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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
Suffers From Southern Belle Syndrome
 
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Feline Depression

I posted earlier about Galina perking up after the mention of a vet trip, but it seems she's back to sulking.

I'm wondering if she's depressed?

I hope no one thinks I'm crazy, but Galina is actually looking depressed. The only reason I can think of that she would be depressed is because I have been depressed.

I miss home... A lot. The darkness and the snow, the lack of real sunshine and green grass and old oak trees covered in moss ... I'm wondering if my feelings of despair are transferring to Galina?

Somewhat jokingly I said to Sami today, "Galina misses Louisiana, too. She wants sunshine and grass again." And right after I said it, she gave a tiny mew as if she were agreeing with me.

I could try to act happier, but she would know I'm faking it. I don't know what to do ... I think if it continues, I'm taking her to the vet before our trip. I'm sure they'll look at me like I'm insane, but I don't want Galina's health to suffer ...

Do you guys think I'm nuts?

― Rowan

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 08:08 PM
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I certainly don't think you are nuts. I very much believe that animals pick up on our emotions and will often emulate them. They too feel emotion as we do. I do not know what your vet could suggest, but I wish you both the best of luck. I hope that you can find happiness in the darkness

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Lizz.

Galina is truly like my own child, so I think maybe giving her good food might perk her up. It always works for me. You know ... the good kitty food with rabbit and lamb and duck. The wet stuff!

I don't know what a vet could do, either. I did some internet research, and some sites suggest anti-depressants, but I don't like that idea. Maybe a new kitty tree will cheer her up? There's a nice one in the Ellos catalogue. It looks like a nice one, and is even taller than the one we have now--and it has a ladder with TWO perches!


My upcoming trip to Louisiana just can't seem to come soon enough. I'll definetely be buying Galina things there that I can't get here. Luxury kitty items.

― Rowan

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 09:17 PM
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yep she definently needs some spoiling!!!!

Oh and I can totally relate to you missing louisiana. When Alex's brother and girlfriend moved here they spoke no english, only had alex to talk to, were living with him and even though they went to universtiy to learn english (a requirement of their visa) they both talked about returning to Argentina frequently. The only reason they didn't was cause their mum was paying for everything and used to help them in Argentina as well and she outright refused to give them money for a plane ticket bavk to Argentina (considering they were discussing all of this as Argentina hit the slums and everyone was living in poverty I totally understand). Now after living here five years they have built themselves a life here and they want to stay here. They have their only little south american community, which is not something I agree with (I believe it has set them way back in many things....I mean one of their friends refuses to let english be spoken in his house, not even Alex agrees with it and refuses to be a part of the community so it's not just me) but all in all they have friends, Miryan is studying accounting at university, Andres is running his own business and their daughter is happy. Give yourself time...this is your first winter in Finland right? I'm sure your second one won't be so hard and before you know it you'll be griping about having to go back to Louisiana and it being too sunny for your liking!

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, Carmen, it's my first Finnish winter. Shoot, it's my first actual WINTER period! Louisiana stays relatively green even in the winter.

I know in my heart it's not practical for me to go back to Louisiana. The things I have here I wouldn't be able to get in Louisiana any time soon (house, stable lifestyle and income, etc.), but I still can't help missing things.

The weather, the language, and the food are the biggest things that make me miss home. Finnish is very difficult to learn and I miss hearing Southern dialect. And man, do I EVER miss the food!


I predict that as the years go on and I stay here, I'll become more apathetic towards living here and finally may have living here become endearing to me. Who knows?


But right now I feel like a little girl at camp saying I want my mama and I wanna go home.


And my little Galina is saying it with me to make me feel a little less alone.

― Rowan

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 09:47 PM
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you know when Alex first moved here (seven years now) he went home every single year. He'd start getting homesick so he'd go to argentina for a couple of weeks and come back feeling much better. He hasn't been now for three years but he is fine with it now. He needed it those first few years, now he is happy to just catch up with old mates online. He does want to go back again but he used to be desperate for it, he isn't anymore. Just give yourself time, you'll either end up the same way, or financial well off enough in Finland to make the move back to the us!

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2005, 05:12 PM
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i totally think you are on the right track!! animals pick up on our emotions (vets will tell you this) and they can get depressed! i would try and get her some cat grass when you go over there (or some seed). she might like that! also, live growing catnip is great. my cat back home, who doesn't like anything, likes it.

i hope she feels better soon (and you!).


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2005, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Jane, we grow cat grass for them since it's readily available here. But, for the life of me, I CANNOT find any place that sells catnip seeds. I can only find the dried stuff, which the girls are not that crazy about. So, in America I'll be picking up some catnip seeds for them definitely.

Carmen, I'm glad to hear Alex is went through what I'm going through right now and made it out okay. It gives me hope! Thanks.

Today I gave them canned cat food (you know you can't give the good stuff to one and not the other) and mixed some BioBak in it in case Galina's tummy may have been upset from being stressed. After that meal, they both were happy cats.

Last night Galina was so sweet. About five minutes after I got into bed, I saw her come into the room and put her paws on the mattress to look at me. She rested her head on her paws and was just staring at me before she jumped up on the bed and snuggled by my pillow to purr.

― Rowan

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2005, 05:43 PM
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I've been reading a book on the emotional lives of cats and according to the book cats can get depressed over things such as moving house so maybe your right she does miss her old home just the same as you do as shes got an emotional attachment to the place as she remembers it being where she felt love not saying that she doesn't now but its how a cat thinks! So no i don't think you are nuts at all i think she just needs extra spoiling

Kirsty


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2005, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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I think Galina misses going outside to sun herself and things like that. She gets a real wistful look on her face each morning when she does her usual bird watching and window patrol. I've tried letting her go outside on a leash, but she hates the cold and hates the snow even more. So, for now the spoiling will just have to come in the form of food and new toys and as much lovies as she'll let me give her.

This summer, though, Sami and I plan on building the cats an enclosure on the side of the house so they can go outside through the window and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Of course by doing that, she'll REALLY be missing spring and summer each wintertime.

― Rowan

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 03:20 PM
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I have to recommend she see the vet just in case. If I would have taken Angel when she started to show unusual behavior she may still be with me today. Just have a vet run routine blood tests and if they are all normal then the depression can be dealth with but don't think she'll just grow out of it. I waited too long and I lost her that way.

Cats are so much more sensitive then we realize especially when we have dogs who can have emotional upset and be fine otherwise. Cats hide their illness until they are feeling so poorly that we notice it. The peice of mind will be worth every cent you spend to make sure.

Sorry I sound so paranoid, but if I knew then what I know now, I might not be grieving so...
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