Question of the day.

   Since we haven’t had one in a while, let’s have a very general question of the day today: 

   How are you holding up? 

   My answer: 

   Not too bad at all. I’ve been spending a lot of time with Misha lately. He’s no longer on Fluoxetine – that’s beyond my Mum’s and my mental capacity to have him on it longer than a couple weeks, he gets so out of touch with the world that we were seriously afraid he’d lose it completely one day and we’d find him dead under a bed one day, and it wasn’t getting much better. – Plus, after he stopped taking it, I have discovered that the dose Misha was prescribed (10 mg) was  too high for him, because from what I’ve read almost everywhere it seems that a dose of Fluoxetine for a cat is 1 mg/1 kg body mass, and it totally spooked me out that not only was Misha on this dose for over a month, but the vet actually suggested that we could give him twice as much throughout the day, which would be enough for five Mishas. . Only one website I found claimed that cats can take 2 to 5 mg, not mentioning that it should be based on a particular cat’s weight, but that would still mean Misha’s dose was too high. Not toxic or anything, but why take a high dose and sleep your whole life away if you can potentially take a normal dose and feel like yourself minus constant sadness? I’m obviously not a vet, but Misha’s symptoms plus the fact that it says so in every single source I’ve read sounds really alarming to me and my Mum was scared too when I told her that. At the beginning of June, Misha has started to totally refuse his pills and when Mum gave him one and think he must have swallowed it, she’d give him something yummy right away and then she’d find the pill spat out next to his bowl. Finally one day when he spat out three pills and was drooling like crazy, Mum called the vet and said that she cannot give them to him, and then he was like: “Well, if he’s so much against it, then indeed it’s better not to”. I’d think that was quite apparent from the beginning that his whole being was very much against it from the beginning. He hasn’t been taking it since about two weeks and, yes, it’s back to crying, but I also have to say that we grew even closer after he has stopped taking it. While taking Prozac, Misha had a lot less interest in food, I guess not because his appetite as such had decreased as is apparently the case with many animals on it, but simply because his dominant interest had become sleep and there was little time for anything else. My Mum doesn’t have scales, but everyone in my family says Misha looks like he must lost a bit of weight during May – which he never had much to begin with. – So now that he no longer takes it, he seems to enjoy food even more than he did before and his pleasure out of it is very evident whenever he eats something yummy, so I take every opportunity to buy him something very special that he likes or give Mum my card to buy him something and I enjoy giving him his Mish ice cream. He has also really fallen in love with the regular people fat cream (which we now always have because my Mum is on keto currently), he always liked it but now I guess it’s one of his top foods and he seems so happy whenever he gets it. Instead of doing it the normal, civilised way and give him the cream in his bowl, I much prefer to smear my fingers in the cream and let him lick it off, as it’s a lot more fun, I think for us both but certainly for me. He now spends most of the time in my room and is still more sleepy than he was before he started taking the Prozac, but he’s also a lot more engaging than he was on it and seems to not only enjoy lying on my bed but also spending time with me and cuddling and playing together and is more affectionate and not quite so apparently unhappy all the time. I’m not sure what has changed him so much, but probably at least part of it could be the leftover Prozac, plus maybe having gotten used to the routine of constant sleeping and chilling out. Which makes it seem like perhaps if Misha was to be put on the right dose, it would work very well for him, but we don’t want to try it again, if only because Misha clearly doesn’t do pills. I guess we’ll just continue as we did, trying to make sure that he doesn’t escape and trying to survive the wailing on sunny days, there doesn’t seem to be a better option. After Misha stopped taking Prozac, I tried to research synthetic feromones, about which I learned from one of my pen pals. But it seems like most of it is a placebo thing, if not a downright scam. The most popular feromone diffuser seems to be Feliway, which is quite pricey to begin with, and of course they encourage you to buy a diffuser for every room in which your cat spends a lot of time, plus obviously an adequate supply of bottles with feromones in them. THen you turn on the difuser and… well, apparently it starts working, although you can only know that because you’ve plugged it in and turned it on, because obviously it’s the cat feromones so you won’t feel anything, and you have to wait for the magic to kick in. And it doesn’t seem to be a frequent occurrence, because the only research that claims Feliway’s efficacy has been that funded by Feliway or related companies. I’ve also looked at a lot of other feromone diffusers, but they don’t look convincing to me either as they claim to work on all sorts of pets, and the whole thing reminds me too much of the essential oils thing, which I have nothing against, they’re really nice – I even have a diffuser myself that I got from my Mum on Christmas even though I don’t feel scents but I like how it makes sounds similar to Misha grooming himself so that even if Misha isn’t here, I can run the difuser and think it’s Misha and it’s a cool background noise – but I have a hard time believing that it can work in any other way than placebo, and I guess placebo is not a thing with cats. 

   Generally, ever since Misha has stopped taking his happy pills, I’ve been researching all sorts of non-pharmacological “cat therapies” hoping that there might be something that could make Misha’s (and our) life easier, but the more I look into it, the stronger feeling I have that the whole pets thing is just one huge business, and treating pets often seems like a total guessing game and feeling around in the dark until, who knows, maybe something will work. So is the case with a lot of human treatments, but with animals it’s a lot more apparent. 

   Anyway, I like how Misha is now and how cuddly he is, and this makes me feel better too, by extension. Often, if I have nothing better or pressing to do, I’ll just lie on my bed next to Misha and listen to his breath for hours, it’s so beautiful and soothing and also kind of hilarious at the same time, I’m not sure why it’s so hilarious. 

   So yeah, it’s been very Mishful around here lately. 

   How about you? 🙂 

8 thoughts on “Question of the day.”

  1. Oh dear, poor kitty!! Huh. I take Prozac, too. My dosage is 30 mg, I think. (I take three capsules, and that’s all I know.) So I’d agree that 10 mg would be a lot for a kitty!! It’s a human dose, if I were to take just one capsule. Huh. Poor Misha!! I hope he can feel happier soon!! I don’t know anything about catnip, but maybe Misha would like that?

    I’m doing pretty well, but I’m demoralized because I woke up and went straight to the pastry shop. Then, I went out and bought a box of Wheat Thins. And on top of that issue, my knee is acting up and not getting any better (even though I’ve been only using my other leg to climb stairs). And I think I have another kidney stone. Ugh.

    But otherwise everything is going well!! YAY!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Misha likes catnip and we sometimes use it to stimulate him a bit, because that’s the way it works for him, it sort of energises him or something and often makes him more playful when he can feel it, he clearly enjoys the smell. But it doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on his mood as such, in that if he’s in a crying mood and it’s sunny outside, the only thing catnip does is making him more wired and more desperate to go out.
      I’m glad things are mostly well for you, though it really sucks that your knee keeps acting up and you might have kidney stones again. Sofi’s knees have been hurting again as well, so at least I can say you’re not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so happy Misha is off the Prozac, as it seemed to make him worse in most respects rather than better. I do understand the crying must be hard to deal with but maybe it’s more that you and your Mom struggle with it than that Misha was unhappy per se.

    I completely feel you about placebos. I do have an essential oil diffuser too and love it but it’s not that I believe in its effectiveness either, even though I like to research aromatherapy at times. By the way, do you diffuse actual essential oils in your diffuser? I ask because you can’t smell them so you may not and I want to make sure, since most EOs are not safe for cats to inhale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I am also extremely relieved that Misha’s off it now, we kept hoping that it’ll kick in properly at some point and Misha will be better but it just didn’t seem like it was going to happen and, if anything, things looked like they’d only keep getting worse.
      Well, the crying can sure be difficult for us to deal with, but if it was only that, we wouldn’t go as far as try medicating Misha just because his crying is annoying for us. Misha has a recurring problem in spring-summer months when it gets warm and sunny and people go out a lot and windows are open, because he desperately wants out. Right now things are fairly peaceful because I think he still has some leftover Prozac in his system, but normally he’s up super early in the morning and goes from one window to another, crying his heart out, and waiting for an opportunity to slip out whenever someone will open the door. He can’t sleep properly, because if he feels a bit of fresh air, or hears the door opening or closing, he’ll be up immediately and is constantly on high alert. This sure is difficult for us because it affects the atmosphere in the house a lot and everyone has to watch out for Misha that he wouldn’t go out, but most of all, it’s him who’s suffering. We tried letting him out sometimes in a controlled way, and later on even totally on his own, but that only makes things worse, because when he’s back home he cries all the more, plus it’s not very safe as he’s totally green when it comes to how things work outside.
      Oh sure, it can be fun and interesting to research such things regardless if you believe in their efficacy. Plus placebo isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I mean, if it helps someone, who cares if it’s the oils or their brain doing the job.
      I usually just run the diffuser with water, but occasionally put a bit of lavender or melissa essential oil into it especially if I have Sofi in here, which are apparently not toxic for cats, but do let me know if you know otherwise as I’m sure you know more about this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, I get you about Misha wanting to get out! Our Barry is very much like that too.

        I looked up lavender and melissa in Lea Jacobson’s essential oil safety files, which is a paid document I have access to with brief safety notes on all kinds of essential oils and she recommends not using these oils around your cat. There is no detailed reasoning behind t his so I’ll look into it further later on. I think though that Lea does not recommend using any essential oils around cats.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks a lot for letting me know that! 🙂 I think since I can’t feel them anyway and it’s mostly for Sofi’s benefit, I won’t be using essential oils anymore. I’d definitely rather have a healthy Misha.

      Liked by 1 person

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