A 25-year-old woman credits her relationship with a malnourished cat for helping save her life. Ashley Ransley battled anorexia for years, and at age 20, weighed the no more than a 12-year-old.
At a critical point in her illness, with years of failed treatment behind her, Ashley adopted a stray cat that wandered onto her family's yard in Michigan. Weighing just three pounds, Ashley assumed the tabby was a kitten, but a vet later confirmed it was a full grown -- severely malnourished -- female.
As she nursed her new companion, now named Riley, back to health, Ashley found herself beginning to heal as well. "As I worked on rehabilitating her to a healthy weight, I was focusing less and less on my eating disorder," Ashley recalled. "I began to eat when she ate, share some of my food with her, and if I got anxious and wanted to purge or over-exercise, I would use her as a distraction."
"Both malnourished and slowly regaining our health, our connection grew to more than just pet-owner attachment," she added. "I didn’t really want to die, and I was getting better. I called her my recovery kitty."
Riley now remains a constant source of inspiration in Ashley's life. "(She's) one of my many reasons that every day I fight for recovery. I know I helped save her life, and I truly believe she helped save mine," Ashley declared.
Check out a picture of Ashley and Riley by clicking here.
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