Adopted Kitten Alleviates Anxiety

For Caroline, a kitten named Egg Nog was the best medicine.

Caroline + Egg Nog

Caroline was struggling with anxiety. Then she adopted a kitten and discovered the healing power of unconditional love.

"We brought him home and he didn’t stop purring for an entire week — I thought he might even have some respiratory infection! Suddenly, things weren’t about me anymore, and my anxiety started to reverse."

Adopted Cat Egg Nog

When I was in college, I dealt with some pretty serious anxiety and was on the verge of an eating disorder in the fall of my senior year. Students at my university used to take trips to Greenville Humane Society as study breaks and on a random Monday in November 2016, I decided to as well. When I got to the shelter it was filled with orange cats — a rarity that I was super excited about. My mom is allergic to cats so I was never able to have one growing up, but I had always wanted an orange cat. I even have a photo of me as a 4-year-old with my aunt’s cat that I picked out from the shelter! I loved on a few cats that day, but then went back to school — because how impulsive would it be to get a cat, right?

On the car ride home I thought to myself, “I bet Egg Nog would be a good name for an orange cat,” which is exactly what I told my roommate when I got home. Her reaction was nothing like I thought it would be: “Caroline! You should adopt a kitten.” Impulsive, right? We got in the car, picked up our third roommate, drove to the Humane Society, pet every orange cat in the room, and finally landed on the one that would be my Egg Nog.

Adopted Cat Egg Nog

The name fit so well, the holidays were approaching and Egg Nog’s markings almost looked like a little brain. Not to mention his love of noggin rubs! We brought him home and he didn’t stop purring for an entire week — I thought he might even have some respiratory infection! Suddenly, things weren’t about me anymore, and my anxiety started to reverse. I started eating actual meals again and slowly weaned off my anxiety medicine. At the end of my senior year, I felt better than I had since high school.

Adopted Cat Egg Nog

I’m 24 now and I’m the cat lady amongst all my dog-loving friends, but I’m proud to be that; just like I’m proud to be Egg Nog’s mom. My cat saved me from myself and quite literally is the reason I wake up every day (5 a.m. breakfast call, anyone?). I thank the Greenville Humane Society every day for the work they do in our community and for their ability to match people with their very best friends. Thank you.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Caroline won Greenville Humane Society in Greenville, South Carolina a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.