Are kittens plausible with moderate-severe ME?
I was fortunate enough to be gifted a three year old cat just before I became completely bedbound. She has been my sanity, my constant companion with very few demands over the past few years.
Lately I've been able to get up a bit and sometimes move around the garden or even drive to the store (very close, not busy roads). I figured I might be ready to adopt another cat as a companion for Heidi.
Enter Kanut, 16 week-old kitten full of non-threatening, bouncy fun whom I thought Heidi might accept. She kind of did accept him, so that bit went well, but after three days of his needs I was in constant pain and crashed so badly I ended the trial.
Now I want him back! But my body says no. Anyone with severe or the severe end of moderate ME have any kitten hacks? Is it possible? I have support workers, but live alone.
My gut feeling is no... I am similar severity to you, currently living alone with 2 adult cats and have a support worker twice a week but I can barely cope. The main reason is that one of the cats - not mine, I'm caring for him temporarily - is rather high maintenance. Even if you got an adult cat you wouldn't know if they would take too much work to care for, so it's not necessarily a kitten specific thing.
Having to fill food and water bowls daily is the hardest thing for me (apart from the times when aforementioned high maintenance kitty throws up somewhere, or insists on going outside and won't come back in, or gets himself in trouble and then attacks me when I try to help - I am constantly having to chase after him and over exert myself lol).
I have thought of getting an automatic feeder, then I could get a carer to fill it and not have to worry for the rest of the week. But the other stuff is harder and really depends on the temperament of the animal.
@lostinspace I hate it when you have to make the choice between something you would love, and destroying what health you have left.
It just feels cruel.
Young creatures do take so much more energy.
@river Why do high-maintenance kitties insist on making us chase after them on days we know we shouldn't even be moving? lol
Thanks for the dose of reality. I forget that many days it's hard enough to manage feeding, let alone provide enough interactive, stimulating play to expect reasonable behaviour and for him to learn boundaries/develop into the delightful cat I know he will be.
Even having such an energetic being zipping about my person was causing PEM.
@dot I know right? It feels cruel sometimes. I think we should create a new job title: kitten dhoulas for the ME/CFS community who come and play with kittens and feed them twice a day so we just get the purring floofy eyes of everything is new experience.
@lostinspace that sounds like a dream job, if I wasn't already so I'd totally do it haha
Hi @lostinspace my two rascals are a year old now and no part of me wants to admit it... but basic caregiving is often very difficult. I also naively thought (or more likely convinced myself) that having two meant they would entertain themselves. In reality their favourite game is doing zoomies around the bed or bringing me something I can throw for them. Yes I managed to get cats who like to play fetch Really could have used a kitten dhoula. I am currently convincing myself that the bed zoomies will stop soon.
@lostinspace If only they would give us STAFF!
You could get your Cat Carer.
I'd have... well I think I want at least three! Housekeeper, Secretary... and Cat Carer might be helpful here too, even with old Miso the cat.
(No, maybe she wouldn't appreciate that after all)
(I'll go Gardener)
@dot it seems that way but actually I find it exhausting explaining to people what I want them to do
@dot Please, please, please. I want a gardener. The grass and weeds are so high that I don’t like going outside my door. It’s a haven for snakes and rabbits. Although I don’t mind the rabbits so much as they eat the grass. I have 2 people lined up I’m but still waiting to see which one turns up first. “They” always say it’s best to keep people in their homes for as long as possible, and boy it sounds great in theory but …
Maybe it would work if there was a very good ME/CFS Agency and they were super trained, and we had a big red button to press if they aren't suitable, and they leave straightaway and then they quietly send us a better one.
And when we have found a good one they aren't allowed to retire or quit (maybe they could be robots?).
@Glimmer Ooh yes. Full time. Starting immediately.
@iris I find it exhausting explaining how to do stuff too. You need to get someone who is excellent at figuring things out on their own/on minimal information. And also be able to accept things being done in a different way to how you'd do them.. Which I really struggle with lol, I need CONTROL!