Hello and welcome to recommendation number ten in Blogmas 2020 with I’m NOT Disordered!

Today, I want to do something not completely un-heard of for me; shed light on the importance of pets and ‘recommend’ them and maybe, even some Christmas presents for your furry family members!

Also, very proud to say that this post is in collaboration with Bandana Bowtique who I've had the amazing opportunity to design some Christmassy pet bandanas for! And they've kindly gifted you all a 10% discount code on any of their bandanas!

It’s no secret that I find having my pets (a lop-eared, Lionhead bunny called Pixie, and a calico rescue cat named Emmy) really beneficial to my mental health.

I barely remember the pets I had growing up; they were mostly Syrian hamsters, I had two Russian Dwarf Hamsters too and a gerbil at one point! But I was so young, and my childhood was so idyllic that I can’t recall them ever having some kind of impact on my mental health because I wasn’t really aware of its existence!

The last two pets I had at my Mum’s home were a Fish called Elvis, a Syrian Hamster called Butter, and a black cat called Saffy. While I was in the specialist psychiatric hospital over 100 miles away from home, my loved ones, and my pets; the Hamster and Fish passed away because both animals have a short lifespan. The cat, however, lived for just over twelve years and didn’t pass away until I was in my own home two years after my hospital discharge in 2014.

On Christmas Day in 2016, Saffy began breathing differently and on Boxing Day, my Mum called the Vets and took her to see them but had to leave her there so they could run tests. They found fluid on her lungs and drained it, before doing an X-ray and they found that now the fluid had gone, they could see a tumour on Saffy’s heart. My Mum and I went to the Vets and the Veterinarian explained that they could either drain the fluid every few days until eventually, they couldn’t keep up with how quickly it was building, or we could make the decision to have her put to sleep. Similarly to when I had the make that same decision for my Dolly, we knew what the right thing to do was. 

I bought my fluffy Maine Coon cat, Dolly, just eight days after moving into my own home in 2014, after two and a half years in hospital. And I was absolutely honoured and blessed to have her company until 2018… Three years into having just Dolly and I, we added Pixie to the family! And when we lost Dolly, Pixie needed to be comforted constantly, she’d follow me around everywhere and as soon as I would sit down, she’d come over and snuggle in! So, within a week, we adopted little Emmy so that we both had company and the enormous hole in our home could be somewhat patched up!

When it comes to Christmas, Emmy and Pixie are extra helpful – I think I have a ‘thing’ about being alone at Christmas… I mean, not just me! Anyone. Everyone. I hate the thought of anyone being alone at a time of year that is supposed to be so joyful and exciting!

Now, for the Bandana Bowtique collaboration... here's the Christmassy bandana I've designed and the discount code for 10% off ANY of their products is: IMNOTDISORDERED

So, why not reward our kind, furry pets for all the support and love they show us?

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