Love in a fur coat. The importance of pets for health.

pets

Colette once said, “Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” Meanwhile our two legged companions are often a source of hurt and pain.

After working for five years in Mental Health, I have made the observation that those hurt most by two legged creatures, place greater value on the four legged kind. Furthermore, those four legged creatures also provide around the clock therapy to those who suffer the isolation of chronic illness.

Their friendship, loyalty and love are almost unmatched by our own kind. With their endearing personalities and ability to connect to us on a soul level, I believe they are sent from God to walk beside and heal us.

I have three cats and each of them, with their funny little quirks, gives me infinite amounts of love, affection and entertainment. One of my cats would lay beside me when I was sick and shaking in the early days of my illness, he’d snuggle up close to my ribcage (and he was never usually a snuggly cat) and purr. You would think with all the noise I was making he would have bolted under the house, but he didn’t; he knew. Pets know.

I’ve always been an animal lover, however after working in mental health I became even more aware of the incredible power of pet therapy. I started to realise that pets were anti-depressants. Pets were anxiety medication. Pets were motivators. Pets were companions and pets were pain relief. Pets made the unbearable bearable. Pets were someone to come home to and to be missed by. Pets were someone to care for and to be cared for in return.

We may never fully appreciate their value until we have lost our health, our purpose or our faith in humankind. There at the bottom of that dark, dark place, when hope is but a slim ray of light, if you are lucky enough to have the love of an animal you chose or one who chose you, then you stand a decent chance of making it out alive and sane.

If I died alone and no one knew, would my pets eventually eat me? Probably. But while I’m alive I’m sure they just want to be helpful.

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