How My Cat Saved My Life: An Emotional Support Animal Journey

I was ten years old when I was living in New Jersey. I lived in this really old house that was run down and had no air conditioning upstairs. There were also a lot of stray cats. I was stuck either in the house or in the library. I was homeschooled and I hated everything. I was depressed. I was scared. I had nobody.

One day, my mom came into the living room all in a rush, calling to me and my brother and telling us to come outside. There was a kitten on the porch and I fell in love immediately. It was a tiny, grey and orange female kitten about the size of the palm of my hand. I knew, in that moment, I would never let her go.

Fast forward, and my family was back in North Carolina for a good majority of the time. I have my cat (and I decided to name her Peaches.) She got along well with my other cat, Sam, and I was delighted.

However, not everything was fine. My cat Sam ran away– I was really saddened by this, yet I still had Peaches, so I threw all of my love into her. She would sleep with me and in my hoodies. She was there for me when I felt alone. She was there for me when I wanted to kill myself when I was thirteen. She was there through the anxiety attacks I had and even still have. She is my comfort and when I was thirteen, the only reason I kept going. I didn’t care if anyone else would be sad or upset. The only thing that kept me going was that Peaches would be so sad to the point of depression and could actually die herself. That scared me; I didn’t want her to die, so I kept living. I kept playing with her and cherishing her.

It’s now April of 2018 as I am writing this. My cat is still here with me. I live in an apartment with my family, our two other cats and our dog. I am now in therapy, getting help for my previously out-of-control anxiety and depression. I take daily medications and my cat has started helping me remember. She will meow at the top of the stairs for me until I take them and show her the empty container. I am currently working on getting her certified officially, so that I am legally allowed to take her with me on planes, in hotels and to college with me in 2019. It has been a long journey, and it is one that will be ongoing until Peaches leaves this world, but I am so grateful for my emotional support animal for saving my life.

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