I’ve always loved cats, but was never able to have one as a child as my mum is highly allergic. We even tried hypoallergenic ones, but still had no luck and ended up giving them to my aunt.
A few years ago I moved in with my now ex-boyfriend who lived in an apartment block that allowed pets. I went shopping for a goldfish and came home with a beautiful ginger kitty, and later added a little grey tabby to our family. After we broke up I had to let the cats go, but I’ve missed them ever since.
Finally, I am in my own permanent home and I’ve been able to get a new kitty. A big part of this decision was down to my mental health. I suffer from anxiety and depression and I felt that I’d been able to manage my mental health a lot better when I previously had cats, so hoped that getting another furry friend would help me in times of distress. While this was a big part of the decision to get a new kitty now, I’d always planned to get my own cat when I had a place of my own. It was only a matter of time.
On June 4th I picked up Cookie. An 8 week old female who was everything I had imagined.
Things haven’t all been smooth sailing though. About two weeks after I got her, Cookie fractured her leg. She doesn’t sleep in my room so I can only imagine how it happened, but I remember the sinking feeling when I went in to feed her one morning and she was only walking on 3 legs. I was already going through a rough patch, so the stress of this didn’t help.
Nevertheless after about 8 weeks of being stuck in a dog crate and 2 operations, Cookie recovered. We can’t be sure of the vet’s success yet though, as there is a chance her leg may not grow from one end. However Cookie seems happy to be out and about again and I’m very glad she’s okay. When she first got injured, I felt immense guilt as I’d not let her sleep in my room (as she was trying to play at midnight). I also feel in some ways I missed out on the most important time in her development, but the ordeal hasn’t seemed to have had much of an effect on our bond.
I have found my anxiety is a lot better since I got Cookie, even when she was in jail (the dog crate). Having a cat has also given me the push I needed to quit smoking and sort out aspects of my life I'd neglected, including simple things like getting my place sorted and buying a sofa (despite living here for almost a year, I hadn't yet gotten round to it).
You can follow Cookie on Instagram if you want to keep up with her progress @CookieMonster.jpg
Do you have any pets? Have you found they've helped with you mental health?