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Panic about the kittens

August 7, 2015

I have never had pets.

We now have two kittens.

I can’t breathe.

I love them so much. The first day I left them, I was shaky and tearful all day. I was petrified. I had visions of what could go wrong. I was certain that one would get hurt, the other would get stuck. So scared that a glass would be knocked over, and I would come home to blood, and death. I couldn’t breathe. I almost left work, multiple times. I cried when I finally got home from work and saw that they were okay. I thought they’d be dead. I worried that by thinking they’d be dead, they would be. My fault my fault my fault.

And now, a few days later, I can leave them without crying. But in every moment, I panic. What if I accidentally let them out while I was leaving? What if I go back and check to make sure they’re there, and THAT’S when they get out? What if when I close the bathroom door I close it on them? What if they jump up to get onto my dresser and fall and hurt themselves? What if I’m not feeding them enough? Are they starving? Am I a horrible caretaker? Am I so awful that I’m starving my kittens? What if I’m giving them too much food? Are they eating drinking sleeping peeing pooping enough? HOW DO I KNOW??? Why did she just meow? Is she hurt scared sick sad content bored? Why did he hiss at her? Is it friendly, is it rough, is she afraid, is he scared? Am I putting them in harm’s way by putting them with each other? Do they even like each other? They’re not from the same litter. What was I thinking? I can’t do this I can’t do this I can’t do this. Are they sick? Are they okay? How do I ever cook with them around? What if they jump onto the stove? They’ll get burned they’ll get hurt they’ll die it’ll be my fault. Spinning thoughts but REAL FEARS AND WORRIES.

Most nights this week I had to get out of the house. A walk, a yoga class, just out. I trust my husband to take care of them but I don’t always trust myself. I can’t breathe when I’m around them and can’t breathe when I’m not.

And yet I love them.

My husband said, “I have all of those fears, too. I’m terrified. So I can’t even imagine what it feels like for you, it must be so magnified.”

Yup.

Look, call it OCD, call it anxiety, call it first-time-pet-owners. I don’t care what it’s called or why it’s happening.

But I can’t breathe. And I love my kittens. And I’m terrified. And I’m better. And I’m panicky. And I need to figure out how those can all co-exist and balance each other out.

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