5 years ago I rescued my cat, Rosie, from the Pasadena Humane Society and it changed my life. I was living alone at the time and it was the perfect time to bring an animal into my home. She brought me love and responsibility and nights that I am away from home, I truly miss her. I cried on the phone during a 2-week quarantine because I missed my cat. I want to be clear that I love all animals and grew up with cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, reptiles, and chickens in my home. I chose a cat because they are lower maintenance animals that prefer to be left at home while I'm away.
Rosie was a stray and she still is unsure of people. She is still a bit skittish even after five years, though moving into a house with three other people is quite a new setting for her. In true cat fashion, she doesn't come when beckoned and mostly comes to me when I'm seated or laying down. But she is a good snuggler and the magic of a pet cozying up to you just when you need it is pure bliss. If you follow my Instagram @tayjjay, you'll see a highlight of just Rosie.
Here are some great reasons for owning a pet:
Having a pet creates responsibility in maintaining their physical wellness which can create a boost in yours. While cats are known as heavy sleepers, they can be super active as well and love playing with toys, lights, and furniture as I have experienced. An article in the National Institute of Health found that older dog walkers aged 71-82, were found to be able to outpace nondog walkers. Recently more people have started walking their cats (looking at you Jennifer Garner!)
According to a study that examined 3.4 million Swedish adults, researchers found that dog ownership lead to a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. They studied men and women between the ages of 40 and 80 over a twelve year period. Their findings concluded that dog ownership leads to reduced stress factors "such as social isolation, depression and loneliness". Interestingly, they found that the biggest reductions were in single households over multi-person households.
My parent's corgi, Tucker, is therapy trained. He completed a multiweek course that certified him to be taken into hospitals, schools, jails, nursing homes, offices, and other places where animal-assisted therapy is instilled. The Mayo Clinic explains that "pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy and other animal-assisted activities." This can include the simplicity of providing comfort and reducing stress by having an animal around.
My parents don't have cats anymore because we live at the base of some hills where there are coyotes (Rosie is strictly an indoor cat!). Remember your surroundings and be advised that pets can be expensive. While the downside to pet ownership can be the cost of any medical issues or the fact that you most likely will outlive your pet, I believe the benefits highly outweigh these issues.
Can’t commit just yet? Get your pet power on with some goat yoga, become a dog walker, or foster a pet short term. Final tip, always ask if you can pet a stranger's animal! Owners tend to know if their pet is friendly or not, plus it's just polite!
It's the furry cuddles for me!