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Four-legged friends

12 August 2015

Samuel posted something pretty special today.  It’s thoughtful, thought-provoking, honest, potentially controversial and really worth the ten minutes or so it will take you to read it through.  Frankly, I wondered if I should wait a few days before putting up my small offering for this week beside his amazing work!  Whatever your views on marriage equality, I invite you all to make yourselves comfortable, start by enjoying Samuel’s latest magnificent blog, and then consider reading the short, fluffy piece I’ve written (below) by way of “dessert”.  Who knows, perhaps my views on the ideal companion animal for a person with MS may generate some discussion, too! 


Four-legged friends.

I share my home with a cat.  Some of you are sure to be firmly in the “dog camp”, but I think a cat is the perfect four-legged friend for a person with MS. Cats are self-cleaning and self-walking.  Their warm, lazy presence can be so comforting when you don’t feel up to facing the world. And most of them are happy in any home with a welcoming lap - so long as they get fed! 

If you’ve never had a feline companion, I’d encourage considering one if you have the means to look after them and live somewhere that pets are allowed.  Cats don’t notice what you look like or whether MS prevents you doing certain things.  Most of them have a sixth sense about when you’re having a bad day, and will stay close and “look after” you when you are unwell.  You can whisper your secret hopes and fears in their ear expecting only approval and reassurance back - and they never repeat a thing.  There is nothing more calming than rhythmically stroking a relaxed cat’s fur and hearing the deep rumble of a contended purr emerge. And they don’t object to middle of the night conversations when a dose of IV steroids makes sleep impossible!

If you, like me, are a person with MS who is prone to moments of feeling unsettled when your thoughts take a wrong turn, and times when you just need to sit on the couch and do nothing, then I highly recommend finding a cat in need of adoption and sharing your home.  For me, an adult cat unwanted by others has proven himself a perfect housemate.  To quote the great Albert Schweitzer “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats”.


The Unaffected One




Comments (11)

I am erring on the side of crazy cat lady, with 3 feline friends of my own. They always seem to know when I'm having a bad day and stick closer than normal, hanging out with me or cuddling in bed. They give me such comfort.

I agree with both the above comments. I have two lovely cats that I wouldn't be without. They are a great comfort.

Good to hear, Rebecca! I've discovered quite a community on Twitter of people with MS who love cats and consider them an important part of how they live as well as possible with MS. So we are not alone!

Hmmm. I dunno. Our cat - AKA 'Trip Hazard' was my best buddy when everyone was away. Crawled under the covers, slept on my chest, purring and drooling on me. Then when his posse returned, he dropped me like last week's cat's biscuits, and I returned to my former role as his concierge, opening doors for him whenever he sends me thought pictures...

Sounds as if he has you well trained, Lawrie! Seriously, though, the way he "looked after" you when you were on your own is part of why I love cats. Dare I suggest he realised you had company of your own kind when the troops came home? There certainly is a selfish / entitled streak a mile wide in many cats, but I reckon that's part of their charm. It makes their snuggling so special when they decide you do need a bit of TLC!

I see what you did there TUO. Arrrrgh - you're messing with my mind! I'll think on your different perspective, but in the meantime, lets just say that 'fishface' is very, errrr, 'charming'.

Very fun post Unaffected One! Love the way it balances out Samuel's one. My kids are hounding me for a cat (pun intended!) but I keep telling them they are my pets! One of these days though we shall relent as I agree they are the purr-fect pet when the couch is calling

Thanks Sarah! If you do decide to let the kids have their way, I highly recommend adopting a "rescue cat". It's lovely finding an animal with a personality that suits your household, as well as a nice feeling to know you're providing a home for an animal who really needs one.