a cat snuggles with it's owner

Animals: The Best Medicine You Never Knew You Needed

Last updated: September 2022

Some people call me a "crazy old cat lady." I think I just love animals but yeah, I have the mentality of a "crazy cat lady." If I could, I would own more than one, but my roommate says no. Also I don’t think the one I have now would really want to share me. She is attached to me like a real child. Why the cat chat you may ask? Because I feel the right type of pet is perfect for someone living with a rare disease.

Behold: my fur baby

I was blessed In October of 2018 to be given my little fur baby Gia. That’s her legal name I gave her, but she goes by many names such as Tuna, Pikachu, Squeak Toy, and endless other nicknames. My aunt knew I had to put my other cat down six months earlier and found her at a local pet shop. She was abandoned and had been attacked by an evil raccoon. I was hesitant and unsure if I was ready to own another cat, but went along with her to see her.

It was love at first meow

I truly went to the store to entertain my aunts idea but when I walked up to the cage and saw the sadness in this sweet girl's eyes, and I melted. She was a little over a year old and already had a litter of kittens who were in the cage under her. She looked sad and drained. I fell in love instantly and I knew she had to be mine.

She was worth the wait

The process took forever due to a distemper outbreak at the shelter. We put the application in and waited a few weeks. Luckily, my aunt is crazy and wouldn’t give up. By my birthday though, she had her forever home with me and boy did she fall in love with me quick. We bonded and it continues to get stronger.

We're each other's emotional support animal

So what does this have to do with NMO? What does having a cat with more anxiety than me do for me? Well she’s my comfort. With NMO comes loneliness and depression, and having her helps bring me to a happy place. She doesn’t care what I look like and she doesn't talk back when I tell her my feelings. Venting to her really helps because I don’t feel like I’m burdening anyone with my issues. Confronting actual humans can be stressful and even embarrassing at times.

She loves me unconditionally

She may drive me up the wall some days and make me thankful I don’t have a real child. Nothing against kids or anything, but they're just not for me. The bond that has come from having her though is priceless. She has seen me on my best and worst days and stills looks at me with love. If I’m having a rough day filled with panic and anxiety, she’ll come to me and I’ll pet her and it gives me such relief and relaxation. Sometimes it’s better to just hear a meow over someone’s advice to your pain and frustrations. Also, I believe animals are way better than people, so I may be a bit bias to them.

Knowing what's right for you and going for it

Having an animal can be the best medicine you never knew you needed. But having an animal you can take care of physically and financially is also important. I know my limits and a cat is a great fit for me. As much as I’d love to have a pug, a dog would be too much for me, and I wouldn’t be able to give it all it needs. But I am happy with my little girl and she truly lifts my spirits everyday.

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