The love for a pet comes in an array of emotions from happiness to anxiety and some days aggravation.

I was not always an animal person. I did not dislike animals; I just never developed a connection to any. However, I had never had the opportunity to become a cat mom until a few years ago. I opened my home to a baby kitten whom I named Taco. I felt an instant connection to him since the first day I held him. He became my companion and best friend. I plunged head first into the life of a cat lady and never looked back.

I will admit I was skeptical when I saw how people became so attached to their animals before having a pet.

Throughout my college years, while pulling all-nighters and early mornings, Taco was always there, laying across my laptop, jumping on my lap, sleeping next to me keeping me company. It was then that I realized how much I truly cherished him because to me he was much more than a pet. Over the years I found he seems to sense when I am upset or agitated; he makes it a point to come and assert himself and demand attention. His presence is soothing and comforting to me.

Noted in a variety of studies, owning a pet is good for your heart as well as your mental health. Cats, in particular, have been shown to lower your stress level. I have three loving cats now, and we have created many memories. My kids have welcomed them as part of our family for some years now, and everyone has their favorite. I encourage you to visit your local shelters.

There may be a friend waiting for you.

— Cinthia Rico is a staff writer for the Times-Journal. Her email is

(1) comment

So true! Thank you. While not everyone should have a pet, every pet should have someone who loves it.

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