Day 8 #5ways2wellbeing – Rob Gee’s guest blog post

Our second guest blog post is one to make you smile – Rob Gee, poet, comedian and psychiatric nurse giving in to his softer side.

On his email, it’s saved as a ‘wellbeing based cat blog’, so I’m sticking with that!

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I’m living with two kittens through no fault of my own. A mate found them in an alley when they were a week old and my undeniably better half insisted we take them in. To make sure I had absolutely no room for manoeuvre, the RSPCA immunised them, gave them a medical, chipped them and presented us with, wait for it, castration vouchers. So it’s happy days on Planet Gee.

I’ve always liked cats and dogs equally. To their credit, cats are much lower maintenance than dogs, although they’re less than impressive in the event of a break in. These kittens though, have helped me address all five ways of improving my wellbeing. Here’s how:

1. GIVE. The great thing about giving a home to two moggies who were abandoned is that you have a very low bar for improvement. Even when the place is a tip and I’m listening to death metal in my underpants, it’s still better than the kennel. I tell myself that to mitigate the withering look they give me. It’s also made my family happy and that’s worth its weight in gold.

2. TAKE NOTICE. Most cats make up for a lifetime of being fat, pompous and unsociable by being comedy pets in their first six months. It’s Laurel & Hardy, WWF, Formula One and Grand Theft Auto all at the same time. They’ve come into my life just when I was in danger of taking things seriously, and for that I’m grateful.

3. BE ACTIVE. There are those that would argue that dogs are better for keeping you active, but they’re wrong. I picked up the fallen Christmas tree countless times during the festive period and all the overturned plants have been re-potted. I’ve been very busy.

4. KEEP LEARNING. I’ve been finding out loads about cats and what makes them tick, as well as the difference between “clumping” and “non-clumping” cat litter. It’s a joy.

5. CONNECT. This works on several levels. Firstly, other cat owners now see me as a fellow human being. Secondly, these particular cats are great at connecting with people: when we have guests over, they unerringly sit on the person who least wants attention from them. Third, and most important, is the quality time: apparently cat owners live longer due to the time we spend relaxing and connecting with our pets.

So I’ve discovered that having cats might actually be good for me. And whenever they knock a plant over, I gaze at the castration vouchers and feel a deep sense of happiness.

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About beautyandutilityarts

My name is Katherine Brown and I run Beauty and Utility Arts, an Arts and Health project management service. I have over a decade of experience working with vulnerable groups and individuals in roles including support worker, Supported Employment Advisor and Community Fundraiser for The Midlands. Now, I manage a range of Arts and Health projects involving carers, people using mental health and learning disability services and the over 50′s. I specialise in developing ideas, fundraising, full project management, consultation, workshop provision, sourcing artists, Social Enterprise, event planning, SROI and exploring sustainability options. Since beginning Beauty and Utility Arts in January 2010 I have worked on a range of projects including comedy workshops, placing public art into health centres, setting up a Social Enterprise, project managing Showcase Smoothie, developing mental health walking projects and running arts based reminiscence workshops for the over 50′s, all of which is detailed in my blog (www.beautyandutilityarts.com)
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