It has been well documented* in the past that animals can help with mental disorders, and this could be the case. It might be true, and it is entirely possible. But the vagueness in which these claims are made, often leave a lot to be desired. Its like the authors of such claims had a party and only invited half of the modal verbs, and that’s unfair, it could have been so much better if they were invited.
I do understand there cannot be certainty everywhere, in fact most things in life are uncertain. But purchasing and enslaving an animal on a ‘can’ or a ‘maybe’ does seem a little ‘white supremacist‘. Animals can improve you mental health, but they can also shit on your desk and eat your sofa, something I do not think is beneficial to your mental health (my research is waiting to be peer-reviewed.)
So what do you do?
Well in my case I just befriended the 3 wild kittens that were born in the garden the day after I arrived in Ireland. That way I could test the hypothesis without ever having to arbitrarily enslave animals. I should also point out that the word ‘just’ in that first sentence was used in the same way Melania Trump just has sex with a
bigoted, old, ignorant, homophobic, transphobic, racist white supremacist Donald Trump. In other words it is not something that should be taken for granted and certainly not as easy or as pleasant as you might expect.
Firstly you have to
grab her by the p*ssy approach the situation like you would do trying to make friends in the human world – you throw loads of treats in their direction and hope for the best. I didn’t quite get the desired result initially, as the family dog came in an ate everything before the terrified kittens were able to move. Phase two involved waving a stick with a fluffy ball on the end for hours in the hope they would be tempted to play.
I should point out that we had already christianed the three cats from a distance by this stage. The first kitten is black, white and grey and is called David Spence, the second kitten is ginger and white and is called Christopher Biggins and the final cat is a mix of brown, white, black and grey – he is called RuPaul. Collectively they are called ‘The Boyz’, although we have no idea of their gender. Before any gender neutral critics start writing in the comments, if any of the The Boyz come to me in a distressed state and tell me they now identify as a purple lioness, I will of course respect their wishes – so far this has not happened.
So the ball on the end of the stick was working, especially with RuPaul, he is by far the most adventurous. He has had wars with the fluffy ball on the stick. Davey Spence (as he is sometimes known), likes the wander close by, keeping an eye on said ball, but only occasionally helping RuPaul with the beating. Christopher Biggins is a special case – in more ways than one. Whilst his brothers (?) are fighting with the fluffy ball of doom he appears to be more intent on watching from a safe distance of around 30 meters, or falling over, or hissing at grass. Whilst dishing out an exceptionally large number of cat treats to them I noticed Christopher Biggins attempting to eat a pebble while 10 treats lay around him. Needless to say he has not come close enough to being my friend just yet – although he is the cutest looking.
In essence I have been playing the long game, and it is beginning to pay off. They are slowly getting used to me (or my food) and coming closer and closer. RuPaul likes a good belly rub more than he pretends to let on and Davey Spence watches on with intrigue, like a sleazy man pretending that going through the red light district is actually the quickest way home after work. Christopher Biggins unfortunately hasn’t even had so much as a head rub.
One thing I noticed throughout though is that if ever I felt over whelmed mentally, or if I was struggling throughout the day then I would head outside and go play with my mates. I suppose the bribery aspect does detract a little and it is not exactly mutual, but I am seeing a benefit. It has taken 6 weeks just to dish out a little head rub, but I feel like Davey Spence is not far off – It could be years for Christopher Biggins but the task is providing me with much-needed mental relief. And so far they haven’t shit on my desk or eaten anything they shouldn’t.
So once and for all I can say with absolute certainty – animals WILL help you with your mental issues.*
*Apparently – I haven’t actually done any research, but I vaguely recall hearing this somewhere, that’s as good as fact checked then.
*For legal reasons I should say that results may vary.