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All I Need to Know About Coping With CFIDS/ME & FM I Learned From My Cat

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By Celeste and her cat, Keri • • March 1, 1996

All I Need to Know About Coping With CFIDS/ME & FM I Learned From My Cat

Celeste observed these funny feline rules for comfort years ago, but like the wisdom of the cat, they appear to be ageless.

• Live to sleep.

• Wake up for the things in life you don't want to miss, like a bird outside the window.

• In the winter, find the warmest, softest, and quietest place to nap, like the spot on the rug where the sun shines through the window.

• In the summer, find the coolest place in the house where no one will bother you, like behind the toilet.

• Concentrate every waking moment on what is most important in life - food, play, and affection. Once you've addressed all three, go back to bed.

• Make sure you return the affection from others - lie on top of them for a while.

• Watch your diet, because if you stay inside all day you might gain weight and you need adequate nutrition. Snack on flies and spiders.

• Depend on others to get what you need; they'll be happy to get food at the grocery store, take you to the veterinarian, and clean your litter box if they care about you.

• If you put your medication in the back of your throat, you have no choice but to swallow it. You might also try mixing it with food.

• When venturing out of the house, use a taxi.

• Play games to keep your mind sharp.

• When experiencing gastrointestinal distress, don't hesitate to throw up on the rug.

• Use minimal effort to perform daily tasks - lie down while you groom yourself, sit while you eat, and stand for as short a time as possible.

• If someone elects to give you a massage, don't let them stop.

• Just say no. No, you don't want to play catch. No, you don't want to entertain company. No, they are not going to sit where you are lying.

• It's okay to forget things, like where your litterbox is.

• Know your limitations; don't climb a tree if you don't think you can make it back down again.

• There are things that others can do that you cannot and it's okay. What is the purpose in running after frisbees anyway?

• It's not easy for others to tell when you are not feeling well. After all, you don't look sick. Sulk, lie around in unusual places, meow less, give a look like you're ready to die, and eventually they will catch on.

The author, Celeste, wishes to credit her cat, Keri, for her infinite wisdom, kindness, and care for others who are not feeling well.
Reprinted with purr-mission from the Massachusetts CFIDS Association.

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