Deployments are stressful for both the service member and the family left behind. While a meow is not a replacement for a deployed service member, it can make life
apart less challenging for all involved. Spouses or partners are comforted by a cat to help guard the home front and provide a much-needed sense of security.
For children, a cat becomes a combination of sibling, friend and confidant with whom they can share fears about a parent’s absence. The very act of rescuing a pet through adoption makes children feel good, in addition to the positive effects companion animals have on their self-esteem. Much like with adult pets help children ward off loneliness, boost confidence and develop a stronger sense of responsibility.
On the most basic level, however, cats provide an opportunity to share something fun, positive and happy – an antidote to deployment stress.