A silhouette of a person relaxing on the couch with a cat curled up on their lap. There are hearts between the cat and person.

Therapy Pet...

Growing up I never had pets. My parents just didn’t allow it. I don’t think they wanted to be responsible for the daily maintenance of animals.

You know, the food and the disposal of its waste; it was just too much. My parents had two boys, and I know my brother and I were a handful.

When I met my wife, she always wanted a cat. If I would remember, I would be allergic to cats. I would sneeze and wheeze when around them. 

I never wanted to get a cat

I told my wife that I could never have a cat in our house. You will see below who won this battle? Any guesses?

My wife’s grandparents live in Oklahoma and have eight cats. When we would visit, we would have to stay in a hotel, because the cat hair would be too much for me. I did not want a cat.

We knew that her grandparents would have to find other homes for the cats, and she begged me for us to take one. There was no way I was giving in.

So here we are, with a cat as a pet. I take my allergy medication every day, and we keep the house very clean. I have no issues. So what does this have to do with Crohn’s?

Anxiety as a result of Crohn's

I have horrible anxiety about my Crohn’s. I get very anxious if I must go places. At times I get anxious in my own house. I have tried reading and taking walks, but it does not help.

I do take some medication for it. Once we got April the cat, my anxiety about Crohn’s has gone down. So, is it a therapy animal? I do believe it is. 

If I use the bathroom once, and then go right back in, I often start to think about what is going on? But with April around, she is a great distraction from the daily battle of Crohn’s.

Having a pet in the house has really helped me

I do not find myself thinking about it as much, because I am occupied with her. Teaching from home this year really put a lot of stress on me. I do not like being at home, and often look forward to the “daily grind” of going to work.

Having a pet in the house really has helped me. If I have a lot of abdominal pressure, she makes me feel better. If I have blood on the tissue when cleaning myself, she makes me feel better.

I know it sounds silly, but it really does work. I am kind of upset I did not think about this when I was first diagnosed. Keeping up with a pet also keeps me busy. It is the hobby I have been looking for.

Yes, as you can tell my wife won the argument. Well now that I think about it, we both kind of won!

If my wife would have started the conversation about getting a pet with: “It can serve as a therapy pet,” I would have said “yes!” You should get a “pet,” for therapeutic reasons...You will thank me later!

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