Question of the day.

   What’s on your mind right now? 

   My answer: 

   Ugh, nothing specific really. Mostly my mind feels muffled and jumbled because I’ve been having a yucky headache since about noon. It’s not quite a migraine I guess, or not yet though I hope that if it hasn’t developed into one by now then it won’t at all, but still it’s pretty bad, and then on top of that I’ve been having a weird earache for some reason since yesterday, which seems totally random because I’d never really had earaches or ear infections or anything like that. I don’t even think this is due to an infection because it doesn’t affect my hearing and other than that and the headache I’m feeling okay, plus I don’t see how I would have gotten it and why, but it’s annoying nonetheless. It isn’t even like a constant earache but more like brief, sharp pain every few minutes so it actually feels more like a nerve thing or something. I slept for three hours or so thinking it would help but it didn’t really do much, in a way it actually only made things worse because I got really bad sleep paralysis. I woke up about two hours ago or so and am still processing and recovering from those dreams. Luckily I don’t even remember much but still it always leaves a shitty feeling in my brain, and I do remember one detail very clearly, how “Ian” (which is how I publicly call my dream “friend) roared at me that “Your mum crashed into a fucking ditch and died!” (except instead of the actual word that you’d normally use to talk about a human dying he used the one that you use for animals in Polish). He says a lot of bullshit like that and I sometimes think I should write down all his threats, prophecies and stuff to see if any will ever come true, but even though few or none do, he can still be very convincing. My Mum is in Germany on a camper trip with Dad, and I wondered why he said it about Mum but not Dad. Anyway, after I eventually woke up, I had to call Mum and make sure that she was okay and she was.

   Also Misha’s on my mind. He’s been a real pain ever since Mum has left. Actually I’m not sure why we’ve only figured it out this year but Misha’s insanely attached to Mum. I mean we’ve always known that she is his favourite person and he often follows her around the house or watches TV with her and stuff like that, but Mum always said it’s simply because she is his main feeder so he associates her with food. But it doesn’t seem to be the case because he obviously still gets food  from Sofi, , and he keeps crying so so much. And it’s always the case when my parents go on trips, and he gets so whiney and constantly wants something, either food or water or to pet him in the middle of the night while he sprawls himself out in the corridor. I used to think that Sofi doesn’t feed him enough, because in previous years she didn’t feed him often enough or change his water regularly, but it seems like Sofi’s a bit better about it now and he has more than enough food if he manages to vomit it fairly regularly. He constantly wants his snacks as well and can’t sleep normally through the night and keeps moaning. This is very different to how he cries when he wants out, it’s a bit guttural like his happy “hhrrru?” Except more resigned and lower-pitched, and he keeps repeating it over and over and over and over and over again. As soon as Mum comes back, he goes back to normal and is very affectionate with her. So I wonder if it wouldn’t actually be better for him if he went along with my parents. It would sure also be super stressful for him, but perhaps less than being away from mummy. My Dad always calls him Mama’s boy now. Last night Misha kept waking us up and we both felt like doing something nasty to him, so Mum said we should put him in the cellar/laundry room for the night and leave him some food and water there and that’s what we’ll probably do because he likes being there, and associates the place with Mum because he often accompanies her there when she’s ironing and Sofi says she’ll let Jocky in there as well so Misha will have someone to listen to his Mummy woes and Jocky will be able to cool off ‘cause it’s been frying outside for the last few days. For that reason I’m really glad that they’re coming back tomorrow, but then on Monday they go on another trip, this time one that my gran is organising for pensioners from her town. My parents are neither pensioners, nor from her town, but since she is the boss in their local pensioners group and they had some free spots with no local pensioners apparently willing to fill them in, they’re able to join in and will be going to Prague. We decided that Mum is going to give Misha   his favourite pill (Prozac) from Saturday to Monday (but smaller dose than what the vet had originally recommended because we don’t necessarily want him completely zonked all over again especially while Mum wouldn’t be around) and maybe that will calm him down a bit until she’s back. 

   I’m also thinking what we should eat for dinner with Sofi, whether we should order something and if so what, or perhaps just keep it simple and have sandwiches or something, or Sofi said in the morning that she wanted to do some sort of pasta but she’s been out with a friend so when she comes back I think she’ll be hungry but not necessarily into making it. And I’m thinking whether I myself actually want anything for dinner at all given how I’m feeling. I don’t know about other people but for me a headache, never mind if it’s a migraine or more low-key, is always accompanied by more or less intense nausea so food isn’t really something I’d dream about then. But on the other hand I also didn’t really eat much at all today so perhaps I should eat something. How about you? 🙂 

Alexander Rybak – “En Katt på Min Kudde” (A Cat on My Pillow).

    Hiya people! 🙂 

   I thought that for today I’d like to share with you a really cool, cat-themed song. I don’t think we’d ever had a cat-themed song on here before, even though we had several songs that were either about or by various Mishas. I absolutely love this song for its lyrics, because it’s very relatable and it shows very well what an amazing thing it is to just be able to lay down next to a cat, daydream about everything and feel it purr and feel safe and cosy, lots better even than being someone super successful and having a breathtakingly adventurous life. 

   This song comes from Alexander’s album called Visa vid Vindens Ängar (A Song at the Wind’s Meadows), from which I have previously shared the title song and which is a collection of songs written by Swedish singer and poet Paul Matson. I have also shared several other songs by Alexander Rybak before and by looking at them you can see that he’s a very versatile singer and finds himself well in a lot of different genres and stylistics together with his violin, which is something I personally really like in musicians. Oh yeah and he’s been Sofi’s crush on and off for years. He is of Belarussian descent, but his parents emigrated to Norway shortly after his birth, so Norwegian is his native language and his Swedish on this album does sound quite Norwegian which is cool. Below is the translation of this song made by Bibielz. I’ll just add that there’s a Swedish idiom in the last verse which literally translates to “if you take the devil onto your boat, you will have to row him ashore”. The English equivalent is apparently “if you dance with the devil, you have to pay the piper”, but I thought translating it literally made more sense here because otherwise it would be rather clunky to phrase. 

  I wish I was a Tarzan
Who floats on a liana,
Who fights tigers and lions
In the jungle all day
 I wish I were a a he-man
A Top secret agent
Who gets to taste the hardest blows
Who got to know the prettiest girls
But a cat is lying on my pillow
He is lying and purring on his back
I am keeping a hand on his tummy
It is warming, I feel safe
And the kitty he is svinging and twisting
His big fluffy tail
I am thinking how sad it would be
If we both did not exist right now
I wanted to be Casa Nova
Who could do anything in sex
Ten, twelve women a night
Without the slightest complex
A guy for the porn agencies
To invest a sum in
It would be many millions
in the bank book it would be written
But a cat is lying on my pillow,
He is lying and purring on his back
I am keeping a hand on his tummy
It is warming, I feel safe
And the kitty he is svinging and twisting
His big fluffy tail
I am thinking how sad it would be
If we both did not exist right now
I am sitting alone here and humming
and write a song sometimes.
 It is this devil in my boat
That I am able to row ashore
But a cat is lying on my pillow
He is lying and purring on his back
I am keeping a hand on his tummy
It is warming, I feel safe
And the kitty he is svinging and twisting
His big fluffy tail
I am thinking how sad it would be
If we both did not exist right now

Question of the day.

   What are some positive things happening in the world right now that aren’t mentioned a lot? 

   My answer: 

   Misha is still alive! How can there be anything more positive than that there is happiness? Although personally, as a very selfish Bibiel, I am very happy that this isn’t mentioned a lot, because otherwise I might have ended up with my house turning into a pilgrimage destination of some sort, and neither me nor happiness would be happy, and he’d probably have stalkers galore. 

   What’s such a thing that you can think of? 

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? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What’s something you never want to do again? 

   My answer: 

   Have another cat. Not because I regret having Misha, but for a whole bunch of other reasons, First, I feel so attached to Misha that it would be unfair on that other cat, because I’d always want him to be like Misha and probably even if he was “better” than Misha in some respects, like being more cuddly, I wouldn’t be satisfied because I’d want him to be  Misha. Also it would feel similar to as if I decided to get myself another mum or another sister if Mum or Sofi died. A new cat would definitely be out of question if I no loonger lived with my parents, as I don’t think I’d be capable to take good enough care of it. Even if I’d move out of here and live more independently while Misha would still be alive, as much as that would be sad and heart-breaking and despite he’s officially my cat, I wouldn’t take him with me. I can’t imagine giving him his eye drops when he gets his eye problems, or locating and successfully cleaning his vomit, or keeping track of where he is so that he doesn’t go out. I know blind people who are so keen on having a cat that they hang a bell around their neck so that they can know their whereabouts, but sheesh, if it were you, would you really like to hear a ringing sound every time you move? I wouldn’t feel good torturing someone like that, just because I WANT a cat. And my other reasons are consistent with those of my family’s, who also feel the same about having another cat. While knowing Misha has been one of the best things that happened in my life, I think we all feel a sense of guilt towards him at the same time. Because, well, let’s just say it out loud, in the grand scheme of things, he’s quite clearly not happy with his life. A cat who cries like Misha does when he wants out can’t possibly be happy. He thinks he’d be happy if he was an outdoor cat, which, practically, is not the most viable option for a Russian blue who has no idea about outdoor life and has always been mollycoddled, spoilt and taken care of, not to mention has had very little contact with other animals and is very anxious by nature. He can act very courageous sometimes when interacting with seagulls through the window, but that’s as far as his courage goes. He’s not even used to dealing with as much stimuli of all sorts that are out there in the world, so it’s a bit as if you kept someone in isolation and sensory deprivation for years and then you just let him out free and expect to act sane and calm and know what he’s supposed to do. 

   It’s also not a viable option for a pure-bred cat owner. You don’t buy an expensive, pure-bred cat to let him roam around freely so that someone can steal him or a fellow feline can annihilate him. So why do you buy a cat? Good question. Well yeah, ‘cause I WANT! I’m no better than those people who hang a bell round their cats’ necks. I have quite conservative views on animals, at least for today’s standards. I am not a vegan, animal rights activist, ecologist or other  selfless tree hugger. Same about the rest of my family. But the longer we live with Misha, the more we feel like we’re not fair to him. Sure, if not us, someone else would have bought him and he’d still suffer. It’s difficult to think of a life scenario for him where he wouldn’t. But if we didn’t get him, we wouldn’t be contributing to it.

   If you don’t let him out, he cries his lungs out and everyone is sad, stressed out and frustrated to no end. If you do let him go in and out as he pleases, he isn’t safe. If you try to control it and let him out at a certain time, keep an eye on him and make sure nothing bad happens, he’ll stilll cry as soon as you get him back home. Autumns and winters are very much bearable – if you don’t go out too much and if it’s not too sunny – but springs and summers are more of a nightmare each year. Especially for my Mum who has to keep an eye on the door constantly so that no one leaves them open while going out. Misha wakes up with the sun and starts roaming around the house, stopping by every window and serenading it – the sun – mournfully at the top of his lungs. He doesn’t even get much sleep, because every opening of a window or door, every sound of someone going in and out, of a bird calling, of Jocky barking, of people talking outside, every breeze or sun warmth coming through the window wakes him up, so he’s constantly undersleeped and cranky and properly hyperactive. It’s impossible not to feel pity for him, but also his constant meowing and howling and crying drives people nuts so it’s also pretty much impossible not to snap out at him at some point, especially if you’re someone like my Dad, which doesn’t help him at all. Sometimes my Mum gives in to him and lets him out on a terrace, or is just so resigned and desperate for a bit of peace and quiet that she lets him go wherever and for how long he wants, and every single day he’d go further, until at some point he’d go so far that it would start to feel really dangerous and my parents wouldn’t be able to find him, until finally at some point it’s usually one of our neighbours who would call worried that they saw Misha’s fur gleaming somewhere in the distance and give us a hint of where more or less he might be. We suppose that, if nothing bad would happen to him in the meantime, he’d always come back at some poiint, but taking such high risk and waiting when we know that he’s two houses away and could go further feels very silly and irresponsible. Every time he comes back – regardless of whether he wants it himself or someone has to bring him home – as soon as the door closes behind him, the crying starts all over again, except it’s more obnoxious. At some point my Mum realises that letting him out only makes him feel more upset and doesn’t help anything, so again the strict rules are put in place for Misha. 

   I know not every cat is like this. Perhaps even the majority are not. My aunt also has a Russian blue cat who is as laid back as it gets, in fact he seems to me like he’s on the opposite extreme to Misha, he can happily sleep on a rug and even when you pass him by and almost step on him he won’t move an inch. Sasha (the kitten we got on a whim a year after Misha and had to rehome after a few months because Misha didn’t tolerate company of his own species well at all) was a very cheerful kitten  who didn’t seem to need much at all to be happy, just a bit of attention and play, and some food that doesn’t need to be as sophisticated as Misha’s, anything edible and nice-smelling is good. Sasha did have a problem with pooping in every place possible except not where he should, the causes of which we couldn’t establish for a long time and which seemed to be emotional in nature, but eventually it turned out that it was Misha who must have scared him away from the litter box and that’s why he didn’t want to poop there but would rather do it anywhere else. I have no idea why Misha’s like this. I guess it’s just like with people and many just are born with weird brains for no apparent reason. I remember once reading an article about some study that claims that cats have a tendency to be anxious if their owners are anxious too, and vice versa. We’ve always thought it interesting how Misha and me are so similar in many ways, and same about Sofi and Jocky, and earlier Sofi and Sasha. And there’s such Polish saying that I guess could be roughly translated as like the stallholder, like the stall, which basically means that what is yours is like you, and my Mum always says that whenever the topic of Misha and Jocky being like me and Sofi respectively pops up. 😀 So perhaps it’s me who is responsible for Misha being “weird”. Misha’s mummy, with the very original name of Hansa Luft, had some problem giving birth to her offspring and so Misha was born through a C-section, and we’ve heard from a vet that used to be Misha’s vet that cats born via C-section apparently are more likely to be “weird”. Misha’s behaviour has always reminded me more of a severely traumatised shelter cat, so that sometimes I was wondering whether something awful might have happened to him at his breeder’s. He’s always been very fearful, wary of touch and closeness with people, easily upset by things – I mean even things like  slight, unexpected movements, a minor furniture rearrangement or something laying on the floor that wasn’t there whenn he looked previously. – He’s always overgroomed himself, though thankfully it never led to some more serious complications like I’ve heard it does in many cats who do. He doesn’t purr like normal. I have absolutely no problem with that, I love his quiet, soft purr which is more palpable than audible unless you literally  put your ear to his chest or face, but the truth is that it just isn’t a normal purr. 

   Last year, as you perhaps remember if you’ve been around on here back then, Mum took Misha to a behaviourist and he said that the only viable option he sees is to medicate Misha and he gave him fluoxetine/Prozac, which really shocked me initially but, like, what else can you do, I guess there’s no talk therapy for pets that you could try first. 😀 So my Mum gave him that Prozac, which wasn’t easy to administer at all because it was pills and it must be a nightmare giving pills to a cat judging from their struggles. Mum had to wrap Misha up in a blanket so he couldn’t move and scratch her or run away, force open his mouth, give him the pill, close his mouth and hold his face till he swallowed so that he wouldn’t spit it out. Not fun. It wasn’t long until Misha started to recognise the signs that it was pill time and would run away and hide. Moreover, the fluoxetine was making him very drowsy and he wasn’t quite himself. His crying had reduced a lot, indeed, but not because he felt calmer or happier, just because he slept through pretty much all day long. When he was awake, he continued to cry. Mostly though, it felt like there was no Misha anymore, just a little ball of fur with no Misha inside. He mostly hid under beds and didn’t want to interact with us almost at all. Sometimes I would find him somewhere and cuddle him and he’d seem to fall asleep in my arms but that was very clearly simply because he was totally indifferent rather than was in a more cuddly mood. I might’ve as well been cuddling a lifeless teddybear. At some point both my Mum and Sofi started realising that he doesn’t even actually sleep when he is under those beds, just lies there on his belly staring emptily into space with his eyes wide open. He ate very little. When he was awake and you’d call him, he’d just look at you and continue sitting like a statue where he was, a bit like he was too weak to carry out the complicated activity of motivating himself to stand up, standing up, moving his paws and walking to wherever the calling was coming from. Not even Mish ice cream did the trick. So finally, with all the pill troubles getting worse and Misha clearly not feeling well, Mum said she was worried that he could just die one day while laying sleeplessly like that, and we decided it’s best to stop giving him the Prozac, because we wanted Misha back and it was starting to feel rather creepy. He gradually did come back, and his crying wasn’t so much of an issue anymore, so we were hoping that perhaps it will just get better. 

   But this year, spring came again and finally it seemed like my Mum has reached her limit and was at witts end for what to do, as she and Misha basically kept repeating the same cycle with this whole going out thing every year, as if hoping that finally there will be a time when it’ll work and everyone will live happily everafter, whatever “happily” might mean for poor little Misha. And she said that perhaps he should try Prozac again, maybe if she stuck to it for longer than last year, which was only about a week, he’d start tolerating it better and get back to his normal self. And so she started giving him the pills again. She has even been to the vet, asking if there perhaps is another medication that Misha could take, that he’d perhaps tolerate better, or a different form of fluoxetine like liquid, but, surprisingly to me, he said that no. I did some research beforehand and there clearly are people out there who give their cats fluoxetine in liquid form or even topical, or use feromones to deal with emotional problems with cats, so I wonder if he’s just opposed to anything else or what. Instead, he actually said that Mum could even give Misha one whole pill rather than just a half as last year – one half in the morning and one in the evening – and if it’s a problem she could hide the pill in a bit of food. He clearly doesn’t know Misha. I honestly don’t even understand how other cats are so gullible that they can eat a pill with food just fine. Mum tried it first thing last year, but Misha would spit it out as soon as he’d taste the pill in the food. I sometimes feel like veterinarians underappreciate animals’ intelligence. Like when Misha once had to have a urine test, he was supposed to pee into some fake litter, and, much as we expected, he didn’t, because it wasn’t his litter. Is Misha really in a minority who is too smart/hypersensitive? I kind of doubt it, though I know nothing about other cats.

   Also there didn’t seem to be much point in upping his dose if the lowest one zonks him out so effectively. It’s not like he’s aggressive or something. I don’t think I even realised before that SSRI’s can be sleepifying like that, but perhaps it’s just different with cats’ brains than people’s. 

   He’s started taking it at the beginning of May and it’s clearly going better this time than last time because he’s a bit more social and lively than he was then in that he doesn’t hide so much and even plays a bit when he’s awake and is a lot more cuddly and a bit more relaxed than he normally is which doesn’t seem to be just a result of indifference, but he still sleeps through most of the day and night. It always used to be so that Misha woke up first, now he’s often still asleep when I wake up, and I’ve been rarely waking up before 9 this month, most of the time around 11. He yawns literally AAAAALLLLLL the time, and despite he sleeps so much his sleep seems to be very shallow, so perhaps that’s exactly why he sleeps so much more to compensate for it. He also seems very weak, or tired or I don’t know how else to call it. Just acts as if he had very little energy and reacts to everything very slowly. The pill administering hasn’t been easy for my Mum, because it’s so unpleasant for them all and my Mum is worried that he’ll develop bad associations with her, or will at some point totally refuse to take the pills, but we always try to give him something yummy right after he swallows it so he can forget about everything as soon as possible. I also firmly believe that, as much as Misha is very anxious, he also has some really impressive amounts of patience and gentleness for people, I’m not exactly sure how to describe it. I know that Mum actually realises it herself too, because he showed this virtuous trait of his very much during and right after Sasha’s stay with us, and Mum herself called it that Misha has a very “noble character”. So that even if people have to do something unpleasant to him, or do it thoughtlessly or accidentally, even if it affects him a lot he keeps being gentle-mannered, as classy as ever and good-naturedly understanding and forgiving of his peeps’ countless weaknesses. I think he might just understand in his little brain that Mum’s new whim is to give him this yucky pill every day, and he really doesn’t like it but, oh well… he still loves Mum. Today it actually went very smoothly and Misha didn’t even protest at all, so there’s hope that it’ll continue to go in this direction.

   But the biggest concern for me is that he has almost stopped pooping. I mean it’s really getting serious, because yesterday he cried so loudly and pitifully whenn he was in the loo, and was there for so long but nothing came out. Normally you could almost set the clock by his pooping, he would poop every day at pretty much the same hour, unless his breakfast was a lot later than typically, but now it’s good if he poops every three days. Unfortunately Mum wasn’t home when Misha cried yesterday in his loo so she could hear it, only Sofi and me did and told her about it, oh yeah and Misha very clearly tried too but Mum can’t speak his language. He ran to her as soon as she came back (he doesn’t really run much ever since he’s been on fluoxetine) and made a wailing sound which made us laugh because it sounded as if he was saying “Muuuuuummmmmmmyyyyyy!” And then kept following her and crying. She wasn’t particularly concerned. Probably because she didn’t hear how awful it sounded when he was in the loo. I’ve given her my card already when Misha first started to seem constipated and have been telling her for a long time to buy him some Miralax and she keeps saying that she will but she still hasn’t despite going to town almost every day. 

   So yeah, really, I most definitely wouldn’t want to make another cat feel unhappy like that. 

   What is such a thing for you?  🙂 

Question of the day.

   Why do you think cats are so fluffy? 

   My answer: 

   ! A lot of people seem to think that cats are as cute as they are – not just fluffy but also make all those cute little sounds and purrs and do almost everything in a cute way – because it’s their way of manipulating people into loving them so that then they can use it to their advantage however they want. And that’s certainly very plausible and wouldn’t surprise me at all if it was the case. I also think that a fluffy cat can be used instead of a hot water bottle and work just as well, if not better.

   But, actually, what I find a lot more interesting than why, is from where. Oh, how I wish I knew it! I ask Misha about it so often, “Where does one buy such elegant, luxurious furs? Is it somewhere in Arkhangelsk”, but he’s so unyielding. I guess most cats would have already answered me for their own peace of mind so I’d stop asking the same damn thing over and over, but not Misha! This is so awful, because I really, really want to know it, so that in case I ever lose Misha, I could buy an identical fur to remind me of him, and I would buy enough that I would be able to wear it as a coat in winter and have a muff to go with it, and everyone who’d see me would be jealous, and I’d sleep under it as well and use the muff as a pillow. But of course I wouldn’t want to use Misha’s own fur like that, ‘cause it’s his fur and he has every right to be buried in it and I would hate for him to be skinned posthumously just because of my whim, and that would be too little fur for a proper coat, my Mum says it would only be enough for a hat. I’d probably have to get a HUGE loan if he ever tells me where’s that mysterious fur shop, but I wouldn’t mind paying it back for the rest of my life. 

   You? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   You meet your thirteen-year-old self, but you can only tell them three words. What do you say and why? 

   My answer: 

   “Wait for Misha!” I think Misha is one of the best things that have happened to me in my life and I’d like to give my thirteen-year-old self something to look forward to in life. I was really depressed at that time (well when wasn’t i? 😀 ) I guess not in a suicidal way or anything like that anymore but I just felt really fed up with life and hated existing, and perhaps if I knew at that point that I’m gonna meet Misha in a couple years it would give me a little bit of motivation to keep going. If I told her “Wait for Misha” she still obviously wouldn’t know who that Misha is actually supposed to be and why wait for him, but I guess that would only make things feel more exciting. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Luffaren Och Katten” (The Traveller and the Cat_.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

    have a quirky little song from Finland for you today. It was originally sung by a very famous Finnish 50’s singer Tapio Rautavaara (who also happened to be a  successful Olympic athlete, mainly a javelin thrower) and for whom it was his first huge hit as far as I know. This song was written for him by Reino Helismaa. In 1980, Cornelis Vreeswijk – one of my faza peeps as I’m sure all of the regular readers know – released an album called En Spjutkastares Visor (Songs of a Javelin Thrower), with Swedish translations of Rautavaara’s songs. I’ve already shared in the past one song from that album of his, called Den Blåa Drömmen in Swedish, or Sininen Uni in Finnish, or The Blue Dream in English, which is a very cute lullaby all about Sandman. This one isn’t quite so cute, despite the fact that it involves a cat. I’ve read somewhere that Helismaa was inspired to write this song by some sort of a book where there was a story telling about how a poor man’s happiness is an illusion. While I never like generalisations like that, I think what this song shows well is that human autosuggestion knows no boundaries, especially in a crisis situation like this when one is freezing. Also Tapio Rautavaara himself said that the black cat here symbolises death. Whenever I listen to this I just feel relieved that the traveller didn’t actually try to light up a proper fire in there, ‘cause what would happen to the poor cat! 😱 

   In the post where I shared that Blue Dream song, I also shared a Finnish version, sung not by Rautavaara but a more modern one sung by Suvi Teresniska and Arttu Viskari. I love the Finnish language and Finnish music, and I realise that there’s a large disproportion of how much Swedish music there is on my blog compared to Finnish, but Rautavaara himself is way beyond my comfort zone, I don’t really do fifties’ music, so I actually sat down and listened to like a dozen of different versions of this song in Finnish (it’s called Reissumies ja Kissa in the original) to hopefully find one that would catch my attention. But I found none that would actually speak to me and about which I’d feel that I like it enough to want to make people aware of its existence. So just Vreeswijk’s version it is. 

   I’ve managed to make an English translation of this translation, which is definitely not free of errors. The word that I decided to translate as traveller in English is “luffare” in Swedish and “reissumies” in Finnish. As far as I’m aware, luffare is more like a tramp kind of traveller rather than just any traveller, but I guess reissumies is more general, so it made more sense to translate it as just traveller rather than tramp. If you have some idea about Swedish and/or Finnish and think that tramp, or perhaps something yet different, woould be a better word to describe this guy in English, lemme know. There’s an expression in this song (har man sett på maken” which had always puzzled me and I could never understand it. Finally though, today I learned that it literally means something like “Have you seen the like”, so it’s just like an expression of disbelief or surprise. I didn’t know how to best put it in English so it wouldn’t sound clumsy or unaesthetical yet still be somewhat accurate. Wiktionary says that it could be translated as “golly”, but “golly” alone didn’t seem to convey the level of emotions I believe he must’ve had so I decided on “golly, have you seen anything like this” which I guess does convey it but I’m not sure if it sounds natural in English. Oh, and then there was the obscure word kosa, which took me ages to figure out what it means, and it turns out it’s some rarely used or perhaps even archaic word for road. I translated it simply as way, but perhaps there’s a word that could be just as accurate yet fit better in English with the obscure/archaic or perhaps somewhat sophisticated feel that the word kosa seems to have in Swedish. I’ve also found a translation of the Finnish version, which as far as I, as a (yet) non-Finnish speaker can tell is also not free from  errors, but I guess it still can give us an idea how different these two versions are so if you’re curious the link is here, and below is Bibiel’s translation of the Swedish version. 

   

A traveller goes whistling on the road to somewhere
And it is dark and it is night
Our Lord, no one else, knows his destination
And with himself he has a black cat
And of course the traveller is cheerful but he feels cold
He longs to a fireplace in a Quiet corner of the home
A traveller goes whistling on the road to somewhere
And it is dark and it is night

But look there in the forest, with the door half ajar
A cabin where no one lives
A refuge for the night as if sent from heaven
And the traveller’s gratitude is huge
So he whistles at the cat, but the cat he disappeared
And the traveller is freezing so he’s just as happy
For cats have nine lives, after all, and will probably be fine
All in the cold, black forest
But golly, have you seen anything like this, there’s glow in the stove
He sits down very close to it
If I’ll blow on the fire, it will be extinguished
This will have to be enough
He warms his hands, he thinks everything is well [?]
And Pleasant thoughts fill his soul
He falls asleep and he wakes up and he is freezing like a dog
In the bleak morning hours
In the ashes has the cat spent his night
There was never any glow in this stove
What was glowing in the dark was the eye of a cat
But the fire was cold and dead
But the traveller is just as happy, brooding would make him listless
He Whistles a song and goes with his cat
Our Lord and no one else knows where his way goes
A traveller is out walking

Question of the day.

   What is something that drastically improved your mental health? 

   My answer: 

   Well, I could focus on several different things, as there have been many things that I’ve found helpful for my mental health over the years, some to a significant extent. But the most important one I think, it’s not something but someone. It’s Misha. Misha has helped me so much. In a way, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to form such a very strong bond with anyone as I have with Misha. This has been a very interesting experience, and also a very healing one, to feel so very strongly about someone and at the same time not experience any sort of anxiety or insecurity around such relationship, unlike what has been the case with all kinds of my closer human relationships. Well, I am scared of Misha dying and I suppose that’s quite out of proportion, but that’s an unavoidable part and risk of all relationships really. Other than that, I feel very safe in my relationship with Misha, and I want him to feel the same. I also feel kind of less lonely with Misha. I’ve never really been one to complain about loneliness, I know how to cope with your typical loneliness and it’s not much of a problem for me. But the sort of loneliness that I experience and struggle with more strongly isn’t something that being around others can help with a lot, in fact often it feels even stronger when I’m around other people because it can sometimes be fuelled by stuff like feelings of inadequacy. It’s a strong, gnawing feeling that’s really difficult to get rid of in any way, something that comes from within rather than from being alone and feeling sad or frustrated or bored in this situation. And, well, Misha hasn’t magically freed me from this, but when I look back at the time when I didn’t have him, it’s really clear that having him has made some difference in this aspect. I find Misha’s presence especially comforting at night when I’m struggling with this. He doesn’t sleep with me every night, but he will usually come of his own accord if I really really need him. His presence is also very comforting for me in dealing with these lonely feelings when I can have him close by when there are a lot of people. Perhaps because Misha doesn’t like peopling very much either, so I know he feels similarly and this makes me feel less alone and like I have someone who gets me, and someone who is, like me, though for totally different reasons, perceived as different from the rest of the individuals socialising in a given situation, so that we are both outside. Misha is outside and different because he’s a cat, so he can’t speak human, understands things differently and all that jazz, for many people from extended family he’s even weird for a cat because he’s apparently very different from all the cats they know who purr nice and loud and aren’t scared of every slight movement or something being placed somewhere else than it usually is and come obediently when you call something like pussy or kitty kitty whereas you have to call Mish Mish for Misha because that’s what we’ve taught him, and even then he’ll come when he wants, though personally I suppose the latter is what most cats do. I am outside and different because I can’t do peopling like most people expect their fellow people to be able to do it, I am blind, which makes a huge difference for a lot of people in how they see you, plus it means I am outside of a large portion of their non-verbal communication and my perception of things is quite different, just as it is the case with Misha. I can’t always have Misha close to me while peopling, even when we’re peopling at our house, because Misha obviously doesn’t care about people’s rules and won’t necessarily want to be there with me, or if he does, it’s usually for a very short time, unless there’s yummy food and people provide him with the kind of attention that he likes. But he’ll often be close to me at the start of various family gatherings, so that I can often come into the room with Misha on my shoulder, hearing his purr. It’s funny, actually, because this is the only situation when he sits on my shoulder and many people find it impressive like my grandad thinks we must have some miraculous connection if I can go around carrying him on my shoulder like that. 😀 This way, people’s attention focuses on Misha, whereas I feel calmer having him close to me. Then after a while he’ll usually sneak out to the kitchen or go up on the radiator into his basket, and then when my brain battery is low and I go to my room, he’ll always follow me and we’ll recharge together, as he tends to find all the people noise and the unwanted kind of attention especially from children quite overwhelming and needs a lot of sleep.

   When I’m having a particularly hard time due to depression, Misha can sometimes be the only thing that will motivate me to get out of bed really. I don’t know how I did it before Misha! When I’m not overly depressed, I really enjoy waking up to Misha’s sweet “Hhrrru?” Which is how he greets people. I love talking to him first thing in the morning, giving him his food and cuddling him for a while if he’s up to it. It’s really the best start for the day you could imagine. Some people are surprised that I don’t mind and even want to sleep with him and then have to let him out of my room in the morning at such insane hours as 3 AM sometimes, hardly any later than 6 AM, my Mum says it’s like having a baby. Perhaps it is, but I really don’t mind getting up and letting him out, and unlike with a baby, I can go right back to bed if I want and sleep to my brain’s content or even longer, or I can let him out without actually waking up, just on autopilot. 

   But most of all I think Misha has helped me with anxiety. Especially the more panicky/acute types of anxiety like my typical sensory anxiety aka sound/silence anxiety. It is such a relief having Misha at home in this respect. It doesn’t solve the problem completely, though I really doubt there’s anything that can always do it with 100% effectivity but Misha helps to varying extent every single time. I think this type of anxiety that I have must work similarly to fear of the dark that many young children experience, which I base on that I believe that silence and darkness are similar phenomena in a way, and that Sofi, who still deals with fear of the dark a lot even though she’s a teenager, seems to have a lot of similar experiences around it, though that could also be of course due to that we’re sisters and experience some things similarly. Anyways, while in general I’d say Sofi’s fear is thankfully milder than mine because she only experiences it at night, not in all kinds of dark conditions, and nothing else triggers it other than darkness at night, there’s one thing in which I really feel for Sofi regarding her anxiety. Misha doesn’t help her at all. In fact sometimes he even adds to her discomfort because he can be so quiet and creep her out if he’s in her room and she can’t see him. And I think that really sucks. For me, there are times when Misha can make a world of difference and allow me to fall asleep at all or alleviate my anxiety enough that I don’t need my PRN anxiety medication. I feel a lot safer when I’m at home with Misha vs just on my own. Even when he’s not directly in the same room as myself can sometimes make a glimmer of difference, knowing that he still is somewhere in the house. Sometimes when some creepy sound or a sleep paralysis episode triggers this type of anxiety for me bad enough, I have trouble with such seemingly unrelated things like being in the bathroom, whether as in in the loo, or showering. It’s really difficult to explain the connectioon and the whole sensory anxiety thing in general, but when I’m in this particular freak out mode it’s like everything seems murkily scary to me, it’s a really weird experience to describe with lots of different dimensions to it I’d say. But in such situations, having Misha with me in the bathroom, laying on the radiator while I’m showering, can help a little, or in the latter stages of the freakout phase quite a lot. We have a radio in the bathroom but it never helps half as much as Misha does when the world goes all creepy. Speaking of sleep paralysis, Misha can help that too, though of course for that to be possible, he has to be in the room with me. He has frequently gotten me out of a beginning sleep paralysis dream in the morning by frantically crying, hhrrru?’ing and scratching the door to let him out. I always thought it’s just a coincidence that he frequently happens to do that right when I’m floating away, but then I had a nap a few times during the day with Misha in my room. I don’t like taking naps because they dysregulate myy sleep cycle even further than it normally is and because they’re more likely to start or end with sleep paralysis, so I only nap if I really have to or if it just happens involuntarily while I lay on the bed for a while with Misha and we both drift off. Well, and I have happened to drift off to sleep paralysis in the middle of the day with Misha either next to me or at my feet, and every single of those times I woke up feeling Misha tickling my foot with his paw, as he sometimes does playfully. Now I don’t know whether Misha has some extreme superpower of sensing sleep paralysis in humans which even fellow humans are typically unable to figure out and think you’re just sleeping heavily, or perhaps he simply saw me wriggling my toes, as people sometimes do in their sleep, and which I do in sleep paralysis if I am able to because I discovered that it can slow down the initial floating/drifting and alleviate this sensation which I really hate, and if I wriggle them to a specific side it lets me float in a specific direction rather than being aimlessly thrown around dreamland until I reach the one and only right destination, and sometimes even the right toe move at the right moment lets me wake up. Misha, like most cats I presume, likes things that move, and he likes to make out with people’s legs whenever he’s only allowed, which is never but he never loses hope and perhaps he just thought my toe wriggling was an invitation and the tickling was some sort of foreplay. Regardless though, I’m glad that as it seems Misha is able to wake me up from this at the right moment before everything starts for good. It’s just quite shitty that he rarely is there when this is happening. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What’s a perk of being you? 

   My answer: 

   Well, that’s pretty obvious. I have the REAl happiness all to myself! That’s a huge perk in life! I sleep with Happiness, Happiness is often the first thing I see and hear in the morning, I play with Happiness. Who wouldn’t like having so much Happiness just for themselves? I’m the luckiest peep in the world! Paradoxically, having this whole ball of Happiness all to myself doesn’t prevent me from having dysthymia, but oh well… you can’t have everything, right? Perhaps if I didn’t have Happiness, I would end up having major depression, so I’m insanely grateful. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Misha Mishenko – “Moment”.

   As I mentioned in the last post, the one that was supposed to go yesterday, today is Misha’s birthday, yay! Misha is now 6 years old. They say it’s forty human years! FORTY. FREAKING. YEARs! It’s so ridiculous that I’m not even gonna try to believe it ‘cause my brain would get a permanent freeze! 

   I’ve already shared two songs on my blog that have Misha in their title. Recently, i was looking for some more that I would like, and, while I haven’t found any particularly interesting new songs about a Misha, I came across an artist whose name instantly sparked my interest – Misha Mishenko. – That is how my Mum sometimes calls our Misha, even though his actual surname is Hhrrru? (Just like how he always greets people) and this is probably the only surname in the world that’s spelt with a question mark. 😀 Moreover, the first song by Misha Mishenko that I saw was called Moment, and that again made me thhink of our Misha. Misha has a lot of alternative names or should we say titles, as well as nicknames, that we make up for him all the time. And one day when Sofi saw him as he was just waking up and looking very cute and smelling like sleep, she went into an ecstasy and called him “a little moment of happiness”. That sounded so beautiful and cute and I really liked that, and sometimes, in very special moments, we still call him that. And then when I heard that Moment song, it turned out it’s a solo piano piece. I strongly associate piano with Misha. First, in my synaesthetic brain, the word Misha feels like black piano keys. And second, when we play with Sofi that Misha can talk and all that, we play that piano music is one of his favourite types of music. 

   I myself quite like piano music too, but most definitely not all of it, and I feel totally neutral about all Misha Mishenko’s music that I’ve heard. This piece doesn’t really move me very much, though it’s certainly very nice. But I can totally imagine Misha listening to something like this, whenn he’s not listening to very sophisticated jazz, or secretly yet loudly indulging in Russian D&B when he’s sure that no one will overhear. 

The happy new year post, plus the new My Inner Mishmash playlist.

As this current year is about to vanish into the past very soon, I wish all of you, my lovely readers, a very happy new year. Not necessarily happy as in that you should actually be super happy all the time, as that’s hardly realistic, but hopefully happier than this past year, and simply filled with moments, events and things that you’ll appreciate and enjoy. May you learn a lot of new things this coming year and make loads of fascinating discoveries. This is what my Mum and me always wish each other for new year, because it’s such a fab feeling when you discover something absolutely fascinating and possibly even life-changing in a good way. May it also give you plenty of opportunities for development in areas in which you need it, and maybe even in some in which you don’t yet know that you need to develop. 🙂 I hope it’ll be an interesting year for you, but also peaceful at the same time, as peaceful as it can be in our current external circumstances, pandemic and all. If you’re making some resolutions, or perhaps goals or anything like that, I am hopeful that you’ll be able to stick to them. And also, I wish you a lovely New Year’s Eve, regardless how you’re spending it, and a fabulous New Year, because apparently what your New Year is like says what the entire year will be like for you. 😀

Misha is wishing all the pets and peeps alike, as well as himself, some exciting adventures this coming year.

On my blog, New Year’s Eve is also the time for officially sharing my playlist with songs that have been featured in my song of the day series in the past year. So the playlist for this year is now ready and you can see it below. Also if you want to see the previous playlists, you can go to my

Blog Playlists page.

Question of the day.

What’s the coolest thing you own?

My answer:

Well, I own a lot of things that I guess people could consider cool either because they’re beautiful, or interesting, or even because it’s something they’ve never seen before like some of my gem stones or the more niche tech equipment for example, , but for me personally, it’s Misha who’s the coolest. Misha’s not really a thing, is he, but I do own him, officially anyway, as weird as that sounds, so I think he counts and I don’t own anything that would be cooler than Misha.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

What is one little thing you can always count on to make you happy when you’re feeling down?

My answer:

Well, my answer to questions like this is always the same and very simple – Misha! – I’m SO glad I have Misha in my life and the longer he is in my life, the more difficult and eerie it is for me to imagine how I could have ever lived without Misha and not feel like something was missing. Well, perhaps I did feel it but just didn’t know it was Misha that was missing. Misha is a real help. He won’t always make me happy as such, and this also depends on how deep down exactly I am, but he’ll always make me at least a bit happier and that’s always appreciated.

What is it for you? 🙂

Question of the day.

What is the simplest thing that makes you happy?

My answer:

I’ve said it many times before that Misha makes me happy, but one particular thing about Misha that makes me really happy is when he eats something he really likes. When he’s enjoying himself so much that his bowl is moving back and forth as he’s eating and he eats more noisily than normal and when he’s eaten, he rubs his head with his paw, as if he was stroking himself. When he does that, it means something was really really delicious. I just like when Misha is happy and it makes me happy too.

You? 🙂

Question of the day (23rd August).

What’s a boring fact about yourself?

My answer:

Hmmm… I’ve been thinking about this question for quite a while now, and I have to conclude that, perhaps a bit paradoxically, it’s more difficult to come up with boring facts than at least slightly interesting ones, I guess because you never really think about the really boring, really obvious stuff ’cause it’s too obvious to think about. Is the fact that I have a photo of Misha as my phone wallpaper sufficiently boring and predictable? 😀

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day?

My answer:

Usually it’s Misha, at least when he happens to sleep with me. I always close the door for the night so that if I’m up when everyone else is asleep I don’t wake up anyone, and if I’m still asleep when people are waking up, they don’t wake me up. Plus it just seems very privacy-invading sleeping with your door open. So whether Misha is or isn’t here, I always close it, which means that when he wants to go out in the morning, I must let him out. People are often surprised how I find that tolerable to hear a moaning cat first thing in the morning and have to get up even when I’m the sleepiest just to let him out, and that it’s like having a baby. I don’t really care, it’s nice to see Misha first thing in the morning and cuddle him for a while, and because I’m so used to doing it by now, sometimes I guess I do it without even waking up. 😀 Also if I need it, I can go back to sleep right away. Typically Misha will be back at my door for his morning nap, waiting to be let in, and then he’ll also need a snack.

If Misha’s not in the mood for sleeping with me, I simply rely on things I like that I have to do every day. Like my language learning or blogging or replying to my penfriends etc. It usually works to get me out of bed. Another motivator which works really well is that it’s not really something my brain likes to keep laying in bed for too long without actually sleeping, because then at some point before I even realise it, even if I had the best night’s sleep, I’ll start feeling extremely and quite unusually sleepy again, or more like tired, in a way that is really difficult to overcome, while at the same time the still awake part of me is getting all panicky out of the blue, in a totally primal, irrational way, and then if I won’t manage to get out of this state I end up having sleep paralysis within minutes. And then it’s all the more difficult to get out of bed, when I’m finally out of it, because it makes me really exhausted, floaty and foggy-brained, plus my anxiety’s usually through the roof at the same time. I don’t even have to lay in bed awake for very long, sometimes all it takes is being awake for a bit longer between sleeps, like when you wake up at night and then it takes you a while to go back to sleep. So I guess ideally if I wake up at night and am not asleep again within like 15 minutes I should get up, even if I’m still feeling like I could use more sleep.

I feel really grateful that even though my dysthymia plus circadian rhythm issues regularly make getting out of bed difficult, it doesn’t often happen to me that I’d be so depressed or out of energy that I totally can’t do it for hours or at all. I guess what also motivates me in a way to get going is that people around me, while mostly supportive, don’t really get the nuances of what it feels like when you have depression or stuff like that, and it’s difficult for people to make the connection between being depressed and having no energy, so I feel like I should get out of bed simply because otherwise people will think I’m lazy or something. One of the signs by which I can tell that I’m properly out of brainergy is that I don’t care about such details as whether people will think I’m lazy or not. I think it’s helpful to always have some sort of an idea, maybe not a whole fully-fledged plan but a reasonably clear idea, of what you’re going to be doing the next day, and especially regarding things that you generally like doing. Since I have dysthymia and not major depression, I’m not normally anhedonic (unable to feel pleasure out of doing normally pleasurable things), which makes finding things I like doing easy.

You? 🙂

If we were having coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare

Wow, it feels like I really haven’t done a longer post in a long time. I mean, I published the mini series about emetophobia quite recently, but writing that took me a REALLY long time, a good few months, so that’s probably why it feels so to me, and this is also largely why I haven’t been posting anything longer lately, as I wanted to be done with those vomit posts. 😀

Anyway, I love coffee shares, so thought I’d join

#WeekendCoffeeShare

today. Thanks so much to Natalie for hosting the link-up. 🙂

There’s not a whole lot going on here at the moment, but there are still things that I feel are worth mentioning and filling y’all in on. But first off, let’s get ourselves some drinks, and maybe something more than just a drink. As you may or may not know, I used to be an avid coffee drinker but can no longer drink it quite so carelessly as it seems, however, my Mum was grocery shopping yesterday and she bought loads of iced coffee as both Sofi and me love it a lot, so I’m just having a cup of it right now and it’s delicious. Iced coffee like this one is okay with my brain though, as it’s very weak, which I’m fine with for an iced coffee, but not when it comes to regular, black coffee. Plus I’m having a low-key day and decent anxiety levels so even if it will end up screwing me up a little it wouldn’t be a big deal. So I can make you a cup of this too, if you wish. Otherwise, we have black coffee (also a Swedish whole beans coffee that is actually my Mum’s but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind coffee sharing), loads of different teas, cocoa, and I guess there’s also some orange juice left. We also happen to have loads and loads of Swedish yummilicious candy and other goodies, so there’s lots of good stuff to share. So essentially we can say we’re actually having a proper fika (that’s very basically how you call a coffee break in Sweden, that you take together with friends or colleagues, where you have something small to eat to go with it, just a way of socialising). But how come we suddenly have so much Swedish food around here? Well, come fika with me and you’ll find out. 🙂 Oh, wait, there are also muffins! These are Polish, but I’m sure they’ll work for fika perfectly, if you’d like one.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask each of you how you’ve been doing…?

If we were having coffee, I would fill you in on what’s currently going on with Misha. Misha, as many of you will know, is a very adventurous type, and despite being an exclusively in-door cat, he still has high hopes of conquering the great outdoors someday, and never misses a chance to try and make it happen. If he somehow manages to escape, he’ll then cry his poor little heart out for days or weeks to come because he wants out again. Sometimes we’ll let him out just to make him happy, because we know that this is what he loves the most, but we regret it almost as soon as we do it, because of that endless crying that we all find both excruciatingly annoying and heartbreaking. A couple weeks ago, somehow it had become more difficult than usual to keep Misha outdoors. There were several instances of him sneaking out so that no one even knew when that happened, and we seemed to have little control over it. What surprised us though was that Misha always came back without having to be made to do so, and never left our backyard, which is quite huge so definitely enough for him. That was interesting, as previously, whenever someone would take him out for a little while, it would be really difficult to get him to go back home and he’d run away and could be rather unpredictable. After each of those escapades the crying was even worse, so at some point my Mum decided that, actually, if he’s always been coming back from his adventures so far, we could take the risk and let him go wherever he wants. Misha was very happy, he sniffed the flowers, laid in the sun on the grass, and walked around like a lord examining his property, with Jocky jumping behind him like his faithful servant. As always, he got all magpies agitated and they yelled at him as loud as they could, but he didn’t even bother. That was again a surprise, because normally when we go out with him, he’s a lot more fearful and makes an impression like he’s quite overwhelmed with all the sounds and movements, whereas now he was very majestically placid. Once he even fell asleep on the grass. And then he came back, and slept through the rest of the day, probably totally exhausted with all the stimuli. When he’d wake up, he’d cry again, so we’d let him out, and the whole cycle would repeat. Only, what was quite easy to predict, each time Misha would go further and further. He would still stick to the backyard, but was becoming more and more courageous by the day, and took longer and longer every day to come back. Meanwhile, at home he would only sleep, and very soundly so. If he wasn’t asleep and wasn’t outside, he would cry, louder than before. Finally one such day Misha just spent the whole day outside, and couldn’t be seen from any window, so Mum went out to get him back. The problem was that he flat out refused to go anywhere with her and wanted to run away, but somehow she managed to catch him.

From then on, we became rather apprehensive of letting him out. As a result, we were constantly tortured by his wailing. Day and night. Sometimes the sounds he would make would be so mournful and pitiful that you could cry with him, while at other times it sounded very deliberately rude, annoyed, or plain manipulative. It never ceases to impress me how he can convey such an extremely wide range of emotions with what could seem as just one, wailing sound. My Dad started to threaten that he’s going to kill him someday, Sofi would yell at him if he came near her even if he wasn’t crying, because she was so fed up with him, Mum started to close him in the laundry room for the night, where he likes to be and where we’d hear him a bit less, and I was reluctant to have him in my room, as the only reason for which he seemed to come in here was to keep wailing. Yet we all felt very sorry for him and wanted to help him somehow. Letting him be outside just didn’t seem like the right way to help long-term, and we were short of any other ideas.

Mum and me, however, had been considering for quite a long time to take him to a cat behaviourist to talk about some of his problems, like the constant grooming. So finally it seemed like the time was more than right. Mum already went to that behaviourist with Misha and Sasha (the little kitten we had for a while with whom, or should I say due to whom, we had some problems), and he was very helpful and insightful. So I guess both of us were hoping for something similar this time around. Some insight, about what we might be doing wrong, and what we should do etc… Maybe he would help us understand this little Mish brain a little better.

Yet he didn’t offer us anyy insight. Looking at it in perspective, I don’t really know what he could say and this really doesn’t seem like the sort of thing where talking would help a lot. He simply concluded that there are two ways for Misha to live. One option is that we make a compromise and let Misha go in and out precisely as he pleases. But this isn’t really an option, even by his – the vet’s – standards, as obviously Misha is totally inexperienced when it comes to the outdoor life, while on the other hand he is used to sleeping on and in beds, or wherever he fancies, and it would be difficult and quite cruel to now tell him that he cannot do this anymore and I’m not quite sure how we’d go about making him adhere to this rule. And our house would get real filthy in no time, my pedantic Mum wouldn’t survive that. So there’s just the second option left, that is medication. So what we were ultimately offered was a supply of Prozac, which Misha was to take half a pill daily and he told us to come back in two weeks for a follow-up.

I really didn’t like the idea on so many levels but… what else can you do? As expected, Misha’s appetite worsened a lot, so I had to stock up on his favourite foods so that he’d eat anything. He also became really drowsy, which I didn’t realise was a thing with Prozac nor did the behaviourist tell us that it was possible. Like, he slept ALL the time! He’d hardly wake up to eat or pee. He was also very apathetic. In the short moments between his sleeps, I sometimes picked him up and cuddled. He doesn’t always love to be picked up, but now it was like he didn’t care either way. He didn’t object or tense up as he does when he’s not in the cuddly mood, but neither was he cuddly and affectionate, he would just lay in my arms completely still. But I thought, oh well, his body probably must just get used to it.

But things just continued like that, with no change at all. Both Mum and me tried to give him his favourite foods, both where regular meals and snacks were concerned, but a lot of food just went to waste because he’d just take a bite and would no longer be interested in it. Giving him the pills, which is never an easy thing, was becoming harder every day as he would protest against it more every day, it’s really unpleasant for everyone involved to give him any kind of medication. One day he threw it up almost straight after Mum managed to get him to swallow it. When Misha slept like that all the time, he would never slept cosily as usual, on a bed or in his own bed, or in some other comfy place. Instead he’d usually hide under a bed and clearly didn’t want anyone to see him. One of those days, when he was sleeping under Mum’s bed, she took a peek down there and found him lying there still but his eyes were actually wide open, plus his pupils were still very dilated so apparently it looked quite creepy. The next day Sofi told me the same thing, very surprised, that he’s not sleeping but simply laying like that all the time.

We didn’t go full two weeks, but as the situation wasn’t any better after over a week, I got really frustrated and decided that I don’t want a zombie here, I want my Misha back. I’d rather have him cry twice as loudly and obnoxiously than be just an empty shell of himself. I’m not sure he’s happy with this kind of existence either. Mum told me she was afraid that one day she’d just find him laying somewhere dead. So we wanted to go back to the behaviourist earlier and tell him that yeah, it solved the problem, but now we have no cat. Like, I literally haven’t seen him for a week as he was in that comatous state, even though on a few of these days he actually laid under my bed. There was also no “Hhrrru?”ing, no purrs, no nothing. But since we are now kind of afraid of testing other drugs on our Mishball, in the end Mum simply stopped giving him the Prozac and he isn’t taking anything else instead. He has almost fully recovered by now. Surprisingly, the crying’s not that bad at all either. He does cry a little bit, especially when he sees someone going out, but he also did cry a little bit during his waking minutes on the Prozac, and he’s been crying ever since he’s been with us. But it’s not the same, desperate kind of crying and he isn’t so quick to go out as he was for a couple months prior to this. We decided that we’ll only try some new medication if things go really bad again. Misha is also a little more sociable now, of course within his norm, which is so delightful. It’s really sad that there doesn’t seem to be any good way of lessening his distress.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we’ve had quite a heatwave lately. The last two days have been a bit cooler, but I’m not expecting this to be the case for very long. It’s also very humid, especially that we live by the river, it’s like even the walls are sweating. 😀 I’m just so very grateful for finally having the AC in my room, as it makes it noticeably easier to function.

If we were having coffee, I’d finally share about where I’ve got all these Swedish sweets from. When Sofi had her birthday in May, I shared with my Swedish penfriend that I ordered a package from Scrummy for Sofi and me. Scrummy is a Polish online shop selling all sorts of sweets, snacks, drinks, instant desserts and what not from other countries, I believe mainly from Asia. And she kindly suggested that she could send us some Swedish ones to test. I had some Swedish candy in Stockholm and also in Ikea, but I still felt rather inexperienced in the matter, and I thought Sofi would be particularly happy, so I jumped at the chance and offered that we could do an exchange and we could send her some Polish sweets as well. When I later told my Mum about it, she asked if my penfriend could send her “that delicious coffee from Sweden”. She drank some whole beans coffee that she considered really great at the hotel where we stayed in Stockholm, but didn’t know the name of it, unfortunately, so I just asked my penfriend if she could find some whole beans, low acidity and high intensity coffee, because these are the sort of coffees my Mum likes. Our post office is really snail-paced with packages both from and to other countries, so it took almost a month to arrive, but we finally got it on Thursday, yay! 🙂 Since we were only talking about “testing”, rather than gluttonising hehe, we were really surprised that it was so huge, even for the two of us, so you can imagine we were really excited! 😀 I actually never got to it any licorice candy in Stockholm, and was always curious if I’d like it or not. Turns out that not really, and Sofi isn’t a fan of it either, but it was very interesting to finally try it. And my Dad, true to his alleged Nordic roots (which as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before I personally don’t really believe are truly Nordic, that’s what my cousins say though) discovered that he really does like it. I’m very curious if he’ll like the salty one as well.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee, or fika, for that matter? 🙂

 

Question of the day (18th June).

If animals could talk, which one would be the most annoying?

My answer:

I guess something like parrots and other animals which are talkative anyways, they’d probably have even more to say if they’d be able to talk like humans very well, but I somehow doubt they’d have a lot of interesting or original things to say. Otherwise ducks, geese and the like, all those animals who are really noisy and not particularly pleasant-sounding. Or the small dog breeds, who, again, often make a lot of noise which is often already annoying even though they don’t speak human.

I always want Misha to be able to talk, even at least for five minutes so I can ask him if he’s happy or if there’s something he really wants that is realistically doable or if there’s anything he’d like me to know, but my Mum claims he’d be super annoying if he could talk, and just as now he’s very non-vocal, if he could talk he’d probably wouldn’t shut up for a minute. I don’t really see why his personality would be supposed to change at the same time as well. Still, perhaps it would be annoying regardless how much he’d talk, because Mum also says that in her opinion he’d only talk about food and how hungry he is or that he wants out, which is more realistic than the personality change because that’s already more or less everything he talks about when he does make any sounds, and it can get old.

What do you think? 🙂

Question of the day.

If there was one thing you could ask your future self, what would it be?

My answer:

That’s easy. Do you still live with Misha and if not, who does he live with? Or, if he has died by then, how are you even coping with it, or maybe you are not? What’s life like without Misha, after having lived with Misha? More than one question, but all about one thing, so I guess it’s not cheating.

You? 🙂