Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

That’s my Mali. Isn’t she absolutely adorable? Clicking on the picture will take you to a mini album of her in that hat. haha. Ignore the mess behind her, my room is currently having the wallpaper stripped, sheetrock repaired, being repainted & papered, new curtain rods being installed (those are in the box on the bed behind her), and carpeted; so it’s more than a little disaster area at the moment. I can’t even sleep in there because it’s so insane. Ha.

But as I was saying, that’s my Mali. When I first came home with the elf-eared Santa hat, she was terrified of it. Thirty minutes later, she was trying to eat it. Another half hour after is when she had her picture taken wearing it. The shelter she was adopted from is having pictures with Santa the next few weekends. It’s highly tempting to take her out there and get her pictures done (especially since they’re also micro-chipping pets for only $15), but I’m afraid dragging her out into public with strangers around might be too overwhelming for her, and might create a major setback in her recovery.

She’s seen a tremendous improvement over the last couple of months on the amitryptiline. It took a while before we saw any results, in fact it didn’t seem to work until we used it in combo with a vet-administered steroid shot. Since then, though, her belly/tail/leg fur has been growing back and she’s starting to look healthy again. She’s also started acting like a kitten again — I hadn’t realised how much her personality had changed while she was chewing. I knew she was more terrified of strangers than ever, but I didn’t realise that she was so lethargic and kind of depressed. The change was slow enough that it just seemed like she was mellowing out as she got older.

Now that she’s doing better, she’s constantly going crazy, chasing her toys or bottle caps all over the house. A night or two ago, she actually decided she wanted to climb up the walls and race across shelves containing Precious Moments figurines and other porcelain collectibles. This shelf is normally out of her reach, but she made it up there, and disturbed several figures from their resting places. Luckily, nothing fell off the shelf or got broken, but she did make a racket as she raced across the shelf and moved the pieces. She’s also not quite as scared of people anymore. She will still hide when a stranger comes over, but she’s not as frantic to get to a hiding spot, and she comes back out of hiding considerably quicker after she thinks the danger is gone. I think she ventured out only a mere 5 minutes after Martin finished doing repair work on one of the walls in my room and that is a major improvement for her.

She’s been off the meds for about 3 weeks now, and I noticed last night that it looks like she might have started chewing again. Some of the fur that was growing out seems to be a good bit shorter than it had been. I guess we’re in for another vet visit and another refill of her meds. I know that it isn’t actually physically harming her to lick her fur off (aside from the hairballs), but with her being such a slender cat, it’s even more noticeable when her fur is missing. It makes me feel like I’m not taking good care of her, even though I am. Hell, that cat is spoiled rotten when it comes to food and toys and attention and gets her shots every year. So I know she’s getting good care, and the problem is mostly psychological and not physical; as long as she’s healthy, the fur loss shouldn’t really matter.

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