How Ernest the Cat Saved His Owner’s Life

by Z Living Contributor

Get out a box of tissues, this is a tearjerker about a kitten. Despite its heart-wrenching makeup, this story is also about the power of pets and their ability to promote mental wellness. 

Writing over at the Daily Beast, Andrew Kirell recently put out a viral eulogy to his late cat, Ernest. The passionate message is layered with touching insights into the depression and crippling anxiety that plagued the writer before meeting his kitten. 

Also on Z Living: 6 Purr-fect Petting: 6 Tips to Train Your Cat

"Even mundane routines became terrifying," Andrews said of his anxiety. "I could no longer ride escalators without closing my eyes, tightly gripping the handrail, and feeling the woosh of panic take hold. I was convinced that one day I’d end up committing suicide."

Then he found Ernest. Andrew hilariously recalls that the tabby actually sprayed his future owner while bonding at the pet shelter. While the female cats in the room went nuts, Andrew decided he had been chosen and he took the cat home.

Also on Z Living: Living With a Pet: How to Keep Your Home Clean Naturally

From there, the story plays out by touching on the many tough moments Ernest helped Kirell thorugh. In a few particularly poignant recollections, Kirell describes how Ernest seemed to understand his emotions. When he had a bad day at work, the cat was there to make him feel better. Dark times, like when his cousin unexpectedly passed away, were made easier by the cat's presence and love. 

When you get a chance, read the whole letter, it’s beautiful. Also, when going through it, note the many examples of the healing power of friends and animals. There’s something so simple and comforting that happens when you find a pet, and this story is proof. 

Watch on Z Living: Finding Fido, where photographer and behaviorist Seth Casteel hosts plays matchmaker each week between a person and a pooch.

When can you watch it?! 

Stay tuned, Finding Fido premieres on Z Living this fall (we know, we know, we're eager to watch too!) In the meantime, we'll be sharing plenty of behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and yes, adorable dog pics from the set of Fido to keep you in the loop. Follow along and check back often

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