Living with an Emotional Support Cat

Franklin Roosevelt Fluffybutt. He is a Turkish Angora, and I talk about him way too much. Frank is my Emotional Support Animal at the University of Central Missouri,  and I love him dearly. However, I do get some odd questions from people who don’t understand why I have him. In this weeks blog entry, I am telling you about my story with my Emotional Support Animal.

Editors Note: An Emotional Support Cat is completely different from an officially trained service animal, such as a guide dog or a seizure detection animal. Each case varies person to person and this is just my story. To find out more about specially trained animals, please visit adata.org

The idea of getting an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) sound odd to some people, but studies that just living with an animal can lower high blood pressure, stress, and loneliness. As a college student, sometimes I get all three at once. I found out about the option a week into the new school year thanks to another student who was showing off her ESA kitten, Orion, to our hall. After finding out that I needed to get a note from my doctor, I rushed over and explained my situation. This was the first time she had heard of an ESA in dorm rooms for college students, and she absolutely loved the idea. After turning in all the correct paperwork, I was ready to find a kitten.

When I was going about this process, a lot of people asked me if the school gave me a cat for a year then I gave it back. The answer is no! Frank is not rented out to me. I adopted him from my hometown No-Kill Shelter, and I pay for all of his bills. When I graduate, he will graduate too and come with me.

When I walked into the kitten room at the shelter, I was immediately in heaven. There were kittens everywhere! I had some crawling up my pant leg, some hiding from me, and some just sleeping. I sat down on the floor and saw this cutie in a corner.

Frank baby

Suddenly this cutie slowly came over to me and fell asleep in my lap. It was like fate. From that moment on “Cal” was known as “Franklin Roosevelt Fluffybutt”. At four-months-old he towered over all the other kittens and the room, but I loved his clumsy self from the moment I met him.

Living with a crazy, growing kitten in a small dorm room can be difficult, but I am able to make the best out of it. Every weekend I drive the hour home with Frank safely screaming in his carrier so that I can work, and then on Monday, I drive the hour back in the same situation. When the weather is nice, I put on his harness and we go for walks outside of campus.

Living with Frank has really relieved my stress when it comes to school. He can always tell when I am stressed out or just having a breakdown. Having him has made me a more calm, and relaxed person.

If you have the choice to get an ESA, I would highly recommend it.

Thanks for reading.

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