It’s been nearly a decade since my parents lost their beloved cat, and despite them being fantastic pet people, they’ve always dragged their feet on getting another kitty. I could never really be sure if it was because of their personal struggles or if it was because they couldn’t bear the thought of going through all of it again. However, last Sunday, after years of having a pet less home, they adopted a tiny tabby named, Oreo.
Living up to her name, their new, four pound bundle of energy acts as though she is on a constant sugar high. From climbing the curtains, to running up and down the basement stairs, it appears that her energy stores know no limit. She’s curious about each and every new encounter and doesn’t seem to ever have a bad moment in her day. In fact, to see her, it’s pretty hard to have a bad moment yourself. There’s just something so endearing about that sweet little “mew”, her trot-walk that makes the bell around her neck jingle with each step, and her stand-at-attention tail. The power of her charm was all too evident, though, when I came across my (ordinarily grumpy) father cooing at her: “Who’s a good girl for using her litter box?”
And of course, that’s when I fell in love with Oreo too. You see, it hasn’t been the best year for my pop, and she has been one of the only souls who have had success at making him smile as of late. For every flip-jump during wand play, and every butt-wiggle before she attacks a toy mouse, he can’t help himself but to be amused. Of course, the fact that she makes a great nap companion isn’t a turn-off either!
It can be argued that owning a pet can be costly and/or time-consuming, but what they give in return is worth more than their weight in gold. In fact, studies show that those who have a pet in their home can expect to experience these health benefits:
*Increased levels of serotonin and dopamine (which soothe and relax) when engaged in play with their animal companion
*Lowered blood pressure in stressful circumstances
*Less likely to suffer from depression
*Reduced stress and anxiety
*Lower cholesterol than those without a pet
*Some reports even prove that that heart attack patients, that have a dog or cat in their home, live longer than those who do not have a pet.
How do our favorite furry friends produce such a dramatic effect on our health and well-being? Cuddling, kissing, holding, and playing with them help to calm us. Being responsible for feeding and caring for them provides us with a sense of purpose. And let’s not forget that living with a purr-machine not only gives us a reason to wake up each morning, but she’s also a great little whiskered wonder to come home to – offering a level of companionship that all humans crave. What else are our super-pets capable of?
*Animals help provide routine and structure to our days – Feeding and exercise needs to be done on a schedule!
*They entertain us with their antics and curiosity of the world around them!
*Our pets encourage us to exercise. A dog will get you off of the couch for a walk around the block, while a kitten is always getting into something when not engaged in play. Not sure this is the exercise we need on a daily basis, but it does get us up and around the house, nonetheless.
*Four-legged friends help us get out and meet other two-legged friends. It’s easy to interact with other people when you have a tail-wagging conversation starter!
Wisconsin Pet Care wants to know what you think! How has your pet/s been a blessing in your life?