Having a pet, according to a 2018 meta-analysis of 17 academic papers, offers people a deep sense of stability, continuity, identity, self-worth and existential meaning in one’s life. Cassandra has lived the positive correlation between pet ownership and mental health. Adopting Arthur, who she says is always ready to hang out, has helped counter the isolation and loneliness that sometimes presents itself alongside her studies.
“Being a university student, you often don’t have a lot of time to spend with other people, especially through some parts of the year,” Cassandra notes.
“There’s definitely lot of feeling stressed-out and it definitely makes me not really want to go out a lot – he’s always there for me, basically.”
Cassandra had craved the company of an animal and, realizing that student life didn’t leave her with enough time to care for a dog, she felt that adopting a cat would be the best approach. That’s when she and her roommate went online to see if a special feline rescue stood out to them.
“I read Arthur’s profile – I think his foster wrote it – and I felt like she really did know him and that she really cared about him,” Cassandra says.
“That definitely stood out to me and made me want to meet him.”
At 13, Arthur is like a grumpy old man, but there’s no doubt he was ready to settle into the cozy life with Cassandra. Even on the first day he sat beside her and eventually laid down next to her.
To adopters who worry that they won’t have as much time with an older cat as they would if they adopted a kitten, Cassandra suggests that a good reason to adopt an older cat is that they have an abundance of love to give.
“I think the amount of love you feel for the cat and that you know the cat feels for you… I think it’s just worth it,” she says.
— Leslie Sinclair
Postscript: On January 29, 2019 Arthur died. “His kidneys were failing and I agreed for him to be euthanized,” Cassandra wrote on Instagram. “Baby boy I loved you so much, more than anything. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you as well to everyone who ever helped him @annexcatrescue & @yongedavenportpet. I will always feel joy remembering the time we spent together.”