Anna Nolan: I rescued two kittens - or did they just rescue me?
One of the best things that happened to me over the past year was the arrival of two rescue kittens. In April, Minnie and Dot took their first steps in to our kitchen and made their way to the darkest corners of the room.
They have brought so much happiness to me and my partner, I find it hard to articulate.
Mainly because I never thought I would be writing a piece about animals. Ever.
I always thought animals were grand - harmless, sweet, good for the soul, blah, blah, blah. But these two little characters have made me happy.
They are smart. They know how to wrap me around their little finger. They are funny as a duo. One thinks she is the bravest tiger in the world. She isn't. One thinks she is the cuddliest teddy bear in the world. She is.
When I saw their photo on the animal rescue site, I was smitten. I wondered how such sweet little things could have been abandoned. But, of course, abandoned animals fill rescue shelters up and down the country.
This Christmas, hundreds of animals will be abandoned to make way for puppies and kittens. Others will be left at centres because their owners just can't cope.
If anyone is considering getting an animal for Christmas, please consider a rescue animal first.
I didn't know what to expect when I got the two little kittens. But it was really straightforward. Whether it's for you, or your children, adopting an animal is the best decision you could make.
As a previous 'non animal' person, I cannot tell you the difference it has made to me and my household, even if one did just climb up the Christmas tree.