When it comes to my two cats, Luna and Leo, I always ask who actually rescued who? I 100%
believe that I need my cats more than they need me; they make me feel loved and seen everyday of my life. When I have a bad day, they’re here for me. Every time I walk through the door, they’re waiting for me. Name a better best friend-I’ll wait..
Every decision I make every single day is made with my mental health in mind. It’s something I’ve dealt with for as long as I can remember; anxiety and depression have come and gone in the past 25 years and something that I’m confident that I’ll deal with for the rest of my life. Though I’ve tried many strategies to manage my mental health, the single most-effective thing with long-lasting relief was adopting my cats.
Now, I am not saying to just go adopt a pet without thinking about it first. I mean, pets take a lot of time, energy, and money. Pets can struggle with mental health disorders, too, so if you’re not ready to be an attentive parent, DO NOT ADOPT! Be sure you’re financially stable and you spend a ton of time at home, especially in the first year, so that the little creature gets the life and love it deserves as well.
I adopted Luna a few weeks after I graduated college. I was born and raised with cats, so I knew that getting my own was in my future, but I wasn’t home enough to provide the best life for one when I was in college (although I REALLY could have used a companion then). I didn’t plan on getting Luna that day, but I saw her, committed, and it was, to this day, the best decision I’ve ever made (I’m not even being dramatic). Then, 2 months later, because I felt that Luna needed a companion when I was at work, I adopted her a little brother, Leo. They’re the lights of my life and have helped me manage my mental health in so many ways.
THEY ARE ALWAYS HERE FOR ME. Whether it’s simply just walking through the door or having a complete mental breakdown, they are always by my side and it puts me at ease. On days I work from home and am stressed to the max, Leo always finds his way to my lap. One day during our busy season, I remember crying between phone calls because I was so overwhelmed, and Mr. Leo came to lay on my lap for 6 hours straight. Looking down at his precious little peaceful self prompted me take deep breaths and get through work. I truthfully don’t think I would have made it through that day professionally without him.
THEY MAKE ME FEEL NEEDED. You’re responsible for something’s well-being. Your actions are directly responsible for their quality of life. Because I love and care for them with everything I have, they’re happiness and health is my top priority and seeing them happy is the truly the greatest thing.
THEY COMFORT ME. They are SO compassionate. People who say that cats aren’t compassionate, must not have formed a genuine connection with a cat. When I am sad, my cats sense it and show me some extra love. When Serif aggressively tickles me (which just a PSA for guys, this is not cute and it’s never a good idea) Luna will meow and look at me with giant eyes making sure I am okay and it’s the sweetest thing. Leo is a daddy’s boy, so when he has a choice between Serif and I, he will almost always pick Serif. On my birthday, Leo chose my lap, in which Serif picked him up and put him on his lap, and then he got up and came back to lay on my lap. Try to tell me he didn’t know that it was mom’s birthday!
THEY MAKE ME FEEL LOVED. My goodness, there is truly nothing more perfect that watching your little one sleep cuddled up next to you or on your lap. I get emotional thinking about this to be honest. Like, “I did that! I am the reason they are so happy!” And they choose to sleep right next to me and it warms my heart. We have an entire apartment yet all 4 of us spend every night on the queen-sized bed together. Now that is love.
I AM NEVER LONELY. I am never truly alone. Luna is extremely talkative; she always asks for attention. And simply having living creatures in the home ensures that I am never lonely. Even when Serif moved 2.5 hours away for school for 6 months, I never felt lonely because Luna and Leo give me so much attention and have so much personality. They make me laugh constantly, like damn, Leo give Serif a run for his money when it comes to being funny.
I AM LESS FEARFUL. My cats will always let me know when there is an intruder in our home (and by that I mostly mean insects and rodents). They’re the best bug finders and killers, and as someone who is very afraid of anything that is not a mammal, I appreciate this. I always joke that my quality of life would be so much better if I was not afraid of bugs. In addition, as a true crime junkie, I am very observant and paranoid of home burglaries and whatnot, so if I come home and my cats are acting normal, I can rest assured that there are no strangers inside.
THEY RELIEVE SOCIAL ANXIETY.
THEY PROMOTE A HAPPIER, MORE OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK.
THEY GROUND ME & STRENGTHEN MY EMOTIONAL REGULATION.
I 100% believe that most pet parents feel the same way about their pets. If you struggle with mental health and are at a point in your life where it’s realistic to get a pet, do it. They will change your life for the better, and you’ll do the same for them. I hope that my experience and stories about my cats will inspire you to rescue a furry friend who will simultaneously rescue you. All my love xoxo.