A Little Purr Goes A Long Way

Jacob Lass, Guest Writer

Cats are wonderful pets and bring lots of comfort to a home. I have struggled with stress, and my cat has been there to help, and she has done an amazing job.

A little backstory, I struggle with mental illnesses. In seventh grade I was having major problems with my mental health. I ended up going to a hospital due to intense thoughts of suicide. When I finally got home after about a week, I was still shaken up a bit. I had been wanting to get a cat for a while, but my parents were very strong in their “no house pets” idea. Later, in early spring, I made a presentation about how to take care of cats and all of the benefits they bring to humans, including the ability to reduce stress and how most cats have a calming presence. Somehow, I actually convinced my parents of how cats can aid in fighting anxiety and depression. A family friend showed my parents how they care for their cat, and then we were all set to adopt a cat!

We visited the Animal Rescue League (ARL) to see a cat we had read about online. He had what’s called a “kitty cold”, so after we would see him, we couldn’t see the healthy cats. When we met him, he was quite cold and angry and wanted nothing to do with us, but that is when we saw Scarlet (we later renamed her Princess). She was sitting and looking at us and meowing quietly for attention, so I opened up her little kennel and gave her a hug. When I gave her a hug, she rested her head on my shoulder and started purring. After she purred for everyone in my family, we signed the adoption papers and we were set to take her home the next day.

We spent the rest of the night cleaning and “cat-proofing” our basement so she would have a safe and comfy spot in our home that would be just for her. We also set up some barricades so that she would not travel too far, so that she would gain access to the house over time. When we finally brought her home, she decided to crawl right out of the cat carrier and began her exploration. A lot of cats prefer to stay in the carrier for a while until coming out to explore, but Princess did not hesitate. She explored the little space we had prepared, and then jumped up and over our barricades. That is when we knew that she would be a wonderful addition to the family.

She was a little bit slow to the cuddle party, but she would always follow people around and talk to them. After about three months, she decided that laps are the best spot for getting petted and getting cozy. Now, she guides people to go sit in a specific chair so that she can sit on the person. It is these cuddles that have changed my life.

Since we adopted Princess, she has always shown me love that I can’t seem to live without. Just thinking about her brings me comfort, and I know that when I have a rough day at school, I can count on Princess to give me some cuddles, and those cuddles make my stress melt away.

People rarely think a way to combat stress is to get a pet, but they should. Little kittens provide plenty of adorableness and silly antics to a home. Most adult cats bring a calming presence to ease the stress of life. Older cats bring an easy going comfort to their homes. Cats provide excellent therapy and can be trained to be registered service and/or therapy animals.

Cats are simply the best, and more people should experience the joys and benefits of feline companionship.