On Depression

I, along with many others, was saddened by the loss of a great talent this week, Robin Williams. Because of the way he chose to leave this world, people have started talking about depression and how to deal with it and help others. I have fought depression on and off throughout my life. I've also had some very happy times in my life. I've never been labeled anything and battled my sadness with my art and drinking.

When I lost everything four years ago, a new set of stressors bombarded me like never before. I tried to find people to talk to, family, work, medicine and creativity to help. Each of those things did help in their own way, but, I continued to plummet regardless. I didn't have a strong support group, and I truly believe, in loss, that is needed.

Regardless, I am still here and glad to be. My animals are my saving grace and my guardian angels, in which I firmly believe, helped me through in so many ways. Too many things happened to me to be to help me in the nick of time - whether it was me becoming homeless or me considering transitioning -  to be coincidental - but those are different tales!

Today, I simply want to write a little on my take of depression for who care for someone or know someone suffering. I hope it lends a little light to this terrible disease.

Merlyn, my Healing Kitty
Depression has waves and troughs... for those who don't suffer with this debilitating disease... sometimes you feel ok.. almost good... and BAM... out of the blue you are crying like a baby, in a ball, wishing someone were with you to just hold you or tell you it's alright.. but, you're alone - so you do what you can... some people drink it away; some people take pills; some illegal some not; some people talk to someone they pay a lot of money to talk to until that someone looks at their wrist watch and says "OK - next" and some people choose to transition. All you really want to do is feel like you used to, or, if it's a constant thing, feel like all those people you see out there in the light. And some of these things can help a person little by little get out of their sorrow... It's very hard to love someone with this disease; it's draining and if you do not feel it - sometimes it seems unbelievable and then you turn away because you feel perhaps you are being manipulated. You're not. But, I don't blame you - it takes a lot of effort to prop someone else up who is fighting this disease. Physical diseases are much more easily handled (albeit still make a person very sad to see) because there are quantitative measures of getting better & getting worse. There are blood tests that prove a disease is there. There are medicines that show real improvement. Although I feel depression can be caused by stress and neurotransmitters that need a boost, I truly believe what causes the tailspin and feeling of hopelessness is lack of human interaction. I think artists tend to feel depression a lot not only because of their genetic makeup, but, because they desire love and need human interaction... an artist cannot live in a vacuum. The least little bit of understanding is grasped and held until it no longer can be felt by a very depressed person... meds help, therapy helps, but friendship, rebuilding of the self, and unconditional love is what is mostly needed.... it's a slippery slope..



Sunny Boy
Hello, it's been a very long time since I've written as myself on this blog, and am glad to begin my personal 'blogging' again. I am adding my posts on 'The Abbottsford Cats' to my website at: http://kycady.wix.com/kimcady#!blog/cs8i. I hope you will visit there also as illustrations and more are to seen there!

I think all our lives have changed in the last four or five years I've stopped writing personal thoughts about my own companions and the world I live in. It's not easy for anyone, I think, these days to manage the media minefields, loss of good friends (both close and as celebrities we've lived with all our lives.), and, honestly, getting older I guess I'm speaking more to those people who have lived many decades rather than a few.

Yet, my Sunny Boy still follows me everywhere. He is one of my dear fur companions that I've been blessed to be near for a decade plus. My Big Baby Blue is on insulin now and it is saving his life. I knew he was not at his very best and suspected the dreaded disease because he would hang his head over the water bowl. He's responding nicely to the 2 units of insulin I give him twice a day. I have the luxury of being at home with my kids and can watch him. Corn syrup is always ready just in case he slips into a coma. I've had that happened with my Butternut - that little feral kitten I took home so long ago - still shakes but loves to lay on my head! The corn syrup brought her right back. If any of you have a diabetic kitty - one of the very best websites that I know of is - http://www.felinediabetes.com/ - full of great information and a forum of advice and kindness.

Big Baby Blue
Speaking of kindness, I've been thinking a lot about kindness lately. What is it? I know I'm not always kind to people - something I try to be - but, my buttons get pushed & lately, I've been reacting. Counting to 10 seems to help - although I find counting to 100 and walking in the opposite direction of the person who is in my attack field is even better! Really, I think I just notice my anger and impatience more now. I think social media is very disruptive also. It allows people to 'zing' and 'zang' with no consequences...sort of like when we drive and scream, then tear away!

I guess this blog will be part of my therapy as my writing and art always has been. I welcome thoughtful comments and observations. I write in a loose style and I hope you will enjoy... and, please, may your week be wonderful & full of love and furbabies (one in the same!).



"The Kitten Who Could" A Children's Tale

There was a kitten who could
Leap high in the sky and almost touch a butterfly;
Chase bugs in the sunlight and all through the night;
Rub green grass with his nose in a proud kitten pose;
Shimmy up a tree and back down with ease;
Climb mountains of rocks and hide in loose socks;
Run round and round and, all dizzy, fall down;
Make a loud mew when he found something new;
Cuddle in mom's fur and purr and purr;
Sleep all day-then just run away;
Smell fresh flowers and play for hours;
Jump in the air just on a dare.

One day, he got taken away
And the kitten who could,
Knew he couldn't do what he wanted to;
Escape the box at the pound,
With its cold, nasty locks
Until the girl came along,
And took him on home.

Then the kitten who could,
Found in the end,
Nothing else mattered,

Besides having one, true friend.

Story & Illustration PhotoArt @2014 Kim Yvonne Cady


Moxie and the Whirlaways

In 'The Chases', the boggy field of abandoned houses, between the mighty Lange River and Abbottsford Road is an old cottage that had been known as 'The Whirlaways' by previous owners. A middle-aged homeless woman, Renelle, has taken up residence in this dilapidated house. Dreams came to her once she started sleeping in the cottage. The dreams were demanding. All around the cottage lay twisted thin, colorful flags on sticks. The night visions she had showed her how to make these flags twirl in the wind as they once did. Not quite understanding, but rarely one to question, she set out to reclaim the 'whirlaways' and began setting the sticks right-side up and replacing the old twisted fabric with new buoyant cloth that she would find in dumpsters and beg from her friends on the streets. Soon, with much trial and error as the sticks fell and clothe blew in haphazard patterns, she accomplished what she envisioned. 

She also began to feed the many cats that surrounded the house. She had never been fond of cats, in fact, her close companion was 'Puck', an abandoned Chihuahua she found as a puppy in a dumpster was enough animals for her. Yet, a dream came to her again explaining to her that they belonged to the house more than she did. They proved good protection. One cat in particular stayed with her inside the cottage. She was an especially lovely long-haired white cat she named Cristal who woudn't leave. Another guarded the porch with a ferocity she had only imagined in a cat. When drug dealers would come looking for a place to exchange their goods, the cat would puff up to an enormous size and yowl for all he was worth. The vagrants and criminals decided to find another less unsettling spot for their commerce. The feral dogs that passed by also wanted none of this hellcat. She named him Moxie - as he surely had courage and talent enough to earn that name!

Together they rebuilt the 'Whirlaways' as Renelle rebuilt her life. Little did they know, a grander plan was in store for them all.

'Moxie' guarding The Whirlaways PhotoArt by Kim Cady