Healing Through Service: 20 Ways to Help Others (and Yourself)

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Woman and a Kitten

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” ~Abraham Lincoln

A feral cat tempered my most recent bout with depression. I wasn’t seriously depressed, nothing like the debilitating times in my past, but I had a fairly strong case of the blues.

It was just before Thanksgiving, that time of year when people across America break bread with family and friends, and I was feeling sorry for myself.

I missed the gatherings we used to have when I was married. My ex-husband and I both loved to cook and every year we put together a gourmet feast for a group of family and friends.

This year I would be alone.

I live on the high desert and winters are harsh. Outside a sixty mile an hour wind was howling and a blanket of snow covered the ground. It didn’t help my mood.

When I opened the door to let my dog out to pee, I heard a high-pitched mewling. From the frozen hillside a scrawny white and black cat came crawling out of the sage. Its fur was matted and its ribs showed.

When I moved toward it, it retreated with a hiss. My own calico eats well, so I borrowed some of her Fancy Feast, a cup of dry food, and a bowl of water and set it outside.

Before long the cat was a regular visitor, but what was more gratifying is within a we…

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