Now, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, because I very rarely mention it (ahem) but I have two pets cats and I am ever so slightly, just a tiny bit, over the top in love with them.
I can’t even begin to put into words how much I love them (although I have attempted to before, in this blog post).
Last week, my little furry friends turned 8 years old. 8 YEARS. I can’t quite believe I’ve had them that long; the time has flown by, but they’ve been with me through the good times, the bad times and the downright ugly let’s-not-discuss-that-again times. They’ve soaked up my tears in their fur, snuggled up to me when I’ve been ill and let me dance around the flat with them when I’ve been happy. They truly are the best friends a girl could ever ask for.
I got the boys when I was living with my ex and, when the relationship broke up, there was absolutely no question in my mind that they were coming with me. Through a particularly nasty patch threats were made of coming to my flat and taking Devon, but I knew that would never happen – there was no way I was going to allow somebody to take one of my boys just to spite me. I’m glad to say, I never had to fight for them and we have had the happiest life together.
However, not everyone is so lucky. Sometimes people’s lives take a turn which means they can no longer keep their pets. I can’t even begin to imagine what this must be like. To lose my boys would break my heart. It hurts now just to think about it.
This week, Sunrise Senior Living put out an infographic about how important pets are for people’s physical and cognitive health and their general well-being. It’s been documented through scientific studies that having a pet is good for you in so many ways, and I am a definite advocate for that. Growing up, we always had pets and so many of my happy memories involve the animals; so for me, having a critter in the house is a must.
I never really thought about it until I saw this, but then it dawned on me, when my family were seeking a retirement home for my Gran, not once did we come across one that allowed pets. There must be so many people that need additional care and have to say goodbye to their pets, and, as a result, animals being left without a home or the person they have become so used to having around. That makes me feel really sad.
I know there must be lots of very good reasons why not all retirement homes accept pets (I guess it’s additional cleaning and needing to create and maintain a sterile environment?) but it still seems a real shame to separate a person and animal that really love each other.
I’d never heard of Sunrise Senior Living before, but I think they’ve definitely got the right idea on this one; creating a more homely environment for their residents and reducing the need for upset.
Now, I’m off to give my boys a cuddle and tell them I love them (for the 10,000th time today!)