Growing up, my household always has some pets, starting from when I was five and got my first pet fish. Over the years, living with pets I realized they are very important to people's mental well-being, as they are able to comfort you when you are feeling down. Pets are present in your life to keep you company while encouraging you to become a better version of yourself. As I moved into my new studio in September of 2020, with my birthday slowly approaching, I knew I wanted to treat myself well this year with something that I will forever treasure. It wasn’t until a few weeks of living alone that I realized I had wanted to adopt a pet for myself. Have my own pet, that I would be the parent of. [bf_image id="q7jtr7-9ltdgw-2h0iwf"]
After my classes for the term began, I spent any free-time I had looking up all possible information and adoptions available to prepare for my decision. After multiple attempts of trying to adopt a pet cat from local shelters in the Philadelphia Area and being replied with “there is already an adoption in progress for this pet cat”, I decided to expand my circle of searching. I started searching outside shelters, beyond the city, and it was then that I ran across a beautiful black kitten with golden eyes. With my luck I was able to securely adopt him and give him a new home, renaming him very quickly to “Benzene”, as it’s the chemist’s life for me nowadays.
Being alone in a studio with a kitten that I adopted, I felt like a single parent. Every night he would begin crying from two am to five am, so my hours of sleep quickly plummeted, but I did not give up. It took about a month for baby Benzene to warm up and to come out from behind hiding in a new place, but once he did, he became the small bullet running around my small place, climbing up even to my lofted area that I didn’t think he would be able to get to. The experience and lessons I got from becoming a pet parent is one that I recommend for everyone, but be ready for challenges. Be ready to also have your parents probably on speed dial, since adopting a pet of any kind is like becoming a parent.
Months of living with Benzene, being the parent that spoils their children with endless amounts of toys and routines, I realized that he has been there in moments when I needed someone the most. Living alone in a pandemic with minimal in-person interactions due to the virus, and the majority of my friends working in health-related settings, having a pet was having a buddy to watch movies with, cuddle buddy while reading books, personal sous-chef for dinners, and a buddy to play games with. While I do call him my little Velcro-cat, the dependence we have upon each other is one that helped me grow into a stronger person today. In conclusion, I am one to say that if you are living alone and it’s getting a little hard or lonely at times, to invest in something (not necessarily a pet) that keeps you company and helps you grow, because looking back to this decision I made, I do not regret it one bit.