My Pets Help Me Battle MS

  • Sunday afternoon, St. Patrick’s Day, I’m trapped under a kitty and can’t get up.  Send help.  ;)  No, wait, that’s not necessary.  In actuality, my cat Oscar and I are rather comfortable enjoying some simpatico time on the bed.


    Of our three cats, Oscar is the closest to being a “lap cat.”  He likes to sleep on the back of the couch just behind my head during the day and at night, he likes to curl up in the crook of my arm and lean into my torso.  He is my feline snuggle-bear.

    Last weekend, Rob and I traveled out of town for four days.  Reports from home were that my little girl kitty, Musette, cried out, meowing through the house, looking for me/us.  She is very attached to her “mommy” and I to her.  

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    Oscar didn’t seem to miss us while we were gone, but he did keep me awake nearly all night our first evening back with his demanding need to be pet and hugged during the night.  He needed his mommy lovin’.

    Pippin didn’t seem too much worse for wear while we were gone or after we got back.  He just quickly went back to begging for his special, tasty dry food, which is kept in a plastic tub in the living room as a source of periodic snacks.  Pippin knows how to work his momma for those snacks.

    As I am part Irish and part Scottish, St. Patrick’s Day is fun to recognize each year.  However, I have another event to celebrate.  Tomorrow (the day after St. Paddy’s Day) is the birthday of my furbabies, Musette and Pippin.  They are litter mates who were born at a neighbor’s house five years ago.  The time has flown by so very quickly.  They are my children.

    In the past several months since Rob moved in full-time, it has been very interesting to watch how his relationship has changed with the cats.  He has always been a playmate for Pippin as they would chase each other throughout the house.  But just in recent weeks, Musette has come to accept Rob as full member of the pride.  I think the turning point was when I traveled a few weeks ago and Rob had to give Musette her twice daily medications while he was home alone.  

    Musette has cardiomyopathy and asthma.  Thank goodness for Pill Pockets which are soft treats designed to hide a pill inside.  For the brief period of time that I was giving Musette her pills the manual way last summer - shove them to the back of her mouth/throat and hope that she swallowed them - our relationship was becoming seriously strained.  Now, pill time seems to be a joyful event.  Whatever it takes to make the medicine more palatable, for humans or felines.

    I love my little family.  Rob and I and my three feline furbabies.  Each member of the family supplies important support, comfort, caring, and love to one another.  As someone who lives with chronic disease and who battles anxiety and depression, I benefit greatly from my relationships with the cats.  

    They get me out of bed in the morning to feed them.  They don’t care if I’ve washed my hair or showered.  They help me stay cognizant of the time of day with their impeccable internal meal-time clocks.  They will keep me company when I am just wanting some quiet time alone so that I’m not totally isolated.

  • The connection I have with my pets helps me to battle both the multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.  I can’t imagine life without my pets.  In talking with some other MS patients recently, the topic of what people have given up due to MS arose.  Several ladies mentioned that the one thing they refused to give up were their pets.  I whole-heartedly agree.

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    What are the things which you refuse to give up due to MS?


    Lisa Emrich is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers.


Published On: March 17, 2013