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Anxiety Support
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People assume that every anxiety is in my head

Hallo. I am currently being treated for anxiety and low self-esteem by Cognitive Therapy - I had several incidents happening over the past few years which brought this to a head. However, now I have what I think is a 'reasonable' anxiety - ie I am extremely anxious about my youngest cat, Joey, who became ill by ingesting some ash (from burnt tyres) from a field behind my house, wanders beyond the range of the 'beeper' that I have had on him for years, and the latest is my real fear that he will jump into people's vehicles when they are left open and run out at the other end and get hopelessly lost. (This happened to another cat of mine years ago, who ended up miles away, and my present cat has shown signs of being curious of vehicles.) At the moment, a workman next door comes most days and leaves his van doors open, even though I have asked him to close them, which he did once, but then didn't bother.) I tried to address the ash problem by building a cat proof fence - however, my cat became hysterical and kept trying to leap over it for hours and hours, and landed on his back (cats don't always fall on their feet, especially if the height isn't that high), so in the end, I had to allow a passage through for him - I didn't want to come back if I had been out and find him lying there with a broken back or leg. I have also tried to get the Environmental Health people to look at the field with the ash, but after an initial letter from the EH Officer saying that he would go and look and report back (but that he couldn't do anything about animals being ill, only humans), he hasn't 'reported back' and has ignored my follow-up requests. I can't do anything about the 'beeper' range as I know that my cat likes to 'wander' but always comes back, but I am always worried unless he is in the house that something might happen to him. I have two other cats who don't wander and it would be the height of cruelty to keep this little fella inside permanently as he loves 'the great outdoors' but unless his 'beeper' beeps or at least is 'on the move', I imagine that something awful has happened to him (cars, horrible people) and that I won't be able to find him and feel absolutely sick with worry and distress until I know he's OK. (I had a cat years ago who disappeared and turned up next day having had a road accident and she lost an eye, then a year later, got knocked over and killed.)

However, people who know that I am having anxiety treatment are lumping my 'cat' problem in with my general anxieties - that my anxiety is 'unreasonable and abnormal'. They can't see that these are very real fears because of what has happened to my cats in the past. I have done everything possible to address the problems re. Joey but am being made to feel as though I'm paranoid. When this workman is outside, I use the beeper every ten minutes or so to make sure that Joey isn't on that side of the house and that when the chap goes, the 'beeper' doesn't grow fainter as the chap drives off. This means that I am afraid to go out anywhere, in case he leaves when I am out. The workman obviously couldn't care less about the safety of my cat or why did he stop bothering to close his doors, and I don't fancy confronting him again - he seemed to think I was making a fuss anyway.

I don't know what I expect in the way of answers from this forum but if anyone has any further suggestions, I am happy to hear them. (By the way, in case anyone suggests it, I already tried a GPS tracker and it doesn't work in my particular set-up where my house is.)

Thank you.

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