This is the story of how my cats came into my life like angels, & helped me recover from my demons

By Akriti Niti Guha

The story of my substance abuse goes back to when I was 17 years. I struggled to cope with my self-destructive patterns for almost eight years after that. There were countless rehab attempts and relapses. I lost many of my childhood friends. That’s when I decided that I had had enough.

To be honest, it was a difficult and confusing time. Like most addicts, I felt alone and felt like I had no one to talk to.  I was in a job that I hated. I had started experimenting with psychoactive drugs like MDMA and Mephodrones. I had lost all track of time and money. It got to a point where I lost 13 kilos in about 2 months and started getting terrible nose-bleeds and my health was taking a turn for the worse.

I was shaken. Then, I decided to abstain. This time, I wanted to do things on my own. I had never, in the past, had success in abstaining from hard drugs without professional help. But I took the decision to stop harming myself. This was in no small part due to the support and care of my partner and my family.

I quit the job I loathed. At the same time, I started focusing on things I was passionate about. Art was one of those things. I taught myself the basics of graphic design through online tutorials. Things were moving forward in my life. However, I couldn’t get rid of the constant fear that I’d fail again and relapse.

It was around then that time I found myself on the internet and social media, looking at cat videos for hours and was taken back to my childhood and how I felt playing and caring for tiny furrballs. I had always had cats and dogs growing up and knew for a fact that having a pet is such a fulfilling feeling. Yet, I was scared and not just because I was getting two lives home but because I could hardly take care of myself, let alone two kittens! My partner and I discussed it and decided we’d see this through.

I still remember the date that I adopted my cats, Yoda and Storm. It was the 6th of November, 2015 and that day was a red-letter day in my life. Since the very first day that they came home, my cats became my first priority. I started taking a deep interest in their behavioural patterns. I was making sure that they got the right nutrition and medical care.

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Akriti, cuddling with her adorable ginger coloured cat Yoda

 

I found myself understanding and loving them unconditionally. Yes, even when they would break my favourite (and expensive) lamp.

Adopting a cat is a lifetime commitment, but it so worth the payoffs that you get. These are just a few of the things that my cats have taught me:

  • I learnt about Unconditional love: My cats never cared about what happened in my past or that I was an addict. They loved me unconditionally from the day they came home and still do. I never imagined having a healthy, loving relationship ever but here I am, with Storm purring on my lap while writing this.
  • I started laughing and loving life: My cats taught me how to have fun, enjoy life and the moment as it comes. Gradually my family and friends became a part of my life again. Yoda and Storm spread happiness, laughter and cat hair everywhere they go!

 

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Two adorable peas in a pod, cats Yoda and Storm, cuddling together
  • I became more responsible: I had lived most of my life in and out of home, and crashing at different friends places. The past three years, Yoda & Storm taught me how to adult. They are my motivation to keep fostering and to keep helping the cat community in any way I can. They also helped me maintain a routine and gave me the discipline I lacked. That helped my recovery the most.
  • My stress levels started to decrease: Whenever I had a bad day and felt hopeless and down, I’d go home and Yoda & Storm would sit on my lap, purr and head butt me, I’d pet them and give them chin rubs for hours and suddenly, I’d feel like I can take on whatever it was which was bothering me.
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Yoda, who teaches Akriti, the art of staying stress-free!

Adopting a cat isn’t for everyone so go through it only if you’re up for that kind of responsibility and commitment. Adopting Yoda & Storm changed my life completely. It’s been 3 years now that they have been by my side on my best/worst days and on some days are my sole motivation to never give up.

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The cat who ate the newspaper! The adorable Storm is stopping the humans from being updated on the latest goings-on.

If you would like to share a bond like ours and would like to adopt or foster tiny cats, you can get in touch with this online forum to adopt/foster cats.

Fans of Cats, Delhi : https://www.facebook.com/groups/850715891625822


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Akriti Niti Guha is a cat slave whose mission is to help foster, rescue, spay and/or neuter every cat in need, across the world. Her efforts are limited to New Delhi/NCR for now, but everything is possible when the feline force is with you. Akriti also runs a mad cap Cat Boarding and foster home and most cats leave her with five-paw ratings. Feel free to check out Purrfection India on Facebook : @PurrfectionIndia, Instagram : @purrfectioncatboarding or write to Akriti at akriti.n.guha@gmail.com
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