On a hot summer day this summer with temperatures over 100º F, Imgur poster Joelalmeidaptg was walking down the street playing Pokémon Go when he heard a kitten crying for help from behind a nearby electrical post. Months later, the cat, named Spock, is thriving in its new home thanks to an unlikely string of events.
“As I was passing by an electricity post I heard what I thought it was a bird. But I found it very strange since I could not see any bird and besides that it should be way too hot for a bird to be chirping around. So I went back and investigated. What I found was a kitty crying for help. It had his head stuck in the junction between the top side and the bottom side of the post. It was hanging only by his head. We have no idea how the hell did it get in that situation. It must have been there for a long time, since it barely had energy to cry. Its mouth was open wide, it did not close it. I only knew it was alive by its cry for help.”
“I called my parents and we decided we would not let the kitty rot in that place, so we asked for the help of the fireman…When they arrived the cat was standing still and not making any noise and they first told us that the cat must have died. We insisted that the cat was alive, so they poked it with a stick and for our relief it did cry again!”
“After the police arrived they took a giant machine from the firetruck that would pressure the top side of the electrical post to try and tilt it. It would be too dangerous to try and bust the whole thing since there could be an explosion (we never know).”
“A whole perimeter was set around the area so other cars would not bother us.”
“One of the fireman was so upset for the cat’s state, behing so still for so long, with such a hot weather, that he tried to give it water. And it did drink! We were so happy when this happened. Still, we didn’t know how to take it out.”
“Then someone had the idea to use the machine they previously used to tilt the post in the junction of the top and bottom instead of only on the top. After they did, BOOM, the post busted and there was just enough space left for the cat to be free!”
“As you can see it was already night when we took it out. The fireman stood in that place with 40+ºC for 3 HOURS to save a cat’s life. I’m so glad I had the luck of having these fireman to help. Some other type of people and they might not be willing to do it and just let the cat die.”
“My mother decided to take it home for the night…It hissed at us if we tried to approach it. It looked like a mad rat. My father started calling it Spock because of those big ears. My mother was saying that we would keep it for the night and then take it to a cat shelter. So it stayed the night in our porch until the next day.”
“Time for a bath. He was filthy from the oil we used to try and take him out, plus all the dirt from being a stray cat. The water took the dirt away and we realized he was a boy with golden hair!”
“My mother took SO MANY fleas out of him. Seeing my mother taking them one by one, so many, just made me feel sick. That poor cat should be itchy as hell.”
“This is him after the shower. My father kept telling us he was the ugliest cat he had ever seen…my mother did not send him to the cat’s shelter, where I insisted they would probably kill him after some days. So we kept Spock with us.”
“He was so young that we had to feed him “manually” with milk. We don’t have anything fancy to do so so we used a syringe. This is him obviously feeling full after a meal, ready to sleep.”
“Four months have passed and the cat my father kept calling ugly went full “The Ugly Duckling” mode. He is the most beautiful cat I have ever seen. And he is HUGE. Look at his tail! The vet (when he went for vaccines) said he was about 6 months old and would keep growing for another 6 and that he would become huge.”
“I don’t live in my hometown (I study in Lisbon) so this Christmas break was my first real interaction with him. He barely knew me since I only come home very occasionally on weekends and that’s not enough time to build a relationship.”
“I fell in love with this cat. He is SO BEAUTIFUL. Look at his pink paws!”
“Time to regret my decision on socializing the cat. Now he won’t stop trying to rob my pens away while I study in my bed.”
“TL:DR Found a dying cat while playing Pokémon Go, saved him, he was ugly, turned out to be beautiful, I’m in love with him.”
Congratulations to Joelalmeidaptg for catching a meowth! Now all your pends and socks will belong to the cat. If you liked this story, share it with your friends!
10 Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Having Pets
Pets are family members. Like humans, they need love, health care, and attention. But pet parents’ relationships with their pets are not one sided. Pets give so much back in return, improving the health of our minds, bodies, and hearts.
The benefits of having pets are plentiful — and scientifically proven. Pets help their humans live longer, happier, and healthier lives mentally and physically. The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) gathers the latest information on the positive health effects of companion animals. These researchers help make the case for adding a pet to a household.
From reducing the risk of heart attacks to alleviating loneliness, these furry family members are contributing to healthy communities.
Let’s talk about those benefits.
Better Mental Health
Pets can contribute to positive mental health through emotional work and practical work. The emotional work can be described as alleviating worries, stress, and depression. You may have noticed that your pet wastes no time noticing and springing into action when you are upset or sad. Their intuition is what makes them great support and therapy animals, and animal-assisted therapy is effective in treating PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Then there’s the practical work that comes with caring for a pet. This means making sure their individual needs are met. Developing a daily routine of walks and feeding times can help pet parents with mental health conditions feel a sense of purpose that affects other areas of their lives.
The Data: Pets and Mental Health
A 2016 HABRI study explored the role of pets in the social networks of people managing a long‑term mental health problem.
- Pets were found to contribute to a stronger sense of identity in pet owners with mental health conditions, including reducing negative perceptions of a mental health condition or diagnosis.
- Pets provide a sense of security and routine in the relationship, which reinforces stable cognition.
- Pets provide a distraction and disruption from distressing symptoms, such as hearing voices, suicidal thoughts, rumination, and facilitating routine and exercise for those who care for them.
Better Physical Health
Every little bit counts when it comes to physical health benefits, and those daily walks really add up for dog owners. Since they are more likely to meet the criteria for regular moderate exercise, dog parents have lower instances of obesity.
Your heart is one of the biggest spots to see the full benefits of pet ownership. Just the presence of animals has significant impacts on blood pressure, with pet owners having a lower resting blood pressure than people without pet babies.
Cat parents aren’t left out of the healthy heart race. A feline friend in your home reduces your risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attacks. According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), people without cats have a 40% higher relative risk of heart attack than non‑cat owners.
The Data: Pets and Physical Health
- Approximately 60% of dog walkers met the criteria for regular moderate and/or vigorous leisure‑time physical activity compared with about 45% for non‑dog owners and dog owners who did not walk their dog in a 2005 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey.
- In a study of adults over the age of 50 with mildly elevated blood pressure, the presence of a pet dog or cat had a significant impact on blood pressure, with dog ownership being associated with lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure compared to people who did not own pets.
- A study of over 2,400 cat owners concluded there was a significantly lower relative risk for death due to cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack, compared to non‑owners during a 20‑year follow‑up.
Healthier Aging Process
Research has shown that older adults get social and emotional support from their pets that combats loneliness and depression. Aside from promoting exercise and reducing stress, pets also assist in the treatment of long‑term diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Pet companionship is also key for hospital and cancer patients. When coupled with animal-assisted activities, pets help patients with pain management and in interactions with doctors and nurses. Those patients also responded better to treatments and reported improvements in their quality of life.
The Data: Pets and Aging
- Results of a study of older adults who live alone suggest that pet ownership may act as a buffer against loneliness.
- Results of a one-year study that examined the impact of animal‑assisted therapy (AAT) on patients with chronic pain demonstrated that, following AAT, patients reported reduced pain, discomfort, and stress. Additionally, stress among nursing staff was found to decrease significantly following AAT.
- A study of older adults with mental illness living in long‑term care facilities concluded that AAT reduced depressive symptoms and improved cognitive function.
When we look at the data on mental health, physical health, and aging, it’s clear that pets contribute much to people’s lives in these areas, as well as being the loving companions we’ve always known they are.