Animal – As part of the weekly Discover Challenge posted today (4 Oct 2016), we are being asked to look to the bond between human and animal for inspiration. This will be my first post for the weekly challenge, but it is an important one because I will be reflecting on the positive impact my animals have had in my life.
I meant,” said Ipslore bitterly, “what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?” Death thought about it. CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.
Terry Pratchett, Sorcery
Life with a chronic illness is never easy! I end up in a lot of pain most days and can get really frustrated and upset because I can’t do the things I used to. I am 33 years old and I can’t walk without the use of a cane. I was forced to take a medical leave of absence from a job I loved due to the impact Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) / Regional Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) has had on my body. I haven’t been back to work in nearly a year and I am now in the process of applying for disability benefits. The situation I am in leaves me full of grief and despair, especially when I watch those around me grow their families and advance in their careers. It doesn’t take much to send me on a downward spiral deep into depression. The illness I have, CRPS, is sometimes known as the “suicide disease” because of the intense pain it can cause.
There is nothing more isolating than having an illness that is not well understood by most people.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a rare neurological disorder that causes severe inflammation in the sympathetic nervous system…. CRPS causes severe pain, swelling, and sensitivity. Many People are unable to walk, work, or wear clothes.
To Learn More About This Illness Please Visit:
This is why I credit my cats for saving my life: Whenever I begin to dwell on the deep dark thoughts that come with being young and chronically ill, my cats will choose that moment to do something so ridiculously cute or funny that I am immediately pulled out of the darkness and into the light. They keep me from giving up because they remind me each and everyday to seize happiness whenever I can and to appreciate the simple joys that life has to offer (like watching a cat sleep)! Animals have an amazing and transformative power over us humans.
Those daily moments where I am amused, laughing, or filled with love for my animals do more to ease my physical and emotional pains than any of the multitudes of medications I have to take these days.
I am owned by four cats who have incredibly diverse personalities:
Athena is the old lady in the house at eleven years old, despite her age she is spry and playful. She can hold her own against our youngest and most active cat and will act like a youngster and chase him around the house. We sometimes refer to her as the “dumb blonde” because she is very beautiful, but also a bit of a ditz.
Jasmine (AKA “diablo blanca”) still believes she is the baby despite her age. She loves to be cuddled and will let you cradle her in your arms like a baby. She is also incredibly moody and will go from genuinely sweet to devil kitty at a moments notice. She gets especially annoyed with our two youngest cats and I believe she resents them for taking her place as the baby. Jasmine and Athena have a special relationship and generally sleep together.
Mara is our six years old gentle giant. As our largest cat and weighing 15 lbs, she could cause serious damage with her claws. However Mara never uses her claws, she has been carried around the house like a stuffed animal by preschoolers and though she didn’t look happy about it, she never once clawed a child. She is also our resident goof ball and almost always looks dorky in photos. She is a true sweet heart though and prefers human companionship to the other cats in the house. She can hold long conversations and has many different voices. She also hates being ignored and she will hop up and tap you on the shoulder to get your attention.
Stormy (AKA Stormagedden Dark Lord of All or Little Boy) is the baby at only three years old and the only male. He also happens to be incredibly photogenic, a total ham, incredibly intelligent, and mischievous. To sum it all up Stormy belongs to a breed of cats called bengals. He happens to be the one who pulls me out of the doldrums the most. When he sleeps he is adorable and when he is awake he is always trying to cause trouble. He bounds after our other cats and terrorizes them, acting like a little Pepe Le Pew. He loves ice cream and human food in general, when he was a kitten he would try to crawl up into our plates while we were eating, so I began teaching him simple commands like sit. I have taken more photographs of Stormy than I have of all my other cats combined, he also knows he is adorable and goes into kitten mode to avoid getting in trouble.
I don’t have children and may never get the opportunity to have them, but I do have cats and right now that is more than enough for me! They are such unique individuals and so full of love!
My cats save me each and every day by making me laugh and smile!
You can view more of my cat photos on my tumblr blog, Herding Cats, at: https://dragonflyy419.tumblr.com