Okay, so I’m not one of those people who is “always” thinking. Oh, who am I kidding – yes I am. 😉 I’m usually the first person to notice when something is amiss, whether different, missing, or an atmospheric change of some kind. I’m very observant that way. I like to think of it as a gift.
As you’ll gather from my posts, my cat is like my child, and I treat her as such. I am always giving her attention, very rarely passing by her without grabbing her up into a hug, petting her, giving her a kiss on her head, or at least talking to her in my “special kitty” voice. When I arrive or leave home, I make sure to say hello or goodbye to her. I am constantly taking pictures of her, especially when she’s asleep in those adorable poses of hers. When I am out of town, I will call and have my husband put the phone on speaker so she can hear my voice and head butt the phone. She never gets into trouble unless I catch her attacking my furniture, in which I bust out the water bottle and give her a spray (someone call Animal Protective Services). Yes, I am one of those people, and I have no shame in airing that to the world.
Anyone who has a cat knows they sleep a lot. As in all day. My Bella is no exception to this rule.
In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what she does for the majority of the time I’m not home. That’s what research suggests anyway. She never fails to do her standard “stand and stretch” before making her way to greet me upon my arrival home. She gets scooped up into a hug, we chat about our respective days for a little bit, and then I put her down and go about my business. Sometimes she follows me around from room to room, and other times, takes this as a cue to get a bite to eat. When I sit down at my computer, I’ll occasionally feel a little paw at my leg, looking for attention. I always stop what I’m doing at least once, because really…how am I supposed to resist this?
Lately my job has kept me busier than usual, which has meant a lot of late nights and not much time spent at home. When I am home, I’m still occupied with other areas of my life, and haven’t spent as much time with her.
A few weeks ago, I noticed a change. Bella wasn’t getting up from her spot by the window unless it was to get a brief bite to eat or drink.
She wasn’t eating as much as usual, and when she was done, she’d head straight back to her sleeping spot. Her face even looked sad when I would talk to her. Then she began roaming the house at night, letting out very loud, almost tortured-sounding meows. Given Bella is not a very vocal to begin with, this was alarming to wake up to. I would immediately jump out of bed to go and find her, making sure she wasn’t hurt. She would just look up at me sadly, so I would then check to make sure she had food and water, and of course, that she wasn’t locked out of the litter box. All clear. Just as I have a direct line into the human psyche, I know my cat like the back of my hand. I knew, without a doubt, my kitty was depressed.
Feeling incredibly guilty and not wanting my precious powder puff to endure another moment of sadness, I immediately started the treatment process. I held, mauled, hugged, kissed, brushed, combed, and talked to her relentlessly, probably to the point of annoyance. I busted out the catnip and turned her loose on a massive laser chase and attack on her stuffed animals. I wore her out, but hey…the best workouts are the intense ones.
When I researched online for other treatments (and to rule out other illnesses), I was shocked to find they actually have antidepressants for cats. Are you kidding me? Initially I thought this was funny, but then it made me sad. It turns out indoor cats get depressed fairly often, especially if they don’t get a lot of attention or exercise. It often goes unnoticed (except by people like me) because people mistakenly believe it’s normal. Fortunately, it’s easily treated by a variety of different options available, as I mentioned above when I busted out everything I know about making my cat happy. Personally, I would never utilize this type of medication with my cat, because I believe in natural remedies for humans, so she is no exception.
Thankfully, after about a week of extra (and I mean extra to the fullest extent of the word) love and attention, my Bella is back to her normal self. Even as I write this post, she is circling the room, checking the place out, looking for something to pounce on, I’m sure.
Hopefully, she’s watching for unwanted house guests (ahem…spiders) and taking care of them for me. It is that time of year, and she’s been a great help in that department over the years. I’m pretty sure it’s more for her own amusement, and less to do with my extreme fear of them. There’s more on that subject here.