It was an interesting programme, only interrupted by cynical comments from “the one I don’t trust”. Hair on the furniture, fleas, furballs, eats us out of house and home, were just a few of the more repeatable remarks he made. Clearly he doesn’t appreciate the benefits of having me around the place. The gist of the story is that having animal companions - cats and dogs in particular results in both emotional and physical well-being. Now, I’m sure the mention of dogs, is political correctness gone mad. I mean to say we all know what a damn nuisance those things are, especially that nasty little Jack Russell that lives next door – always yapping away.So, we will ignore dogs, and assume they were really talking about cats. Here are just a few of the apparent benefits of having someone like me living with you.
- Lower blood cholesterol levels – makes perfect sense. They came up with some clever medical explanation, but the real reason is obvious. Shellfish, and prawns in particular are a rich source of cholesterol. In this house I shift all the prawns that are put in front of me, so there are very few left for anyone else. I could do even more to help if only they would let me.
- Lower blood pressure – the last time they tried to put me in a cat carrier to go to see “the bloke who sticks needles in me once a year,” I got rather annoyed, and managed to claw and bite “the one I don’t trust”. His arm was leaking all over the place, so it stands to reason that if he has less blood inside him, then the pressure will drop – pretty basic stuff really.
- Quicker recovery from illness - clearly, if they have me to look after, they can't loaf around in bed all day feeling sorry for themselves can they? Imagine if they were unable to supply me with prawns - I would leave wouldn't I, and they wouldn't want that!
- Higher survival rate after serious illness - a study has shown that heart attack patients are more likely to be alive a year after they discharge from hospital. It would be very poor form if they keeled over and left us unattended. We give them the will to live.
- Fewer doctor visits - apart from the occasional tetanus shot after one of our little altercations, I don't see any need for "the one I don't trust" to go at all.
- Reduced loneliness - I have my staff go out to the shops on a frequent basis to stock up on essential supplies - prawns, etc. The perfect opportunity to meet people. I am always thinking of them aren't I?
- Pet therapy programmes - in nursing homes cats are credited with enabling elderly patients to reach out beyond their own pain and isolation and start caring about the world around them again. Stops them being selfish and moping around thinking of nobody but themselves.
- Less depression - fancy that, us cats are anti-depressants - Prozac on legs!
- Aids childhood development - not sure about this one. I hate kids. When our "nosy neighbours" last popped round with their evil brood, one of them was crawling all over the place, and started eating my cat biscuits. Everyone was most put out when I hissed and spat at him. Well, I had to put my paw down. Apparently he started bed-wetting again as a result of the shock. Most unusual in a sixteen year old - just my little joke, he's twelve actually!