It’s been a busy week at the clinic with not just people receiving help and healing. Tim the Chiropractor regularly has dogs come in for treatment but we had a change of focus this week when it was discovered that a mama cat and her four kittens had moved in under the building.
Last Sunday Tim and his family caught mama and one of her kittens, who came to stay with me, and then over the next few days they caught two more of the kittens – one now staying with me and one re homed with Tim’s family. Where the fourth kitten went was a mystery until we found out that a neighbour near the clinic had taken it in and given it a home. Yay!
Mama is quite feral so she has been de-sexed and is now reemployed at the clinic on rodent patrol, with daily rations provided. And the two little boy kittens at our house? After being treated for fleas and worms and given a bath they have quickly gone from being scaredy cats hiding under furniture to little rascals that madly chase each other around the lounge, climbing everything that they can and making us laugh with their antics. They are still a little timid but are now taking bits of chicken from my hand and bravely sneaking up to check us out when they think we aren’t looking. After all, at about 8 weeks old and being tiny we must look like Godzillas to them!
After our 20-year-old cat recently passed away we had decided that we would not have another cat while we lived in the forest and have already seen an increase of bird life in our garden. So, once they have had another week socialising with us, the kittens will be off to the fantastic charity Lonely Miaow for re homing in forever homes. Kittens and puppies are a bit like babies and have this magic about them that lets them weave their way into your hearts, so I am sure that letting them go will be just a little bit sad.
Companions animals like cats, dogs, birds and horses can play a big part in our lives. Anyone who lives alone with pets knows the warmth of coming home to a wagging tail or even a cat demanding dinner so we don’t really need scientific studies to tell us about the positive aspects of sharing your life with an animal, however studies have agreed that stroking and talking to a pet can help with emotional well-being for people of all ages, from behaviour and learning with children with special needs, to pet therapy for the elderly and those with mental illnesses (Pope, 2016; Purewal, 2017). Just meeting the needs of another being can be good for us - if you have a dog, taking it for a walk is great exercise and gets you out in the fresh air.
Lonely Miaow. (2018). Retrieved from Lonely Miaow: https://www.lonelymiaow.co.nz/
Pope, H. E. (2016). Animal assisted therapy for elderly residents of a skilled nursing facility. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 6. Retrieved from http://www.sciedu.ca/journal/index.php/jnep/article/view/8778
Purewal, Christley, Kordas, Joinson, Meints, Gee, & Westgarth. (2017). Companion animals and child/adolescent development: A systemic review of the evidence. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Retrieved from http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/3/234/html