#SinfulSunday: Being Vulnerable (It’s Hard To Do)

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I’ve been thinking a lot about ways in which I feel vulnerable and the actions I take to try and protect myself from getting hurt, or simply from feeling unpleasant emotions. I try my best to be open and honest on my blog, and I am … for the most part.

There are elements of my past that are extremely relevant to who I am as a person, why I live the life I do and why I have this blog. They’re not horrific or overly traumatising, but they are the most vulnerable pieces of my story and it hurts to tell them. The truth is I judge myself for that. Even though though I find the courage to be vulnerable in others a beautiful and inspiring trait. 

While this may not seem that relevant for Sinful Sunday, there is a reason I chose to share today. I have been lurking here for a long time, and I am always astounded by how raw and honest many of the images are. Part of not wanting to be vulnerable is making sure my pictures that I share online are very much ‘an image of me’. While I’m not tech savvy enough to do lots of photo-shopping, I am persistent enough and vain enough to make sure my pictures look the way I want so I can portray myself in what I deem to be ‘the internet me’.

In the interest of full disclosure even this week’s image isn’t the me you get first thing in the morning, or the puffy eyed, tear streaked me who has no idea why she’s crying (or does know but is too scared to admit it) or the me that sleeps with the light on sometimes because I’m terrified of my persistent nightmares.

I’m sharing this today because I want to work on being less afraid of admitting some of my truths, not only to others but to myself and to take the opportunity to say how inspiring and touching many of the posts for Sinful Sunday are on a weekly basis, as well as being incredibly sexy.

Please do take a moment to follow the lips to the rest of these weeks Sinful Sunday images and when you find one you love leave a nice comment and show your support to the awesome participants.

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Who else is being Sinful this Sunday?

Cuckolding. It’s Not Completely Cuckoo!

Cuckolding. Is It What You Think It Is?

The dictionary definition of a cuckold is, ‘the husband of an adulteress, often regarded as an object of derision.’ In terms of cuckolding as a kink or Fetish there is a lot missing from that sentence to get a clear picture of why people enjoy cuckolding with the kink community.

I’m going to start with the term adulteress. Adultery is defined as extramarital sex that is objectionable on the grounds of social, religious, moral or legal grounds. In terms of consensual cuckolding as part of a kink lifestyle, I don’t think many people would identify themselves as an adulterer. While society may class any extramarital sex as adultery, when the sex in question is strengthening or adding to your marriage or long term relationship, it doesn’t really come under the same category as infidelity.

There are many branches of non-monogamy, some of which are more familiar overall than others, but all of which are misunderstood by anyone not well versed in them. Cuckolding is no different. Within the kink community anyone who is engaged with cuckolding, if doing it in a healthy manner, will have consent from all parties involved, boundaries and/or limits they adhere to and lots of communication.

There are as many ways to conduct a cuckolding relationship as there are people into it. It isn’t one size fits all and we shouldn’t assume everyone does it for the same reasons. Yes many men who identify as a cuckold will be into humiliation and that will be huge part of the dynamic with his partner, however many men will not engage in the humiliation element of cuckolding and their dynamic will focus on other aspects that cuckolding can encourage.

The paragraph above was very gender specific, which is something I normally try to avoid, but I specifically went there because when most people think of cuckolding they think of a cisgendered heterosexual man, whose wife or certainly female partner is cheating on him with another man or multiple men. As with most, if not all kinks though, cuckolding does not have to be, and is not gender specific. People can be into cuckolding no matter their gender, sexuality or kink identity.

If It Isn’t Always About Humiliation, What is It About?

Validation of Choices – Have you ever felt pleased when someone complimented you on a new purchase? Be that shoes or car. Knowing someone else is attracted to your partner can cause that same feeling. That isn’t to say that this kind of validation is needed for people to love or be attracted to their partner, but it can certainly enhance arousal.

Power Exchange – Being stripped of your ability to have input while your partner engages in sexual activity, while you not only get none for yourself but may also be ‘forced’ to watch as they fuck someone else can be an extremely arousing situation for some people. It is worth repeating that these kinds of dynamics need clear negotiation and explicit consent before being embarked upon.

Sexual Arousal – For many people it is arousing to see their partner or hear about their partner being sexual with another person. There will be no more or no less to it than that.

Exploration of Taboos – Exploring and experiencing things we have grown up being told are wrong can be a really powerful sexual motivator. Cuckolding lends itself well to many people exploring a lot of societal taboos.

Escapism – As with many kinks, engaging in cuckolding will be a way of letting go and escaping the everyday for many people. That isn’t to say there aren’t 24/7 lifestyle cuckolds, of course there are. There are probably more casual cuckolds though who simply enjoy it when they can to take a step away from daily grind for a while.

Chastity – Lots of men are into chastity. Not all of them are into cuckolding. However, for some men into chastity one of the things that makes being locked away even hotter is knowing that other penises are free to fuck the woman that owns their very locked up cock.

Humiliation – Why have I have saying it isn’t about humiliation only to go and say it is? Easy, because when people think of the humiliation aspect they often get it wrong. Erotic humiliation can be extremely arousing and powerful form of emotional masochism. To engage in humiliation in a healthy and constructive manner you need to have oodles of trust in your partner, great communication skills and a really good idea of what humiliation means to you. Humiliating your partner without their consent is just abuse, fucking someone else to humiliate your partner without their consent is cruel not kinky. Being able to embrace your desire to be humiliated takes a lot of strength and courage, so it doesn’t necessarily correlate with the usual assumption of a cuckold being weak.

Cuckold? Really? Can We Have Another Word?

The origin of the word cuckold comes from the Cuckoo* bird’s habit of laying its eggs in another birds nest, therefore the unwitting bird will raise offspring that is not its own. Originally being used to refer to men whose partners were deceiving them by sleeping with another man, or men who were unwittingly raising another man’s offspring. With means that it is a somewhat imprecise term for many people who are into cuckolding.

IMG_7318.JPGAlternatives are thin on the ground though, and probably don’t provide many better options. HotWife lifestyle is probably the only other descriptive that offers similar activities but without the associated negative connotations of its roots being in infidelity and humiliation. However I am well aware many people would not feel it is suitable for them, and I am neither supporting nor condemning it.

*Because disclaimers are all the rage I feel obliged to mention that not all species of Cuckoo do this. I do not want to offend any non-cuckolding Cuckoos or any Ornithologists.

When it comes to terminology, there are some options but again I don’t think they feel like the right fit for everyone. Especially if gender specific terms are not appropriate or wanted.

Cuckquean – Female variant of a cuckold

Bull – Man with whom a cuckold’s partner is having sex

Cuckcake – Woman with whom a cuckqueans partner is having sex

What if you are the partner who is free to enjoy sexual encounters while your cuckold stays home or watches the fun in some cases? You may be a CuckQueen (note this is different to cuckquean), Cuckoldress or HotWife. Interestingly male versions of these terms do not seem to exist, so make of that what you will.

Surely If The Terms Don’t Fit Your Kink Is Something Else?

Yes and no. There is a specific element of cuckolding that you don’t get with other branches of non-monogamy or kink. While your partner is fucking someone else, you aren’t. You’re not fucking them and you’re not fucking anyone else either. Maybe you’re watching, maybe you’re sat at home alone or maybe you’re at work knowing your partner is getting their kicks anywhere but with you. Why someone is turned on or content with that might vary, but the specific nature of cuckolding means that you are not providing the sexual pleasure.

Perhaps if we saw more positive and honest examples of this particular kink we would be able to move away from the negative and sometimes incorrect assumptions that usually come with it.

Floss Is Wrong and She’s Ruining My Life

Wow! Sucks to be you then.

On a more serious note I realise that for people who live this lifestyle I may not be supporting the truths of how they view cuckolding and what that means to them. Unfortunately though no matter who you are or what your kink is, it is going to evolve and cuckolding is no different.

It is evolving and as such demanding people do it in one particular way is going to achieve nothing. The ‘one true way’ BDSM folk are dwindling, though still existing I grant you that, because their reluctance to accept new and/or alternative ideas makes them seem unpleasant and elitist.

Surely someone understanding, supporting and embracing something even if only from time to time is better than them having no outlet for their desires and being unfulfilled.

Before, during and after I wrote this I perused cuckolding forums and cuckolding groups on Fetlife and Reddit to ensure I wasn’t making any absolutely absurd claims. I do not want to misrepresent anyone, and I do not speak for the entire kink community on this blog, what I do want to do though is challenge people’s assumptions of a wide variety of kinks and try to encourage more acceptance of not only kink in general, but for kinks that may not be our own.

My blog mainly reaches people who are new to kink and are looking to learn and as such I try present my information in a way that is supportive, non-judgemental; and will hopefully give people a starting point for what may or may not be their kink. For that reason it may not match your own experience if you have been in the lifestyle for a long time.

TMI Tuesday: Crystal Balls, Being Too Nice and Falling In Love.

 

These questions are from this weeks TMI Tuesday. If you would like to get involved then follow the link below and you will find all the questions and information on how to get involved.

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If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, your future, what would you want to know?

Crikey, that’s deep. I think what I’d like to know most of all right now is if the things I’m working towards will come to fruition and if they will make the difference I hope they will. Not only for myself but the people I am hoping they will have positive effects for.

What do you value most in your sex life?

IMG_7293Well my sex life, is more of a kink life, or an intimacy life. What I value most about my physical interactions with Bakji that includes all those things is the honesty, the exploration and the connection it has given us. I am regularly moved by how far we have come and how wonderful it is that we have found so many amazing things to share together. This includes venturing into non-monogamy as well, and I also value the wonderful connections and intimate friendships I have made with some truly wonderful people.

What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

Wow! Scary question. I think this is something that will vary massively from person to person. For me it often depends who is making the joke and what their intention is. I realise though that for many people that is irrelevant and certain subjects should be left well alone. The topics that I really don’t find funny to joke about couldn’t triggering for people just by reading them, so I’ll keep this one annoyingly vague. I will say though that sometimes I had a totally inappropriate and dark sense of humour, which doesn’t always sit well with people, but being able to laugh at awful things has got me through some tough times.

If you had to move to a state or country besides the one in which you currently live, where would you move and why?

Well I love where I live, but as we all know the U.K is going a bit loopy at the minute and as much as I love the U.S.A they’re in loopy territory too it seems. Canada seems pretty sane at the minute, so maybe I’d give that a go. If I had to live somewhere else in the U.K I’d probably go with London, then I’d be near lots of my lovelies and we could go on more adventures together. Although it has been winter here for what feels like an eternity, so maybe I should pick somewhere sunny and glorious.

Are you too nice?

Definitely not. Don’t get me wrong, I am nice, and maybe I’m nicer than some people but I’m a million miles away from being too nice. Some days I really do gives zero fucks and I work with the general public which means I often want to scream in people’s faces. Usually I manage to smile politely and be awesome, but sometimes like last week, I have to tell a colleague to back the hell away from my personal space. So yeah, too nice is not a problem I have. P.S I’m still lovely, please still like me and my blog.

Bonus: Falling in love is _____ . (one word only)

Tough asks this week. I think for the bonus question I would have to go with the wordIMG_7292 ‘complicated’! I posed this question to Bakji, I was curious as to whether or not our thinking was similar and his response was my given name (which weirdly enough isn’t Floss). So he is adorable and I’m a big cynic. 

How Taboo Is Your Kink? And Why Does It Matter?

How Taboo Is Your Kink?

When we first start exploring our own individual kinks the vast majority of us seem to expect that we will be the only one into our particular kink. In reality I am yet to meet someone who is the only one with their kink. Which means in 3 years I haven’t encountered a single person who has a truly unique kink, in theory everyone I have met, either online or in person could potentially engage in their kink with another person.

An email from a #ProudToBeKinky listener got me thinking about taboo kinks, and how taboo our kinks really are and whether or not that matters. As always I think there are lots of strands of thinking to this. First of all what is taboo in the non-kink world is very different to what is taboo in the kink community. When you don’t have any other kinksters to discuss these matters with, it can be easy to assume your kinks are uncommon and therefore will shock others when you open up about them.

If you type taboo fetishes into google the first entry offers up:

  • Mecaphilia – Fetish for mechanical objects
  • Tickling Fetish
  • Squashing – defined as having someone sit on you chest
  • Scat Play
  • Electrical Stimulation
  • Golden Showers – aka urophilia, watersports, piss play
  • Sex Parties
  • Balloon Fetish
  • Diaper Fetish
  • Furries

I have had personal interactions, by this I mean conversational exchanges, with people who have between them had all but one of those Fetishes. The only one I have never encountered personally is Mecaphilia. While I admit that discussing any of these kinks over dinner with family or over lunch with colleagues is going to raise more than a few eyebrows and will likely lead to the individual opening up being unfairly shamed for their interests, within the kink community the reaction would be a lot different.

Most reasonable and kind kinksters will apply the ‘your kink is not my kink but that’s okay’ line of thinking to most kinks they do not have a desire to engage in. The exception to this would be if your kink is likely to endanger you or someone else, violates another person consent or involves minors.

Am I Saying No Kink Is Taboo?

Definitely not. There are kinks and Fetishes that for understandable reasons will cause people to either wonder if your reasons for engaging in them are safe, sane and consensual or cause someone who is into them to question their own personal beliefs, morality and state of mind. Many taboo kinks have political or social overtones to them than cannot, and should not be overlooked. I think it is important to both accept and understand why more taboo and extreme kinks and Fetishes might be challenging for some people to hear about and/or witness.

There are certainly some kinks that I would advise people to conduct largely in private unless they were certain the company they were keeping would not feel at best uncomfortable and at worse triggered by being exposed to a kink or Fetish that may have negative connotations for them. Interests that I would say often come under this umbrella for many people include but are not limited to race play, rape play and incest play. Also anything that Fetishsizes and glorifies people or parties that are largely condemned as abhorrent.

Just to be clear I am not saying you should be ashamed of or hide even the more taboo kinks, and I’m certainly not saying you shouldn’t engage in the with a consenting adult. Being mindful and aware of other people’s feelings though is not the same as hiding away and being shamed.

When I opened this conversation on Twitter a follower kindly shared Ugol’s Law with me.

Ugol’s Law will tell you that for every time someone asks the question, “Am I the only one who likes this?” that the answer will always be no. The law stems from the idea that we have more in common as human beings than we might think. It also suggests that once you start looking for like-minded people, you will inevitably find someone who shares the same feelings, desires, and kink as you do. – From Kinkly.com

So whatever our kink we there will be another person with the same interest. Why then do we find ourselves feeling like we are alone in our desires and why does the question of something being taboo matter?

IMG_7285In a group chat with friends I posed this same question and one of them hit the nail on the head with why this comes up again and again. When you haven’t found like minded friends and/or a like minded partner, you may as well be the only person with your kink. With a world population of 7 billion people the chances of you just bumping into a person with your kink at the local pub or at a work event are pretty slim.

Even when you reach the kink community there are definitely those kinks that feel common place, and it seems like everyone is doing them. BDSM, in its full form of Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and submission and Sadism and masochism, is often used as a blanket term for kink. However it’s quite possible to have a kink or Fetish you are really passionate about and not identify with any of the branches of BDSM. In that scenario I can see how opening up about your specific kink can feel scary even to fellow kinksters.

What is The Solution?

Find a community. This doesn’t mean you have to go to your local munch. Even though I do think this is a great way to actually meet like minded people and increase your chances of meeting someone who will engage in your kink with you. Online communities are also a totally valid way of connecting with people and for the more taboo kinks I think this can be a really good way to feel less isolated.

Also reaching out to people who seem open minded and friendly can often be a great way to share your kinks and be reassured that they’re not as outlandish as you might think. It might even be that they can recommend resources and/or folks with similar interests, even if they are not into it themselves.

Being prepared to start small can often be make or break in whether or not you get to live out your kink not only to its fullest but at all. When you have never considered a kink before being asked to take it to its most extreme is likely to fill most people with a variety of feelings, many of them will make the prospect of trying whatever it is quite daunting. Even those new to spanking, which is am extremely popular kink, are really nervous to give it a try, so being asked to cane someone until they before you’ve tried spanking is going to feel terrifying to most people.

Having some kink is better than having no kink in most situations. If your deepest desire is full on forced feminization, with wig, makeup and a full Latex sissy maid dress, but your partner is wary and wants to start out with lace panties and stockings, then go with that. People take time to find their own comfort zones, especially when it isn’t their specific kink they are exploring. Many kinks crossover though and we can find enjoyment through embracing our own kinks while indulging other people in theirs.

While acknowledging your kink and starting to explore it can often feel isolating and daunting, there is every chance that you are not alone and that you can and will find someone to engage in it with you. Patience, mindfulness and being proactive in a community with definitely help your chances though. If you have found this because you have you own kink or Fetish that you are uncertain about or feel alone with, please feel free to use the contact form to get in touch.

#SinfulSunday: When In Doubt Wear Red!

Self care comes in many forms. For me it is matching my outer me with my inner me. Recently they have felt a little bit out of sync so I needed to redress the balance. I’m not sure what is says about me that black and red is currently an accurate portrayal of my innermost being. I’m happy to roll with it though because I’m feeling fierce and fiery in my new colour scheme.

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“Do Your Squats

Eat Your Vegetables

Wear Red Lipstick

And Don’t Let Boys

Be Mean To You.”

This is my first time joining in with Sinful Sunday, and I have a long way to go to catch up with some of the seriously talented, sensual, seductive and imaginative photos that get included. Please do click on the link below the lips to see all the wonderful photos submitted this week and consider getting involved yourself.

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Who else is being sinful this Sunday?

Ten Songs That Give Me Sexy Feels

When Bakji and I get our kink on we don’t always play to music, but when we do I love the vibe the songs I enjoy add to the atmosphere. I know a lot of people don’t enjoy playing alongside music at all, but I’m always intrigued to see what songs make the list for those of us that do. 

Get ready to feel sexy, because these are my top 10 songs (in no particular order) that get my sexy motor running. I’m going to give you 5 that get me feeling dirty, mean and extremely FemDom and 5 that slow me down, and give way to the softer feels that our D/s exchanges give me.

Sick Like Me by In This Moment

Is it sick of me
To need control of you?
Is it sick to make
You beg the way I do?

I love this song so much. It is my FemDom anthem. When I put this song on I can feel my internal FemDom pulling on her gloves and heels and getting ready for action. It is so sexy to play to as well. Just to clarify I don’t think I am ‘sick’ for being into the things I am, but if it legitimately was a sickness I would not want the cure. Other In This Moment songs on my list are Adrenalize and Whore.

Perfect Drug – Nine Inch Nails

I got my head but my head is unraveling
Can’t keep control can’t keep track of where it’s traveling
I got my heart but my heart’s no good
You’re the only one that’s understood

Not only is this song super sexy and perfect for kinky play times, there is a Fetish porn video out there with this song as it’s accompaniment. It is beyond hot. This song gives me so many sexy images in my head.  Other NIN songs on my list are Closer and Ringfinger.

Personal Jesus – Marilyn Manson

Your own personal Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who cares

Something about Marilyn Manson’s music seems to ooze eroticism for me. Esepcially when he takes a decent song and makes it so much darker and better. Personal Jesus, You’re So Vain and Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) all feature on my sexy tunes playlist.  

Pony – Ginuwine

The things I will do to you
You and your body
Every single portion
Send chills up and down your spine
Juices flowing down your thigh

I am not going to lie … I love the Magic Mike films, Channing Tatum is fucking dreamy as they come, and watching him gyrate his hips and flex his muscles gives me literal tingles in the foo area. The soundtrack to Magic Mike XXL is awesome and this is one of my favourites. For anyone who finds the objectification of male strippers or the male form offensive, you probably shouldn’t watch the video below!

Lie – Black Light Burns

These animals, they operate
On jealousy and lust
I’m taking back what was lost
And I will not be denied

Not only do I enjoy the sexiness of this song, but also the video too. Not only is it musically sexy but it has certain words in there that trigger my kinky feels when used in the right context. I’m a big fan of the whole album this song comes off and another particular favourite is Cruel Melody which also features during sexy times.

Bruises – Lewis Capaldi

I’ve been told, I’ve been told to get you off my mind
But I hope I never lose the bruises that you left behind
Oh my lord, oh my lord, I need you by my side

Fair warning this song isn’t really sexy, or kinky, it’s about breaking up and missing something you had with someone. When I hear the word bruises sang so beautifully though I just go to a place of the feels.

Fall at your Feet  – Boy and Bear

And whenever I fall at your feet
You let your tears rain down on me
Whenever I touch your slow turning pain

I think most people know the original of this by Crowded House. While I love that version, there is something about the Boy and Bear cover that just puts a totally different spin on it for me. From beginning everything about this song just screams D/s dynamic to me. Not just from a kink perspective either, this song always makes me think about the intimacy of D/s and how it has helped me build a connection with Bakji in a way I never have with anyone else.

Wicked Game – Stone Sour

What a wicked game you played to make me feel this way
What a wicked thing to do to let me dream of you

I have always been a huge fan of this song, and the Chris Isaak original is glorious. There are so many covers of this song, many of which are really decent versions of it. There is something about the Stone Sour version though that just makes my heart ache. I think it’s the rougher, rockier edge to it. It’s less of a ballad and more, ‘fuck, that was a wicked game’.

Never Be The Same – Camilla Cabello

Just one hit of you, I knew I’ll never be the same
It’s you, babe
And I’m a sucker for the way that you move, babe

I’ve often said that FemDom gives me a high that is quite honestly addictive, and when I’m in full FemDom headspace it feels like something very palpable is running through my veins. This song reminds me of that feeling.

Starving – Hailee Steinfeld

I didn’t know that I was starving till I tasted you
Don’t need no butterflies when you give me the whole damn zoo
By the way, by the way, you do things to my body
I didn’t know that I was starving till I tasted you

I had no idea, none at all, that I would take to FemDom with such a fierce and passionate appreciation for everything it entails. It wasn’t until I tried it with Bakji that I finally found my feet with it, and once I did, there was no stopping me. Also there is fishnet sexiness in the video, so I’m definitely putting this in the FemDom feels pile. 

Those are some of my favourites but what are yours. I’d love to hear what your favourite sexy songs are, whether that’s for kink, sex or getting a romantic vibe on the go.

Mental Health Matters #4: It’s All About Coco

When I first joined the kink scene I was fascinated by how many cat people there were. As a lifelong dog lover I had never owned a cat and was somewhat baffled by why people thought they were better than dogs. That said I am a huge animal lover and will cuddle anything that will pay me attention, including non furry friends like snakes and lizards. So it’s not that I disliked cats, I just didn’t ‘get them’ in the same way I did dogs.

When my marriage ended I sadly had to re-home my dog, it was unavoidable for many reasons and made me so sad. Thankfully she was re-homed quickly and I was certain to make sure she found a good home. While I missed her personality and seeing her little face each day I did feel a weight had been lifted due to being relieved of an additional responsibility.

Please remember this blog post is about mental health, so it is important to me that I am honest. I don’t want animal lovers everywhere thinking I tossed her aside because I didn’t like having to look after her. I loved her to bits, but dogs are hard work and when you aren’t in the best state of mind, looking after yourself is hard enough. Add a toddler and a very energetic dog into the mix and things begin to become a struggle.

I missed the companionship of having a dog and thought it would be wonderful when I was asked to dog sit for my Dad’s partner. I was wrong. Somewhere along the line the long term company of dogs began to raise my anxiety levels. I still love giving them strokes and attention when I visit, and there’s a dog at Bakji’s house that always makes me smile. When I have to be their caregiver though I start to crumble into a big ball of stress and anxiety. This is noticeable to point Bakji told me I should decline further requests to dog sit, in his serious and stern voice, that’s when I know something is in my best interest.

When my Dad asked me if I could take a cat into my home for a couple of months I was dubious. I absolutely thought it was going to stress me out, but she used to live in my flat (though not with me, but I was known to her) and it was assumed her owner would be absent for a fair while (hospital stay) and I felt sorry for her being in limbo. So she came to stay.

What happened was a surprise to me. Her presence in my life brought me a new level of calm. The cat cuddles and the purring made me feel so much better. When she left a lot sooner than we had thought she would I honestly felt a little bit lost, add to that my son had decided he too was very fond of having a cat in the house, I felt there was only one thing to do … we needed our own feline companion. I am fairly certain she brought some kind of cat voodoo with her, working her witchy cat magic on me so that I would fall in line with the cat plan to dominate the human race and turn us into their food and fuss minions.

Voodoo or not though, I started to think about the right kind of cat for us. I decided a kitten was out of the question. As cute as they are I felt like kitten frenzy might not be what I was looking for. I wanted a grown up cat, who was affectionate playful and good with children. I started gathering information for local cat re-homing centres and we soon found ourselves having a wander round one looking at all the cats that needed homes. I honestly thought it would take us a few visits to find our new friend and was prepared to take our time to find the right fit, for both us and the cat.

What happened though was we found Coco at the first shelter we visited. The moment we approached her door, she jumped down from her resting place and came over to say hi. When we went in to say a proper hello she was interested and friendly and I knew that she was the cat for us. She has been home with us since January 24th and it has been such a pleasure having her make our house a home.

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How could I not bring this face home? 

She was an indoor cat before we got her, and while she has the opportunity to go outside now she isn’t that fussed, which means I have her company for most of the time I’m home. Seeing her little face when I return from work, or just having her wander into the room after a little snooze just lights me up. 

I’ve been having lots of deep thoughts about how I feel love compared to other people, and how I recognise it and whether I connect with love and affection in the way I should. Loving a cat has proven to be free from all that complexity though and as a result seems to have made it easier for me to respond to loving people in a more positive manner too.

IMG_6664.JPGI love sitting with Coco and brushing her, she is super fluffy and needs brushing daily or her fur gets all tangled. Providing her with all her daily needs instead of weighing down on me seems to lighten my load somewhat. The kind of comfort and happiness she has brought into my life is quite childlike and innocent in its nature. 

I think to anyone who doesn’t recognise how anxiety and depression can manifest, it’s hard to explain the mental shift having Coco has brought. I’d imagine that to many people this just sounds like the regular happiness of having an animal in your life. It has been more than that for me though.

Before I started taking the Sertraline prescribed to me by the doctor I felt like I was trapped down a deep, dark hole. I could hear the noise of the outside world above me, but I couldn’t find my way out of the hole to join in properly. The Sertraline helped me build a ladder, and step by step I started to find my way up, out of the hole and into the world. Every now and again I would find things along the way to strengthen the rungs of my ladder; exercise, supplements and healthy eating are a few of those things. Coco seemed to know a shortcut though. It’s as if she laughed at me for building a ladder, and pointed out there had been a door I could use all along, if I just knew how to find it. While I am still building and reinforcing my mental health ladder, I am also being guided through the door into mental well-being by my feline guide.

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Coco also helps with small human’s homework

To anyone who thinks cat ownership (do not tell Coco I said I’m her owner, it so doesn’t work that way with cats) sounds wonderful and magical, it is, but let me be clear, she is still an arsehole, like virtually all cats it seems. She has forced me to rearrange my house, meows at the most inconvenient times, great if 4am wake up calls are you thing and basically seems to view me as her human slave. She is so flippin’ cute though that I’m happy to do as I’m told and follower her training regime to get me to be a suitable human for cohabiting with a cat.

Financially there is an investment too. Many of our local shelters no longer work on a ‘donate what you can’ basis when you re-home an animal from them. They mostly have set fees that allow them to continue doing the work they do, so they can find the best homes for the animals in their care. There is also vets trips, cat litter and food to consider, amongst other things. It isn’t a decision I made lightly, but it is a decision I am so thankful I made.

As an additional thought, for anyone who might read this and has been considering or is now considering giving a home to a cat. Please consider a black one. Our local shelters are made up of somewhere in the range of 60% – 80% black cats at any given time. The ones that aren’t black tend to be reserved and re-homed far quicker. When I saw how many black cats were waiting for homes there was not much chance of me taking home any other colour. I adore my black cat and what she lacks in colour variety she more than makes up for in personality.

I would love to hear from anyone who has found animals of any type to be a positive influence on their mental health. Links to blog posts you may have written on this topic would be fab too. While finding a feline friend is what works for me, I know that for many other people dogs are absolutely their saving grace and I want you all to know I am still delighted by pooches, just in a different way these days. Bunnies, guinea pigs, snakes, horses, chickens, ducks, pigs, cows, goats and many other animals also fill my heart with joy. I just don’t have the space for them all, so it’s just me and my cute as can be Coco for now.