Less the Stress: Day 1 – Get a Pet
New to the series? Read the first post here. One of the common de-stressors you hear about involving playing with an animal. Having a pet is known to reduce blood pressure and help you relax. Of course, I was feeling the complete opposite of those feelings the day I took home Sabrina while she screeched in her carrier and tried to bite my hand off. Two weeks after moving into my Albany apartment, I impulsively brought a cat home.
I had been planning to get a cat, but the actual adoption happened so quickly I felt like maybe it was a mistake. When the cat hated her carrier and my car so much I was certain she hated me. But then I got her home, and we started to get to know each other. This cat is the best of both worlds: she has all the pluses of a cat, and she also think she’s a dog. She’ll growl at strangers near the door, and she absolutely must follow me even if I walk to one room to get something and immediately come back.
Playing with a pet is a great stress release. You get to be silly and run around and you have this lovable furball that just wants you to love it back. It’s pretty easy. And coming from my place of stress, it’s really helpful to have an animal in the house. I’m prone to anxiety and depressive episodes, and realizing that no matter how grumpy and laden I feel I HAVE to get up and feed the cat definitely helps with perspective. Oh, you’re sad about that dumb thing at work? Someone’s purring and wants to play. Oh, you’re stressed out about something you can’t control? Go throw a pretend mouse around and enjoy just how happy it makes your cat — for HOURS.
Additionally, in the last few months I’ve started volunteering at the Petsmart in Latham via the Hudson Mohawk Humane Society. Every week I work a shift with another woman and we chat and get to know the cats and meet potential adopters. It’s a great way to spend some time caring for cats in need (and trying not to get to depressed about all the surrenders with BS reasoning), and getting to talk cats for 2 hours. The good stories are endless.
Sometimes I feel like I should have given myself more time to have the freedom to be selfish and not worry about a pet, but more often than not I adore my kitty cat. And to be perfectly honest, I think keeping my cat alive has been easier than any plant I’ve ever owned (more on that later).