I can totally relate and agree wholeheartedly.
Research has also shown that a purring cat helps with meditation, as they purr in our natural alpha wave range, and they can also greatly help those suffering from mental and emotional trauma, depression, PTSD and more.
My cat Bear definitely helped me through my divorce, and he also helped me through the grief when our three elder cats died within a year, as a result of the stress of our breakup.
He also helped me greatly to be perfectly cool with not jumping directly back into dating, and instead waiting until I was really ready, which took nearly two years.
And today, at age fifteen, he is still my sweet and loving companion and familiar, adores my husband, and has welcomed every cat (and dog) that we've brought into our home, which currently includes two much-younger female cats and a male dog. He's absolutely the best.
After my mom suffered a stroke in 2004, she wound up in a nursing home, and the great part of that was that they had a number of resident dogs and cats that were allowed to roam the halls and join the residents in their rooms.
My mom had had to leave her cat behind, which was promptly taken in by my sister Carol, and my mom missed him terribly. I know that having the cats in the facility was instrumental in keeping her spirits up, and helping her to remain calm and focused on healing.
And I agree completely -- far more healing facilities should incorporate animals into their healing protocols, especially cats, and help save lives in the process.