Mabel the Therapy Kitten

Friday, November 27, 2020

Back in September when restrictions weren't quite as harsh but the world still wasn't it's 'usual self', my mum was struggling quite a bit with anxiety and wasn't sleeping well at all. I think it's safe to say we've all struggled a little with our mental health this year but unfortunately it really got to mum and she wasn't in the best state. With this in mind, Kal had one of his 'great ideas'* and decided we should buy my mum a kitten in an attempt to help with her anxiety (and obviously to just have as an adorable, loving part of the family). As 2 months have passed, I thought now might be the time to share the (slightly funny) story with you all and let you know how the little one has settled into the family.

So, first of all I want to talk about the fact we almost got scammed! We used the website 'Pets4Homes' to try and find a little friend for her (obviously if we could have gone to the RSPCA to adopt we would have but unfortunately it wasn't an option at the time given the circumstances etc) and we thought we had found the perfect little one. We liaised with the person who was selling a couple from a litter and decided to try and go meet one (with the intent to bring one home) but after chatting to us for a while and getting us to bank transfer a deposit they then swiftly blocked us on everything on the day we were meant to go. Luckily we did get our money back but it just shows how careful you have to be! 

After that little episode, honestly I was quite put off by the whole idea and thought we were making a mistake. Now might be a good time to add, mum has never owned a cat in her life and said she didn't like them for quite a while. However, she absolutely adores all 3 of ours and shows them so much love and attention so we knew that once settled in, the cat would be safe and loved and everyone would be happy. Anyway, we managed to find another beautiful little girl and on 24th September we drove a little while to go collect her (just to mention, no rules were broken at this point in time and we didn't go in anyone's house or break any kind of COVID restrictions. We were very safe through-out this whole process). 

So, we had already bought everything they would need to let her settle in such as food and bowls, litter and tray, scratching post and bed etc so once we had her we were all set. Now, I must admit I was absolutely pooing myself at this point as I was a bit unsure how mum would react and we most certainly did not want to end up with a 4th cat of our own. We did however have a safe and loving backup home just incase it all went pear shaped. We went on over to mums, kitten in carrier and knocked on the door. She was clearly already flustered and peered round us straight at the cat carrier and said 'what's that?'. My heart was pumping so bad at this point and I started to panic. Mum then got more flustered - 'no what is it? Not a cat? No, Not for me? I don't want it!'. Well, then Kal went into panic mode and tried his best to convince her 'just look at her Sarah, she's very pretty'. After about 20 mins, a phone call to Dad and a snuggle - they decided they were keeping her and it wasn't as bad as she thought. Surprisingly, to say they 'didn't want her', it didn't take long for them to choose the name Mabel.

Fast forward to 2 months on, Mabel is now a fully fledged member of the family and rules their house. Just as expected, they love her more than anything and have even said they think they might be cat people instead of dog people - shock. She's helped mums anxiety more than we ever could have wished and from day one of being in their house Mum was managing to sleep right through the night. I don't think we will ever let her live down the fact she blatantly said 'I don't want it' before even seeing her though! 

All in all, the decision turned out to be such a positive one and has been a real pick me up for not only my mum but my dad and brother too. Little Mabel is growing so well and winds up the whole household on the daily before settling down for the evening for cuddles with the dog if he's willing or if not, my mum! I have to say, she really is a stunning little cat and I thoroughly enjoy hearing all the mischief she gets up to - from chewing my brothers school books to moving mums slippers from the living room to the kitchen all on her own. What I love the most though, is how much mum loves her!

Let me know, do you have any pets and if so have they helped with anxiety at all?

*On this occasion I will give it to him that this did in fact turn out to be a great idea.

(Disclaimer: We fully appreciate that this obviously is not a miracle cure and would not be for everyone. Although, studies have shown that both cats and dogs can help with anxiety, depression, loneliness etc. I just want to also add that this kitten would never have just been given away if mum hadn't have coped with her, she already had a loving and knowledgeable cat home awaiting her as a back up. Luckily for us she has settled in just as we had hoped she would and is absolutely adored (she has more possessions than I do!)


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