We like to think of our pets as the most beautiful, understanding, deeply affectionate beings we would give up the world for (hoping they’d do the same in return). But in reality, cats are known as notorious a-holes, totally self-absorbed furballs who shamelessly occupy your bed, your sofa, and your life.
Dogs, even though sometimes easier to get along with, have plenty of soft spots. Like, we all know how easy it is to bribe them and become their favorite hooman just by giving them a bite of your cinnabun. Meaning they may swap you for your jerk neighbor who keeps sneaking their trash in your bin.
But it’s time to restore our faith in the empathy, kindness, and sheer wholesomeness of our beloved pets. When someone asked “What's the kindest thing a pet has done for you?” on Reddit, answers started pouring in, with touching real-life stories from pet owners who had their pets to get them through hard times, family drama, and depression.
And it totally proves that just because your cat doesn’t always meet you excitedly at the door, that doesn’t mean it doesn't care about you. They will be here when we need them the most and that's what really matters.
I was going through a bad break-up and had all the classic heartbreak signs: loss of appetite, bad sleeping patterns, lethargy. If I fell asleep on the couch, my dog would (try to) pull a blanket off the back of the couch over me. If I didn't eat, she would either drag me to her full bowl or wake me up by dropping kibble on me. If I slept too long, she would drop toys on my face. Up to and including her favorite Chewing Rock. Which was a fist-sized rock she liked to chew on.
I miss her.
I had an aunt who loved yellow roses, but she passed away in 2013. We were very close before she passed and I was devastated. This is important.
Six years later I was in a bad place. My medication for my mental illness wasn’t working so I was spiraling pretty hard. I have a dog, a mutt who I’ll call Rosy for this story. One day I was taking Rosy for a walk and contemplated how I would commit s**cide. We were walking through the woods near my house and I let her off leash. We live in the country so no leash laws or high chances of running into anyone else. I was mentally writing my note and deciding my affairs when she came back to me, carrying a yellow rose. I have no idea where she found it, but it was just the flower and leaves and no stem. After that she stuck to me like glue, which was unusual since she usually did her own thing. She even cuddled up to me that night. After that I decided I couldn’t leave her, because she cared so much and something must have happened for her to bring that rose to me. My mom even had a tattoo of a yellow rose in remembrance of my aunt. She saved my life, and I don’t know if she was even fully aware. But she did, and now I’m happier than ever. She’s a happy four year old now, and I’m happier than ever. Thank you, Rosy, for being my best friend and partner for the last four years of my life, and my savior for the last two.
Back when I was rather trapped in an abusive relationship(seriously, he would threaten to kill me, and getting out took help), I was sobbing once after one of my exe's abusive episodes and his cat came up to me, put her paw on my cheek and started licking my face and purring for me, basically being the best mama cat she could be for me at that moment. I still tear up thinking about it.
The world without our beloved furry friends would never be the same. And it’s all thanks to the human-animal bond which is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and pets that is nurtured by behaviors essential to the health and wellbeing of both. An abundance of studies have shown now and again that people who own pets lead healthier, more fulfilling, physically active, and emotionally stable lives.
I had a parrot and got dumped by this girl and was heartbroken. Granted I was only 14 at the time so I just started crying.
That bird flew down to my bed, ran up my arm and stared giving me kisses and wouldn't stop till I broke out laughing then it joined me.
His name was Elvis, he was my buddy for about 24 years and always was at my side when I was down.
When I was pregnant my cat would just lay across my belly, he started this before I even knew that I was pregnant. Every once in a while he would lick my stomach. When I miscarried he moved up to my chest and would lay his head right over my heart. It’s been years but he still does it. It makes me cry sometimes but I know he had been excited about my pregnancy.
I had a pet rat once, she was the sweetest thing. Of course, some people don't like rats because they think they're mean and dirty and things like that, but whenever I hear that I tell the story of the one time my rat bit me. I was giving her a small piece of carrot as a treat, and she was so excited that she missed the carrot and barely put her teeth on my finger instead, she didn't bite down or anything, but I guess she realized that she almost bit me, so she then proceeded to lick my finger instead, like she was apologizing for almost biting me.
She was a really good rat.
So to find out more about this wonderful connection we share with our animals, Bored Panda reached out to Monique Udell, an associate professor of Animal and Rangeland Sciences at Oregon State University. Monique is also a director at the Human-Animal Interaction Lab that researches canine-human interactions and cognition.
“We often talk about dogs as ‘Man’s Best Friend,' but actually cats now outnumber dogs as pets in many countries, highlighting the love many humans have for them,” Monique explained the common term “Man’s Best Friend.”
My dog legitimately saved my life. Long story short I was 11 and walking him along the road. Me not paying attention didn't see/hear the car coming at me around 60mph cresting the hill. He pulled on the leash so hard I fell over. The car missed by a few inches. F**king loved that dog...
My dog had been taught to shake. So when I held out my hand with the intention of giving myself another round of scars she did what she was trained to do and put her paw in my hand. I’ve never harmed myself since. I think she saved my life.
I have a rescue dog, shes half great dane and half English bullmastiff female. We live in the boonies on about 23 acres and there are lots of coyotes at night. I'd only had her about 6 months and one night I was awakened by her. My initial thought was that for some reason she'd gone crazy and was going to attack me as she was on top of me making the most terrifying noises you've ever heard. I quickly realized that she was crouched over me protecting me from the coyotes outside. I was very humbled by her bravery, she always puts herself between me and anyone she doesn't know yet she's incredibly gentle and my children adore her but she watches always
One of the most obvious and popular ways of showing our mutual bond is sharing pet pictures online. It’s no secret that animal-related content is the power engine of the internet, and many viral videos and photographs include an animal in one way or another. “It is clear by their online presence that many people find cats cute,” said Monique and added that it’s partially due to their retention of juvenile traits into adulthood (one hallmark of domestication).
When I was sick with C19, the cat we took in off the street stayed with me every second. When I would get up to get to the bathroom, he'd follow me down. And then come right back up with me. Racing past me and waiting at the top of the stairs. When I began to recover he'd follow me to the basement when I have my gym equipment, and stay there on some boxes until I finished and managed my way back up. He has avoided stepping on my DVT leg from even before I knew I had the clot. And now he comes and "gets me" at 8:30 every night to remind me to go to sleep. I've noticed on the days that my daughter is particularly anxious about her classes, or college decision stuff, he stays with her. He's kind of like a little "dog" Which might be why our dog, who can no longer make it up and down the stairs doesn't like him
I used to have a rescue tuxedo girl. When I had the flu and didn't eat for 3 days she worried about me. So she went out and got me a snack. I woke up to a plump little bird and a very proud, concerned cat on my bed.
Just existed. When I moved schools my sophomore year my mom got me an old man cat named jack. He was the one I talked to after and before school. He was the one who waited for me by the door when I got home. He was the one who cuddled me at night making sure I wasn’t lonely or cold. He never left my side as long as I was home and it did more for me than words can express. When you’re a confused teenager who’s whole world was just turned upside down due to your mom moving in with her a-hole boyfriend, all you want is a friend and that exactly what he was. If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have woken up in the morning for school/work. I wouldn’t have tried. I wouldn’t have cared. He sadly passed away last month but I’ll never forget how he changed my life. You’ll never truly understand how great of an impact an animal can have until they’re gone. I’ll never meet another cat like him. Rest In Peace Jacky boy.
.According to the professor, “Cat owners share pictures of their own animals much like they would photos of their children—in fact, the term pet parent has become increasingly popular over the years,” she said. However, she added that “owners may be even more inclined to post pictures of their pets (versus children) online because they may perceive less of a need for privacy on the part of a pet.”
I was going through a bad break up when i was 22. This girl CRUSHED me. It sounds kinda silly now but then i thought my life was over. I was in my bed a crying blubbering mess, I just wanted the pain to stop I felt like a shell of my former self. So i got in my nightstand drawer and took out a 120 count bottle of Tylenol or the generic form. I opened the bottle filled my hand with 10-15 (I was planning on taking a few hand fulls).. I dont know why but i stared at the pills for 20 seconds contemplating what i was about to do, when my dog jumped on my bed and sort of nuzzled my arm with his snout and made most of the pills fall out. Then through the tears i looked at him with his big brown eyes. It was almost as if he was telling me........Hey big guy, I know your sad, but I'm here for you. and I love you. Maybe it was his big brown eyes, maybe it was body language i dont know. but just couldn't do it after seeing how he looked at me. I know he probably had no idea what i was about to do, Im sure all the knew was that i was sad. However i knew with a friend like that by my side i would get through it. I did get through it. I am glad i was able to, because i became a lifeguard the next year and have saved alot of GIDs (guests in distress). I had the opportunity to make a difference in other peoples lives because of him. I had to put my pup down 2 years ago but ill never forget what he did for me. He saved my life just by being mans best friend.
I survived stage IV cancer and a bone marrow transplant. Often I would have a hard time sleeping because of the steroids I was on w/ chemo. I would go upstairs to the den and would see some random sad commercial, or a poignant scene in a show/movie, and I would silently cry. I don’t know why silently, but my dog Fry always came up; without fail. He would sleep on my tumors during my treatment. I’m not religious, but if there are angels, Fry was one.
My mom had died two nights before and for some reason I thought it was a good idea to sleep on the bathroom floor with no covers no pillows. My cat scratched on the door to come in with me and slept on my legs all night and kept me warm. Never did sleep with me before or since. I miss her. Had her 15 years.
Interestingly, “We now also know that bonds that cats form with their owners can be very similar to the bond between children and their parents and that their social behavior is influenced by their upbringing and human behavior towards them,” explained Monique, proving that it’s true that cat owners often perceive themselves as moms and dads.
Saved my life.
When I was a baby my aunt was on her phone not paying attention at all and baby me was crawling on our deck and then all of a sudden I fell into the pool my dog Zoie saw and began to bark like crazy until my aunt came over and saw me drowning. I was told I was under the water for 10 minutes and the doctors said I wouldn’t make it but I survived and it’s all thanks to her I literally wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her.
My cat stayed In bed with me the entire time I had COVID. I was shocked because he’s usually an a-hole.
Whenever I was sick my cat would be right there with me or very close by. I felt like she was very protective of me. Either that or she was waiting for me to die so she could eat my remains.
One of my cats stayed by my side everywhere I went the first few weeks after my mother died in February. It was like she knew I was hurting beyond belief and just wanted to make me feel better. Same cat has stuck to my 5 year old like glue since my mother in law passed last month (2021 has been a real s**t year for my family so far). My 5 year old is struggling with the loss of her grammie so the my cat spending excessive amounts of time with her is a good distraction.
My dog’s kidneys were failing, and as a result, he stopped eating, and would not take his arthritis medication on top of that. The night before I had to bring him in to cross the rainbow bridge, he somehow mustered up enough strength to grab one of his favorite toys (a toy crab) and left it by the foot of my bed while I was sleeping. Dexter was the best bulldog, and that final gesture still tugs at my heartstrings.
I have had sleep paralysis episodes at least since I was 7 (still get them to this day). My mom's dog Sugamama (a shih tzu) basically slept in my room during my gap year when I stayed with my mom. Whenever I would have a SP episode, she would lick my face and hand to wake me up and snuggle with me after I woke up.
I really appreciated that; if you've ever had SP, it's such an isolating and jarring experience (especially if you're having them at least once a week), and I was thankful to have her comfort. Part of the reason I want a dog now, but the circumstances aren't right currently.
My dog had to pee in the middle of the night and he did it in the bathtub instead of on the floor. I thought that was really sweet.
just before christmas, my mom’s close friend passed away after a battle with cancer. she was a beautiful person, too young to have gone. i think about her and her husband and children often, i can’t even imagine how her family must feel. on the evening i got home from the funeral, my boyfriend had brought his dog, which was a sweet surprise. i was still crying. normally his dog gets super excited when he sees me, but he immediately sensed something was wrong and became calm. he sat with me and leaned against me as i cried, didn’t leave my side. they both supported me until i was able to breathe again. it was such a bittersweet moment.
There was a stray dog outside my home so basically i fed him for 2 days and next morning he started following me when I walked toward my school (15 min walk) so at one point he stopped at the entrance gate of the school , but incredibly after 7 hours when I got out I found him at the same spot I left him in the morning.
My dog didn’t want me to overeat so she nicely ate 2 steaks off the kitchen counter while they were marinating. Moreover she even licked up every spare drop so I didn’t have to clean up either. What a saint
I was sobbing my eyes out after my grandfather died a couple years ago and she (my cat) came up to me and just laid with me for hours. She didn’t move and just kept me company. It was nice to have that companionship. Even if she’s a complete pyscho sometimes, her sweetness outweighed that ten-fold.
I’ve had this large brown akita, probably about 95 lbs, female, i’ve had her since i was about 4. She lived to be about 11, when she was dying i was home alone and she was having trouble breathing and looked like she was in pain. i stayed outside with her trying to provide comfort in her last few moments but she refused to stay near me, she would struggle to get up and slowly walk away. i think somehow she knew what was happening and didn’t want me to see her pass. i know that sounds like a stretch but she was such an intelligent and loyal dog i could just feel it. a pets death never hit harder than hers.
First depression when I was 7 years old. I was sobbing at night and my cat went to lie against my face, licked my tears and rested his head against mine all the night.
I was in a bad state and was crying a lot . Suddenly my baby turtle climbs on my feet and keeps staring at me. I then pick him up and keep him in my lap,he still keeps staring. I begin to laugh and then he basically puts his head in his shell and sleeps lol.