Stories of caring cats

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Eric with Giro

I was moved by this letter shared last week in Gary Brogue’s animal news column:

“Dear Gary, I lost my husband recently…Often at night while I am in bed, I start to cry. My 14-year old cat, who is usually on the bed with me, immediately comes up to me, lays down on top of me and starts to purr. He often touches my face with his paw. I am amazed that he is so compassionate.”

Gary responded:

“Dear Judith, cats have a surprising amount of compassion, especially when their humans need it…

Many years ago, when it was just me and my now long-departed cat, Isis, I had a horrible case of the Hong Kong flu. I barely made it home from work and collapsed on the couch in my condo, where I remained for the next four days, wracked with high temperatures, violent chills, etc., etc.

Isis remained with me the entire time, trying to warm me against the chills, licking beads of sweat from my face, purring, mewing me awake in the morning, patting my cheek with her paw. Give your cat a hug from me and my readers. Sounds like he’s doing a good job…”

Perhaps because cats can be so “of the wild” and independent, I find it especially meaningful when they show so much understanding and kindness.

As I mentioned in my Black Cats post, my childhood soul cat would show up when anyone in the family was crying. He’d go up to your face and purr and kiss you gently. He took care of his people! My Mom and I were just reminiscing about this.

It’s too bad that people who haven’t yet bonded with a cat are often surprised by such stories. (I think the secret to bonding with a cat is to relate to him or her as your friend and equal.)

Do you have a caring cat story to share too?

Love to hear your thoughtful thoughts! Leave a reply...


  1. My sweet Pepita was a quite heavy cat who sometimes used to enjoy stomping over me in bed and throwing herself on my belly and sleep. When she walked over my belly it used to happen that my belly hurt. After casually mentioning this to my doctor, I was told I had ovarian cancer in the third stage. I was very scared. The tumor was so big that I used to be scared to move, irrationality afraid that it would burst. For days, I kept trying to fight of my Pepita of my belly, scared that she would stomp around like she always did. The first night back home after my first operation she had crawled ever softly on my belly to sleep there and purr to it. From that day she would guard my belly, never hurt my again by walking on it. I knew she knew I was sick. And she knew that I knew she was caring for me. From then on, she always slept on my belly, very gently and very caring. Two years ago she passed away at the way-too-young age of 16. My sweet Pepita died of cancer herself. Her lovely daughter Tiggy passed away 10 days ago, also 16. They nursed me when I was sick, sang and purred to my belly and although it was a great summer they never ever left my sick bed. I will cherish and love them always. I miss them both so much it hurts.
    Thank you for reading about my two best friends ever.

  2. I wrote bilingual Russian-English “Lullaby from Purrlandia” out of gratitude to the amazing cat Dr. Sam. My neighbors’ cat had adopted me, started coming by occasionally and saved me after heart attack, by starting to visit me more often and purring very loudly, when it was most needed. I’ve never heard a cat purr that loud, by the way. So, I call him “pavaroti” of cat purring. His purring seemed to be more effective than the heart medications (hospital doctor’s discharged me too early without testing my med’s fully…) I am ever grateful to this cat for his care.
    Those who would sing along the song as a lullaby to children would help them expand their linguistic capacities, since brain plasticity of the baby’s brain is known to allow effortless absorption of the verbal data, particularly during ages of 3-5 y.o. (Stay tuned for the produced version and a website with the full story. Meanwhile, contacts are welcome via