Thursday, January 26, 2017

How brave are your cats? A critical question when you're ill

Fergus the cat resting on my cast

For years, I've told myself that shy cats make the best pets. Cats that are a little nervous and a little withdrawn when you first meet them tend to become cats that are loyal and easygoing companions when they've lived in your house for years. Since they're shy, they're fairly self-reliant. Confident cats, on the other hand, often need a lot of coddling as adults. They need interaction and play and games and distractions. And all of that must come from humans.

So when I choose cats, I typically look for the shy ones and I make them mine. But this week, my assumption has been turned on its head. And this week, for Thankful Thursday, I find myself suddenly very thankful for the bold and bright babies.

About 2 weeks ago, I fell and broke my leg rather badly. I've spent quite a bit of time in the hospital, and when I'm home, almost everything about me is different. My clothes smell different, as I'm using topical medications rather than floral lotions. I look different, as I have a huge cast on my leg instead of my normal slender ankle. And I move differently, as I have to use a knee scooter or a walker to get around.

Sleepy Fergus sitting on my lap

Changes like this are terribly hard for shy cats to understand or deal with. And some of my cats are not handling this at all well. My Maggie, for example, hasn't let me touch her since I broke my leg. She won't even stay in a room with me. And if I walk toward her, she will run. I catch her sniffing my tools from time to time, but she swats them and runs from them at the end of these visits.

Fergus, on the other hand, is completely at ease with all of my difficulties. He sleeps with one arm casually thrown over my casted leg, as if it's the most natural thing in the world. He falls asleep on my lap within minutes of my return from an appointment or a hospital stay, as though nothing about me has changed.

He's even taken to sitting atop my little knee scooter. You can see his mind working, as he tries to figure out if he can make it push forward.

Fergus the cat on my knee scooter

When I adopted Fergus, I had no idea he would be such a confident little kitty. He was very mellow when compared to his littermates, and I thought he would develop into a shy little adult. But this week, I'm thankful for his confidence. Just as my cats have to adjust to all of the changes in my life, I also have to adjust. And it isn't always easy. Having someone in the house who loves me and accepts me, no matter how I change, means a lot to me right now.

I'm sharing this piece as part of Thankful Thursday, as hosted by Brian's Home. You should check it out! It's a great way to make new friends and read up on what people are thankful for this week. I call it an antidote to negativity.

But before you go, be sure to leave me a note and let me know you were here. I always love to read comments. Thanks in advance!


  1. ouch....we are glad Fergus is keeping you good company and hope Maggie comes around in time. It is funny the perceptions we have about shy/outgoing cats. Mom was sure Daiquiri was outgoing since that is how she is in the house...yet a friend came over and Daiquiri was GONE until the friend left. :) Purrs for a quick healing.

  2. You have a very special kitty caretaker indeed! Yes, change is harder for some kitties. I sure hope the healing up moves quickly for you. Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

  3. I am glad Fergus is taking good care of you. I hope you are feeling better and healing.

  4. Oh my gosh, I was so sorry to read about your fall on the ice. That must have been so scary for you and Liam. I will ALWAYS take my phone with me from now on.

    I'm glad Fergus is being a good caretaker and hopefully Maggie will get more comfortable around you soon.

    Hang in there, Jean. I'm sending you good thoughts and I hope all goes well with the upcoming surgery.

  5. We have been thinking about you and continue to pray for you. And we are so glad that your Fergus is so attentive to you. I believe that if I were in your situation, my girl Eddy would act much like your Maggie. Hopefully Maggie will slowly grow accustomed to these changes, but in the meantime she still has a wonderful, loving home, and you have your nurse Fergus. Prayers to you!