[LA] My new apartment has a “no pet policy,” but I might qualify for an ESA- I also want to be a respectful tenant. Help!

X-post from /r/legaladvice:

Apologies, because I realize this has been asked before.

We are moving from Texas to Louisiana in a month's time. We just signed our lease with a new apartment in the town we're moving to, and a clause in the lease stated "No pets will be allowed without the landlord's written consent."

We currently have a cat, but, because we're not scumbags and don't want to violate this agreement we've entered into, decided to hand the cat off to a responsible friend to take care of. While I realize this is probably the best thing to do, I'm having a hard time with the idea of losing my little buddy.

For backstory, I go to a psychiatrist monthly, and am tentatively diagnosed as either bipolar or C-PTSD and mainly suffer from depression. I am on meds for these conditions. While I could live without my cat, I do take a large amount of comfort from him and find being responsible for an animal mitigates my symptoms. I still think I could live without my cat, but I don't want to if I don't have to.

What is my best course of action here? I was considering asking my psych to write me a note recommending our cat as an emotional support animal, but I also don't want to be one of those people who abuses the law for their own benefit. I figured we could just get the note and shoot the landlord a text/give them a call asking if they would make an exception for us. Does this seem unreasonable? Can I do anything if they say no/should I? I also don't know if a note from a psych in Texas would even mean anything in Louisiana.

We haven't moved in yet and our lease starts on the first of July, and I really don't want to start our tenant/landlord relationship on a bad foot. I would also be interested in hearing the perspective of any landlords as well.

Thank you for your time.

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