I had a panic attack just the other day.
I've had them before, so it didn't really come as a surprise. However, I struggled to wrangle this one in and calm down for a couple of reasons. It was the first one I had had in a long time, and it was incredibly frustrating to deal with for that reason.
As I sat alone in my bedroom trying to breathe and stop the tears, my little anxious friend, my cat, came running into the room. He made a deep noise in his throat, as if to warn me he was entering the room, then jumped up onto the bed with me. He sat there for a moment, scanning me, as if to see what was going on. When our eyes met, he moved forward and sat in my lap. He instantly started purring and pushing his head against my hand. I soon realized he wanted me to pet him.
As I stroked his body, his purrs became more and more pronounced. But I found that each time I pet him, my breathing was slowing down. My heart rate was decreasing. My cat, who gets skittish and anxious whenever there's a small commotion in the house, was helping me through my own anxieties. I continued to pet him as his purrs continued and my worries subsided.
After a few minutes I started to feel better and I started to walk out of the room to pace around the house for a bit. That's something that always makes me feel better. He was quickly on my tail, and he even let me scoop him up and hold him. He continued to purr and look at me with concerned eyes. For the rest of the evening he stayed close to me. I'd even occasionally catch him watching me. He slept particularly close to me that night. I couldn't believe that he was really looking out for me like this in my time of need. It was incredible. The relationship you can have with a pet is truly incredible.
On paper it may look like I rescued my cat by adopting him from a shelter a year ago. But in reality, he's really been saving me.