Woman was feeling sad and lonely — so her doctor prescribed her to “get a cat”

A pet’s love can make all the difference in a person’s life. They bring us joy, keep us company, and even have a number of proven health benefits.

When one woman was feeling down, her doctor had a very unusual prescription: to get herself a cat. It turned out to be just the cure she needed.


Robin Sipe, a 67-year-old woman from Virginia, has been going to see pulmonologist Earl D. King for the past 15 years. According to the Washington Post, the doctor helps treat her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

But during one trip to the doctor last month, Robin’s problems had less to do with her breathing and more to do with her loneliness. She opened up to Dr. King that she was feeling depressed after her cat recently passed away.

“I was very, very sad. Dr. King asked me why I was so sad because he was concerned about my overall well-being. I told him I had lost my beloved pet, a cat, and I was very sad about her loss,” Robin told WHSV.

At the end of the visit, Dr. King handed her a list of instructions for her care, including getting her flu and Covid shots. But he also included an unexpected prescription at the top of the list: “Get a cat.”

While it was an unusual request, pets can do wonders for a person’s physical and emotional health, so it actually makes sense for a doctor to prescribe.

“I actually wrote her a prescription to get a cat. Cats and dogs are important for patients for comfort or touch or wellbeing of their cardiovascular health, lung health,” explained Dr. King.

King also told the Washington Post that he grew up on a farm surrounded by “herds of cats and dogs,” so he knew firsthand what a “wonderful experience” it could be.

Robin took her doctor’s orders to heart, and it led to an adorable new friendship. After leaving the doctor she went to a farm to pick up some produce, and a unique black-and-white kitten caught her eye.

“She was from a litter of five, and she was missing her front left paw,” Robin told the Post. She knew right away it was meant to be: “I asked if I could take the kitty home and told them I could guarantee that she’d be safe and happy inside. They had four other kittens they’d need to find homes for, so they said okay. This sweet little kitten was mine.”

The kitten has brought a lot of joy to her life: despite having only three legs, she’s playful and loving. Robin named her kitten “Earlene” after the doctor who encouraged her to open her home to a new cat.

“He was compassionate, he was caring, he went the extra mile for me. And I hope that everyone can have a doctor in their life just like Dr. King,” she told WHSV.

Sometimes a loving pet is just what the doctor ordered. We are so happy for Robin and Earlene — it was truly meant to be ❤️ We wish all our doctors gave us prescriptions like this 😸

Please share this story if you love animals! 🐾