Wednesday, August 25, 2010
And Then Came the House Painters
Cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy need protection from anything that would cause anxiety or stress, things normal cats can handle. I need to mitigate all situations that could be stressful for Myrna. I had to figure out what could bother her. I had to think ahead and plan ahead. As the work on the house continued and other workers arrived to fix the chimney, I made sure to keep the shades pulled. Myrna cannot see the noise or she gets anxious. As the workers moved around the house, I kept the cats closed off from those areas of the house. I found that if she was appearing anxious, that food could be used as a tool to relieve stress. I would get the cat treat bag and toss the treat across the floor which would cause her to run after it. It broke her concentration on the outside noise and provided her with something she enjoyed. We had many storms in May and June and the most I could do was to close the blinds and allow her to hide. When a couple storms raged, I put food downstairs in the basement which brought all the cats downstairs for awhile. During one storm, I even camped out with my laptop and the cats in the basement for a couple of hours until the worse part of the storm had blown over. She was sick in April because she was aware of the noise. She became sicker probably because I was gone on Thursday and she was alone with the noise. We have now come to understand that she puts up with noise we make if she knows we are making the noise. But if there is a strange noise and we are inside with her, she gets anxious. If there is a strange noise and we are not around, she becomes even more anxious. And of course, anything could cause stress. They were all sick again in May. We had company stay with us a few days and visitors on and off for a few hours. With anything new, we try to introduce her quietly or put her in the bedroom away from the noise (and always with a companion cat.) Our goal now is to always think of her and to protect her from noises and other stresses.