Last week my therapist told me I should adopt Cat as my totem animal. This is the same guy who told me he believed in aliens a few weeks ago. Not as in ‘there must be life out there some place’ but the whole ancient astronauts building the pyramids and making crop circles. Pulled my jaw up off the floor and said ‘Did you ever consider that when a civilization gets to a certain point somebody says ‘Hey, I am sick and tired of these goddamned square buildings?.’
Think I hurt his feelings but since a therapist is basically just a person you pay to be your friend, he can deal with it.
This is the So You’re A Cat backstory. Make sure your coffee is still hot.
I’ve been a Raven for more years than I can remember (so up until 2012 at least).
Think may know I’m diagnosed bi-polar (about 10 years ago). Along with a list of other disorders; which I was only made aware of after looking at my intake/nurse’s form and hospital records during that lovely 2 month hospital stay last year. It’s my expert opinion that my diagnosis consists of two disorders and they go together, but what do I know?
Have only had 3 manic episodes in my life; none caused me to re-paint the house, chain smoke or lose weight though. Have what is called Dysphoric Mania.
So the point is: Prior to being diagnosed as anything but a garden variety neurotic with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorder (this is what happens when your father is a psychiatrist) I KNEW when an ‘episode’ of severe depression, and all of my worst symptoms, was impending.
I hear cats.
Not like Son of Sam; Snowball isn’t telling me to kill the dog or the neighbors. Just a faint meowing of a kitty coming from somewhere outside my line of sight. As I’ve always had a cat or cats it didn’t seem that bizarre, and has become a family joke. A few close friends are also aware and are cheerfully allowed to make puckish comments about the kitty thing. When I owned a retail store there was a button available that I carried, ‘I Hear Cat Voices.’ Sonofabitch I sold hundreds of those. Makes me wonder.
So I get this a new shrink here, as I moved. The guy is humorless and has no business as a clinician. Only see him for meds so let it slide. Made the mistake of mentioning the cat thing to this I-take-every-word-literally fool while he was filling out his 50 question paperwork on our first visit. Then he asks me how often I hallucinate.
Back up. What? I don’t SEE cats, and on occasion I have heard cats and there’s actually a cat outside the door.
I DO check every time though. Hmmmm. Also thinking: after everything I’ve told him: what I’d like to work on, past traumas that still bother me, how come mom and dad did like me best?
Why is he fixating on the cat thing?
My second visit he leans back in his chair and says, with his thick accent, and out of the blue, “Tell me about these cats.” All I could think of was the Thomas Dolby song Blinded me with Science with the line ‘Tell me about your childhood!’
So back to last week: Was telling my therapist about my loony psychiatrist and the cat obsession. He cracked up and said in all seriousness ‘I think you should adopt the cat as your spirit animal.’
Thought about it for a few seconds and said ‘You’re right. I’ve always wanted to come back as one of my cats. Sure it’s a paradox, but so am I.’
I don’t like milk but this shouldn’t be a hindrance. My own cat doesn’t like milk. Unless it’s in the form of ice cream. Whoa, me too!
Which breed am I? Cool cat? Hep cat? Am I registered. Damn, at least I’ve been spayed.
Kitties and Sunshine and Effexor,