound as if you can take your mum AND the cats in one trip, so new carriers and a second trip make the £150 seem more manageable.

I'm glad your mother is improving. It's a good job you were ther to fight for her!

Thanks for your comment on my tap. We had it new last June, and I fell in love with the pattern the cold tap makes at the right pressure. It's taken me until now to get a usable photo!!!

Hugs to you love, and all the best with the moggy-move.

Chrissy said...

If your Mum is coming to stay with you the cats will need to be moved anyway. The biggest decision can be made at a later date when you can really sit down and talk to your Mum about it.
I personally wouldn't go for the big extra cage, I would buy two of those cosy cat baskets. I think you are thinking as if they are people which is good because you care. But, generally animals fair best and suffer less trauma with minimal fuss and low light, they are unlikely to drink water if they are travelling anyway. Think RSPCA, they use blankets and smaller spaces to alleviate trauma, perhaps ring them for advice? You may want to spend the money and get the vet to give a tranquiliser instead. Take care ~ ChrissyX

Poopsie aka Blue said...

Hi Helena!

I came over earlier this morning this morning & read your heart felt post.
I feel for you but needed to think as my immediate advice is contra to the others.
Will email you.

Sandy Kessler said...

It has been my experience that elderly cats do not move well..Maybe we'll see.I would move them when she comes, and see.If they are off--there's your answer.

Everycat said...

You have been through so much! My Mum needed to have her old cats and dog with her after her TIA, they really gave her a reason to try and get well so she could look after them. Getting her to rest an deat was hard though. We had her stay with us for several weeks as she had the TIA with us. The hospital situation was almost identical to the frustrating time you had, a real shambles of non communication. Later on we took on Mum's cats, one was very old, Teddy, he was 21 when we moved him and he adapted really well, even to walking out on a harness. We did a 4 hour journey and had 2 big cages in the car, with litter, beds and water, we had one 30 min rest stop so they could have some rest from the car noise. It worked ok, no yeowling, no panics. Neither cat had done a long journey before. I think the big cages were a good choice. Whatever you do, take it easy on yourself as well. This is a lot to go through physically as well as emotionally.

Take care xx


Shirley said...

My heart goest out to you with your worry and to your mom too. I am sure she is worried about how she will do too. Sending well wishes her way and yours too. Stress in trying to do everything right is not fun.

Helena said...

Thank you all for your comments :)