I woke up in a hospital, with swollen eyes and sharp pain in my chest. With a million thoughts causing confusion, I asked my mom, “How is Bella now? Has she recovered? To which my mom replied, “Bella died an hour ago”.
When my cat died, I felt a deep sense of loss. As if a significant part of me had been ripped away. I felt like I was in a fog, unable to think clearly. I felt helpless like no one could understand what I was going through.
I found myself questioning why this had happened and why it had to happen to me. I was unable to concentrate on my studies and I had no energy to carry on with my daily routine. The memories of our time together kept coming back to me which made me cry continuously for days. I tried to distract myself with other activities, but deep down this feeling like nothing would ever be the same again and that life would never be the same without my cat (Bella).
Attachment to pets, the bond between a pet and its owner is an important part of life for many people. Pets can provide companionship, emotional support, and even physical health benefits. Studies have shown that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than non-pet owners. They frequently have lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Additionally, pets can help reduce stress levels and provide a sense of purpose and security. Pets can act as an early warning system for intruders or other dangers at home. They can also provide protection in case of an emergency or natural disaster. Owning a pet can also help improve social skills. Pet owners often find themselves interacting with other pet owners in their community, which can lead to new friendships and social connections. Pets can also help teach children responsibility, as they must be taken care of on a daily basis. The bond between humans and animals is strong, and it is not uncommon for people to form deep attachments with their pets. People often talk to their pets as if they were human, and some even consider them part of the family.
According to a pet owner, when her cat gets sick, she starts to panic and also claimed that she cannot even imagine her life without her cat(Fluffy). She is the only person at home who is very attached to the cat and treats it like her family. Recalling an incident she said, “Once my family members got so frustrated because of the cat’s hair loss problem that they gave it to the neighbours, as I couldn’t bear that distance from Fluffy, I forced them to bring it back home”. Even the cat wasn’t happy without her and was unable to adjust to new people.
“She was the only companion I had at that time, as I was all by myself during Covid. I felt extremely devastated when I came to know she had been stolen when she went out for a walk on her own. For days I tried to find her but all my efforts were in vain as I was unable to figure out what happened and who took her. I use to miss her a lot because she was the only friend I had during my time alone, away from my family in another country”, said another cat owner.
In her interview, Dr. Saima, a psychologist explained, “Affection and attachment of a human being with their pet animal is very normal”.
Further added that nowadays pet culture is increasing at a greater speed. If we keep a pet at our home, it starts to feel as if it’s a family member and we create a bond unbreakable and we get used to its presence. And if any unfortunate thing happens and we lose our pet we miss it a lot because obviously it was a part of our life, we shared great moments with our pet and that’s normal. But if you miss your pet for more than three months and your grief of losing that part of your life exceeds more than three to six months, it means that you need psychological assistance, and you need to consult a psychologist about your condition. There may be a sense of dependency on your pet, and you may be coping up with a trauma or a bad experience. Maybe your attachment to the pet was a source of running away from something that you don’t want to face. This prolonged grief is not a good sign and can be dangerous to your life.
Yes, it is normal to get attached to your pet. Due to the companionship and unconditional love your pet gives you, it is nearly impossible to not get attached. A strong connection that can be both positive and negative. On the positive side, it can lead to a strong bond between the two and an increased sense of security for both parties. On the other hand, it can lead to unhealthy levels of attachment which may cause stress for both the pet and the owner. It’s important to remember that all pets require care and attention, make sure you’re prepared for the commitment before getting one. Along with that, you are ready to manage pet attachment in order to ensure that you and your pet remain healthy and happy.