As you may know, I’ve been feeding/caring for a random cat that’s shown up at our apartment. I can’t help myself, and to be fair, Chris can’t either.
While we’d seen him strolling around the neighborhood regularly, we first “met” him in January, when he marched up to us while leaving the house early one morning, chatty & looking for attention.
We named him Vic (Very Important Cat). And then we didn’t see him again until March, when he started appearing at our place on a regular basis, wearing a collar that was a bit too tight. So we continued to feed & care for him, and he returned regularly, one day without the collar. He started spending so much time at our kitchen door, we bought a collar & attached a note, asking his “people” to call or text us if he was their cat. Within 12 hours, the breakaway collar was gone — and no calls, despite our best hope. Whether or not a human removed it, we’ll never know. He’s a great cat. Affectionate, chatty, handsome. Content to just be “around”. But he deserves better, as he’s clearly domesticated, but uncared for — at least in recent weeks, as evidenced by some wounds that could use a vet’s attention.
Caring for Vic has been a lifeline for me in some regards. Over the past few months, I’ve been falling down the rabbit hole of mental health issues. Again. It started with what I considered run of the mill anxiety & I found myself in familiar, unpleasant territory. I couldn’t focus on everyday tasks, regular duties & responsibilities were overwhelming, additional projects sent me into a full-blown panic. The harder I tried to rein it in, to maintain a level of “normal”, the worse it became.
When the physical symptoms of chronic neck pain & headaches arrived, with the new addition of auditory issues, I knew it was time to schedule an intake again at My Therapy Institute. It’s been about 4 years since I’ve been in treatment, and I’ve found myself here again, back in therapy & on medication. And a new diagnosis of Bipolar II. The diagnosis isn’t “new”, I just wouldn’t hear it last time. I had previously fought against it, saying it wasn’t me, it didn’t apply. But the reality now is that it does apply, and I’m okay with it.
Over the past few weeks, caring for this random cat has given me a little light while I navigate these waters again, armed with a compass & spyglass this time around. I’m taking care of him, taking care of me. We both deserve better.