Life with Eloise and Thoughts on Companion Animals

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If you follow me on Instagram you know by now that about a month ago I adopted a kitten, Eloise. She’s living on campus with me as a support animal.

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When I first brought her home I was just so excited. I mean who wouldn’t be? I was now sharing my little corner of campus with an adorable, playful little being. Eloise makes me feel infinitely lucky that I walked into the shelter on the day I did and stumbled across her little kennel all the way in the far back corner of the cat adoption room.

After only a few minutes of playing with her in the socialization room I knew she was the one. Eloise has this habit of purring all the time. She purrs as she falls asleep. She purrs as she lunges across the room to attack a fluffy toy. She purrs as she claws her way up my leg. She’s an infinitely happy cat.

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As happy as I am adopting Eloise and going her a loving forever home, it was really hard to see all the other cats at the shelter who may or may not find a home. Especially the older cats. Kittens find homes easily, because everyone loves baby animals, but adult cats can spend forever in a shelter or sadly be euthanized.

There was one older cat (8 years old) named Blossom who was gorgeous. I spent a long time playing with her through the glass. She would follow my finger around with a glimmer in her eyes, a peek at her inner kitten. I secretly wished I could take both cats home.

I get so upset when i see people brag about their dogs or cats having kittens on social media. Or when they post pictures of their “pure-bred” animals purchased for hundreds from a breeder. Because while they spend a ridiculous amount on a breeder puppy or kitten, there’s a cat like Blossom sitting in a shelter waiting for someone to give her a loving home. There’s thousands of animals in shelters across the U.S. and beyond that need homes and need people to love them. If I spent everyday siting in a kennel I would be bitter, but many of those animals are so ready to love humans.

Recently I had a friend from high school post on Facebook asking someone to take in her cat because she was “too busy with work to care for her.” That made my blood boil. Animals trust us and rely on us for their daily comforts, food, attention, shelter. How can someone just turn them out? That to me seems like the ultimate betrayal.

I feel lucky to have Eloise with me. She makes me focus on the little things and reminds me that whatever school related issues I’m stressing about aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things. I’m so happy universities give students the option to have animals on campus for mental health. I think it’s great to foster a supportive living environment for students and recognizing that animals can play a crucial role in mental health.Ā 12112463_983085608424376_7951006934111247245_n

It’s so much fun to watch Eloise grow. When I first brought her home she was so small.

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And in only a month she seems to have doubled in size! I love watching her personality develop. She’s definitely developed single child syndrome. She likes to get her way and knows how to play into my emotions. In the morning as soon as I’m out of bed she makes these little pitiful meow sounds that escalate into loud demanding meows until I feed her. When I’m paying to much attention to my computer or my phone she pushes her way between me and the screen and demands I play with her right now.

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I love having someone to come home to after classes and club events. University life has left me feeling isolated and I haven’t really had a good college experience. This year has been much better and I’m sure Eloise has played a major role in that. ā¤

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