If You’re Depressed or Lonely, Get a Dog or Cat

Better yet, get both a dog and cat

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Photo by ilyessuti/Pixabay

I inherited an animal-loving gene. An ancestor from way back must have sent it to me. I don’t know of any other family member who loves animals as I do. I take that back. I do have two second cousins who love them as much. I could easily become an animal hoarder.

Cats and Dogs

It’s mostly dogs that have owned me throughout my life, but there are cats also. I love cats and dogs. At this moment, there’s Annabelle Lee, the Tuxedo cat. I named her after the Edgar Allen Poe poem written about his girlfriend, Annabelle Lee, for no other reason than I liked the sound of the ballad.

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

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Annabelle Lee photo by author

Desi is my chihuahua. I got him from the animal shelter a year ago. A lady dropped him off, saying that he was sick and she couldn’t afford to take care of him. The people at the animal shelter were suspicious of the story she gave them. He was diagnosed with parvo, dangerously underweight, had a scratched retina and an ear infection. They didn’t think he would make it, but he pulled through. When I adopted him, he weighed three pounds. He’s four pounds now and a happy little dog. The shelter cherry-picked the adopter — that’s me — because they wanted someone who would be home with him all the time.

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Desi photo by the author

At the time I adopted Desi, I was living with my ex-sister-in-law. She had a chihuahua named Luci. I had to name him Desi. If you’re too young to get the significance of Desi and Lucy, here’s a photo:

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Lucy and Desi/Wikimedia

There are four types of pet people

  1. Dog people

2. Cat people

3. Dog and Cat people

4. I don’t like dogs or cats. They have germs and shed

I have two friends who are number four. They’re a pain in the butt when it comes to animals of any kind. I have never caught a germ from a cat or dog and died. One of those friends, I believe, is a little OCD. The other is definitely OCD.

Dog people vs. cat people

Dog people who don’t like cats tend to be snobs. They say things like cats have no personality; they don’t do anything; they won’t come when you call them; they don’t know their names; they don’t do tricks; cats aren’t smart.

The problem with dog people is they expect a cat to be a dog. A cat is not a dog — it’s a cat.

Don’t piss off a cat. It will get even with you

I’m convinced that cats are evil little devils. Don’t let that purring fool you. Here’s a little story to prove it:

When my brother was in his 20s, he decided he wanted a pet. He was a dog person, but he felt it wouldn’t be fair to get a dog since he was at work all day. He didn’t like cats that much, but thinking cats were more practical, he got two cats.

One day as he was vacuuming before going to work, he decided that it would be funny to terrorize the cats by chasing them with the vacuum cleaner. Later that day, when he came home from work, he discovered the cats had crapped on the vacuum.

He laughed when he told me about it, but I guess he didn’t learn his lesson. He continued to chase them with the vacuum. The next thing that happened is even better. At the time, he was a civilian working at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard in Southern California.

He rode a motorcycle to work, and one morning, he went out to his motorcycle, put on his motorcycle helmet, and discovered that one of the cats sprayed in it. He didn’t wear it on his way to work, but you weren’t allowed on the base riding a motorcycle unless you were wearing a helmet. So he had to put it on and ride quite a distance to his work station.

After that, he decided he’d never mess with a cat again.

I find that people who love cats are generally good. They aren’t like the snobbish dog people. They like dogs, but prefer cats. They don’t expect a dog to act like a cat.

Then there are people like me who like both cats and dogs. I wouldn’t mind having a pig and chicken to go along with them.

Depression and Loneliness

Nothing can cure depression and loneliness better than a cat or dog. They also help with mental illness like anxiety disorder. Servicemen and women who have experienced trauma and suffer from PTSD find a dog or cat comforting.

Several years ago, I saw a documentary about prisoners who were allowed to have cats. I was surprised at how many of these prisoners were rapists. I imagine a rapist doesn’t have too many friends. Cats don’t judge people as long as you feed them.

I rarely feel lonely because I can talk to Desi or Annabelle Lee. They listen intently and don’t argue or discount my opinions. Occasionally, Annabelle will say meow.

I urge everyone to get a dog or cat. Get both if you have enough love to share.

So what are you? A dog person, a cat person, a dog and cat person? Or, are you one of those people who fear germs and pet hair?

A free spirit, visual artist, writer, animal lover, introvert and independent woman.

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