From a very gloomy start for both cat and human both now support each other with great mutual benefit. This is a heartwarming story. It tells us that FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) positive cats can lead great and useful lives and that people with serious mental health issues can greatly benefit from a beautiful, close relationship with a rescue cat.
Kirsty Oliphant lives in Dundee, Scotland. She admits to having struggled with serious mental health problems. Kirsty has been admitted to psychiatric hospital on several occasions after suicide attempts. My heart goes out to her. There but for the grace of God go I.
She tells us that her life brightened immeasurably, overnight the day that Peggy, her FIV positive rescue cat, chose her as her human companion. FIV positive cats are less likely to be adopted at rescue centers despite the fact that it is practical for them to live with other cats.
As soon as they met each other, Peggy jumped on Kirsty’s lap. That’s as good a sign as you can get that a cat has chosen you.
“Immediately we had a bond and that has just become stronger and stronger”.
Kirsty also said:
“She brought humour, fun and comfort into my life overnight.
My life changed very quickly after Peggy came home with me. The despair lifted and having her by my side gave me a new sense of purpose and responsibility.
Before Peggy, I was in and out of hospital with mental health issues. It was a draining and difficult life. Yet since she arrived I’ve not been back to hospital once.
My life really has turned around. I thought my life was over but, thanks to Peggy, it is just beginning.”
Because of her mental health challenges, Kirsty was struggling with a sport psychology degree before she met Peggy. Now she is due to embark upon a mental health nursing qualification so she can pass on her experiences and knowledge. No doubt she’ll be recommending that people with mental health issues should seriously consider adopting a companion animal.
Peggy has received a special award from Cats Protection under their National Cat Awards program 2016. Kirsty attended the awards ceremony.
Peggy is now 16 years of age. That is quite an advanced age for a domestic cat. Kirsty needs to a least begin to think about how she will deal with the time when Peggy is no longer her best friend and companion. Kirsty should always have a cat companion. I know she will.