When a pet is more than a pet

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Ten years ago on Feb 2nd, the cutest little two pound ragamuffin decided to allow me to adopt her. I had no idea what her name was so I resorted to calling various names out to see if she’d respond. I finally called out ‘Molly’ and she turned and nodded to acknowledge that I’d figured it out.

Ten years later, I can tell you that they vastly undercharged for the adoption fee. $65 was a steal…and if you offered me billions for her, I’d give you the stink eye.

This little companion of mine…

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Well, she has cuddled her cute little self up to me through so many serious times. Four job changes, three moves, two broken hearts, one deployment, one family suicide, and the aches and pains that come with learning who you are fresh out of college and new to the workforce. All of that would be a lot for one little cat to comfort, right?

Then top that off with one chronic illness, the loss of several beloved hobbies, the fear and temporary loss of identity, and the aches and pains that come with pulling yourself out of this.

I may laugh about how badly she can behave, but she really is a very good girl.

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The little (very unhappy) pumpkin knows my emotions better than I do. When I flared so badly several years ago and every time I’m sick or upset, she is in whatever room I’m in. I’m in bed, she’s in bed. I’m on the couch, she’s on the couch. I’m in the shower, she sits between the curtain and liner and hisses at the water. If I cry, she follows me around crying until I sit and she can crawl in my lap.

Her presence is calming and her antics are adorable.

She’s even tough on guys who come by.

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Well, that picture was her posture for the cable guy who was a stranger but still. Guy = protective. And unlike my dad and brother, she has claws and teeth.

I’ve noticed many patients rely on their pets for comfort. I’ve read literature that states pets are good for longevity, blood pressure, and happiness.

These are all things that are true at my house.

Happy 10th Birthday, Molly cat! I love you to pieces!

10 responses »

  1. I have a jack Russell and she is the same way. My guy is resting comfortably after a hospital procedure and Abbie is laying in the chair with him. What would we do without our pets?

    • I shudder to think. My friend said recently that pets are the only ones you never need time away from. You want them when you’re happy and you want them when you’re sad. I completely agree! Hope he’s feeling better soon.

  2. I miss having a cat so much! I learned that cats absorb negative energy from us. I heard on the radio a woman who talks to animals and had a cat who kept pushing the young cat away when her owner was sick. When the woman asked the cat why she did that, the cat told her the kitten was in the way while she was releasing the negative energy from her owner. Some may say the is “Woo woo, airy fairy, goofball” stuff – all depends on what one believes.

    Science has shown that people who are depressed do so much better with a pet; kids who don’t speak and others who are having a lot of difficulty have responded very well with pets. Some nursing homes have a resident cat or two and when someone is dying, the cat is right there on the bed until they die. Animals are smarter than we are.

  3. She’s lovely! Our grey cat, ‘Enormous Cat’ on the blog, is amazingly perceptive and will always ‘transfer his allegiance’ from hubby, who is really ‘his person’ to me, when I’m unwell.My old black cat was just the same, although having said that, he wanted to be on my lap 24 hours a day regardless of my health!

  4. Happy birthday Molly. I was thinking this morning, “Izzy (my border collie) makes me laugh every single day.” Our pets really are one of the best medicines.

  5. Happy Birthday to your little pumpkin (loved the outfit). I have a Tuxedo Maine Coon named Sam. He is my bodyguard and follows me around much like your Molly. As a matter of fact he is plunked down here right by me as I type this to you. Always by my side. We all love our “fur babies” and they become our family.

  6. I have to agree with the title of this post, sometimes pets can be a lot more than just a pet. Especially to those who struggle with a debilitating disease. I also struggle from RA and I have always have had a pet cat and they sometimes are the best medicine when I get into a flare or am having a harder day with the RA. I know for me, when I was diagnosed with JRA when I was 12, I had just got a new cat and we were still getting to know each other but he some how knew that there was something wrong. He saw that I wasn’t getting out of bed and he would sit with me in bed just so I could pet him. Having him there just was just enough to get me into a better mood and thinking more positively to get up and moving. Also, just petting him helped my hands and fingers move and keep in motion in order to start feeling slightly better. Having a companion that loves you unconditionally and just wants your attention and wants to please you is the best kind companion. The best is that you don’t have to explain what is wrong to them, they just know and want to comfort you. My cats have definitely always been some of the best therapy for my mind and body and soul. Your cat looks precious and am glad you have a companion that is so comforting to you.

  7. Hello from Brazil! Five years ago I fell in love with this little shi-tzu dog and took him home. By the time, I was in a lot of pain. Even though I could barely walk, I used to take him for a walk at least twice a day (still do!). He does some funny tricks, makes me smile, wakes me up every morning, follows me everywhere… Pets are great companions and help us go through the difficult moments.
    I just love my fluffy puppy!

  8. Hi,
    I have had RA for 14 years. My dog and two cats were with me through it all. Now they are all gone. They all died within a year of each other, due to old age, sickness. My husband does not want more pets right now. It’s been a year and a half since they have been gone. I still have fur from my cats on the furniture, that I find once in a while. All I have in memories, and three wooden boxes with ashes.It was like my entire family of pets got wiped away at once. It was too much to take. I have been in therapy and on medication ever since. You never realize how much you appreciate them until they are gone. I know everyone here appreciates their pets. Having a chronic illness sucks enough, and then having that comfort taken away is just, really hard. Pets are healers, and they make us feel better ! I was SO much happier with them in my life. But the pain of losing them is too much to bare sometimes. It is part of the deal we make. We must just live like dogs and cats, one day at a time. that is all we have control over. I have not been the same emotionally, since they are gone.

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