Many people have read Carl Sandberg’s poem about fog creeping on silent cat feet. Though cat’s feet and fog can compose silent symphonies, those feline feet can also perform concerts by rubbing rugs to get attention and accompanying other movements with saxophone-like purrs. It is that type of affection that forms such an unmistakable bond between cat and owner. To say more about bonding, I recently asked Cathy, a close friend whose husband died several years ago, about the therapeutic value of her cat.
“No matter what kind of day I’ve had at work or how tired I am when I get home,” Cathy began, “There is nothing like my cat bounding down the hall to greet me.” Cathy also related that she has had cats before, but not when her husband was ill.
“Since my husband was a really bad diabetic,” Cathy continued, “it would have been too much to work full-time, take care of my husband, and still have time for a pet. After being married for 31 years, though, living alone sure took getting used to, and having this loveable kitty has made it a lot easier,” Cathy concluded with a voice from which a smile jumped out with cat-like energy.
D.J. (not her real name), a good friend who passed away of ovarian cancer, once said that she couldn’t imagine life without her cat.
“When I first got Sasha,” D.J. shared, “I was so happy that I started crying.”
So great was her attachment to Sasha that one of D.J.’s last wishes was that I bring the cat to the nursing home where she lived. Unfortunately, time kept me from granting that special wish.
I also have friends with mental health diagnoses who maintain that their feline friends keep them on even keels emotionally. One friend even said that she doesn’t know how she could get through the day without her cat.
When it comes down to it, whether you have a great dog that guides with gusto, or a comforting cat that snoozes by your sleeping side, there is something truly perfect about God’s furry gifts of unconditional love and they can affect our lives in profound ways.