The Importance Of Pets: Students share insight on relationship with pets


Au’s cat Winnifred, a Domestic Shorthair/Mix.

Written by Aranzazu Carreno

Junior Emmanuel Alfaro and Senior Vanessa Au both have cats and like many have been adjusting to the idea of staying home, allowing them to spend more time with their pets.

Alfaro remembers the day his sister brought home the small Siamese kitten. 

“[She] came home and brought a small white kitty and she said her friend’s cat got pregnant and this was one of the kids.” Milk, as he named her, would become one of the highlights of his days and a reason to smile. “I named my cat Milk because the first cat I owned was called Soup and, in his honor, I [want to] name every cat I have after some time of drink or porridge.” 

Like many, schooling for him can become a frustration, but he manages to cope with the help of his pets. “Milk is the only thing keeping me going right now,” he said. 

Besides Milk, Alfaro has a dog named Canoli (he names his dogs after cookies.) 

“This one-time Canoli was at the park with us,” he remembers, “and she saw ducks in a lake and started barking at them but we didn’t think much of it, then she jumped into the lake to chase them but instantly regretted it afterward.”

Au’s relationship with her cat Winny is a close one: her cat has won the hearts of her entire family, including her dad, who hated cats. She believes pets serve an important role in helping one’s mental health by being companions and helping relieve stress. 

“ I have so many favorite memories of her, but one of my favorites has to be when I first got her,” Au said. “This was my first cat and I had to do so much research on — food, diet, illnesses, and toys for cats — because I wanted to make sure that my family could afford a cat while keeping it happy and healthy. I adopted her at a local shelter but I had to schedule a meet and greet first.”

While pets are fun to have and incredibly adorable, it’s important to acknowledge that responsibility is a requirement. 

“Advice I would give to those looking for a pet is to do your research,” Au said. “Make sure that you have enough space for what kind of pet you’re trying to get, don’t just get a pet on a whim. 

“Also, make sure to find a pet that matches you and your family’s energy level. If you’re getting a dog, don’t get one that’s hyper if you’re a couch potato you know? Be sure to read the bio of the animal because it does give you information that is very important and of course do a meet and greet. Many animals are completely different in and out of their kennel or crate so take your time, there’s no rush at all!”