Today I had to talk a Doctor into stating my cat was a medical necessity. It was to save me some money, but as we talked I realized how important she really is.
My Lila literally herds us like kittens. Years ago, even when she was a mere babe, if we missed an alarm she would howl and howl until someone woke up. She saved our collective butts at least 10 times that I remember.
We now have two younger kittens. If it is bedtime and they are not in the house she will prowl the house looking for them until we let them inside or she finds them. She always lets them eat first even if it's a treat such as tuna or stinky wet food.
At bedtime she begins to call me. When I finally drag myself to bed and turn the light off she walks up to my side kneads her little paws and lies on a pillow under my arm against my tummy.
My eyes were opened after a licensed psychologist wrote, "it is imperative that the cat remains part of their daily stress management routine.... without this companion the family's emotional needs will suffer and the family's stress and anxiety will likely escalate significantly."
Wow, what a way to put it. I have realized animals are such a huge part of our lives even when sometimes we just think of them as another mouth to feed. As for me, when I lie down to bed tonight I will know that beautiful Siamese under my arm, snuggled against my belly is as important as any friend I have ever known.