Cat with Anxiety Finds Comfort In Her ‘Emotional Support String’


When Pesto’s mom first adopted her, she was incredibly shy and skittish. She went through a lot before she was rescued and needed some time to settle in before she could feel completely comfortable. Luckily, her mom was more than willing to give her that space.

“It took a few weeks of tiptoeing around my flat to gain her trust, but we have been joined at the hip ever since,” Madison Holton, Pesto’s mom, told The Dodo. “Pesto was shy at first, but I soon realized that she just needed some patience and compassion until she felt comfortable enough to be a normal kitty. Everyone who has encountered Pesto has said that she is the sweetest and calmest cat they have ever seen.”

Pesto still gets anxious sometimes, but she’s found coping strategies that work for her — mainly, her emotional support strings.

“Pesto loves shoelaces and rarely will interact with any other object that isn’t ‘string-like,’” Holton said. “She’d pull them from my shoes or try to pull the string from my sweatshirts, so I finally just took one out for her and tied a … catnip toy around it. I noticed a couple [of] years ago that she would start carrying a shoelace around the house with her. She started off by bringing it to me while I was sleeping, and then I just started calling the shoelace, ‘Pesto’s string,’ or her ‘emotional support string.’”

cute cat
Photo Credit: Madison Holton

Now, Pesto always has a string with her. She has two that she rotates between, and her mom keeps a third as a backup just in case. The strings seem to bring Pesto comfort and help her tackle the anxieties of life. Pesto’s strings mean so much to her — but she’s willing to share them with her mom if it seems like she’s stressed and really needs them.

cat and her string
Photo Credit: Madison Holton

“I would be most stressed during my meetings, and I noticed that Pesto would go get her string and bring it to my feet,” Holton said. “At first, I was slightly annoyed because she would interrupt Zoom calls, but I realized that she knew I would smile and relax when she brought me the string. The tension in my jaw would ease, and I’d take a moment to remember that work is not EVERYTHING.”

“Her emotional support string deliveries were a daily occurrence that brought me so much joy. Sometimes, I’d pick up her string and try to play with her, but she seemed more interested in cuddling after a delivery. Pesto always made sure that I picked up the string. If I didn’t respond to the first string delivery, she would go get another one and do the process over until I took the break from work that I needed.”

cat and her string
Photo Credit: Madison Holton

Pesto is very aware of how much her emotional support strings help her when she’s feeling stressed or anxious, so when she senses her mom is dealing with the same emotions, she knows exactly what to do.

Pesto has been through a lot in her short life — but as long as she has her mom and her strings, there’s really nothing she can’t handle.

Source: The Dodo


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