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OK DOn't Make Fun Of Me...But Am I Being Paranoid?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
As you all know, our cat Angel was neglected by her owners and abused by her owners' roomates for the first 7 years of her life. Then her owner realized he couldn't care for her and gave her to us. He still sees her sometimes and she seems not to hate him. Angel is 10 years old now and is in good health despite everything that happend to her.

The problem is me. I'm afraid of her dying. Sometimes when she's asleep I purposely wake her up just to make sure that she's alive. I know that's silly and paranoid but I can't help it. She's 10! That's old for a cat. When I first started nannying for Haley she was only 10 months old and sometimes I'd wake her up too because I was afraid of crib death. Now that she's older I don't do that anymore, but with Angel it's differeent...Angel is just going to keep getting closer and closer to Rainbow Bridge.

This is almost starting become a bad habit with me, and my fiance is worried. Sometimes I literally feel like I "have to" wake Angel up, just like I "have to" twist in my hair. I can't stop myself!

I WANT ANGEL TO BE WITH ME FOREVER! Someone please reassure me!
post #2 of 28
Staci, we have cats on this board that are over 20 years old! Angel is almost a kitten compared to them.

I do understand, I can't even fathom the thought of not having Trent and Ophelia with us. Of course, they are only 4 1/2 years old, but I think about how FAST those years have gone.....

Instead of waking her up, can you just put a hand on her chest and feel her breathing? She may even start purring in her sleep (Trent does that sometimes, purrs in his sleep when I lightly pet him). That way she won't get paranoid about going to sleep.
post #3 of 28
She isn't old at all. And though we all would like our fur babies to live forever, it just doesn't happen. All you can do is love her while she is here, give her excellent care, see to her needs, keep on on her vet visits and be a responsible caregiver. My oldest cat soon turns 13. He has never been inside since being weaned. Been to the vet one time and just stays outside because inside makes him nuts. He will literally eat the wallpaper. When he was neutered he made such a mess of things at the vet, I was told to never bring him back! But he is a sweet sweet boy, and will run up to us in the yard for his snuggles and pets and flop down at out feet rolling over and over until we pay him some attention.
post #4 of 28
My last cat lived to be 17 years old, my late husband's cat was 23. There are even older cats alive. Just like our children we never know how long we have them for. Just enjoy every minute, every day and appreciate the love and joy your share with her. I always think of our children and furbabes as being lent to us by God to care for and love. And eventually, yes we have to say goodbye, but don't let that fear spoil the time you have with her now. Get everything you can out of it. She is lucky to have someone who loves her so much. Enjoy it.
post #5 of 28
Angel's not OLD!!!! My goodness, she could live to be twice as old as she is now!!

You "have to" wake Angel up, you "have to" twist in your hair, you "had to" wake Haley. Are these compulsive thoughts, sweetie? I'm not trying to make you paranoid, and I'm not trying to make fun, but these sound like compulsive acts on your part, you said yourself that you can't stop. And you said your fiance is worried - the people closest to us know us best. Have you talked to anyone, a professional, about these thoughts? I lived with a borderline obsessive/compulsive for quite a while, and this sounds like him - he could not leave the house until he'd walked thru and checked (and I mean physically touched) EVERY light switch and stove knob at least twice and unplugged the small appliances in the kitchen. I'd tell him don't worry, but it didn't do any good, this was a NEED for him. Just want you to think on it for a bit. And "don't worry" Angel will be around for a long time to come!
post #6 of 28
In our house, Angel wouldn't even be middle aged yet.
We helped Tiffany cross over last year. She was 19 and an indoor/outdoor cat that remained happy to the end. She's still with us in the "Angel Garden" in the backyard. Her "sister" Queenie just turned 20 and is still going strong.
We got the 2 younger furballs we have now after Tiff passed. The house was too empty with just one krazy Kat around.

Give lots of hugs, keep up on the Vet visits, and you'll most likely have Angel for many many more years.

Typing this as we have 1 Furball sleeping with tail cascading down the center of the monitor, 1 furball sleeping draped around Jeffs neck, and 2 dogs asleep at our feet.

Life is good. Spend the time enjoying and not worrying.



Jeff & Sue
post #7 of 28
i know how you feel, i do that with socks, from the day i had him, i just always feel as though i gotta check
post #8 of 28
Instead of worrying about when she's going to pass on, you could be giving her love and lots of attention, enjoy every minute with her. It sounds like you're expecting she's about to die. I like everyones advice they've given you. Good luck!
post #9 of 28
It can be scary! I know. Spot is more old then Angel. He is 12. He acts like a kitten. I won't worry. When he sleep I watch. He breath, I happy. 10 is not to old. 10 old for some cat, some cat sick, some cat not happy. Happy cat do live old.
post #10 of 28
I know how you feel, I feel the same way about my senior cat Snoopy, but he's 19 years old. Your cat is still a youngster. Last year, I lost my 2 year old Persian. I NEVER thought he would go before Snoopy, but strange things happen. Just keep giving your baby all the love you can her, and appreciate each day that she is with you. These days, I look at each new day with my Snoopy as a precious gift. I fear for him all of the time. I honestly don't know if I could handle his loss, because he's been with me all of these years, and he's more a part of me, than a pet. All I know is that I'm so grateful for being allowed to be in Snoopy's life and for having him in mine. I can't ask for more. I too, hope he lives forever, but I have to face the fact that his time with me is limited, now.

However, in your case, I think you have a lot of time left with Angel, barring any unforseen illness or calamity. Stop worrying, and just enjoy the time you have with her.
post #11 of 28
When I was 16 my sister had me babysit my very colicky 3 week old niece. She screamed and cried for a 1/2 hour until she very suddenly stop. If she was asleep I wasn't waking her. I held a small mirror to her nose to see if she was breathing. She is now 28 years old and still colicky
post #12 of 28
I have that same feeling about Toes because he and I have saved each other's lives. But even when they do pass over the rainbow ridge they're still with you in your heart and mind and that's important. I still think of Penny (she died almost 10 years ago) and she's still just as close as ever. I know that doesn't help much, maybe if I say, Yes, you're being paranoid! that'll help? Put the grief behind you and face it when it's time. Right now you have to enjoy her and make beautiful memories with her so you'll have more to look back on when she does go than just that you were scared to lose her.
post #13 of 28
If it's any consolation, I do this myself...sometimes when patches is sleeping hard , I touch her to check if she's breathing. But patches has been with me for almost 21 years. I got her when she was 6 weeks old because her mother (who was a throwaway kitten) kept pushing her away. she was the smallest of the litter of 5. I took one look at her beautiful face and it was love at first sight. We stopped letting her go outside when she was 7....we thought she was too old. When she was 12 she was diagnosed with hyperthyroid disease. She went from 9lbs down to 6. WE took her to the vet and this wonderful vet put us in touch with Radio Cat. That's two Speciallists who travel to certain animal hospitals giving a radioactive iodine shot. It worked for her! She's a little frail and forgetful now but still enjoys life (especially chicken) With lot's of love and care I'm sure Angel has many years left with you. God bless you both.
post #14 of 28
Dear Vinceneilsgirl, I know alot about how you feel! Poor you, i'ts very obsessing, I feel the same way with my furry ones from time to time. In the winter, I can't even sleep cause I have visions in my head of them being frozen to death out there! But they are all trained to come in when they want, day or night and they want out during the day, so I let them cause they do have their own kitty things to do out there. Right now I've got 4 of the 5 in here with me, they have kitty crates stacked up in the corner and covers in them to be comfy. I've suffered with o.c. disorder for quite some time, I was on meds for it, then I took myself off and I feel alot better. I also dread the day when my babies will have to leave me, it is too sad to even imagine. So for now, I take things one day at a time, and make them happy by giving them excellent care, vet checks and treatments if need be, good food, clean water, lots of love! Please try not to dwell on such sad thoughts, maybe you are subconciously sad about someone else, who might have left you? If you like we can try to help you sort things out, I'll be around. I do a head count on my meowies throughout the day, even, and so far so good. They'll be with us for along time, don't worry. your freind hootiecat p.s. enjoy her and know that you are an excellent mommy to her and that thought will comfort you. h-cat
post #15 of 28
Ten is not old for a cat, just middle aged. Our neighbor's cat lived to 22, and she was an indoor-outdoor cat.

Try to analyze why you have this unusual fear. Did you lose another animal or a friend or family member at a relatively young age? Try to put it in perspective, that if your furbaby is healthy, the chances of her dying at this age are really quite low and your fears may have little to do with her actual prospects. If she does become ill or if your fears begin to over-power you, instead of waking her to check that she's okay, do as some others have suggested and just watch closely to see if she is breathing.

You didn't ask for suggestions about this, but I just want to comment about the hair twisting. I had repeated episodes of that throughout my life where I just couldn't seem to help myself and would do it constantly. And it was always when I was under a great deal of stress for some reason. Then when the stress went away, so did the hair twisting, only to return the next time I was under tremendous stress. The one thing that helped to relieve the stress for me was strenuous physical exercise. If you feel you are under a great deal of stress, you might just try getting more exercise. It might not help, but then if you are in good health, it certainly won't hurt, either.
post #16 of 28
I can understand how you feel
I worry about losing my older cat- who is 10- but then she has some health problems and shouldn't have lived as long as she has.
I just try and spoil her and give her lots of cuddles and attention.
I have found myself (not very often) checking to make sure she is breathing when she has been sleeping in an odd position.
Keep telling myself she could live for another few years- and try not to worry.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Staci, we have cats on this board that are over 20 years old! Angel is almost a kitten compared to them.

I do understand, I can't even fathom the thought of not having Trent and Ophelia with us. Of course, they are only 4 1/2 years old, but I think about how FAST those years have gone.....

Instead of waking her up, can you just put a hand on her chest and feel her breathing? She may even start purring in her sleep (Trent does that sometimes, purrs in his sleep when I lightly pet him). That way she won't get paranoid about going to sleep.
I could make her paranoid about sleeping?
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicaLynn
Angel's not OLD!!!! My goodness, she could live to be twice as old as she is now!!

You "have to" wake Angel up, you "have to" twist in your hair, you "had to" wake Haley. Are these compulsive thoughts, sweetie? I'm not trying to make you paranoid, and I'm not trying to make fun, but these sound like compulsive acts on your part, you said yourself that you can't stop. And you said your fiance is worried - the people closest to us know us best. Have you talked to anyone, a professional, about these thoughts? I lived with a borderline obsessive/compulsive for quite a while, and this sounds like him - he could not leave the house until he'd walked thru and checked (and I mean physically touched) EVERY light switch and stove knob at least twice and unplugged the small appliances in the kitchen. I'd tell him don't worry, but it didn't do any good, this was a NEED for him. Just want you to think on it for a bit. And "don't worry" Angel will be around for a long time to come!
I'm not sure. I thought at first the reason I do those things is because I'm a control freak...not in a bad way I'm just one of those people who needs things to be organized and structured, which means I need to know what's going on at all times. My best friend has a psych degree and she says that comes from growing up in a house with drug addicted/alcoholic parents. I had to become a control freak because of all the chaos around me.

Then I thought that maybe I was doing it because I'm one of those people who if I take an interest in someone/something I have to know all of the facts about it. So I thought maybe I was doing it because of that.

But this feels different. I really have no control over this. I'll tell myself; "Angel is fine, don't wake her"...and then 2 seconds later another thought will come that says; "If you don't wake her she'll die in her sleep". It was the same thing with Haley. And when I twist in my hair its so comforting I can't stop, and feel like if I don't something bad will happen.

OK I'm crying now. I'm an awful person because I can't control myself!
post #19 of 28
If you feel out of control over these matters, maybe it's time to see the doctor. It has nothing to do with being an awful person. But do you really want your life taken over by things you can't control?
post #20 of 28
I agree with Deb, you need to see a doctor, those are obsessive thoughts and like she said, it is nothing to do with being awful, it is something that you cannot control.

And, there is nothing to make fun of you of - at least you are honest with your feelings and people can help you. I know several people with obsessive compulsive disorder and its no picnic for them.
post #21 of 28
Vinceneilsgirl I don’t know where to begin so if I ramble I’m sorry. Also this is just my opinions. I’m no expert.

Quote:
My best friend has a psych degree and she says that comes from growing up in a house with drug addicted/alcoholic parents. I had to become a control freak because of all the chaos around me.
Every home needs someone in charge clearly your parents were unable to handle this. So you did what you needed to do to function in that house, you took control. Now your having a hard time with thing that you can't control but the outcome would effect you significantly. In this situation your Angel dieing in her sleep, it has happen in the past with Haley. Yes it could happen, but not likely at this point in Angel’s life.

Quote:
But this feels different. I really have no control over this. I'll tell myself; "Angel is fine, don't wake her"...and then 2 seconds later another thought will come that says; "If you don't wake her she'll die in her sleep". It was the same thing with Haley. And when I twist in my hair its so comforting I can't stop, and feel like if I don't something bad will happen.
In the home you grew up in only way to emotionally survive was by being in total control. It sound like you did a great job. Now to manage in the world you need to find a balance between control and letting go.

Quote:
OK I'm crying now. I'm an awful person because I can't control myself.
This touch me a lot. I too grew up in a home that was far less that perfect. My life felt out of control and yes I spend years hating myself. I spend years dealing with old stuff. In the end the only thing I still regret is the years I spend hating myself. What a waste of my life and time. I not perfect and that is ok.

I hope you can learn to like and accept who you are, and maybe laugh at your quirks. We all have them. Please stop beating yourself up.


Here are some site to help with the hair twisting.

http://www.trich.org/home/default.asp?FC=3182851

http://www.trich.org/v1/whatis.htm

http://www.nmha.org/infoctr/factsheets/92.cfm

http://www.vh.org/adult/patient/psyc...chotillomania/
post #22 of 28
i'm probably sooooooooo late coming in on this one, but i DO know how you feel. most of the people who have kitties would. I also have three teenaged kids who i would check all the time when they were little as well. whereas i don't wake any of my kitties up to make sure they are okay, i would stand there and stare at their torso to detect the rise and fall of their breathing. if i couldn't tell, i would gently lay my hand on their ribs to feel the rise and fall or in front of their noses to feel their exhales. sometimes i feel really silly doing it, but that hasn't stopped me. i still watch my kids breathing sometimes to make sure they still are. my son stopped breathing when he was three months old and had to be rushed to the hospital via helicopter so i imagine thats where my paranoia stems.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb25
If you feel out of control over these matters, maybe it's time to see the doctor. It has nothing to do with being an awful person. But do you really want your life taken over by things you can't control?
I second this, dear heart. You have no control over what might happen to Angel, and if you feel like you have no control over the hair-twisting it's time to pull in some reinforcements, and by that I mean professionals. I was the first in my family to seek help before anything major happened, and it was only after my dad was hospitalized for a panic attack this spring (which he thought was a heart attack) that I found out there's a looooong history of anxiety disorder in my family.
You sound like you already understand a good deal about why you do what you do, and that's half the battle of doing something to change it! You still have control of YOU and when you strike that balance between control and letting go, you will feel sooo much better.

You are NOT a horrible person!!! It's OK to cry and it's ok to feel a little outta control. But we want you to feel better! As my best girlfriend always tells me when I get a little manic, "DEEEEEEP breathly"
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I'm feeling better. I'm going to talk to a doctor...after I help my friend (see my thread in IMO) solve his problems. I always put others first. My friend Angie says that's why I'm such agreat activist...I never think about myself until things really bother me.
post #25 of 28
My mom's cat, Oreo is 15...when I see him sleeping, I have to pet him to know that he is still alive, I get so paranoid too, he's my childhood kitty, and we'll be devestated when he leaves us one day. Lighty pet her & Please see a doc too because talking things out with someone may help you ease your pain!
post #26 of 28
Awwww i know how you feel. Rosie wasn't even 1 year old and i used to think the worst and ended up upsetting myself, but i learned to put it at the back of my mind and enjoy everyday i have with her.

Angel is still a little girl, please don't worry over it otherwise it's going to drag you down and Angel needs her mum to be happy so she can be happy
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinceneilsgirl
Thanks guys. I'm feeling better. I'm going to talk to a doctor...after I help my friend (see my thread in IMO) solve his problems. I always put others first. My friend Angie says that's why I'm such agreat activist...I never think about myself until things really bother me.
Vinceneilsgirl,
Hon I think it's time you put YOUR problems on the frontburner and move your friends to the back burner for a bit. I read about your friend in IMO (and I pm'd you about that too), but I really think you're doing all you can for him by just listening. HE has to take the next steps. YOU, on the other hand, need to take care of you, so you can continue to take care of others. I'm glad you're feeling better now, but we all want you to continue feeling better. Don't wait to see the doctor until "after I help this friend/that friend sort out their problems" because something else will ALWAYS come up.

This is where I've had the hardest time - I too am a nurturer by nature, and it's been hard for me to learn my own limits. I still relapse from time to time and bite off more than I can chew by finding friends with too many problems for me to handle, but I just remind myself that if I can't take good care of me, I certainly can't take care of anyone else - and it's NOT MY JOB to do that anyhow. Be good to you, and you'll be surprised at how much easier it will be to be good to everyone else!
post #28 of 28
Vinceneilsgirl

I read your last posting and was trying to find the right words to say what wanting to say to you. Well now that I've read Rica Lynn posting those are exactly the words I was looking for. Please reread her posting.
It is time for you to take care of your needs. It doesn't make you less of a friend. Maybe you and your friend need to lean on each other while getting outside help. I’m rooting for you.

Fern
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