Pets and Self-Care July 19, 2018 19:10
I recently had to put my cat Audrey down. She was 14 years old and had massive tumours on her kidneys.
She was really thin when I came back from my trip, and seemed to gain weight in the week after I returned, but her health just suddenly deteriorated.
I was an awful way to start the week having to make such a decision, but I'm really glad the option was available to me. She was so ill and I could see she was in a lot of pain, so instead of putting her through more tests or surgery which would've ended with the same result, I stood with her while she quietly slipped away.
And even though I knew it was the right decision, watching the life drain out of her because of a decision I made was really awful. As they injected her I momentarily, but strongly, wanted to undo it.
This whole experience got me thinking about how our pets help support us emotionally, and how so much of my self-care is tied with taking care of them.
There's been a lot of press recently about people taking flights with their companion animals, most notably a woman's emotional support peacock was banned from a flight.
I understand that pets are a little different to companion or support animals, but I think they're just as valuable.
Google brings up hundreds of reasons why pets are beneficial to you. This is what I have found to be most beneficial in my life.
They Are Always Happy To See Me
No matter what your day was like. Whether you ran out in a hurry without saying goodbye, or if you were a little agitated when they insisted on sleeping on your legs, you are always greeted with joy.
I Am Always Happy To See Them
There's never any residual resentment or expectation. I feel free to love them wholeheartedly and without limitation, and that feeling alone is so liberating.
They Don't Judge Me
If you've had a spat of critique or feel like you can't seem to get things right, my pets have always reminded me that I am enough as I am. I don't need to change. I don't need to be more or less than I already am.
They Remind Me Of Simple Pleasures
Whenever I lose my way in the mire of adulting, they remind me of the pleasure of stroking their soft, velvety ears, or how soothing it is to have a cat purr on your lap, or the shared joy of a dog fetching a ball.
They simplify a complicated life by reminding me that just being in a moment is more than enough.
They Make The Best Company
Just knowing that another creature is around, makes me feel part of a little core family. I feel we belong to, and look after, each other.
They comfort me when I've had a bad day, because somehow they intuitively sense my mood.
Do you have pets? Have you found having pets enriches your life experience?