Anyone who has ever owned a pet will know the bond that can build between a human and their furry friend. For many people, their pet is part of their family. They cannot imagine life without their pet as they play such an integral part in their lives. Sadly, there are sometimes circumstances that cause a pet and its owner to become separated, and both the human and the pet can pine for each other. One heart-warming story around this topic is the tale of a young tabby cat called Chicken Little whose owner had a stroke and was no longer able to care for her. Chicken Little lived with her owner Tony in contented bliss. Unexpectedly, Tony had a massive stroke and was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit in the hospital, says The Dodo. Tony was in a serious condition, and the stroke caused him to become physically disabled. It became very clear that even once he was released from the hospital, it would be impossible for him to care for his cat.
Tony’s neighbors, who were temporarily caring for Chicken Little, began a search to find the cat a new home, and this included posting the story on social media in the hope of getting a quick response. A local woman, Amanda Hassan, was already on a waiting list to become a cat foster mom. There were already several rescue centers in the area that had her details. However, she came upon the social media post about Chicken Little and decided that he could become her first foster cat. She immediately contacted Tony’s neighbor and began to make arrangements for the cat to live in her home. Chicken Little settled in well, and Hassan fell in love with the young cat. So much so that Hassan decided to adopt the cat rather than foster her. Hassan said that one of Chicken little’s unique personality traits that she loved was the fact the cat vocalized so much. In the meantime, Tony was also moving into a new home. He had been released from the Intensive Care Unit and moved to a nursing home, as he was unable to care for himself. The staff at the nursing home could give him the care and assisted living he needed.
Despite both Tony and Chicken Little settling in well in their new environments, Hassan realized that the pair probably missed each other. She recruited Tony’s former neighbor to help arrange a visit to the nursing home to reunite Tony and Chicken Little. The rules at the nursing home disallowed pets, but they decided to make an exception in this case. Despite the rules, the staff were on board with the plan and decided to just ignore the cat’s presence. Although Chicken Little traveled to the nursing home in a cat carrier, she was allowed out to play once she was in Tony’s room.
On the first visit, Chicken Little recognized her dad immediately and went straight over to him. She rubbed herself against his legs purring loudly. It wasn’t just Chicken Little that was delighted to reunite, as Tony’s face lit up as soon as he saw his cat showing that he was clearly over the moon. According to Hassan, Tony brightened up after spending some time with his beloved pet. The pair got to spend some time together, and spirits remained high. Even when it was time to say goodbye, they both seemed happy. Reuniting them had been a complete success, and Hassan realized that she would have to return for further visits.
Hassan now plans to take the cat back to see her former owner every few weeks as she believes spending time together is beneficial for both Tony and Chicken Little. Hopefully, Tony’s spirits will remain high if he gets to spend regular time with his pet. This case not only shows the strong bond between a pet and its owner, but it is also an example of how pets are an excellent form of therapy. Spending time with his pet raised Tony’s spirits, and he is not alone in having his mood lifted by spending time with an animal.
There have been plenty of studies into the effects of spending time with animals, and these have shown that there are many benefits to a person’s mental health and well-being. For this reason, cats and dogs are often used as a form of therapy for those who are at risk of stress and depression. Organizations such as Pets As Therapy, arrange for pets to visit people who are receiving hospital care or who are living in a care home. The visits help to reduce loneliness, stress, depression, and anxiety. In turn, an improvement in a person’s mental well-being can have a positive impact on their recovery rate and their physical health.
Similarly, there are studies relating to the positive impact of pets spending time with people suffering from specific conditions. One area of interest has been those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. According to Alzheimers.net, spending time with pets has a positive impact on people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Not only can a pet give an Alzheimer’s patient companionship, but it is also an effective way of decreasing anxiety and depression.
Many people who suffer from Alzheimer’s become extremely anxious when they do not know what is happening around them and this causes them great distress. Spending a little time each week petting an animal can have a calming effect that relieves some of this anxiety, thus allowing them to have a brief window in their lives when they do not feel stress. Therapy animals are now being used in a variety of settings, from colleges to rehabilitation centers, and from schools to hospitals. This is because many medical and educational experts are now recognizing the many benefits of animals and humans spending time together.