If you find yourself feeling down, lonely, or just want to reduce your stress level and improve your heart health--take two kittens and call me in the morning.

Now, don't get all literal and take the kittens the same way you would take a couple of aspirin (remember kids, kittens are not meant to be ingested), I mean adopt a couple of kittens from Winnebago County Animal Services.

Why? Well, as I mentioned earlier, there actually are proven scientific benefits to being a cat owner.

Here are just a few, courtesy of MentalFloss:

They'll help you cope: Losing a loved one is incredibly painful, but one of the best ways of coping is to own a pet. Cats have been shown to help people get over their loss more quickly, and show less physical symptoms of pain, like crying. Despite the fact that they are only animals, cats serve as a social support during difficult times. People in mourning report talking to their pet to work out their feelings, since it is often easier to talk to something that won’t respond and can’t judge than to another human being.

Find a significant other: If you’re a single guy and you can’t seem to get a date, get a cat! A British poll found that 82 percent of women agreed they are more attracted to men who like animals. And while having a dog will do wonders for your dating life, a whopping 90 percent of single women said that men who own a cat are “nicer” than other guys. Listing that you own a cat on your dating profile could do wonders for the number of responses you get—but remember, a cat is for life, not just until you find a partner.

You'll have a healthier heart: Owning any pet is good for your heart. Cats in particular lower your stress level—possibly since they don’t require as much effort as dogs—and lower the amount of anxiety in your life. Petting a cat has a positive calming effect. One study found that over a 10-year period cat owners were 30 percent less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than non-cat owners (although this might just be because cat owners are more relaxed and have lower stress in general).

To make it easier for you to add a couple of kittens to your life, Winnebago County Animal Services has just begun a promotion called "A Two-for-One Cat Adoption Special," and here's how it works:

When you adopt two kittens (under 1 year old), you will receive the adoption fee of one kitten at $85. If you adopt two adult cats (1 year and older), the adoption fee will be $40. If you adopt an adult cat or kitten, the adoption fee will $85. The fee includes the rabies shot and tag, microchip, spay/neuter, and other preventative vaccinations. WCAS does not have an end date for the promotion at this time.

Need a few more reasons?

I want you to know that I would never ask you to do something that I wouldn't do myself. Our two cats, Kazi (Kah-zee) and Pogo, were both adoptions/rescues. They have made my family's life better in countless ways. Even my dog Lucy loves them.

Winnebago County Animal Services is located at 4517 North Main Street, in Rockford. Their number is (815) 319-4100, or click here for more information.

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