Woman says rescue cat helped her depression and saved her life

Cats may have nine lives but one owner has told how her marvellous moggy has given up one of them '“ to save hers.

Kirsty with cat Peggy. Picture: submitted

Kirsty Oliphant had almost given up on life and was so depressed she attempted suicide. After being treated at a psychiatric hospital, she decided to try and find a focus to life and get a four-legged friend.

Within days of adopting tortoiseshell cat Peggy, now aged 18, from a local cat rescue centre she found herself with “a purpose”.

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Months of cuddles and companionship from her loving veteran moggy paid off and now the 23-year-old has started “to live again”.
Kirsty, of Dundee, said: “As soon as I met her, she jumped on my lap and I knew she had chosen me. Immediately we had a bond and that has just become stronger and stronger.

Picture: Ron Cathro

“She brought humour, fun and comfort into my life overnight. My life changed very quickly after Peggy came home with me.

“The despair lifted and having her by my side gave me a new sense of purpose and responsibility.”

“Peggy is special, because she is her. She’s just amazing. Everything about her is amazing. I truly believe she is one of a kind.”

After suffering years if mental health issues, Kirsty told how having Peggy has transformed her life.

Picture: Ron Cathro

She said: “I had depression and I am in recovery now and I believe this is down to Peggy. I did not have the motivation to go out or even get out of bed.

“Before Peggy, I was in and out of hospital with mental health issues. It was a draining and difficult life.

“Having Peggy gives me a focus on a day-to-day basis. Peggy is a fantastic companion. When I come home she’s always giving cuddles, she’s just great.”

Such is the rapid progress of her recovery, Kirsty has now started a course to study mental health nursing at Abertay University.

Picture: Ron Cathro

She said: “Before Peggy, I was in and out of hospital. Yet since she arrived I’ve not been back to hospital once. My life really has turned around.”

While Kirsty credits Peggy with turning her life around, the veteran cat owes her second chance in life to her owner.

Having been handed in to Cats Protection suffering from FIV, the cat equivalant of HIV, she struggled to find a new home before teaming up with Kirsty.

But now she has been awarded for her loving ways, scooping the Special Recognition award at the Cats Protection National Cat Awards.

Picture: Ron Cathro

Kirsty, who attended the award ceremony at London’s Savoy, added: “I thought my life was over but, thanks to Peggy, it is just beginning.

“I always knew how special Peggy is but this award means the world to me.

“I’m so delighted other people have recognised what she means.”

Cats Protection’s award organiser Kate Bunting added: “Peggy and Kirsty’s relationship is truly heart-warming and they have both given each other a second chance in life.”