Cats are great for emotional support! I’ve had a rough couple of months and the amazing love that I receive from Cinco and Manna has been very inspiring. Normally I write about how us cat owners can help our cats, but today I thought I would flip things around. Kitties deserve some credit for all of the love they provide their humans.
About Nurses Cinco and Manna
Cinco and Manna are my emotional support cats, but they are not trained to provide any particular services to me. Despite what some people say, cats can be trained to provide important services to their owners. I believe that Cinco and Manna are able to help me simply because they have lived with me long enough to know all of my quirks. I have developed a relationship of mutual compassion with them. We find ways to care for one another (though I have to open all of the cans in this relationship). 🙂
People Don’t Always Want the Truth
I’m a great liar – at least when it comes to how I feel. I’ve been doing it for a long time. Though I wasn’t officially diagnosed until I was in my late teens, I’ve had problems with bipolar disorder all of my life. Depression plagued me even as a child.
Other people have a very difficult time understanding a disorder like this. They will ask you how you are feeling, but you can only say that you are depressed so many times before they stop asking. Sometimes they stop talking to you entirely. To be clear, I’m not saying that they are bad or uncaring. It’s just that that don’t have a way to help you and that is hard for people. Humans want to fix things. Sometimes keeping their distance is simply a way of protecting themselves emotionally too.
Rather than telling the world how I really feel, I put a great big smile on my face at all times. It makes people more comfortable. It gives me an opportunity to teach them about my disorder in a circumstance in which they will listen. Most people tell me that they had no idea that I am bipolar. I’m still waiting for my Oscar.
My Cats Know When I’m Lying
Cinco and Manna aren’t fooled by the words “I’m okay.” They can tell when I’m faking it. My cats don’t pay any attention to the words that come out of my mouth – they follow my actions. They are in tune to all of my mannerisms, tones of voice, my routine, the way I smell, and the temperature of my body. Sometimes my cats know I don’t feel well even before I realize it. Cinco even seems to know when I’m starting to get a migraine. As a side note, bipolar disorder is not just an emotional problem – it’s a disorder that affects all parts of your body. There is pain, headaches, many people with bipolar disorder have digestive issues, and whatever side effects you might get from your medications. I experience migraines, digestive problems (trust me you don’t want the details), hypothyroidism, and an autoimmune disorder that is not yet named.
Cinco and Manna notice most of the symptoms of these things. How they tell me about it depends on the symptom. With migraines, Cinco will often get up on the desk while I’m on the computer and start paying a lot of attention to my forehead. Sometimes he will just keep sniffing it, other times he will tap it with his paw. Whatever the symptom is, they seem to zoom in on it.
The Little Things They Do
Here are a few of the things that Cinco and Manna do after they have noticed something is wrong with me:
- They stay close to my side. Everywhere I go, there is at least one cat by my side. They make great company.
- They take turns checking on me if I am sleeping at an unusual time.
- When my alarm clock goes off, Cinco will come over and start giving me happy paws. This is helpful because sometimes I have a very difficult time waking up.
- In the past, they have gotten my husband’s attention when something wasn’t right.
- They purr. It might sound silly, but there are times when that purring is the most comforting thing ever.
Do your cats help you when you don’t feel well?