Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy anniversary to me



Eleven years ago today, I met the Madame. Shortly after that, I met the Mister. She says he was reluctant to meet me at the time. That was because he knew what usually comes after the "meeting." It's the "moving in."

My purpose, besides being a welcome addition to the rather (in my opinion) substandard assortment of felines living here, was to be a "service cat." The Madame would take me to places where old and sick people are forced to live without feline companions (oh, the cruelty). My job would be to make them feel better. The lady who originally "rescued" me said I could be taken on a trial basis to make certain I could fulfill my mission. The Madame assures me now that she would have retained me whether or not I passed any test. But it turns out, I did pass the test. I was escorted to a "nursing home" and made the rounds to meet all the people there. Conservatively, I'd say I let about 20 people touch me. They were all nice enough. No one tried to restrain me, which I have no tolerance for. I just sat on their laps and allowed them to admire my lovely coat, which I'm told feels as soft as a bunny's. I purred a little bit too, just to sweeten the deal.

There was one woman at the home who was lying on her back in her bed. She was "unresponsive." The Madame placed me on the bed. The woman didn't look at the Madame or at me, but she began stroking my fur. In a little bit, she told me she loved me. And I hadn't even done anything! (This could have been the beginning of my rather fluffy ego.) Madame got pretty choked up later about that old lady. She tried to explain to me the import of what had happened.

The Madame had hoped that I would be able to visit other places. But, alas, nursing homes and hospitals and such are pretty anti-cat. For some reason, felines haven't been able to break into the world of animal therapy like dogs have. I don't understand why there is such prejudice. Even with dog therapy, there are a million hoops to jump through (dogs are more inclined to jump through hoops than we). Certification. Liability. Blah, blah, blah. The Madame says it saddens her deeply when people become unable to take care of themselves and are forced to "give up" their animals when they go live in a special place. How could a place be special when there are no animals there? Will Rogers did not even want to enter the Pearly Gates without his pets. Said he: "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."

The Madame is about to cry. I'd better go and comfort her. It's what I'm here for.

5 comments:

Smirking Cat said...

I have 3 cats, and they are immensely therapeutic. It's comforting to just hold them and hear them purr.

james & Kristine said...
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Henry said...

s.c., I'm so glad we could be of service! Purring is one of our best attributes, I'm told--though I have so many virtues it's hard to count (humility not begin among them).

ThePoliticalCat said...

Oh, Henry. I think I've fallen quite in love with your Madame. I do understand that you have first dibs, and all that, but should you ever tire of her, you know where to mail her.

In other news, Will R. got that (or maybe great minds just think alike?) from the Mahabharatha. In that lengthy history of Bharat (known today as India), our hero, one Yudhistir, dies and his spirit sets off on his journey to heaven. En route, he encounters a dog that offers him friendship. When he reaches the gates of Heaven, he is welcomed in but told that the dog is not allowed in, whereupon Yudhistir refuses to enter a Heaven that would deny a faithful dog. Will R. must've been a well-read man. Or just goodly. Bast bless you, Henry, for bringing fur in all its feline glory to the lonely and forgotten.

And a very happy anniversary to you all.

Henry said...

TPC, that is so lovely! Thank you for sharing this legend.

I will put your name on the waiting list for the Madame (it's not long, no matter what she thinks). You wouldn't believe the number of people she's been mailed to already, only to end up right back on our doorstep marked "Return to Sender." We're going to have to start skimping on postage--next time, she's going book rate.