Posted in animal advocacy, C-PTSD, cats, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent

4/9/18: Observations of humans and their pets [and #crowdfunding]

As I try to write on other things, trying to save my storage unit is still top priority. Running out of time before auction. I’m trying not to panic, but I’m screaming internally.

As a cat slave, I can observe how people are with their dogs. As well as others with cats. I spoil my cats rotten (although right now I only have Portia).

One important thing many people don’t get: our pets can sense our emotions. They’re naturally empathic. Now I’m speaking mostly on cats and dogs. I look at two dog people living on my floor here at the shelter right now. One is stressed and frustrated about finding work, let alone housing. Her two dogs are manic and ill-behaved. They sense her upheaval and anxiety. The other has a dog whose breed is known for being very active, and while he is a goofy, bouncy dog, she has trained him to be calm and attentive. Her demeanor contributes to that. She’s calm and thus her dog is calm. The first lady, she’s stressed and anxious and the dogs can feel that and are also anxious.

Cats are the same way. They can tell when their human is stressed. Portia does this. She’s been on my chest or very close to me the last several days because I’ve been more anxious about storage and everything else in general. She was this way during the initial eviction a year ago and then whenever I was stressed about certain situations since then. She has picked up JoJo’s job of Emotional Support Animal.

Some people dismiss cats in this respect because they’re “aloof” which I disagree with. Maybe you just aren’t the human they’ve bonded with. Maybe you treated them poorly early on. They do remember. They don’t hold grudges, but they remember stuff. I hear too many people say their cat is pissed off at them so the cat peed on the bed as revenge.

First, the cat is peeing in the wrong place for any number of reasons. They have health issues, had a bad experience at or near the litterbox so they won’t go near it, or any number of things. Jack, my boy I had for almost 8 years, got Urinary Tract Infections and had issues with the box. I eventually got him back to using it.

But I digress. Felines can be and many times are a wonderful purring part of our lives as we deal with crap in our lives. Had a bad day? I have plenty of those. Comes with being homeless and having PTSD. No matter what happens “out there” I can come home to my room in the shelter and sit down next to her. I’ll lean over and wrap my arms around her and bury my face in her fur for a little bit. Sometimes, I’m still so wound up, she comes to me. She will sit there and put her paw on my leg or arm, tapping gently. Like a “hey, I’m here.” I can then lean over and hug her. She also curls up on my chest if I’m laying down. All 14 pounds of her.

JoJo and Jack were also this way. Love a cat and you get love in spades in return.

Dogs are the same. Show love and you get love in return.

Just remember that they can always tell if something is off. They know.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, friends, health, homeless, housing, insomnia, life, storage, urgent

3/27: swirling in my head

I desperately need to get funds sorted for storage ASAP. And I have a few post ideas swirling around in my brain… but I’m adjusting to shelter life and getting up early as fuck… and may either have brutal allergies (the sudafed has been put to use) or a mild cold. Either way, my head is all ‘bleh’ from stuffed sinuses and sleep deprivation.

Must go feed the furball. She’s pacing along the bed.

I need all the help I can get. And a small-ish miracle or two.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, community, crowdfunding, emergency, faith, friends, homeless, housing, life, storage, urgent

3/22/18: mornings… (and #crowdfunding)

Really not a morning person, but once I get settled in and get sleep regularly, I should be able to adjust.

#crowdfunding! Still need all the desperate help I can get. My fellow cat person here will be paying me to watch her cat for a few days, but that won’t be until the 1st of the month. And I want to get storage caught up before then as another 305 will get tacked on then. It’s already high, so I really don’t want to add to that.

For those who may not know, I’m homeless and the storage isn’t just a handful of things. It’s almost everything I own, including family stuff and costumes and such. It’s my life in that storage unit. All crammed into an 8×20 unit (I have lots of stuff).

I don’t like asking, but income has been extremely slow since the first of the year.

I’ll be out and about again today but will check back in when I can. Our WiFi here is iffy and my hotspot is suspended until I can get that also paid off.

Each day is a bit different. Learning new shit as I go.

~A

Posted in animal welfare, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, emergency, homeless, housing, life, medical, Personal, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

3/21/18: #crowdfunding, cats, and …

#crowdfunding is still desperately needed. Any help possible, even if only sharing and encouraging others to help/share.


Had a long day today. Without much of a warning, I have now learned that they get everyone to wake up at 7am. Mind you, I’ve been living with retirees for a year. Get up early? NAAAAHHHH!!!

We also have inspection tomorrow morning. And my heater is fixed, so now I have heat in here. I may rearrange the room in some way as to keep the bed away from the window (heater is forced air and right under the window; 12″ clearance for fire code), but still figure out a way to give Portia a mid point step to get up to the window. It isn’t that high, but the ledge is shallow… and for a 14 pound cat? Yeah… need steps of some sort. I may just put the chair near it, even though it’s not much shorter than the windowsill.

We went up to PAWS today and got registered and qualified. They have supplies such as food and litter and toys and such that are donated each week. Then I headed to my first Physical Therapy session for my back. The assessment.

Portia is adjusting to the space and the noise. Some of the dogs are cool and some not so much. There’s one 2 year old pup who is the sweetest thing. Well mannered and sweet. And Portia seems to be okay observing her from behind her gate. When she get to where she approaches the gate with the dog there, I know she’s acclimating to being around dogs. Not yet.

Another short and rambly post… tired and need to figure out my internet situation. The wi-fi here is pretty shitty and I’m blocked on the computer from one site, if not more. My hotspot I got last fall is suspended because I haven’t had the money to pay it either. I need a few small-ish miracles here. Anyone know of some, send them my way. Portia and I could use ’em.

~A

Posted in animal welfare, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, emergency, friends, health, homeless, housing, life, music, poverty line, PTSD, storage, transitions, urgent

3/20/18: #crowdfunding, adjusting, and some bad juju

I received one donation today… to that person, many thank yous. Still have a long way to go. I want to get storage covered and caught up by the end of the month. Auction is 4/12, but once April 1st rolls around, another months rent gets tacked on, so the total goes to about 1400 or so (taking into consideration late fees and all that stuff).

I’ve spent the day adjusting to the new space here at the shelter. While my room is a bit larger than most on this floor, my next door neighbor, who also has a kitty (she’s 6 and a beauty), mentioned that some bad juju has happened in this room and that may be partly why Portia is uneasy. I need to cleanse the fuck out of this room… without setting the smoke alarm off. I’d love to smudge it, but my smudge stick is “somewhere” and I can’t really go get another one. Same applies for my salt bowl and candles. I can’t risk setting off the alarm. Ideas would be great.

Twin size bed, as opposed to the single width rollaway I’ve been sleeping on for a year. Those, for people who haven’t heard of that size, are about 2 feet wide, where a Twin size mattress is about a foot wider.

Portia is still mostly hiding. Partly from being in a new place, partly from all the noise (doggos in the hall being noisy doggos), and likely some from the bad air/juju in this room. We have a dresser, small closet (litter boxes are in the bottom of that and fit perfectly), and a two tier plastic shelving thing. And a chair.

The Wi-Fi isn’t ideal, at least in the rooms, but I don’t expect super fast anything. Well, I’m gonna go sneak in a shower and then relax the rest of the evening… it’s been a long and somewhat stressful day.

As I was typing this and an FB post up, Portia came out of hiding and is now purring on the bed next to me. She’s still uneasy, but getting there. I’ve discovered having classical music playing kinda low helps buffer the noise from outside the door.

And more tomorrow! I start physical therapy (again) tomorrow afternoon. Maybe a poem tonight, if I get inspired.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, health, homeless, housing, life, Personal, poverty line, society, storage, transitions, urgent

3/19/18: #crowdfunding and moving

Yes, still any help will do. Share, retweet, donate, etc… trying to save my belongings so that I can get through this period of homelessness and regain my sanity and other things I feel I’ve lost along the way.


I got the call earlier this morning. The room at the shelter is ready for me. I’m not ready. But I’ll head down in a bit, check it out, and I’m allowed to put something in there. The door will be locked anyway, so it’ll be fine. I wasn’t expecting this until tomorrow, so I’m a bit surprised.

My hope with moving forward is that I’ll be able to get steady work soon and be able to move into a place of my own again…

Portia is NOT gonna like being crammed into the carrier again. But she’s on meds to calm her own anxiety now, so hopefully I’ll get less scratches this time.

I’m going to try to keep blogging as much as possible over the next few days, but this transition will be interesting.

Not much this time… I’ll be back later…

~A

Posted in animal welfare, anxiety, cats, community, crowdfunding, emergency, faith, family, homeless, life, storage, urgent

3/16/18: Bite Marks, Thermometers, and Unholy Growling (and #crowdfunding)

You guessed it, Portia had her V-E-T visit today. She REALLY didn’t want to be there. But she needed to be up to date on her shots so we can move into the shelter next week, so off we went. Thankfully, we had a ride there and back, and I used the frame of the old pet stroller to haul her 14.1 pound butt between car and exam room.

What happened in the exam room was something I’ve never witnessed with any of my previous felines… even the cats I grew up with when we hauled them in. Nope.

My sweet little airheaded Portia who loves petting and treats turned into Hell Beast.

She growled when the thermometer was *ahem* inserted.

She bit my arm twice while helping the vet. Didn’t break skin, except one spot which only got the very top layer… no blood.

The majority of the exam went fairly well with the exception of fur flying, more growling, two vaccinations, and -after all of that- she STILL didn’t want to go back into the carrier. The tech had to do ‘butt first’ like I did.

And we’ll have to do the carrier thing sometime next week for moving to the shelter. Yeah, this won’t be pretty.

She has a prescription for an anti-anxiety med to help chill her out during all of this.

And somehow I’m supposed to smear some cream on her butt because the skin is inflamed due to stress-grooming.

Even I don’t think I have enough bandaids for that.

Oh, and I need latex gloves.

You can tell I never had kids. I’ve changed a few diapers, but damn…. smearing cream on my cat’s ass is a new one.

She’s currently napping under the bed. I mixed half the capsule of her medication into her wet food. She ate part of said wet food.

Seriously, cat, that shit is expensive.

And I’m not talking about the medication.

I think I just need to get some cheap Friskies Pate.


In other news: I’m scrambling to get storage caught up and the goal is around 1100… by the end of the month. Auction is early April.

Anything can help. I don’t expect miracles, but one would be damn nice. I’ve tried to get my income going, but the last few months have SUCKED. Sooooo… halp?

~A

Posted in activism, animal advocacy, animal welfare, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, community, crowdfunding, dogs, emergency, friends, health, life, medical, PTSD, storage, urgent

3/10/18: Cats and their Foibles

(In time, this post may be turned into a page with additional info for things like spay-neuter resources. I’ll make it more info-based and not as much anecdotal)

FOOD ISSUES

I swear I don’t really mean to, but whenever someone is having gastro or skin issues with their kitty, I step in with advice. I’m not a vet or tech or anything, just an experienced cat person who had one cat with UTI’s (Jack), one with a wheat allergy (JoJo), and my current Monster Floof has a sensitive stomach and skin. I’ve tried the super-top-of-the-line food and down to some of the “nicer” Purina foods and Whole Foods store brand kibble which is grain free… and a whole bunch in between.

What many humans don’t realize is that cats can be allergic to a LOT of things.
  • Chicken
  • fish
  • wheat
  • wool
  • fleas
  • chemical house cleaning supplies* (these can be toxic and lethal to kitties, so if you mop, go back over the floor with a damp towel with JUST water and that can pick up the chemicals… or find options that are safe)
  • Pollen, grass, plants, mold, mildew, and other organic substances*
  • Perfumes and colognes*
  • Prescription drugs*
  • Some cat litters (if said feline is allergic to wheat, do NOT use Swheat Scoop! I almost made that mistake… once.)

If their food is too rich, they can hurl that shit up so fast you wonder if they broke any gut-to-floor speed records.

When I’ve explained to people that I’m homeless with a cat and don’t get much income, if they’re local, they automatically bring up The Pongo Fund. As much as I love what they do (donate to them…. they’re freaking awesome), the food they give out is extremely high end stuff like Canidae kibble. It’s WAY too rich for Portia’s sensitive stomach. I used it for three weeks a few years back. One day I came home to small piles of partially digested food ALL. OVER. THE. CARPET.

I thought at first it was JoJo and her notorious hairballs. I sat down at my desk and then heard the *hork*hork*hork*blargh* in the living room. It was Portia. She wasn’t well, so I called the vet and brought her in. With her sensitivities, very rich foods weren’t good for her, nor are cheap foods. No “grocery store food.” She mats and throws it up. Her only kibble is Natural Balance’s L.I.D. (Limited Ingredient Diet, basically grain free) Duck and Green Pea. They did some sub-q fluids and I got her normal food. This was also around the time I learned that using squash and chicken stage 1 or 2 baby food is great for re-hydrating kitties. The squash helps with digestion and *ahem* “moving things along. Just check the ingredients. It should be nothing but the main item (squash, chicken, turkey, etc) and water. That’s it.

STRESS

Believe it or not, cats can get stressed out just like us humans. So can dogs. This can manifest in many ways in cats. Litterbox ‘ettiquette’ (peeing/pooping just outside the box, or elsewhere. This can also be a sign of UTI’s or other health issues). Jack (RB, 2002-2010) had UTI’s a lot (Urinary Tract Infections, humans can also get them) and ultimately hid one from me that was so bad, he went into Acute Renal Failure and I could no longer help him. He was ready to go, but it hurt to do it. He was too damn young. I still miss that goofball.

It can manifest in overgrooming and other areas. JoJo became a bully when she was stressed. She also overgroomed and my apartment was Hairball City when she was stressed.


So, I can -and likely will- expand on these subjects as well as go into other cat and dog subjects once I start making this a static page on here. Animal welfare is a big deal for me. I do not condone the big national AR groups as they don’t do as much for the critters they say they’re helping. That’s a huge pet peeve of mine. The one that starts with a P is the worst. But I want good information to get into the hands of those who need it.

More to come!

~A

(Yes, still desperately need help to save my storage and everything in it. Anything you can do would be awesome.)

 

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dreams, emergency, family, friends, grief, health, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

3/8/18: #crowdfunding storage, stashing life in cubbies, and #ptsd

Trying to step up my game for the blog. The more I post, the more visibility. The more visibility, the better my chances are of saving my storage unit and everything in it. Which is damn near everything I own. Being homeless sucks ass.

My goal right now with storage is to get it paid up before the end of March. It goes to Auction in April. But auction isn’t the only urgent reason.

There’s a very real possibility Portia and I will be getting a pet room at a local homeless shelter, maybe even by the end of the month. Not sure yet of when, as there are several move-outs coming up (Placement Supervisor and I chatted today). I’m limited in how much I can bring. The equivalent of two large garbage bags of personal items. Portia’s supplies are not counted in that. I’m also assuming food is not counted either (I hope. Despite my limitations on space, I do have a fair bit of food and cooking supplies), but I’ll ask.

I’ve accumulated things since the eviction. Some of came from storage, some was purchased for various reasons. You name it. But I certainly have more than two garbage bags worth of things. So, there are two options:

1: Get storage caught up and work on KEEPING it caught up, so I can retain access to everything. This means scrounging up over 1K in 3 months of storage rent and late fees, etc. My TR work has been minimal since December and I’m concerned about saving everything. Things for Portia and things like cleaning supplies and vitamins and…. well, you name it. It adds up and has destroyed what I have had come in. Much of the funds raised have also gone to various recurring things like paying down on my CareCredit card… Those little things add up when your income is less than $300 each month.

2. Find someone local who is willing to let me stash the rest of my things I currently have with me until storage DOES get caught up. (Letting it get auctioned off is NOT an option… understand?)

Being at the shelter as opposed to where I currently am means a few things: I’ll have a caseworker helping me with housing stuff. That’s a big one. I do still need a job, which is slowly getting back on track. My Voc Rehab counselor left VR a couple months back and I didn’t know. Around the same time, my VR coach (hired from an outside firm for the ‘grunt’ work of helping me) also dropped off the face of the planet due to a family crisis. I got to meet my new VR counselor this week and he let me know that my coach is now starting to return to work. (As it happens, my primary doc has also apparently gone on personal leave and no idea when she’ll return, so ALL these people who have been mainstays in my life have been out of contact). I do now have a therapist, although she’s currently in the process now of getting authorization from my insurance for however many visits they allow me to have to battle my #PTSD.

So… life is shifting once again, but into a completely different and more structured environment. I have -honestly- felt like my life is in flux and unstable since my dad died in 2014. He was my rock. He kept me grounded while simultaneously lifting me up. Reminding me that I can do the things I love to do and never give up on my dreams.


Last night’s poem was how I felt at that moment. Yesterday, I had the third visit with the new therapy place and we went over the results of the interview, testing and a diagnosis. They concur with my GP about the PTSD diagnosis, which is good. So I see hope for things to come, but still feel held back by some “invisible force” which I use Tule Fog to describe it. If you don’t know what Tule Fog is, it’s a very thick ground fog that can and has caused many vehicle accidents in years past. The Central Valley in California got it a LOT. I have family in the Fresno area, so we hit TF a lot. When it’s really bad, you can barely see six feet beyond the grill of your car. Hence why it can cause accidents. You slow down when driving in it because your reaction time is impaired because you can’t see far enough ahead to stop in time.


Some things are changing for the good and others are way up in the air since I’m struggling financially.

It’s been a week since I had to call 9-1-1 for what could have been a heart attack, but was a massive panic attack. I was (and still am to some degree) pissed off at the ER staff as they didn’t seem to hear me when I told them I’ve had massive panic attacks before, one even landing me in the ER like this one. The pain continued on until almost 30 hours later. After another massive pain strike the next night, I took a muscle relaxant and a valium left over from before I was ‘weaned’ off of it a month ago and the next morning, I had very little pain from it. It was not a “pulled muscle” like the ER folks said. I know the difference, folks. No, really. I’m one of those elusive patients who fucking listens to her body and knows when something is wrong and knows the fucking difference between nerve pain, pulled muscles, etc…

Anywhoooo…

Share info, link back to this post or my blog in general, keep watching for things… the PP link is the fastest and easiest access. I also have a fundraiser on FB, but they do take a chunk… just like everyone else. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Share, retweet, donate if you can… Sharing does make a difference.

Another poem tonight… or even more… who knows…

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, health, homeless, insomnia, life, medical, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

3/7/18: #crowdfunding, life, and …

So, yes, still urgently in need of help to get storage out of hoc again… I hate asking. I do. Because I don’t feel like a damn adult. I hate being even occasionally dependent on others. But jobs aren’t happening, my PTSD is wreaking havoc on my life, and trying to just survive has been difficult. But I need a freaking miracle. Over 1000 needed and I’m trying to get tasks, but not really getting much.

Storage first. Then other things. One of those is something a person could purchase off my Amazon list. Here’s the thing. I currently live in a room with one small partially blocked window that doesn’t get much light even if it wasn’t partially blocked. On top of that, I have difficulty getting going in the morning and my circadians are all fluffed up. So, if one were to go to my wishlist and sort it by priority, they’d see an alarm clock with a daylight lamp built in that begins to do “sunrise” starting half an hour before the alarm goes off. This could help considerably. My new therapist even has one and loves it. But it’s money I don’t have.

And don’t let me get started on my “holy grail” book that ABE Books just alerted me to one being posted for sale… erk. Unf. Want. When you’ve been trying to get a copy for 14 years, finding one and not being able to afford it hurts… a lot. But… storage first.

Other life things… not sure if I mentioned this, but I’m now on a special list for a “pet room” at one of the transitional housing shelter buildings. Second in line, but they’re few and far between and always in use, so who knows when… but being on that list is where I need to be. I can’t put Portia on a harness and live on a bunk bed… no life for a cat. This is better overall for us.

Share, help however you can…

~A