A Pet's Life

What Having a Pet Can Do for You

Being a cat owner since I was born, I was brought up living with a variety of different breeds of cats. Although learning to love dogs, there is something special about having a companion. Even for younger kids, their companions could be anything, but learning to love a living animal could help them in later life.

Many people are either being born with mental health issues or are developing them later on in life, although many people aren't able to control their health issues sometimes they find a little comfort in an animal partner. Although pets aren't just to be used to make you feel better, they also have feelings of their own.

However, some researchers have found that pets can help individuals who have terminal health issues as well. Although not everyone goes through a terminal illness in their life.

Cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and horses all have one thing in common. They all have a life to live, whether it’s with us or with someone else, although sadly enough not everyone deserves to be able to live with or have an animal.

I've now been alive for 20 years; however, it feels like 10. But if I didn't have the pets around me that I did, I don't think I’d be here today without them.

My story with my pets is… I’ve grown up over time having cat after cat after cat. Although I may not seem like I cat person, I can see why people are so attracted to them. In the space of 20 years me and my parents have had 13 cats. All having crazy or unusual names but somehow that made them more like family to me.

For 6 or 7 years I’ve struggled with both anxiety and depression… and still do to this day. I had no one to talk to, no one to support me, no one to give me any advice about what to do with the things going around in my head. I would get bullied at school nearly every day which in time made my depression 10 times worse…well felt that way anyway.

I would spend cooped up in my 10ft by 12ft bedroom not seeing anyone, not speaking to anyone for days, which probably didn’t help with my depression. However, over time, I started to notice some of the cats either crying to come into the bedroom or scratching at the bedroom door. Although this would probably be annoying to some people, I decided that I’d let a few cats in. These two cats' names were Marmite and Blue. Yes, very weird names, but who cares. These two cats somehow knew something wasn’t quite right with me. Where I would sit on the bed for hours the cats would sit either side of me, cuddling into my sides nudging my hands over their stomachs, and they would fall asleep instantly.

This would happen for weeks at a time with maybe having a couple of days in between where I would actually leave the house and go outside. Although they could or would never talk back to me as a younger teenager I felt like I could talk to them and I actually had someone or something to talk to. Sometimes I'd talk to them and they would look at me as if to say, “What on earth are you going on about?”

However, I still am suffering from depression and anxiety but somehow, I feel a bit of release. I can only explain it to feeling as if something has been lifted from my shoulders. I still believe that it was talking to the cats that has given me this chance to carry on my life. However, many people don’t see it this way but then again, I’m starting not to put other people first.

Tanisha Dagger
Tanisha Dagger

20 year old care assistant, also volunteer support "worker" for individuals with learning disabilities/learning delay. Happy to help anyone who needs it. Inspire to be the person you want to be!


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A Pet's Life