Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Do you tell your cat your secrets?

As I type this, my cat is on the floor next to me. She is 14-years-old, in relatively good health and she still loves me. She follows me around the house when I move from room to room, she taps at me when she feels like I need to stop typing and pet her, and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to find her trying to sleep on top of me.

She also loves my son. I will catch her in his room as he plays...just sitting there next to him. And almost every day she rubs up against him to tell him that he belongs to her.

So, it should not be surprising that I often talk to my cat. And most of the time, I imagine her responses back to me. Lately, I have heard my son talking to her as well. (This didn't really surprise me as he is a bit of a talker.) But then I read about this study done in the U.K. which found that children were more likely to tell their pets their problems than talk about them with their siblings.

Two important things about that study on the above link:
  1. The study was linking children's relationship with their pets when faced with major adversity in their lives such as divorce, illness, death or separations.
  2. The study doesn't delve into why children turn to a pet rather than a friend or sibling.
I am betting that children talked to their pets more often - not just when facing major problems at home. And I also suspect we can take an educated guess as to why children turn to their furry companions when things are bad. Pets are in the same boat as children - needing the help of others to survive. But more importantly, pets will never tell our secrets.

Did you have a beloved childhood pet you confided in? Share your story in the comments.

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