Not everyone's bag, I know, but I've noticed that several of us find real comfort in our pets. Forgive the scrawl ( tricky at the best of times on an iPad, even harder with swollen fingers). It reads "Pets can be a comfort, but there is a limit".
Having said that, I wasn't too thrilled by a not-quite-dead rat which my cat deposited on my bed earlier this week. I moved more quickly than I have done for months! from her perspective, it was a wonderful present, but yuk! jo