November 25, 2020 Misc

3 Reasons To Be Thankful This Thanksgiving

A kitten in a blanket

3 Reasons To Be Thankful This Thanksgiving


COVID-19 and Pets Reminder: Although there is no evidence pets can spread COVID-19, they can, in rare instances, contract the disease. The CDC’s holiday guidelines remind us that social distancing applies to pets too! Limit your pet’s interaction with those outside your household this holiday season.


For some, being thankful at Thanksgiving is going to be difficult, given the pandemic, the economy and unemployment statistics. But I am resolved to be thankful this year and to make the holiday at least a little special. It will be hard since one of New York City’s best events, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, is cancelled, and the turkey dinner will be shared by a smaller crowd than usual. Regardless, here are things I am thinking about to make the holiday special.

Thankful for Food

Food defines the Thanksgiving holiday. If you are looking to share your banquet with your pets, read a prior blog post on safe Thanksgiving food for common pet animals. If your table is full of seasonal bounty, remember that there are less fortunate animals than yours. If you can, donate pet food to your local animal shelter or maybe even your local food pantry. Many human food pantries stock pet food since food insecurity affects everyone in the household.

Thankful for Shelter

Many of us associate the Thanksgiving holiday with a famous Norman Rockwell painting from 1943. Freedom from Want is one the Four Freedoms paintings inspired by speech given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The painting shows a magnificent Thanksgiving dinner table and happy, smiling guests. If you are a stray cat, freedom from want might translate to a warm shelter during the upcoming winter months. For those living in a neighborhood with feral cats, a fun pandemic project might be to build some cat houses for those cats. The Alley Cat Allies website has a wide variety of homemade cat shelter plans ranging from elaborate kits to the easy, DIY option of converting a plastic tub with a lid into a warm, dry shelter for a thankful cat.

Thankful for Animals

Pandemic lockdown has reminded many of us how important a role our pets play in our lives. Our dogs have given us an excuse to walk outside every day. Our phones have filled with more videos than ever of our cats. These feline companions are now our co-workers as well. Research into the impact of our relationship with our animals during pandemic lockdown confirms this. In a survey of over 5000 animal owners, the majority said their animal provided considerable emotional support during lockdown. These researchers queried a Noah’s Ark range of animals and found no difference in the level of emotional comfort provided by any animal.  Fish, farm animals, amphibians, reptiles, horses, and of course, dogs and cats all provided emotional support to their owners.

So, this Thanksgiving, I will be thankful for animals because we can’t possibly do without them.

Tags: cats, dogs, thanksgiving,

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