I am so sorry to hear about your stepmom. I will keep her in my thoughts. I vote for at least suggesting the idea of a dog, maybe an older dog — already trained, not much work and eager to be loved?
We are going through a tough time at home right now. We are also fostering a litter of kittens. My husband and I were sitting in the living room and the kittens were bouncing off the walls, chasing one another and knocking everything over. I said to him, While I agree it’s crazy to have this many cats you gotta admit, it’s nice to see happiness scurrying around.
Pets can do amazing things for the soul.