cats are the best therapists

Cat is the best alternative therapist for me

It was a tough week for me. A lot was going on in my outer and inner world. I felt stressed, overwhelmed and depressed. I took a minute to have a few deep breaths, sat down on my bed closed my eyes and slowly started to count from ten to zero. Somewhere between seven and six, I felt that my cat jumped on the bed seeking attention. She was rubbing against my back and arms. I stroked her. She started to purr and rub even harder. Instantly I understood that she came to heal me. She knew that I needed some help. I smiled still with my eyes closed and some kind of steel gripe inside of me just released my heart, I could breathe with ease.

I always was a cat lover although I adore all animals. However, I feel a special connection with cats. It probably started with my first cat from my childhood. Out of the whole family, she chose me. She loved me; always wanted to sit on my lap, slept next to my pillow, followed me everywhere around the house.

I grew up, left my parents’ home, started my own adult life. I always wanted to have a cat, but I lived in a rented apartment where pets were not allowed. Ten years ago I went through tough times in my life. I suffered from loss of my unborn twins. This trauma was the first big challenge in my life. I didn’t know how to deal with it. From the feeling of desperation and unfairness, I spiraled down to depression. I had to seek professional help, psychologist. After a few sessions, she advised me to get a cat despite my landlord’s house rules.

my best alternative therapist
my best therapist

I did it. I got a cat, named Lilu like The Fifth Element. I can honestly say that her part in my healing process was enormous. I gave her all my love and care, which I felt towards my babies and couldn’t use it anymore. No need to explain that a mother’s love for her child is something utterly special. Lilu paid me back big time. This connection that we have is something magical. Lilu has a wayward and independent character, but she senses immediately when I need her and just appears next to me at the right moment.

I read about animal-assisted therapy and generally about pets’ therapeutic abilities. It is so fascinating, research shows that felines can relieve stress and lower blood pressure, and studies have found that the hormone oxytocin is released when we’re around pets, triggering feelings of happiness. With results like these, it’s no wonder therapy cats are often taken to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and even prisons.

Indeed, cats and other pets can provide a sense of calm, comfort, or safety. Advocates of animal-assisted therapy say that developing a bond with an animal can help people develop a better sense of trust and self-worth, balance their emotions, and improve their communication and social skills.

Cats are ideal candidates for those in need of an emotional support animal. They are calm, intelligent and affectionate animals that can provide their owners with a soothing, comforting presence. Cats trigger remarkable improvement in people with stress disorders, anxiety, and depression. The purring is very relaxing, stimulates concentration, and creates a very welcoming atmosphere.

Cats are such elegant and interesting animals that you can’t help but be drawn into the moment. I guess it’s rather mindful. ‘Aside from the therapy, they really add a whole new dimension to the home, bringing warmth, love and a sense of innocence and play.

Cats are also unintentionally hilarious, as every cat video on the internet proves. Just seeing your feline pal drinking out of the tap or going nuts on catnip might be enough to lift a low mood and get you smiling again.

anti-stress paw
anti-stress paw

I also want to share one amusing story about my cat and how strong the connection between a human and a cat can be. A few years ago my cat has gone missing while we were on summer holidays. I asked my friend to look after her while we were away. My friend kept coming to feed her, but never saw here around. So we don’t really know when exactly she disappeared.

When we came back from holidays and realized that she’d gone missing, I was very upset, but still had a hope that she would come back. I printed lots of posters and stick them all around my area, I placed a missing note in the local newspaper and in the few local shops, I contacted every vet and animal shelter around our borough.

After two-three weeks since Lilu has gone, I’ve taken more extreme and alternative measures. I’ve contacted an animal whisperer, a person who claimed to be able to contact a pet looking at its’ photo. This lady told me over the phone that Lilu was definitely alive, but just lost her way home. She told me other few things that were spot on and never ever she would be able to guess them, so I believed her. At that time I would believe probably anything. I was eight months pregnant with my daughter and I was desperate to find my cat.

my Lilu

I started to meditate every day and call Lilu to come home in my meditations. I imagined her again and again in our little garden chasing flies or laying on her back and enjoying the sun on her favorite spot. I saw her rubbing against my legs and felt her soft and fluffy fur. It was so real. After every meditation, I had this clear not even feeling, but knowing that she would come back to me. Not by herself, but with someone’s help…

One day I’ve received a telephone call from the vet from the nearby town. They told me that they had Lilu with them. An old couple brought her to their local vet. They were able to find me because they scanned Lilu’s chip with my details. Somehow she managed to wander off to another town which was a fifteen-minute drive from us. I asked vets to give me that old couple’s number to call them and express my deepest gratitude for doing what they have done. They could easily let her live with them, she didn’t have any collar with a telephone number or at least a name.

Lilu has been missing for about six weeks, but fortunately, she found her way home. I strongly believe that somehow I helped her to do it. It seems to me that I manifested her return and she just found the way to do with the help of that old couple.

Lilu is still my best therapist and a good, caring friend, who has her own secret life, but always comes home when I call.

With much love

Julia

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