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Just a Girl and Her Cat

September 13
by
Erin Bagley
in
Health
with
.

I am a college student dealing with my daily depression and social anxiety.


I have a constant internal struggle because I suffer from loneliness, but having social anxiety makes me afraid to put myself out there to new people. I want to build connections, but I’m too afraid of being rejected. So, I stay at home, often alone. At first, I chalked it up to just being annoyed by daily occurrences, but then I wanted to be alone too often. I would find comfort behind a closed door in silence, but knowing the need to progress, I knew I needed to make a change.

I was going through a rough patch when I first met my cat Cali, and I absolutely fell in love.

She was the cutest and sweetest kitten I ever met. Her head was way too big for her body, and the way she always looked lost and confused warmed my heart. I hadn’t been much of an animal lover. Even when my mother bought me a puppy for my sixteenth birthday I said, “Mom, I don’t even like dogs.” This time though, it was different. I took her home from the shelter and I began to spend even more time at home, but this time, I wasn’t alone. Cali was with me.

People laugh when I say that I love Cali, but I do (probably too much). She keeps me company when I’m lonely. She gives me space when I need it. She loves cuddling in the morning (which I am not too fond of because I’m not a morning person), but no matter what my day has been like, she is always there for me; no questions asked. I don’t have to explain myself to her, or feel inadequate when I say the wrong thing.

She took  a lonely suicidal college student, and gave me piece of mind and love. Of course, human interaction is still a necessary treatment to loneliness, but with Cali, I have more confidence to meet new people. She’s taught me how to love unconditionally, even when she wakes me up at 4am by sitting on my face, or when she scratches holes in new t-shirts. Cali has also taught me how to love myself. She’s taught me that I am good enough.

It may seem as though I saved Cali when I brought her home from the shelter that day, but actually, she saved me.

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