How cats affect humans


My cat died in March. She was only 10 years old, young for a feline. I was devastated for a solid month or two.

I had always thought of myself as a dog person, but no amount of pleading could persuade my parents to get me a puppy, so I had to settle for a cat.

To this day, however, even though I’m no longer mourning Missy’s early departure, I feel a sense of emptiness when I get home and don’t see her fat fluffiness waiting by the door to be fed, or lounging in front of the fireplace.

This confuses me. Even though I feel totally over the socially acceptable grieving time for a cat that I had for 10 years, I feel like my house is missing a heartbeat. I’m a happy, independant, non-crazy cat lady, and I still feel more lonely than ever late at night, when my stupid, annoying cat would kept me company.

I decided to do some research, to see if these infamously sinister animals actually have a documented impact on the well-being of their human counterparts. It turns out that they do.

According to, “the difference between manageable and unmanageable anxiety could be as simple as owning a pet.” Just having the presence of an animal can aid in the management of multiple mood disorders, including depression and anxiety. Cats, specifically, can sense an owner in distress and calm them down by curling up beside them or showing affection. My cat usually just clawed at me until I fed her, but she did follow me around sometimes. When she was hungry.

Cats also have physical health benefits to humans. According to a study done by the University of Minnesota, owning a cat can reduce the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease by one-third.

Missy’s health deteriorated within a week. She lost a lot of weight and became lethargic. When we took her to the vet, they told us that she probably had a tumor somewhere in her abdomen and didn’t have much longer to live. They told us that it would be cruel to let her suffer for much longer. Her lungs would probably fill with fluid and she would essentially drown. The possibility that this could happen to her when she was alone in the middle of the night broke our hearts. We decided to bring her back the next day to be euthanized.

They promised us that there was nothing we could have known or done to save her.

While I barely noticed her throughout our 10 years together, my last moments with her brought back memories that I had long forgotten. Seeing her sitting in the window as I drove into the driveway, hearing her scratching at my bedroom door if I forgot to leave it open (often waking me up in the middle of the night), finding out that she had secretly been napping in my dad’s gym bag without his knowledge. These memories are the ones that are so often missed in the present, but are so cherished when they are gone. As much as I ignored her annoying habits, she was showing affection that I took for granted, and I would do anything to have back.

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