And… Breathe

It’s been pretty full on for the past ten or so days.

Two Mondays ago we had the largest snow fall in the past 10-15 years.


The University was closed for one and a half days, with the black ice on the second day proving to be considerably more dangerous. Now I understand why those who live in places where winter guarantees big snow falls get the snow shovel out straight away. Fresh snow is a lot easier to remove than the ice it turns into.

It had been a pretty warm winter up until then, with little rain fall. I’m pretty sure Mother Nature was trying to make up for lost time with that little cold snap. It’s certainly been a little colder since then, still not a lot of rain predicted though.

The cold weather proved to be the last straw for Leo’s old body. I took Leo in as a stray about six years ago, and he was old even then. We think he’s around 18 years old.

Rest in peace, little man
He’d been sick off and on for the past two months, with sneezing and a weepy eye. Wednesday after the snow was a turning point, he was obviously miserable and the antibiotics weren’t completely clearing up the infection. The infection would only return in full force once the course of antibiotics was completed. So I made the hard decision, and on Thursday we took Leo to the vet for the final time. It’s the first time I’ve had to put a pet down, and something that I definitely hope I don’t have to do again anytime soon.

He was such an affectionate cat, a complete cuddle slut, more than happy to make friends with anyone who came into our home. The complete opposite of our other cat, Coffee.


Coffee is much more independent. It is rare to get him to sit on your lap, and he is a big fan of the outdoors. If he happens to be inside when we get a visitor, he will growl and run to hide either outside or in our bedroom. He’s definitely not a fan of cuddles.

Initially we were going to wait a bit before getting a new cat, but on Saturday I decided we had to go to the Canterbury SPCA to see the cats up for adoption. That is when we met Pedro:

He is like a blend of Coffee and Leo. Pedro is about two years old and still acts very much like a kitten. He’s very affectionate and very talkative, but also lacking in discipline. Hopefully in time he starts to realise why he’s being punished, and stops being so naughty.

Coffee is having some difficulties adjusting to the new member of our family, mainly I think because Pedro is bigger than him, and is rather passive aggressive about getting into Coffee’s space. I do hope they can start to get along, and I know it hasn’t even been a week, but how long do I wait before it becomes really obvious that they’re never going to get along?

On a completely non-cat related note, I had my mental health assessment on Monday. The psychiatrist thinks I may be bipolar type II, which I already had inklings of myself. So I have been prescribed with the anti-psychotic Abilify (aripiprazole) as a mood stabilizer. I’m to continue taking my prescribed antidepressant, Effexor (venlafaxine), for now, with the hope that in the future I will only need to take a mood stabilizer.

So far the side effects are arse, with dizziness and lightheadedness, nausea, problems with body temperature regulation, and drowsiness. But they do seem to be lessening each day, which makes me hopeful 🙂 I did have a pretty bad headache on Tuesday and yesterday (another side effect), but I don’t have one today, which adds to the feelings of hope 🙂

My motivation levels with regards to actually going to Uni are still pretty much the same (the drowsiness is exactly helping that), but at least I’m motivated to study with the lecture notes available online, which is better than nothing.

I have to go back to the hospital weekly for the next couple of weeks to meet with a social worker who will be checking on my progress. It does feel good to actually be doing something to make myself better, to reach my full potential.

2 thoughts on “And… Breathe

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