Never being allowed to have pets as a kid, I did not spend my formative years knowing the unconditional love of a beloved animal. I always liked dogs and cats, etc, even after nearly being bitten by a dog on the loose and having a friend’s cat scratch up my arm and hand for petting it. (The wrong way, I guess. You know cats.)
Until, years (decades really) a stray cat followed me home. Now, I have the babies and babies of babies. (They are all fixed now. No more kittens). But the love and joy they bring does the heart good.
There is a great deal to be learned from, especially feral, cats about trust. It can take years for a cat to forget bad experiences, not unlike humans. It is an honour to help them regain that part of themselves that will open up to another beating heart. Once again, not unlike humans.
Being kind to man or beast is the best way to more forward with a hurting soul. The giving and receiving of love is what life is all about.