TW: Depression, Anxiety, Loss, Bereavement

I rescued my 2nd cat Willow the week before my dad died and to say I fell in love with her instantly is an understatement. She was so friendly and had the sweetest face with cartoon eyes that reminded me of an anime character. I’ve had my other Cat Sabrina since she was 8 weeks old so I have a really strong bond with her as well and I never thought another cat could hold a higher place in my heart, how wrong I was!

She is always there when I come home, greeting me with a meow and a happy face, but more than that she is always there when I need her, full-stop.

There has been a lot of crying and staying in bed and Willow has literally been by my side all the time. If I’m on the bed she is either in my lap or next to me, she’s on the side of the bath when I’m in it, she’s everywhere I am.

My mental health

I have been battling mental illness for my whole life really but didn’t get diagnosed until I was 18. I have chronic depression,  anxiety and panic attacks & PTSD and struggle with them all pretty equally. My emotions are so intense, I often feel like people don’t like me and don’t want to be around me. These feelings have only been heightened since my dad’s death.

As soon as I met her and saw she desperately needed someone to take care of her I knew I wanted to do that more than anything.

The nature of my mental illnesses means that my moods fluctuate rapidly and I feel everything so deeply and intensely. When I get home, I feel overwhelmed from seeing people and often stay home for long periods to recover emotionally.

Rescuing my cat Willow

I have loved animals all my life and always had dogs growing up. But when you’re older it’s different and it’s more difficult to have a pet due to renting. After being at my flat for a year I was allowed to have pets so started to think about rescuing. I always imagined it would be dogs though!

Willow came into my life purely by chance and it wasn’t planned at all. As soon as I met her and saw she desperately needed someone to take care of her I knew I wanted to do that more than anything.

Bringing her home and introducing her to Sabrina wasn’t easy and they did not love each other instantly at all. It took weeks before Willow accepted Sabrina but was instantly comfortable in her new home and runs the house. But now they love to chase each other and wrestle which is super cute.

My angel, always looking out for me

I am no stranger to suicidal thoughts (I survived a suicide attempt in 2015) and can become consumed with hopelessness. I’ll be in bed depressed and Willow will get under the covers to snuggle and comfort me. She’ll sit next to my head while I’m in the bath and even tries in the shower!

I talk to her about my problems and she’s just there and listens, with no judgement. Coming home to her brings me so much joy and I miss her every minute I’m away from her. She helps me so much with my sadness and desire to hide away from the world.

I love Willow, and Sabrina of course too. Even on bad days, she is a bright light that needs and loves me, she helps keep me here and keeps me sane. I don’t know what I would do without her and when I think about a world without her in it it feels like a very dark one, darker than my darkest days.

Like this post? You can check out my other mental health posts here.

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