When I saw my GP last week, we had a good chat about my lifestyle, support network and outlook on life all of which took 45 minutes of precious patient time. I’m sure that was a lot more than my allotted portion but we both felt it necessary and I am grateful for her support.
One of her questions took me a bit by surprise.
“Do you have any pets?”
Perhaps it was because I had explained that we don’t have much of a family support network living close by with my husband’s family in Iran, and my sister living 3 hours across the country or perhaps she sensed that I commune much easier with our four-legged friends when in a depression.
It is well-known that pets can help people recover from depression, and certainly my big, 7-kilo ginger tom-cat, Tom, has not left my bedside all week. He has followed me round and slept at my feet night and day clearly sensing my distress and fatigue. I know that he knows. How? I just know. He is amazing and I love his constant attention which is never imposing but always obvious; always attentive but somehow remote enough not to threaten; undemanding and unconditional. A true friend and companion. He understands my need for a friend and is sensitive enough to appreciate when I need to be alone.
I can even forgive the vast amount of cat hair that he sheds on the bed covers as he is so gorgeous.
As a treat today, I bought Tom a cat-mint (Nepeta) plant. It is the dried leaves of this plant which makes cat-nip so attractive to cats in toys. Tom adores it! He goes mad for cat-nip spray and he loves the real plant even more.
This year, I haven’t sown any seeds yet but as a reward for looking after his mummy this past week, he gets a plant ready to put in the garden. I’m not sure how long it will last but he deserves his treat.
Thank you Tom!