A cat's life - living with someone who has MS
How long have you known David?
David has been my butler for just over eight years. He came highly recommended.
When did you first find out about David’s MS?
I was only six months old when I moved in with David. I was still learning about the world but I could tell David was a bit slow and unsteady on his feet. When I signalled I was ready for a meal (loud meowing usually does the trick) I had to wait longer than expected. It took me a while to understand patience.
How do you think MS affects David’s day-to-day life?
David takes ages getting up in the mornings. This means I often have to wait for my breakfast. I try not to make a fuss. He tends to drop and spill things more in the morning but seems to get less clumsy as the day goes on.
The simplest of household tasks take a toll on David, like washing up, doing laundry and cleaning my litter tray (which is obviously a must). Things like doing up buttons are hard but I know he cheats now and either pulls things up or puts them on over his head.
Fatigue can suddenly hit David so he goes to bed at all sorts of times. This can be extremely inconvenient if I’m due to be served lunch or dinner. To reserve my energy I usually find a nice warm spot for a nap.
David also has some loss of sensation so doesn’t feel if he’s hurt. I have to be careful with my claws so I don’t accidently scratch him and he doesn’t feel it. He’s been advised not to use sharp knives and pot and pans in case he hurts himself without realising.
What helps if David’s having a bad day with his MS?
Relaxing – which luckily I’m an expert in. We watch catch up TV and chill out. One of my favourite hobbies is to sit at the window with David and watch the birds in the garden.
Are you a lap cat or do you and David like your own space?
I like my own space but I quite like taking over David’s lap when it suits me. If he’s in bed I often lie on his pillow above his head. If he’s lucky, I might even groom his hair while he’s sleeping. I like to help you see. And when I stretch out, his head makes a great paw stool.
What’s the best thing about living with someone who has MS?
David’s at home a lot, so I get lots of attention.
What can be difficult about having an owner with MS?
Every day is different so if it’s a bad day it throws my routine out completely. I do prefer my meals on time. Meow.
What’s your favourite spot for an afternoon snooze?
Depends how the mood takes me. I like my bed in the lounge and the one in the bedroom. David’s pillows are also a favourite. I’m spoiled for choice really.
Dogs… love them or hate them?
Keep them away from me.
Would you rather spend a day lazing in the sun or out hunting down mice?
I have a better idea - hunting down mice on a glorious sunny day!