Stray Cat Helps Owner Overcome Anorexia

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At age 20, 6-foot Ashley Ransley of Fenton, Mich. weighed a mere 108 pounds. Doctors told the anorexic young woman that her body was shutting down and that she was at severe risk of a heart attack. After several failed treatments, the dejected Ransley began to accept the idea of an early death.
Five years later, Ransley is upbeat, at a healthy weight and looking forward to the future, all thanks to a needy orange tabby named Riley who wandered into her life.
The love of an animal can have some amazing healing powers, as the now 25-year-old Ransley found out. According to the U.K. Daily Telegraph, Ransley was able to work through her long and troublesome battle with anorexia with Riley's help. To see a Ashley before she found Riley -- click to the next page.


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During her struggle with her eating disorder, Ransley discovered a small, stray cat walking around her family's property. Deciding to take the cat in as her own, the struggling girl brought the tabby to the vet for a check-up. Ransley believed the stray to be a kitten, but was told by the doctor that the three-pound feline was actually a fully-grown and extremely malnourished female cat.

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After leaving the vet, Ransley began to help the weak cat, whom she named Riley, reach a healthy weight. While she fed and cared for Riley, Ransley also found that it was easier for her to feed and care for herself. She felt that focusing her attention on Riley's needs helped her take the focus off her own issues.

Ransley found herself eating with Riley to keep her company, sharing food with the cat and occupying herself with feline playtime when she began to feel anxious about food. The pair soon became inseparable as their bond strengthened over their challenges to become healthy.

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Now that both Riley and her owner are doing better, Ransley has focused her attention on helping other individuals suffering from eating disorders through a charity called EDEN. Having gone through the ups and downs of her illness, Ransley understands it is important to find the one thing that can help pull an anorexia sufferer out of that negative cycle. For her it was Riley, but Ransley knows that for many it takes medical help to reach full recovery.



Ransley accepts that she will lose her precious tabby partner one day and has looked into other outlets for staying healthy, but no matter what happens, Ransley believes she and Riley will always share the bond of being each other's savior.

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Amber Pye

This story made me tear up a bit =)

April 12 2012 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cljvedelman

Those of you who may not have experienced something like this directly or indirectly---please do not belittle and scoff at those who have. Better to say nothing than throw words like stones.

April 12 2012 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Giagul

beautiful story. she helped a poor cat and the cat helped her.

April 12 2012 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Giagul

beautiful story. she helped a poor cat and the cat helped her.

April 12 2012 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bobluc

actually, a douche has a purpose, is useful

April 12 2012 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank

She is really beautiful at her healthy weight. Bravo!

April 12 2012 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
schulmanlinda

And that's the power of love!

April 12 2012 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
loveto621311

as a former survivor from the pitfalls of anorexia, i twinge with remembrance of emotionally, fitfully horrible psycho/social travail of that long distant psychic misery mucho decades ago!

yet...the repercussion still linger four decades post that indescribable internal rift that finds me reaching out thru this gauzy whirled wide web to ye who (considerably many inches taller than myself at prepubescent - and even now just shy of standing six feet) might benefit from morale booster of one chap who felt (at the ripe old age of thirteen or so) felt abysmally inferior, pathetically worthless!

poetry writing a form of catharsis for me -- as evidenced by the following item >>

the deadly scourge of one obsessive/compulsive disorder -

anorexia nervosa absent bulimia nadir of onset sans schizoid behavior
which agonizingly slow suicide via self starvation
maelstrom within psyche of self as prepubescent lad
(particularly devastating to immediate family members)
as emaciation pitted existential revulsion from unseen wuthering heights
nearly wrung death knell
annihilating fragile entity christened matthew scott
with preemtory imprimatur yielding covalent bond to life
readily obvious to kith and kin
via zorro like signature per profound perilous depressive psychological state.

now - at about thirteen + forty years from attaining rank of centenarian
perfect 20/20 hindsight
offers supreme advantage from said current earlier chronological crisis
theorizing numerous educated guesses
within mind of this middle progeny and sole sol
(of boyce and the late harriet harris)
why he willfully hurtled his flesh at light speed down the abyss toward death.

literal and physical lightness of being
manifested within nooks and crannies
prior to full blown symptoms
to eliminate sustenance
drawing the curtain on brief residence
way before high noon of life.

metamorphosis from boyhood into man
found solace in attempting to keep at bay
natural cycle
which transformation grieved me
to pine for nostalgic childhood’s end (albeit one fraught with romanticism)
vengefully interpreted attempt
to halt dead in the tracks intervention of mother
whose nursing experience helped fend off passive attempt
to promulgate passive silent plan to fruition.

she whipped various nutritious concoctions in the blender
to ensure minimal essentials to this (i readily admit) famished body
in conjunction with applying vital supplements into
one or the other bony gluteus maximus
thru fuel injection
which submissiveness to acquiesce and bare my buttocks
did absolutely nothing to squelch death wish.

I inexorably overcame this eat disorder to go on a deadly hunger strike
which essentially constitutes a declaration of independent control
despite horrendous craving for food jabbed innards like a pike
bifurcated psychic division to live ousted coeval death wish sans goal.

from::matthew scott harris

April 12 2012 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristen

I am so happy that you are in recovery and wish you the best happiest long love filled life imaginable!!

April 12 2012 at 10:58 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
heldt666

Gee, Ashley, there's a weight loss camp in Somalia you might be interested in.

April 12 2012 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to heldt666's comment
Doc

I hope nothing bad ever happens in your life because you are clearly ill-equipped to handle emotional situations. I'm sure you think you're really cute and funny, but you're not. You're just a d ouche

April 12 2012 at 12:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Doc's comment
Reality

you have no right to say something like that when you don't know the person or how it feels to be in her position. I've been there and when you're in the grips of a deadly disease the smallest thing can bring you out of it. Perhaps you should re-examine how you handle things because beating up on others you're clearly insecure with yourself. Criticism of others to build oneself up...now that is the definition of a douche bag.

April 16 2012 at 1:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

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