Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Even though I had two wonderful cats all was not sweetness and light in our household. I made mention of my Mom in a past post. She suffered from paranoid schizophrenia as diagnosed by her psychiatrist(s).

Unfortunately for people who suffer such devastating mental/psychological illnesses there is often a revolving door of repeated hospitalizations, especially if there is poor medication maintenance. With my Mom this was the case because she always either refused to take her meds, or hid and threw it away.

As I'd also previously mentioned before, cats are extremely sensitive creatures. Both Biscut and Spiral were well aware of her sickeness and kept her company. Mom loved both cats but doted on Biscuit because he was the quieter of the two.

However, Spiral managed to wiggle his way into my Mom's heart even though she thought he was too rambunctious. In her opinion, cats were supposed to be nice, quiet creatures. So Spiral was an anomaly.

Because both cats loved my Mom, they stuck by and watched her like a hawk. My mom went through phases where she didn't take her meds and decompensated (mental state deteriorated to the point where she had to be hospitalized). Both cats were excellent predictors of when she was about to "have a break" or "flip". I usually knew this when I noted Biscuit and Spiral constantly stayed in my company, or ran and hid from her.

There were also times when I would come home dead tired from work, and fall asleep. I'd be awakened a few hours later to Biscuit's yeowling. I'd investigate and find my mom had fallen either in the tub or in her bedroom floor. On several occasions (especially during her later years) I was left with no choice but to call an ambulance and have her hospitalized.

This cycle continued for approximately 10 years until I had to make the ultimate decision to place my Mom in a nursing home. Biscuit and Spiral remained faithful to the end.

I was relived that Mom was finally in a place where would she would be properly cared for, but I missed her too. But, I had no clue that Biscuit and Spiral would miss her so. Biscuit ran around for weeks looking for her and crying. Spiral was just content at giving me questioning looks. These actions lessened as the months and years passed.  I thought they had forgotten her. Little did I know....

On August 10, 2010, my Mom passed away. Though I live in Manhattan and she had been living in a nursing home in Brooklyn, Biscuit knew she had died and went into an immediate funk. Refusing to eat and moping about the house.  Spiral pulled him out of it, but my poor Biscuit-kit was never the same.

Dawn Skyy

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