Some day soon, I will write about the events that lead up to Jerah’s admission to Hawthorn Center, a state psychiatric hospital in Michigan. I am not ready yet. But shortly after he was admitted, I ended up adopting another cat. I think it was Hemingway that said “One cat just leads to another.”
We already had Franklin, a fluffy part Maine Coon sassy, playful, cat who thinks he is a dog. He growls, follows you around, answers to his name and plays catch, sometimes even fetch. Franklin also takes no crap from anyone. He can be bitey and mean sometimes. Frankie and Jerah have an understanding. They have a mutual respect for one another’s space and moods.
While Jerah was at Hawthorn, I was a mess… especially at the beginning. It was like trying to suddenly live life without a piece of your body. Jerah is my side kick, my shadow. Aside from that horrible 15 months that my addiction caused him to be in foster care, we are ALWAYS together. To be apart again was devastating to me in so many ways. Again, not quite ready to dig into that wound and share about it just yet, but let’s just say I was a bit out of my mind. Much more than usual, haha. I went what I call “Crazy Cat Lady Shopping” and found a cat named Rosetta. I found that to be hilarious! I am Rossetta and this is my cat Rosetta. (Really funny, until I am at the vet trying to explain to my boyfriend’s ex-wife -she is their receptionist- that I did not name my cat after myself, “I adopted the cat because it has the same name as me… no, we don’t spell our names the same… no… she spells hers with one S… so we can tell each other apart…” ) I call her Rosie at home because it was just entirely too weird going through the house calling out my own name. My recommendation is don’t name a pet after yourself, and don’t adopt one with the same name as you. It was cute for a second. Then it became very weird.
Now, here we are months later, and Jerah is home. Jerah smells weakness. Rosie is a shelter cat, who preferred to be in the “kitten room” or up high on a top shelf away from everyone else. She has cat social anxiety. Jerah and Rosie do NOT have an understanding. When Jerah learns he can intimidate you, it is all over for you. This is true of animals and it is true of people… finding respite and Community Living Support providers is not an easy task! Rosie shows her face anywhere near Jerah and he chases her off.
This morning she made the mistake of walking out of the laundry room after Jerah was awake. He was unusually quiet this morning, so she had no warning that he was in the living room. She didn’t even DO anything to him, she just meandered out of the laundry room and Jerah started yelling “Rosie bothering you!” (He doesn’t know how to properly use pronouns). Rosie ran away from him. He chased her and threw his juice box at her. I am not thinking properly, I am operating on the schedule, and the schedule is saying time for meds, which he takes in some apple juice twice a day. I hand him the apple juice. Big mistake. I should have known he was not going to drink it. That gets dumped on the floor. As I am using my small carpet cleaner to suck apple juice and psych meds out of the carpet, I think to myself, “And this is why we don’t use GRAPE juice, and how am I going to replace the ADHD med that is now in the carpet? They should give us autism parents 35 pills for a month, knowing that a few pills are not going to make it to their intended destination…”
So, while I am cleaning carpet, Jerah goes into the laundry room and starts yelling “Rosie bothering you!” I say blandly, “Actually, Jerah bothering Rosie. Rosie is hiding from you.” Jerah turns to me, wild eyed, and says “Rosie ALL GONE please!” I tell him “Not right now.” He hates the word “no” so I use phrases like “We gotta wait” and “Not right now.” He continues to try to figure out how to get behind the washing machine… I am not sure what his plan is, but I want to help Rosie, because whatever his brain is coming up with can just not be good for her.
I wanted to get her and put her in my bedroom where she could sit in the window and have a little peace and safety… but I ended up making it all worse! She ran out from behind the dryer, darted under the sofa. I lifted up the sofa and started talking to her gently, and tried to pick her up. She ran away from me and jumped onto the counter, then on top of the fridge and onto the top of the cupboards. This made Jerah howl with glee! He started jumping up and down and laughing, saying “Rosie FUNNY!” This just made Rosie more afraid, so she was darting all over the place, looking more like a rabbit than a cat. She finally landed behind the washing machine, and I gave up and left her there.
Jerah was no longer mad as the sight of Rosie flitting about the house completely terrified cheered him right up.
Welcome to our Tuesday morning!