I got a cat!
I got a cat I got a cat I got a cat I got a cat I got a cat I got a cat I got a cat I got a cat I got a cat I got a cat .
In case you don’t follow me on social media, here’s some news: I got a cat! If you do follow me on social media, you’ve seen her already. Probably more than you’ve wanted, but that’s okay. I don’t care. Her beauty must be broadcasted.
Some of you might actually not know this, but I’ve had a cat for the majority of my childhood. He was a Siamese cat, a Christmas present for all three of us when I was only about 6 years old. He lived a long, full, happy life in our household, until the beginning of this year, when old age caught up with him.
Needless to say, I was sad – but I missed having a cat’s presence in general. I’ve always been a cat person (though I love my family’s French bulldog) & truly missed having one to nap with, play with, & just sit on my bed with.
We’d been talking about me getting, yes – a “therapy cat” for a while now, even before my senior cat died. Why?
Well, I remember coming home from my first long-term hospitalization, hardly able to move, & seeing my cat already waiting for me on my bed. He slept there with me day in, day out, & came to check on me at night, too. He was a constant companion on the days that I felt bad. He always seemed to know when I was feeling especially, ill, & when I needed some quiet company.
When I went to university, this (obviously) changed. I was in a dorm, & couldn’t bring my family’s cat even if I were allowed – but I missed him dearly. I had a single dorm room for both my freshman & sophomore years of university due to health issues (immunosuppression) & it got lonely sometimes. So, finally, when I started making apartment plans for this upcoming school year, the subject of a therapy cat kept coming up. And – rather unexpectedly – here she is. Mačka (Croatian for “cat”), about 6 years old, a rescue cat, a single mother (all her children have been adopted) with a spunky yet cuddly personality…& beautiful green eyes.
So – why is it a great thing for me, a sick person, to have a cat? (therapy or otherwise)
- Company. Sick people get lonely! Sometimes it’s because of self-isolation; other times it’s simply because we’re too sick to make plans or even have someone over to visit. A cat is always there; a cat is a presence that you can rely on, but never have to entertain. They’re perfectly happy sitting in silence, cuddling, or playing with a toy – but whatever you decide to do with a cat is on your own time. Even as I’m typing this, my cat is stretched out right next to me. There’s something very comforting about having another presence in a room/apartment/house with you, even if that presence is an animal. Sometimes….especially if that presence is an animal. Cats can’t say anything, which means they can’t say anything wrong. They do no harm, only good
- No walks! Personally, I wouldn’t have the energy after long days of class to walk a dog. It would be irresponsible for me to have one because of it! Cats are self-functioning, happy on their own, & happy when you’re with them.
- Gives me something to look after. Oftentimes, being ill makes one feel like a burden to others; makes one feel like they have nothing to contribute. I’ve been there many times – I’m sure I’ll be there again. But having my cat depend on me to feed her, spend time with her, change her litterbox, give her fresh water, etc., gives me a sense of purpose & responsibility. It makes me feel like I’m giving happiness (however small) to someone else, no matter what. Who cares if it’s a cat I’m giving happiness to – she deserves it!
- A source of positivity & joy. I truly have laughed & talked more since I got Mačka; I’ll even go so far as to say I’m happier. I’m not saying a cat can cure my depression – but she can be a welcome source of positive distraction; a great way to laugh off my frustration insead of cry it out. And when she sees me & is clearly pleased by seeing me, it’s an ego boost, believe it or not. No matter who I’m mad at or what I’m sad about on a particular day, I know that I’ll have a cat to go home to who will be happy to see me.
Whether you’re mentally or physically ill or disabled, I think an animal is a wonderful thing to have in your life. They’ll give you some responsibilities, but also provide you with laughter, happiness, & play time. Even in my young adult life, I know I can use a good dose of that – & you probably can, too.
I’m that person…you can follow Mačka on Instagram here.