Last week we looked at a wonderful human companion: the dog. Today we will talk about an equally intelligent friend, the cat.
Cats, like other animals, enhance our quality of life. The benefits people realize in having a feline friend sometimes include lower blood pressure, better coping skills, decreased loneliness, longer survival rates following illness, increased attention to personal care (because something else is depending upon us to be there), better mobility (we have to work different muscle groups when getting their food, emptying the litter box, lifting them on or off the couch), and the list goes on. Seniors, particularly those who live alone, especially value the companionship cats can bring.
Rescue groups regularly seek out individuals wishing to assist cats in need, and seniors play a pivotal role. One area to help is by adopting a cat outright (so the animal has a home). Another is to foster while a permanent residence is found; this buys the animal time. And a third is to work as a rehab and nurse an injured animal back to health. Because seniors possess so many invaluable skills, many of their talents are easily transferable to their non-human cohorts.
Some nonprofit organizations even provide eligible seniors with free cats. The cats are afforded the advantage of a home, and seniors get the benefit of a friend. The animals are typically spayed or neutered and healthy; all they need is a loving place to live.
Cats (and dogs) are great companions. Still, there are a multitude of other creatures such as birds, rabbits, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, etc., that also make wonderful pets.
Animals are amazing, and our innate sense of awareness helps us to grasp at a fundamental level their importance in our lives. They keep us company, make us smile, help us to see beyond our surroundings, and assist us in understanding the larger canvass of life. Whether we live them or not, may we always seek to afford them with the kindness and respect they deserve.