Stories of caring cats

I was moved by this letter shared last week in Gary Brogue’s animal news column:

“Dear Gary, I lost my husband recently…Often at night while I am in bed, I start to cry. My 14-year old cat, who is usually on the bed with me, immediately comes up to me, lays down on top of me and starts to purr. He often touches my face with his paw. I am amazed that he is so compassionate.”

Gary responded:

“Dear Judith, cats have a surprising amount of compassion, especially when their humans need it…

Many years ago, when it was just me and my now long-departed cat, Isis, I had a horrible case of the Hong Kong flu. I barely made it home from work and collapsed on the couch in my condo, where I remained for the next four days, wracked with high temperatures, violent chills, etc., etc.

Isis remained with me the entire time, trying to warm me against the chills, licking beads of sweat from my face, purring, mewing me awake in the morning, patting my cheek with her paw. Give your cat a hug from me and my readers. Sounds like he’s doing a good job…”

Perhaps because cats can be so “of the wild” and independent, I find it especially meaningful when they show so much understanding and kindness.

As I mentioned in my Black Cats post, my childhood feline soul mate would show up when anyone in the family was crying. He’d go up to your face and purr and kiss you gently. He took care of his people! My Mom and I were just reminiscing about this.

It’s too bad that people who haven’t yet bonded with a cat are often surprised by such stories. (Future post: I think the secret to bonding with a cat is to relate to him as your friend and equal.)

Do you have a caring cat story to share too?

P.S. Gary’s column is great. I catch it when I visit my folks, who get the Contra Costa Times. He also has a blog here.

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