Finding Serenity in a Feline

Shannon - Ada, Michigan
Entered on March 19, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Pets are the best listeners. Many people would be very quick to object and say, “But they don’t know what you are even talking about.” As true as that may be, does it really matter? Not many people could honestly deny that it feels good to unload your feelings onto someone who will listen intently, without interruption or judgment. Animals are the best candidates. I have no comparison for companionship such as this and believe deeply in the therapeutic benefit of having pets.

I have had three cats of my own for about three years now and they have been through much hardship with me. My cats are my therapy. After a bad roommate breakup and loss of a close friend, my cats licked the tears off of my face. After several continuous surgeries for my medical condition, my cats never fail to keep my feet warm during my recoveries. Before a big test in a demanding course, I always have a cat keeping me company while I study, and loving eyes that say, “it will all be okay.” I believe everyone could benefit from having a pet. Petting an animal is not only comforting to the pet but to the person as well. It is relaxing to hold a fuzzy critter in front of the television, and it is a surefire way to experience unconditional love. Simply watching my cats play with a ball or toy mouse relieves stress for me because it makes me smile and sometimes laugh. Pets give humans humor, purpose, and comfort-creating a therapeutic resource in daily life. Many people do not consider themselves to be “animal people,” in fact, I personally know of a few; I truly believe this is because they have not taken the time to understand how little pets take and how much they actually give. I have learned from first-hand experience that humans and animals benefit from each other in many different ways and it is the “animal lovers” in the world who have opened their eyes to that understanding.

I have seen and heard about occasions in nursing homes, retirement centers, long-term hospitals, and even rehabilitation hospitals, where an employee or volunteer will bring in a personal pet to walk around and greet people. They too believe that animals are a therapeutic tool in this regard- it really works! I believe wholeheartedly that this not only stands true for the sick or elderly, but for all people. There is a high level of stress present in the daily lives of today’s society and animals are a remedial method to aid in the alleviation of stress and discontent.