Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

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Backing up

Back in the old house, where I had stacked things horizontally as well as vertically - imagine a bookcase in front of another bookcase, for example, but not as simple as that, more like a ledge with magazines on it in front of a cupboard, for example, and there might even be a third level, something in front of the magazine ledge - if I wanted to do something, to clean something, rearrange, add, whatever, I had to back up several times.

For example, I might look at a wall and have a vision of a new bookcase on that wall. But to add the bookcase I would first have to move the plants, lamps, pile of magazines, strange little table, and a dozen other things that were in front of the wall. I would have to decide where to put these things. When I thought of a good place for each thing that meant I had to find a place for whatever it would be displacing. In the end, it meant I would have to rearrange the entire house to put in that one bookcase. Usually I just gave the idea up.

I have a similar thing happening now. My house isn't in as bad shape as the old one, of course, and it is not as cluttered. I have, however, let my office become something of a landing zone for whatever needs to be got out of the way. And my new cat addition, Peanut, hides in there. Peanut is afraid of the other two cats. With some good reason because they tend to attack him frequently. It's also part of his nature. He is the scaredest cat I have ever met.

As is often the case, the impetus to do something, to change something, comes from left field. In this case it has to do with arthritis. Here is how it lays out:

1. The arthritis in my knees (which has also spread to my hands, by the way) prevents me from doing several things I love to do. My goal is to reduce the pain so I can do more.
2. My weight aggravates the pain. It's funny that this seems obvious and that's what I thought when I saw yet another health study proclaiming that people who are heavier have a harder time with knee arthritis. It is obvious yet some people are going to be able to move freely even with extra weight. This because they are strong in the right places. Extra strength in certain muscles can compensate for joint weakness. I am working on those muscles now. But obviously, for me, losing some of that weight will make the whole enterprise easier.
3. I recently got a copy of McDougall's Maximum Weight Loss book. I have used McDougall in the past. His recommendation for everyone is to eat a whole-foods vegan diet, and he has reversed many diseases with this diet. Because Elaine and Ed awoke my past interest in McDougall I thought what the hell I'll get this book, and I did.
4. I lost the book. It is somewhere in my office, I am sure, because I would have dumped it there while cleaning some place else. But Peanut is hiding in there too and lately he has not used the litter box in the hall, but has instead used some parts of the office for his poops.
5. So for me to get my knees in better shape I have to clean poop from the office. Which, ironically, is on the floor and it's hard for me to clean things when I have to bend my knees. I'll work it out.

So there you have it. But of course it's a bit more complicated really. Because of Peanut's fears I have decided to get a baby gate for the office door and to put in a litter box and food dishes so he can hang there all day. The other cats can find and see him but can't touch him, if I do this. My hope is that eventually they will get enough used to each other that I can remove the gate and he can become a regular part of the family.

Peanut, the fat cat with the funny ears.
Tags: arthritis, cats, weight

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