Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Attacked over cat food

What a horrible day. I left Mum at the doctor's at 8.00 so I could go to work and she could get the bandage on her leg changed. The doctor is situated in the Westfield Shopping Mall.

I knew she would probably buy unnecessary cat food while she was at the shops. I wasn't worried as I just hide it once I get to her house and put out only the cat food for that day to save wastage and attacks of paranoia resulting in six full bowls of cat food appearing in various parts of the house. Then she chocks open all the doors with chairs in case an earthquake happens and the cat is trapped somewhere that it can't get to its food.

When I got back from work sure enough, she had bought more dry food. We have the Science Diet from the vet and the vet has told her twice not to feed any other types of food with it to ensure a balanced diet. So I've been putting the Science Diet into plastic containers labelled with the day of the week. That has been going all right for a few days.

So I got rid of all the excess bowls of dry food (about five bowls full to the brim) and then had a look in the fridge. In the fridge there were SIX CANS OF EXCLUSIVE-BRAND TINY TINS OF GOURMET CAT FOOD WHICH ARE $1.90 EACH and each can had had one teaspoon of cat food removed from it, then wrapped in a sandwich bag and placed in the fridge. SIX CANS IN ONE DAY. Thats $11 or more depending on where she bought the gourmet cans. When the cat wouldn't eat a teaspoon of the food, she's opened another can, then another, then another because she gets this idea into her head that THE POOR CAT IS STARVING and she HAS TO FIND A WAY TO ENCOURAGE IT TO EAT, so if it doesn't eat the first flavour, she opens another one. It's just another type of paranoia.

So I got all the cans out of the fridge and asked Mum to sit down at the table and we would talk about cat food. I put all the cans in front of her and I said, "You have opened six cans of cat food today which you bought down at the shops this morning. This is wasteful because in a couple of days they would have to be thrown out. This is why you have to let me look after the cat food and organize the feeding of the cats." (it was CAT, but she has stolen a neighbour's cat by enticing him with gourmet cat food. The cat's owner was very angry at first but she's just given up the fight to keep her cat and no longer worries about it).

I reminded her that the vet said not to give the cats any other type of food apart from Science Diet. I reminded her that we don't need tins of cat food any more because we have SCIENCE DIET FROM THE VET and we are following the VET'S INSTRUCTIONS.

I said all this very calmly and SLOWLY as people with dementia don't like others saying or doing anything quickly. Then I said, "I will take these wasted cans of cat food home to my cats to get rid of them."

At that point, she jumped up, an evil, angry look on her face and grabbed at my face and at the bag I was holding with her fingernails. She screamed "You are not taking my cat food off me! Get out of here! I hate you!"

Well, I have had ENOUGH of her today, ABSOLUTELY ENOUGH.

I do NOT want her living on my premises even if in a granny flat. I could not put up with this kind of thing. It is as bad as living with some poor person who has schizophrenia. In fact, the similarities between the two diseases are so obvious I'm surprised no-one has remarked about it in the past and no research is being done into whether the two conditions are linked.

I grabbed the cat food anyway and made for the door. As I was leaving, she got all maudlin. She said, "Give me a hug." I stepped aside and avoided it.

No, I am not hugging you. I don't know who you are. You are not my mother. You are a horrible, nasty, violent, insane person who has taken over my mother's soul.


  1. Lorelei,

    So glad you can vent here. I've had those bad days lately and because of what I am learning about controlling myself from reading and the support group, I didn't flip some days. See my blog for the day I flipped (7/26). Cat food is your mom's mothering routine. Alz patients don't understand reason about buying cat food.

    Pick your battles, new blogging friend! I've given up on our dog eating the way I want him to with the dry Science diet--which he eats if he can't get wet dog food or samples of people food. Our dog will survive and your mom's cats will survive. However keep calmly telling here if you can.

    What your mom and my husband do remember is our kind attitude towards them. Go give her a hug. The disease and her behavior is not her fault.

    [[hugs]] to you.

  2. My heart goes out to you.... and ... I know this disease rips out hearts and minds apart, but I keep reminding myself that it's Alzheimer's talking and not my sweet husband...
    Hang in there and know you aren't alone.

  3. True, it is kind of schizophrenic. Day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute they're different people. I think you might be wasting your time (and patience) by trying to reason with her about the cat food. Its almost obsessive compulsive behavior in a way. My mother feeds chicken baby food with a baby spoon to her cat. At a certain time each day. If she had a dog he'd just eat every time, but cats are so finicky!

  4. I haven't read any of your other posts but is money an issue? If not, don't worry about the cat food, as they say don't sweat the small stuff. I've got a mother with the same problems, the cat is the least of our worries, I find cat food everywhere like you. Bigger problems are when they give stuff to strangers, pay cheques to any random person - door knockers - whoever - if they smile and show a bit of friendliness, Mum thinks they are a lifelong friend! Found she had paid some random person to waterblast her driveway (they did a crap job) and paid them all the cash out of her purse. Put things in perspective, I know it is hard and often the little things are what breaks the camels back! And remember it is the DISEASE, the horrible disease, her brain is dying and it is horrible and they fight it in the only ways they know how and take it out on their loved ones. I know it sounds horrible but I just want my mum to die in her sleep now, at peace and with Dad.

  5. Thank you for your comments everyone. It has taken me from August to November to read them, things are just so terrible! I am now picking my arguments carefully so there are less of them. The cat food just keeps disappearing into the locked cupboard. If she goes down the street and buys more and opens six tins, I don't worry so much any more. What does upset me is when she cuts up good steak to give to the cats, believing I am starving them to death. The childproof lock on the freezer didn't work so I am ordering another one from the U.S. It is indeed obsessive compulsive behaviour, I hadn't thought of that.


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