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Mental Health: Jasper

Mental Health Matters: Jasper’s Story

In light of Mental Health Awareness Week we wanted to investigate the affect a pet can have on our mental health. Of course, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that your four legged friend can make you feel better, even on the rainiest of days, but we thought it’s about time people celebrated their pets and the impact they’ve had on their life. So let’s do just that…

Often depicted as the villain in movies (think The Godfather), cats don’t have the best rep for being the most affectionate of creatures, however, that’s where you’re wrong and we’re here to debunk that very myth…

Jasper’s parents, Keny and Yvonne, live all the way up in Scotland (are you picturing a cat wearing a kilt right now? Because we totally are…) and spoke to us about the stresses they face in their daily life. We can all relate to that, right? Well, that’s where Jasper plays a huge part in their life.

As Keny puts it… “you should never underestimate the ability of your pet to change your mood” and that’s just what Jasper does on a daily basis.

It’s amazing really, the ability this little cat has on their lives. You can often feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders after a tricky day in the office, and it seems the best medicine really is love. Being greeted at the door by Jasper allows Keny and Yvonne to immediately “go to their better place” and de-stress.

Still not buying it? Well, there’s been a ton of research to suggest that cats not only make you happier, but healthier too!

They’re literally good for the heart, that’s right, you heard. The University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute found in a study that cat owners had a 30% reduced risk of death by heart attack. Later research also suggested that being a crazy cat lady (or gent) also decreased the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Purring is more than just a sound your cat makes when you tickle their chin. Studies show that the sound of a cat purring reduces stress levels and blood pressure. Pretty amazing right? It gets better – the purring sound also emits vibrations at a certain frequency which has been shown to have other medical benefits such as the healing of bones and muscles.

They’re basically Buddhist monks. It might sound a bit silly, but we can learn a heck of a lot from our feline friends about Zen and relaxation. Their innate peacefulness and ability to go about life with ‘a lack of urgency’ teaches us not to get caught up in the moment, rather to enjoy life for what it really is.

And you know – there’s so much more. From therapy cats to companions for the lonely, our cats really do go above and beyond for us, even if it might not seem like it at times. It can even be something small, but one thing Keny is certain of is that cats “lighten and enhance every day”.

Stay tuned for more stories! Additionally, you can stay up to date with all of our tailrific doings over on our Facebook page  🙂

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