Cat helps owner through grief after her husband dies
A lung transplant was supposed to be the start of a new chapter for Adam Elm, who had cystic fibrosis, and his wife Deborah.
But the operation had tragic consequences when Adam suffered a stroke and died shortly afterwards, aged just 39.
His sudden death left a huge hole in Deborah’s life and she struggled to cope.
Attempting to rebuild her life, Deborah from Kentish Town, London, adopted cat Rosie, in the hope a pet would help.
No longer returning home each day to an empty flat, Deborah slowly found a way through her depression.
From providing a distraction when her loss seems unbearable, to cuddling up close when she struggles to sleep at night, Rosie has helped Deborah through the most difficult time in her life.
As Adam had been allergic to cats, six weeks after his death Deborah bought Rosie home.
The pair have now been enjoying each other’s company for a year.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk for Cat Week, Deborah says: ‘Rosie helped me by making me feel less lonely and by keeping me company.
‘If I went out she was always greeting me at the door distracting me from the fact that Adam wasn’t there.
‘She was always in the same room with me and she would sleep on my bed at night and wake me by licking my face and purring in the morning.
‘I also had someone to care for which meant a reason to get up and look after her, as I struggle with depression and anxiety.
‘She’s a big comfort when I feel low and I’m stuck at home and isolated, because of my mental health. And she does the cutest poses that make me smile.’
Rosie’s sweet antics have been noted by The Cats Protection’s charity which nominated her for its annual National Cat Awards.
They said Rosie beat hundreds of entrants to make the final three in the ‘most caring’ category.
Deborah attests to her beloved pet’s caring skills, saying she would recommend cat therapy to grieving individuals.
‘I think a furry companion is a great choice for anyone who’s grieving especially if they live alone,’ she says. ‘They need love and so do you.
‘And cats are a lot more affectionate and sweet than people give them credit for.’
Deborah adds that Rosie had been two years old when she bought her home. As the kitty was already used to answering to Rosie, Deborah didn’t see fit to change her name and so stuck with it.
Since taking to her so well, Deborah then decided to get another cat, Felix.
‘He’s completely different to Rosie, but equally loveable and adorable,’ she adds. ‘They get on pretty well now. It was a bit hard initially though because Rosie was used to being number one.’
‘I felt so bereft after Adam died and I thought it would be good to get cats now, so we could keep each other company. I am so glad I did.’
In honour of Catfest, we will be partnering with the festival to bring you seven days of the funniest, cutest, coolest and most amazing cat content.
Until Saturday 29 June, read stories about all things cats, including kittens abandoned on rubbish dumps to fantastic cat art, and everything in-between.
Catfest will include cat-themed literature and film plus live music, poetry and crafts. There will be rescue kittens, talks from cat experts, Instagram cats and an auction as well as cocktails, cake and much more. Tickets have sold out, but you can still get involved on social media.
Part of the proceeds from the event will benefit Erham Rescue and International Trash Cat & Dumpster Dogs to help cats and kittens as well as street animals in need.
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