Help Cats to Help You!
Something that came to mind whilst watching folks enjoying themselves at our recent cat show, as well as having observed with my own cats is the benefit we receive from our feline friends. The pleasure and entertainment they give us, in my humble opinion, far outstrips anything we can get from other sources.
Right from an early age we notice the difference in children who are given the responsibility of caring for a pet. We’ve all heard stories about kids who swear they will look after the new cat or dog and do all the feeding, cleaning etc. right up until a week after the animal arrives and then, as with toys at Christmas, they loose interest and the chores are left to Mum! But for all those there’s another child who will see the pet as a living being whose life and wellbeing is his or hers to preserve and nurture.
As older children and teenagers we have enjoyed the company of our pet for much longer and come to think of it more as a family member. We therefore treasure our pet as even more special and, especially as the pet is getting older, needing more care and affection.
Now obviously animals have a shorter lifespan than we do so there are going to be sad occasions when we lose a pet. But, particularly if we’ve taken in a rescue animal, an animal from a situation where it may not even have survived, let alone enjoyed the good life we have provided, then we have given that pet his due and have nothing to reproach ourselves for. From experience I can tell you that the best thing to do is move on and adopt another pet as soon as possible. You’ll always miss the pet you’ve lost but, in the meantime, you could be saving another animal’s life!
In older age especially we know that people benefit from the company of animals. Look how many nursing and residential homes now encourage regular visits from cats and dogs. It keeps those less able in touch with the outside world and provides opportunities for them to have contact with animals they would not otherwise enjoy.
Some doctors believe that people derive physical as well as psychological benefits from close contact with pets. I read that close proximity to pets can even benefit the condition and regulation of the heart!
I know of at least two people, one of whom had suffered a stroke and my own sister who had a quite bad nervous condition, where their doctors actually recommended that they get themselves a pet to take care of to help them get through their periods of illness. It worked very well for both of them.
So, when we adopt a cat, or a dog, the animal is certainly not the only one who gets a good deal! You could be changing your life and the lives of your kids just by taking that small step.
So, help a cat, it’ll help you.