“Two years ago, I underwent a lengthy hospitalization for anorexia. It was a huge disruption having to suddenly take a leave from work and put a pause on my life for 3 months, and I was not thrilled to say the least. I had weekly visits from therapy dogs which I loved, because I was away from my family and friends and having that little bit of unconditional love when I was feeling physically and emotionally crappy was really special. One of my doctors noticed how much I enjoyed having the dogs around and encouraged me to think about getting some sort of furry pal when I got out. I knew I wasn’t ready for a dog yet (mostly because I’d only ever get a standard poodle and live in a shoebox), so I decided I would get a cat even though I had zero experience with or knowledge about cats.
When I got home in early April of that year, I came across the cutest little long-haired black kitten named Clover at a wonderful rescue organization in New Jersey called TLC. I contacted them to see what her deal was, and they told me she had been found in a car engine covered in grease on the streets of Newark. She had already been spoken for by someone else, but as fate would have it they never showed up. So I went to meet this Clover character and her foster family, and I instantly fell in love with her and her story and wound up adopting her the next day. I think we were meant to be together.
I named her Betty (full name is Beatrice Stevie Nicks Littlepiddles) after my beloved Aunt Beatrice. My Aunt Betty was a Catholic nun who ended up leaving the convent to marry a very wealthy man and live in Palm Springs. It’s one of my favorite stories and I felt it was fitting given Betty Littlepiddles’ humble beginnings.
Betty is the only cat I’ve ever really known, but she strikes me as more doglike. She’s extremely docile, flies happily on planes, gives high fives, and loves to be held. And every night, she snuggles up at my side in bed and we both fall asleep to the Fleetwood Mac ‘Rumours’ album. From the scrawny, 2 lb. orphan she was when I adopted her, she’s grown into a big, cuddly, 14 lb. ball of fluff. Betty came into my life during a precarious time, and I feel like we’ve gotten stronger together over the past two years. She has been a source of unconditional love and a constant companion as I continue to work toward a full recovery, which has been a difficult process. But in loving her, I’ve learned to love myself a little bit more.”
Christina Grasso is the social media editor at Stylecaster, an eating disorder advocate, and a diehard Stevie Nicks fangirl. Originally from a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania, she graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. In addition to her professional experience, she serves on the boards at Project HEAL and the Glam4Good Foundation, and in her spare time takes extreme measures to avoid the sun and kills plants simply by looking at them. She lives in New York City.