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!
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