"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced" - James Baldwin
Friday 8 May 2020
The cat as healer
Should there be a word for when a cat acts with strong empathy for other living beings. We have the word ‘humane’ for ourselves, but since humans so often don’t always act with ‘humaness’ it is right we have that word to locate its too rare occurrence. So perhaps a word is not needed for good cat behaviour. They are just cats.
Our cat Tiva is all too aware of Anne Aylor and me, our moods and our ups and downs. When he jumps on the bed it can be onto head or feet or middle, but not when one of us is ill. When I came home from hospital stays he would always jump up at the far end of the bed and only cautiously move forward. During days and weeks of convalescence he stayed with me the whole time.
Yesterday I had severe back pains and he spent the night draped across my feet, something he never does. When I woke up he walked up to my head and, purring, placed his nose on my face.
Mostar friendsOhaandMaša MaslodaughtersLunaand Zoe, had a small cat, Chiro who, when I visited them after my heart op with carotid artery problems, would sleep with her front paws gripping my neck. Their neighbour, woodworkerEsad Brkic, told me that when he visited after he had badly injured his hand on a lathe, Chiro would lie across his hand.
Here is Tiva on the bed. Sadly he doesn't play backgammon. I need to be in Mostar to play that again, do woodwork with Eso and spend time with Ira. She is much too large to jump on beds.
An afterword: My dear departed friend, banner-maker Alice Kilroy, made one modelled on Tiva after he fell out of the window and broke his leg. It was used for the Save the Whittington hospital campaign. I can't find a photo of her banner but the campaign used Alice's design on their posters.