Wasaga man finds cat more than a companion

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“It went for so long, I figured, basically, that I was just a miserable prick.”

However, he’s always had animals, and from the initial moment of his accident, they’ve become guideposts on his path of dealing with mental health issues.

The dog he had at the time became even more bonded to him, as have other pets over the years.

But Eddie, it seems, “is the real focal point,” especially when something triggers his thoughts to the accident, such as the squealing of tires, or the revving of a motorcycle engine.

“As I’ve gotten help, and found out more about PTSD, it’s interesting to see his behaviour. He’s always around me as it is, but if I’m having a really bad day, he’ll stick to me like glue,” Kergan said. “If I’m having a moderate day, it’s almost like I’m being watched — he’s never really far from me.

“His whole mannerisms change with my mood — not parroting my mood, but the total opposite, and it helps to pull me out,” he said. “It’s like the expression, ‘take your mind off something’; when you’re undergoing a mental storm of depression or anxiety, or anything and everything at once, it’s hard to get out of that — once that battle is raging in your head, it’s hard to pull out of.

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“But if you have something to focus on, even for split second, that’s all it takes to snap you out of the heavy part of the storm. It gives me that extra moment of clarity I need to take a deep breath.

The cat’s antics — and its preponderance to wearing bow ties — has sparked another creative outlet for Kergan: short anecdotes of life with Eddie that he shares on social media.

“It’s amazing to hear how much of a difference he’s made in the lives of others,” Kergan said.

For more on National Cupcake Day, go to www.gths.ca/2019-national-cupcake-day/.

The shelter is also hosting the Frosted Family Festival on Saturday, Feb. 24, from noon to 3:30 p.m.

For resources related to mental health, go to cmha.ca/ or call the Ontario’s Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600.

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