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What I Gained by Rescuing a Barn Kitten

The Story About How My Cat Helps with My Mental Illness

By Christine ChristensenPublished 6 years ago 3 min read

I have been a self-harmer and depressed for years and cats have been apart of my life since I was born. So saving a kitten who was likely to die in the winter because mama cat was feral was a no brainer. What I got from the barn litter, was a little calico, my sassy bundle of joy and fighter for keeping me safe. For years school and work were my only reasons for getting out of bed. When I lost those I saw no point other than the bathroom and self harming. Morrigan over the last two years has learned this.

Every morning when I start to stir she somehow knows it. She will start to scratch your worthless ugly couch and hop up to look at me. If I don’t get up or pet her she will start to climb on top of me. Sit on my head, lick my arm. Anything to make me pay attention to her and get up. If I pet her and don’t get up she will usually start to knead my stomach. It is like she knows I will pick her up and put her on the couch requiring me to sit up. She meows and licks me in excitement at this, since now I have to make the morning trip to the bathroom. In the bathroom she will sit there and watch me. Before he passed, she used to watch my fish too. If I shut her out of the bathroom, she won’t meow unless I have been in there a while. When I leave the bathroom, she is in a little cat loaf staring at me expectantly.

I have to check the cat's food and water every morning, which causes me to go to the kitchen. On my bad days I used to just go to bed and she would do her own stuff. Now if I head back to bed, she gives me that little meow of, "I need something." Often while in the kitchen, she will perch on the fridge keeping an eye on me. I refill the food and water, sometimes putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Occasionally, I make breakfast now and I take great pride in it. I learned how to make great roasted potatoes because of this. And I have Morrigan to thank because I don’t think I would have just done it for myself. I would probably just grab a piece of bread to nom on and go to bed.

After the kitchen, I usually return to my room where Morrigan trots in front of me either jumping on my xbox or attacking the fluffy pink bunny she has deemed her kneading buddy. I will join her on the couch and pet her. Often at night when my fiancee is at work and I am sleeping I will wake up to a Morrigan cuddling in my arms. She keeps me company. She knows when I am upset. She will jump on my thighs if I am about to self harm. Knocked over the cup of water I was gonna use to swallow my overdose.

While these seem just like cat things to do, I know, some people probably think I am reading into this behavior too much. Being bonded with only one other cat in my life and he knew me when I was pretending to be well. I know she cares. She might have her own reasons to wake me up. She helps me through doing it though. She has been my little blessing during this constant roller coaster of crisis and ok days. When my fiancee cannot be there, she always is. And for that I have realized having a pet is a strong thing when you are stuck in a depression.

When you constantly fight mental illness every day, a pet no matter dog, cat, or fish, they help. I don’t know what I would do without Morrigan, she is my little furry angel, and for that I encourage the mentally ill and lonely to get a pet. Even if it is a goldfish, because that goldfish is capable of being a companion. They might not be able to go on walks with you, unless you have a bowl on wheels or something, or even communicate in a way other than bubbles and fin movements. They will, however, give you a reason to get up and feed them. Caring for a pet helps a lot, and I hope everyone gets a pet they can bond with deeply because it makes life brighter. I may not be perfect, I don’t always have good days. I will always have support, even when all the humans leave.


About the Creator

Christine Christensen

For the last two years, I have been walking the road of recovery. I found myself hospitalized, for mental illness, for the first time in 2015. Since then, I have been embracing my love of video games and all creative arts, to stay strong.

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