Trying to Train Tommy: Part 1

Trying to Train Tommy: Part 1

(Dec. 27, 2017)

I found Tommy on the highway October of 2016. Yes, the highway. She was underweight, missing fur, had hundreds of thousands fleas, three parasites, but it was love at first sight.

Tommy after I pulled her from the highway. (Oct. 02, 2016)

It took a few months to get her up to health and up to weight. We did a slow introduction to our older two cats, and now they’re pretty close to being friends.

My parents never wanted me to bring her home, I was 16 and getting ready to leave for college. The last thing they wanted was to take care of another cat. So, since then, she’s been mine.

She knows it, too. Tom sleeps wrapped up at my side, her head on my chest. She follows mw around, trusts me and me only.

I’ve become dependent on her, the same way she’s become dependent on me.

At the end of 2017, my psychiatrist recommended that I start getting her train and registered to be my emotional support animal, maybe even my service animal.

This is where it all starts.

Tommy is anxious, she’s a very skittish cat. She gets scared of her own shadow, sometimes bushing up at her own reflection in the mirror. When the front door opens, she runs under my bed. When she hears a voice she doesn’t recognize, she hides under my bed. She spends so much time hiding under my bed, that I put blankets and pillows under there for her comfort.

I started by holding her when my friends walked in, letting them give her a treat as they slowly walked towards her. She refused to accept any treat by them, even when held up to her mouth. She refused to even let our vet give her a treat.

It’s been a long year trying to get her to be less scared of people, sounds, the unknown. It’s a slow, painful progress but she’s getting there. Right now, we’re at the point where she runs a few feet away, crouches down, and just watches the person she doesn’t know walk past her. I tell them to not pay attention to her, to move slowly, and not to make sudden movements.

In the fall, I’m moving out. She’s coming with me. We’ll be living in a small, loud dorm complex instead of our quiet, suburban house. That gives me about 8 months to get her up to speed.

Harness training: A work in progress. People training: A work in progress. Car rides: Pretty good, scared for the first 15 minutes.

She’s getting there, I believe in her.

2018 Goals

2018 Goals

(Dec. 25, 2017)

2017 has been a year. There’s been good and bad, it’s been a hard year.

I turned 18 this year, this was a day that I’ve been counting down to for over 6 years. I got my first tattoo, then 12 others. There will be more to come. I’ve excited about that. I’m excited about all the tattoos that will soon ink my skin.

I finished all of my high school credits this year, over a year earlier than when I was supposed to. I started attending Kent State full time, I made a few friends, I lost a few on the way.

I went through a bad, ugly breakup. I learned a lot about falling in love when I fell out of love. I learned about how I should be treated, as a person, as a lover. I fell back in love with someone new, someone who truly respects me, who truly loves me.

I cleaned, a lot. I’ve perfected my aesthetic, I’ve learned to be more independently handy. I made our guest bedroom into my closet and it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid eyes on.

I’m closer to being forever deeply in love with myself. I’m learning how to be comfortable with my own skin, my own thoughts. I’m learning how to be OK with the person I am.

I’m still perfecting my art form, still trying to make photography my bitch. I’m trying to find my style. I discovered this year that concert photography really isn’t where I belong. It feels like a chore, I began to dread working concerts. I love portraits, I love fashion, I’ll find something for me.

2018 is another year where I won’t ever stop trying.