Since I was very young i've had to look after my family. It was hard work and I seemed to get nothing good from it other than knowing that my family was cared for. A voluntary organisation kept telling me to get a cat to improve my mental health but my Dad wasn't keen on it. I ended up in hospital for a bit and when I came home I found two kittens waiting for me. My brother had bought them despite our Dad still saying we couldn't have a cat.
They were 6 weeks old when my brother bought them and they are now nearly 6 years old. My brother moved out and left me with them both and then I moved house. My cats have been with me through my transition of being in a house with other people to adjusting to being alone and through my move to a new area. They really annoy me sometimes because one of them always wants attention when i'm busy, but they keep me company and give me the affection I never got back from my family members when I was looking after them.
I know I have to look after them every day so even when i'm not doing great I have to make sure they have food and water and clean litter trays because it's not fair that they suffer because of me. They don't understand what's going on for me so I can't even imagine how they'd feel if I stopped looking after them. They give me a reason to get up, even if it's only for a little while to make sure they are ok. They are my responsibility, a living responsibility.
I think that pets can be great for people with or without mental health problems. Not just cats but any animal that a person is interested in. They give unconditional love and don't judge. Sometimes they let you cuddle them if you're feeling low or upset. They are always there even if they're not in the mood for giving you attention, and even if you live without other people it doesn't feel like you're alone. I was never really bothered about pets before my brother got our cats but now I seem to have gone cat mad and I have over 400 photos on my phone of my cats doing silly things!
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