A Thought for the Day for Black Cat Radio, October 2021
I’ve been hearing a lot about emotional support animals recently. In fact, I even saw a programme on TV this week which featured an emotional support hamster, which was a new one for me! Opinions vary on such animals and the need for them. Some are sceptical about them, while others insist they’re vital to help people suffering from mental health problems.
Of course, all pets can provide us with emotional support, whether or not we struggle with long-term mental health problems. I know that my pet gerbils cheer me up and I love stroking their soft fur; that is, when they will stay still long enough! Animals are a great gift to us, whether they become part of our family as pets or whether they’re outside living in the wild. They bring beauty, comfort, and friendship, which are all things we need as human beings. They also remind us of the goodness that exists in the world, even in the middle of our human problems. I also believe that we have a responsibility to look after animals, as fellow-creatures placed into our care by God.
I know that not everyone is able to have a pet at home or lives in a place surrounded by wildlife. But even in the middle of a town or city there are signs of nature everywhere, from birds of prey hovering above, to foxes slinking down alleyways, and you can always pet a random cat in the street! So, next time you need cheering up, can I suggest that it might help to look around for an animal to bring a moment of happiness and beauty into the day.